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Archive for August, 2010

verse 28: “He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”

“Having money is legitimate, but trusting money is foolish.” That’s the first sentence the Holman concordance has for the section referring to this verse. It is an accurate statement. Having money itself is not wrong. Unless you are totally self-sufficient, you need money to purchase basic necessities to live: food, drink, shelter, even transportation. That’s is why the majority of human beings have some sort of occupation…to make a living.

It’s when you put your ultimate trust in riches that you will fall. There are some things money cannot buy. I’m reminded of the old story about a rich man who dies and tries to enter Heaven with his earthly riches (he had his money converted to gold bars). When he opens his bag to show St. Peter what he wants to bring with him, the angel looks in the bag and says, “Pavement? You want to bring pavement with you?”

I think the words of the old hymn, “I’d Rather Have Jesus” say it best (here courtesy of the website link http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Id_Rather_Have_Jesus/:

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand

Refrain:
Than to be the king of a vast domain,
Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

Have a blessed day!

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Proverbs 11:22-27

verse 22: “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.”

My family was involved in showing 4-H steers and heifers, when I was younger. We even took a year to try showing hogs in 4-H.
Showing hogs was interesting. You didn’t put a halter on them to lead them around, like you would cattle. You used a type of riding crop-like rod to guide them by tapping them on the left or right side of their heads. You still had to clean them up, bathe them, and get them presentable for the hog show. Of course, once you got home after the show, and put the hogs back in the barn, they’d head right back to the mud!

A ring of gold (something beautiful) makes no sense in a swine’s snout (a pig being….well, a pig!). Solomon draws that parallel to a beautiful woman (physical beauty) having no moral discretion (making her ugly). Man tends to judge things by their outward appearance in most cases, but God always looks at the heart.

Something to think about.

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verses 16, 18: “A gracious woman attains honor, And violent men attain riches.” “The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.”

As with some of the Proverbs, I’ll come across a verse that doesn’t seem to make immediate sense. The pairing of a gracious woman and violent men doesn’t seem to naturally fit to me. My Holman concordance and my Bible footnotes point to this gracious woman as a “quiet” woman; that reminded me of one of the facets of my wife’s personality.

In my workplace, I’m often involved with meetings with aggressive personalities. Though the meetings are orderly, they can sometimes get boisterous and loud, with several folks vying to be heard. Unfortunately, I tend to bring work habits home sometimes; thus my wife pointed out that I was “running over” her side of conversations, whether within the family or whether we had guests. She was right; her nature is more of a quiet, humble spirit (one of the many things I admire about her!). I apologized, and I strive today to always make sure her voice is heard in conversations.

Since we’re talking about aggressiveness here, Solomon is referring to the “brute force” methods (Ryrie footnote) of those who want to “get all they can now”…those who strive to gain material possessions with all the drive they can muster. However, such a material-driven reason will only yield material wealth…it can never attain the true reward that sowing righteousness can. Remember, one of the things that paper money, stock certificates, and chaff have in common: they all go “poof” when tested by fire.

Something to think about.

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