BDBD is Proverb 16:27

The area that I grew up in was a swamp in generations past. No one, not even the Native Americans made permanent residence in the swamp. When my ancestors and their neighbors moved to the area they dug drainage ditches and lay clay tile lines in the rich dirt. When the drainage ditches filled up with wild vegetation they would set fires in the deep ditches. The scorching fire was controlled to obtain the required goal; a clear channel for the spring snowmelt and rain to be conducted away from the sprouting crops to the great lakes.

The inflammatory speeches and posts of many these days are like the scorching ditch fires of my youth. The truth is burned so their lies will have a clear channel to the souls of their victims. Their purpose is to bring wealth to their evil empire. “A scoundrel plots (digs up) evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.” (See also 6:12-15; Micah 2:1-3; James 3:6)

Rather than point blaming fingers at the wicked and fight fire with fire I should first examine my soul. What motives and plans do I ignite in the recesses of my mind? Jesus taught, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5) That is the point of this proverb. Examine me to see if I am the scoundrel who plots evil and then repent.

BDBD is Proverb 16:26

The practical nature of this proverb is simple to understand. Having a craving like hunger and a desire for sustenance forces a person to work. The Holy Spirit thru Paul tells Christians, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) Not identical, but a similar subject. The Spirit parallels this with, “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.” (Ephesians 4:28) Not working is equated with stealing.

What is not so obvious is that there is another application of these verses besides the obvious feeding of the pains of hunger for food. Why do we labor for God and others who are not my own family? What appetite drives me to continue to work for the Lord? If I become idle or want to stop, what hunger can drive me on? What do I crave that moves me to charity? The wrong reason will find me stopping.

I am reminded, “…do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” (Hebrews 10:35-38) When Jesus comes he will bring either a reward or a reprimand to his people for the passage in the book of Hebrews is to Christians.

BDBD is Proverb 16:25

Recently I took a vacation. I went to a place I had been to several times, the last time around five years ago. This time I was going to the vacation spot from the opposite side of its location. I followed the GPS and made it there with no detours or slowdowns. Going home the GPS guided me to take a different way. I didn’t want to go that way because I knew a shorter distance to home. So I took the shortest way home. I was sure I had made the right choice, but in time, I soon found out that the short distance was the longest time because the traffic was very slow due to several accidents. The GPS was guiding me around the accidents.

The proverb in verse 25 does not concern the way to get home from a vacation, though some may apply it to a trip home. It can also be applied to lifestyle choices but is not meant to be applied to lifestyles because all die no matter what choices are made. Rather, this proverb concerns the way to eternal life in paradise.

How then to know the right way? How can I not fool myself? I turn to God for the answer to the question, “Which way is the right way to eternal life in paradise after I die?” 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” Jesus said so himself. He taught, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13) “I am the way and the truth and the life,” Jesus declared. “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

BDBD is Proverb 16:24.

My grandfather was a dairy farmer. He would receive dairy farmer magazines in the mail. One day he read in a milker’s magazine that cows produced more milk if they were talked to while milking. So he put his radio in the milking parlor and turned on the AM news. I don’t think the cows liked the news because they didn’t produce more milk. He should have put on some pleasant sounds because as Solomon wrote, “Pleasant words are… sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Similarly, a report came out that infants are far better when classical music is played in their presence. I do not know how truthful that is. However, I did noticed that my children change their demeanor when they were infants when I talked in a pleasant voice to them.
Solomon doesn’t give an age limit in this proverb. Pleasant words are better than harsh and rash words. I can be a blessing merely by milking my lips to bring forth more sweet and healing words.

BDBD is Proverb 16:23.

A three-step action-reaction interplay is presented. The wise’s heart guides their mouth and the mouth promotes instruction. The heart is a person’s soul, their center of being meaning their mind, will, and feelings. A person can control their heart depending on the level of discipline. Yet, even the most disciplined cannot constrain the core of their being all the time. The hidden nature is eventually revealed and words are spoken that either build up or tear down.

The key to being a blessing to others lies in allowing God to change the heart. Twice the Lord God gave a promise to his people sitting in exile through the prophet Ezekiel. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26-28) The ability to speak the best words to others is to allow the Lord to make his throne in my heart.

BDBD is Proverb 16:22

I found myself looking at the meaning of words and phrases this morning. What is understanding since it is such a common word in the book of Proverbs? What is a proverb and a parable? What is a fountain of life?

Ponce de León, according to some received a contract from the King of Spain in 1512 to explore and settle an island called Bimini (now known as Florida) because he believed the native Cubans that it contained a secret hidden Fountain of Youth -drink from it and one would remain young. He did not find it and was called a fool. The mythical fountain of youth is not the same as the Biblical fountain of life.

Psalm 36:6b-9 states, “…O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” The love of God is the fountain of life.

Jesus revealed the secret to a woman seeking water from a well. “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water… Everyone who drinks this water -you want to draw from Jacob’s well- will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 10,13)

BDBD is Proverb 16:20

Trust is a vital part of having a happy and prosperous life. That is why trust is the subject of several proverbs (3:5-6, 16:3, 21:22, 22:19, 28:25). Trusting in the Lord Jesus is a blessed life. Trusting in Jesus relieves stress. Jesus proclaimed, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1)

Trusting in God is not easy. Trusting in God starts with small things and builds to trusting in him for more vital things. I use to think that trust is earned. Though that may be true to an extent, what it misses is that I also need to learn to trust -first in small things and later in greater things. Trust is a decision more than merit.

A good measure to determine my level of trust in God is to look at my prayers. How much do I pray? What do I pray about? What is my mindset when I pray? How I treat others is also a good way to determine my level of trust in God. A person who freely gives and helps others at their own expense and peril without self-acclaim is a mark of a person who trusts in God’s provision. “Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.” (Psalm 4:5)

When Jesus heard a ruler’s self-righteous brag, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22) Now that takes trust to obey.

BDBD is Proverb 16:19

Better to be lowly in spirit” reminds of Jesus’ beginning of The Beatitudes, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” When life is going well people don’t want to hear such things because they would rather believe they are blessed and thus don’t want to be low in spirit to be blessed. When life is not going well people often believe that they are being punished or are cursed because of something they did and can’t forget or something they can’t remember because they believe they are righteous.

Being “lowly in spirit”, “poor in spirit”, and “humble in spirit” are translations of the Hebrew phrase “shapal ruah” meaning being depressed to the core of our being. Everyone finds times in our lives more than we care to admit that we are lowly in spirit. It is strange to believe that such a state is blessed and better than to be experiencing the good life. Yet, God states that it is. Why?

“This is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'” (Isaiah 57:15) Jesus agrees and clarifies, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

On the contrary, he is not with the proud who plunder. “He mocks proud mockers” (3:34) Their doom is sure.

BDBD is Proverb 16:21

A discerning person is perceptive. So are wise instructors. Good teachers, speakers, and preachers are keen on their audience just as celebrated musical artists are attuned to their instruments. The pleasant words of an instructor are akin to notes played in tune and cadence, and voices sung in harmony. Pleasant words make an orator persuasive. Rash words turn the audience away.

Every day I have an audience; people I encounter. Either conscience or not we are each other’s audience. Being called to share the good news by my master I can learn from him, the master musician. He was aware of his audience whether one person or thousands. He spoke pleasant words and many in his audience were persuaded to believe in him.

May the Lord enable me to be discerning with pleasant words to promote his instruction. I want to play on key and in cadence today whether in writing, word, or action.

BDBD is Proverb 16:18

Pride and a haughty spirit are the same; an over-rated opinion of one’s self. Hidden and silent pride is the belief that we have control over things that no human can control. A reality of human existence that the proud ignores are vast and suddle weakness we all possess. The haughty falsely believe that if we convince ourself we have an ability then we will master it. Like sheep a haughty spirit is unaware of true dangers and afraid of things that are not a danger.

Logically this proverb is always fulfilled because the proud and haughty spirit eventually is trapped by a true danger thst they believed they could overcome. No one comes to their aid because everyone loves to see a the bragging arrogant get what is coming to them. We enjoy seeing them brought down to size and secretly hope they are pushed even lower.

The way of humility is better. Not a false humility. Bit a realization of limitations of the human experience.

BDBD is Proverb 16:17

This proverb repeats a common theme in the book of Proverbs. Most can understand the meaning behind, “The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.” However, many today do not accept nor believe this. If they do believe it they have their own definition of evil. Why do so few today accept the lifestyle that avoids evil? Why do so many believe what is wrong is right, and what is right is wrong?

Jesus taught, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:19-20) Human nature is to fear the truth because of a lack of trust in the love and forgiveness of God.

Do I dare to step into the light? Do I trust God enough to be fully exposed in front of God? “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them… But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:11, 13-14) Every day I need to take time to let the light of Christ shine on me so that my character and God’s way may be seen.

BDBD is Proverb 16:16

Why is it better to get wisdom and chose understanding than to have silver or gold? When a fool has material wealth and travels the whole world in luxury, power, and fame but not wisdom, they will expose themself to harm and all their wealth will not help them. When a person gets wisdom and chooses to understand they can avoid harmful practices and maintain a healthy lifestyle that does not require great wealth.
Alexander the Greek is a good example. Though his military paralysis was well known he died at 32 years old after a night and day of excessive drinking and partying.
Howard Hughes’s net worth is believed to have been 11 billion dollars when he died in 1976. He had fame, power, and wealth. Yet, he became known for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle—oddities that were caused in part by his worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic pain from a near-fatal plane crash, vague fears, and increasing deafness. He died a lonely miserable man.
No one celebrates Alexander and Howard though most know a little about them. Jesus however, is honored, worshiped, respected, and praised even though he was a poor carpenter and then a traveling rabbi. More than that he is honored by God and sits eternally in the highest seat.

BDBD is Proverb 16:15

The spring for a farmer is the time for planting. The seeds and young saplings need water to keep growing. When it rains the farmers are happy. Their faces light up with a smile and a warm heart. The saplings will live. They are healthy. The hope for a crop in the fall seems more plausible.

Those who have lived in a monarch know that when their king’s face brightens good things will come to all. A king’s smile means life for many and a good one at that. The citizens know life will grow. The saplings will live. They are healthy.

Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. (Mark 12:36-37; Revelation 19:16) What makes his face light up with a smile and warm heart? What pleases the King of kings, thus ensuring life for many and a good one at that?

Jeremiah 9:24 says, “‘Let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.” Restating previous verses from past BDBDs; “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.” (12:2) “The LORD detests men of perverse heart but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.” (11:20) “The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.” (11:1)

So in my life of faith in Jesus, the King of kings when he is pleased that I do things I know that I will live life to the full.

BDBD is Proverb 16:14

Wrath is punishment as a manifestation of anger. God’s anger is due to sin. God’s anger manifests as retribution. Retribution in regards to God’s wrath is justly given in repayment for the wrong done and right not done.

God’s wrath is seen when he kept Adam and Eve from eating fruit from the Tree of Life after they sinned. (Genesis 3:21-24) God’s wrath is seen when he brought a flood to the whole earth because everyone was corrupt and violent. (Genesis 6:11-13) God’s wrath is seen when the Lord God scattered the people building the tower in Bable. (Genesis 11:5-8) God’s wrath was manifested when Ananias and his wife lied about the offering they freely gave. (Acts 5:1-10) “The king’s wrath is a messenger of death…”Jesus displayed anger and rebuked his apostles for not believing others that said he had risen from the dead. (Mark 16:14)

The Lord God becomes angry with sin and his wrath is poured out, but not right away. It is possible to appease God’s wrath. The person who does so is wise according to this verse. 2 Peter 3:9 states, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

So how to appease the King’s anger and wrath? “Love covers all wrong.” (10:12) “He who covers over an offense promotes love.” (17:9) The Lord God says, “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18)

BDBD is Proverb 16:13

I claim to be a follower of Jesus the Christ; thus a Christian by name. I am in the kingdom of heaven. (Daniel 2:44, 7:27; Matthew 4:17, 5:3, 10) Jesus is my king. (Matthew 7:21, 16:19, 19:14) What can I do to please my king? This proverb provides one answer, “Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.”

Jesus confers. When the apostles were persecuted, told not to speak in Jesus’ name, and thrown in jail, Jesus opened the prison doors and told them, “Go, stand in the temple courts and tell the people the full message of this new life.” (Acts 5:20) According to Jesus to have honest lips is to know and obey King’s Jesus’ command here. What then is the full message of this new life?

The full message” includes Christ’s cross, Christ’s resurrection, Christ’s ascension, Christ’s sending of the Spirit to his people, his people living by the Spirit and by faith, having the hope of the second coming of Jesus, and loving each other as He has loved us.

The new life” is a term not heard in congregations anymore. Jesus introduced through his teachings and his apostles a new way of living, not a new idea. The new life is dynamic and vibrant. Paul calls it living by the Spirit. (Romans 8:13, Galatians 5:25) Other people in the first century called it The Way. (Acts 9:2) The life the first disciples were living wasn’t a commune; rather it was in communion with Jesus and his people through the Holy Spirit.

To speak the truth is to relay Jesus’ teachings found in the Bible.

BDBD is Proverb 16:12.

I do not know how it is to live in a country with a king or queen for I have lived my whole life in a country that has a democracy. I have visited several countries that are also democracies. No one that I have ever met has lived in a kingdom either. I have read books and watched television and movies, but that is not the same as experiencing monarch rule my whole life.

At various times in my life, I have briefly wondered what would it be like to be king. The question is unanswerable to even a person who is honest about the nature of mankind. We are made in the image of God; yet, tainted by a strong sinful impulse. This is apparent when over two hundred years ago monarchy after monarchy saw their citizen rebel against kingdom rule. Like most people, a monarch detests wrongdoing unless it is them that does wrong. Then we justify it away.

The King of kings, Jesus certainly detests wrongdoing. Yet, reacts to it with love, compassion, and wisdom. He also made many astonishing, baffling, and beautiful statements, For example: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17) “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34) “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32) “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49) “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” (John 9:39)

What is it like to live in a monarchy? I am experiencing it under King Jesus’ rule.

BDBD is Proverb 16:11

The proverb says that the Lord God owns just and honest weights and balances, he made all the stones for measuring. This refers to his judgment of everyone’s soul. “…the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

God wrote on the wall to King Belshazzar, “Mene, mene, tekel, parsin”. The prophet Daniel translated the four words and explained their meaning. Tekel means, “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.” (Daniel 5:25, 27) Job declared, “…let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless…” (Job 31:6)

God made the stones, that is the means to determine the weight of a person’s soul. Does it have value? He is honest and just in his judgment. The means to determine a person’s value is based on their actions and thoughts. Are they pure and just? Is a person true?

The Lord God weighed me and I was found wanting. Yet, through Christ, he has given me value. He forgave my sins through Christ. Now the Lord wants me. Now I am valuable. He holds me in his wallet.

BDBD is Proverb 16:10

According to King Solomon in the first half of this proverb, the words the king speaks such as in court sessions is “qesem” in Hebrew. English Bible translates qesem as an oracle, divine sentence, God’s verdict, oath, and divine revelation. Like a prophecy and revelation, a qesem is a communication from God. The term usually refers to a divine response to a question asked of God and also to pronouncements and decisions made by God without being asked. False religious practices which required payments also used the term qesem (Hosea 4:12). God did not require payment.

The proverb is a warning. Since the king was in a position under God’s anointment he should not betray justice. When cases are brought before the king, he functioned as God’s representative (Deuteronomy 1:17). Therefore, the king should heed the divine gift of wisdom to discern between right and wrong in order to render God’s judgment. (1 Kings 3:9) When he did so, his lips was equivalent to a divine oracle for the people. (2 Samuel 14:17, 20, 19:27) The king should not take payment for this.

The modern equivalent to a qesem is communicating God’s truth to others whether it be speaking in front of the entire congregation in weekly meetings, in group Bible studies, in one-to-one Bible studies, and writing books and on the internet such as BDBD and I am to be careful when I speak and type on the keyboard not to betray God’s truth and justice.

BDBD is Proverb 16:9

Having a plan is not the same as having a dream or a desire. Having a plan is better than wasting away on the couch. Having a plan does not mean it is a good or wise plan even though everyone thinks it is. Having a plan does not guarantee that the plan will succeed even though I have all that is needed to accomplish the plan. Having a plan does not mean that every step of the plan will work out as planned. Having a plan does not mean that there will be setbacks, hardships, trials, and disasters along the way even though it seems simple and easy in the beginning.

Having a plan can only include me, but most plans involve others. Having a plan that involves others does not mean that everyone will like the plan.

Having a plan does not mean that my plan is God’s plan even though I may consider myself a man of God. Having a plan does not mean that I am the one who determines the steps. “In his heart, a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

Having a plan is God’s way for he has a plan and “I know that God can do all things; no plan of God can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2) It is better to go along with God’s plan even though I don’t understand it, than to continue a plan that I fully understand, am enthusiastic about, and yet is not God’s will.

BDBD is Proverb 16:8

Injustice (mishpawt in Hebrew) and justice (mishpaw in Hebrew) are central to the Old Testament ethics as love is central to the New Testament living. Biblical justice is the standard for both punishment and benefits. (Isaiah 28:17) Justice is the order God seeks to reestablish in His creation. Righteousness in thought, attitude, and action is the means to determine if a person is just. A large part of Jesus’ ministry was to “proclaim justice to the nations.” (Matthew 12:18, 20; 23:23; Luke 18:8)

Understanding what justice is for God makes the why of this proverb known. Why is a little righteousness better than much gain with injustice? Because God uses these to determine a person’s eternal future. 10:2 says, “Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death.” Paul declared in the meeting of the Areopagus, “…For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)

My response to this revelation is to heed what Paul said twice to Timothy, “But you, man of God, flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, peace, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:22)

BDBD is Proverb 16:7

The fact that I have enemies sticks out in this proverb. A few people come to mind who were and are a foe. The devil also comes to mind. He is an enemy of the Lord and so an enemy of mine. (Matthew 13:39) Jesus has enemies which is apparent when he walked the earth. The way Jesus responded to his enemies is not how most respond to an enemy.

Jesus teaching on how to respond to enemies takes faith to live by. He taught, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45) The apostles echo, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18-21) And, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)

The Christian response to an enemy is possible with the strength of the Spirit and the assurance in this proverb. “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7) The Lord is a peacemaker and I am his disciple. I will follow his example by being a peacemaker.

BDBD is Proverb 16:6

Atoned for” in the original Hebrew here and elsewhere in the Old Testament is “kapar”. These are theological terms for God’s provision to deal with human sin; in the Old Testament, it primarily means purification. In some contexts, forgiveness, pardon, expiation, propitiation, or reconciliation is included. The basis of atonement is a substitutionary sacrifice offered by faith. The Old Testament sacrifices in the Law were types and shadows of the great and final sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

“Fear” in the original Hebrew here and elsewhere in the Old Testament is “yira”. No single English word conveys every aspect of “yira”. The meaning includes worshipful submission, reverential awe, and obedient respect to the covenant-keeping God of Israel. Such conscience emotion evokes the desire to avoid evil. Knowing that God is holy and that holiness surrounds him, so then I want to be holy so I may be near him.

This proverb is about how I may draw near to God as he draws near to me. First, through his atoning sacrifice of crucifixion. Second, through a conscience obedient fear of him.

BDBD is Proverb 16:5

Pride of heart is confidence in myself; my own skills, accomplishments, state, possessions, heritage, race, and position. The LORD detests pride of heart. Why? Because it does not recognize that the Lord God is the one who made it all possible. Many verses speak of these things.

I can be happy that I finished a project or a task. That doesn’t mean that I am proud, though I still could be. It all depends if I give God the credit in my heart and with my lips. God makes all things possible. To believe otherwise is false. The Lord detests that. So, his plans are to punish them as a sign to others.

BDBD is Proverb 16:4

God is sovereign. “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1) Sovereignty means that God is in all and overall. Being sovereign means that God is the source of all and that all things come from and depend on God. Being sovereign means that the LORD works out everything for his own ends. God is sovereign beyond comprehension.

Divine sovereignty does not mean that everything which occurs in the world is God’s will. God has created a world with freedom. Without freedom, love is not authentic. Without love is hate. Hate is a possibility in God’s design, but it is not his desire nor will. Hate is choosing not to love God. Hate is wicked. The wicked have a day of disaster. This is not God’s desire, yet it is a possibility in his sovereign design.

Today I have the freedom to love God. If I chose to not love God then I hate God. If I hate God then I made a wicked choice. Making the wicked choice to not love God makes me wicked. The wicked having a day of disaster is his sovereign will. To Pharoah who repeatedly chose to hate God the Lord said, “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16)

“The LORD works out everything for his own ends– even the wicked for a day of disaster.”

BDBD is Proverb 16:3

The truth is clear in this proverb. “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” What does it mean to commit to the LORD? Looking up the original Hebrew word, “galal” does not answer the question since its few uses differ. The American Heritage Dictionary’s first definition of commit is “to do, perform, or perpetrate.” The second is “to put in trust or charge.” The fifth is “to put into a place to be kept safe or to be disposed of.” So committing to the LORD is doing for the LORD and trusting him with the final accomplishment for he is the one in charge of everything that is needed for the act and affects the act.

The phrase “whatever you do” is “maaseah” in the original Hebrew meaning “works, activities, labor, deeds, and efforts”. It is not specific.

“Your plans” in the second half of the proverb in the original Hebrew is “machashebeth” and is elsewhere translated as “thought, purpose, imagination, and invention”. Thus, this proverb is akin to the proverb in verse 1.

God does not frown on planning, thought, purpose, imagination, and invention unless they do not conform to that which is good, just, and right. God gives these gifts with full intent and understanding that each person will use them for that which is good, moral, ethical, just and right. Through these God is glorified.

For me, this is to learn, understand, develop, and use the gifts God gives me, commit them to him, and I will through him succeed.

BDBD is Proverb 16:2

Innocence is a deception of all. “I am innocent.” “I was coerced.” “The devil made me think those thoughts.” “I had no choice.” “I have a valid reason.” “My genes are the reason why I do these things.” “I was made with a flaw.” These are the claims of the guilty. “…but motives are weighed by the LORD.” All are guilty. (Romans 3:23)

Apostle Paul states it this way, “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.” (1 Corinthians 4:4-5)

“If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?” (12:14)

King David fully aware of his antiquity pleaded, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24) Simon Peter confessed to Jesus, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” (Luke 5:8)

Know your sinful state. Fear the Lord God. Repent and ask for forgiveness before it is too late and judgment time has arrived.

BDBD is Proverb 16:1

Conscience plans for the future is a characteristic that is perhaps unique to humans. No proof exists that apes and monkeys make plans for the future. Squirrels hide nuts in the ground out of instinct, not because of a conscience decision. Birds and beasts of the great plains migrate out of instinct and hunger, not out of a conscience decision. “To mankind belongs the plans of the heart” based on one’s own sense of right and wrong.

The proverb continues, “But from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue.” God must give me the ability to articulate and accomplish the plans in my heart. Verse 9 is similar with fewer poetic flowers. Chapter 19:21 puts it this way, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”If the Lord Jesus doesn’t want it to happen, it won’t. I reason, “It is easier for me to seek God’s will and glory and let the rest fall into place as he enables me to accomplish it.”

Noah did not plan to build the arc until God directed him. Abram did not leave Ur and then later Harem until God directed him. David decided to build a temple and God rebuked him because it was never God’s desire. (2 Samuel 7:1-7) The social and religious leaders of Jesus’ day planned to make Israel a sovereign nation again as they understood the Bible. But God had different plans. When they rejected God’s will the LORD destroyed the temple and burned the city.

I pray every day, “I want to know your will for me. Give me the power and strength and whatever is needed to do it.”

BDBD is Proverb 15:33

Whenever I read about the fear of the Lord while going through Proverbs such as in this verse I remember an event about five years ago. While living in North Carolina I went to a men’s early morning breakfast Bible study. An assistant pastor lead the study. One morning he rather abruptly and forcefully asked, “What is fear of the Lord?” I was shocked at his tone wondering if he was sincere or opening up a Biblical discussion. His face answered me. No one answered. I wanted to say something, but being a slow waker I didn’t want to get into a debate so early. He said, “I am serious. I want to know. I do not understand it.” Silence answered his beseech.

Since that event, several other Christians have expressed similar confusions including preaching pastors. Some redefine the meaning of verses “fear of the LORD” and “fear the LORD” like today’s BDBD; “The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom…,” or “Wisdom teaches the fear of the LORD…” The answer to the meaning in part lies in the second half; “…and humility comes before honor.” Apostle Peter was blunt while stating the same, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)

Accepting and taking responsibility for all my actions even those not in God’s will I fear the LORD’s wrath, humble myself, and ask for grace wanting not to sin anymore. I know full well that grace in Christ will come as does consequences for my foolish ways. Surely, I love God and know that he loves me. I know his love allows the consequences to come. So my response is to always fear the one that I also love and trust. Do not have spiritual pride.

BDBD is Proverb 15:32

A reason to ignore discipline is because it doesn’t feel good. This follows the old refrain, “If it feels good do it,” and another, “If it doesn’t feel good it must not be good for me.” These excuses stem from a blind belief that the body knows what is good and what is not good for it while ignoring the fact that the brain is capable of logic and reason which is the control of the body. My brain with reason can come to know that “he who ignores discipline despises himself. but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.”

Pride is a main component to ignore discipline. Though self-discipline is at my disposal, discipline through a mentor is often more effective. However, pride can keep me from heeding discipline coming from a mentor. The sports player that believes he is smarter than his coach will not play well on a team. The team suffers and loses against their well-disciplined opponent.

My coach is my Lord Jesus. His discipline is presented in the Bible. The Holy Spirit is my instructor and mentor. He is the counselor that Jesus sends to me. I am wise to heed his discipline and correction. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (1:7) Jesus tells me, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of Truth.” John 14:15-17a)

BDBD is Proverb 15:31

Listening to a like-giving rebuke is not the same as hearing. Though this point is merely a difference in the definition of words the point is still true. The original Hebrew word “shama” implies giving careful attention, diligent obedience, and firm belief in the rebuke. The opposite of this proverb is found in 3:11, “do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke.” The opposite is despising and resenting a life-giving rebuke.

The result of listening to a life-giving rebuke is being at home among the wise. This is not only that the wise listen to life-giving rebukes as I would, but that they live together with the LORD God their Father “because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (3:12)

After Jesus saved the woman caught in the act of adultery she told her, “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11) This was a life-giving rebuke.

When the young rich man who loved money asked, “Rabbi, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus’ rebuke was life-giving. “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21) The young man went away sad for he resented the life-giving rebuke.

Today and every day I must choose to listen to Jesus’ life-giving words and thus live with his majesty or walk away.

BDBD is Proverb 15:30

This proverb gives joy to the heart because of two words, “good news”; in Hebrew “tob shemua” and in Greek “gospel”. The good news concerning Jesus’ death and resurrection is indeed health to the bones. The cheerful look of the saved does bring joy to the heart. I am reminded of the joy on the face of a young girl arising from the baptismal water last Sunday. The joy is all because of Jesus and what he did on the cross, walking out of the grave, and into the heart.

Though I enjoy the benefits and blessings of the gospel my face does not always have a cheerful look. Even Jesus wept (John 11:35). Though the tears flow the company of a friend quietly sitting with me is a comfort to my soul. Jesus in me brings joy for he is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) He says to me, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)

Jesus my friend sits with me in my tears and in my joy.

BDBD is Proverb 15:29

The Lord is holy, holy, holy. The wicked chose to be unholy. They do not listen to God and his wisdom though he cries out to them all day. (1:20-33) They turn away from his love. They make excuses for not turning to him. The LORD is far from the wicked because that is where they want to be. They say, “God and I have an agreement. He lets me do what I want and he doesn’t get involved in my life.”

The Lord is holy, holy, holy. The righteous seek God and his wisdom. They listen to his voice. When they call to him God hears them. They say, “God made a covenant with me. He said to me, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'” (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 12:25)

To those who asked, “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly,” Jesus replied “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me,
 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:25-30)

BDBD is Proverb 15:28

The mouth and the tongue and the words that come from them have been the subject of several proverbs. (10:19, 21, 31-32) The words I speak come from the heart whether good or evil. The righteous know to be careful in what is spoken and weigh answers.

I do not always do this. Even though one hundred times I weigh my replies and each time give a good answer, it is the one more time that I gush forth the evil that is remembered. No one gives a righteous answer all the time except Christ. If anyone says they are perfect and can never sin, and I met a few who said that then they are not considering the occasional evil that gushed from their mouth.

Jesus said in a parable of servants and talents. “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant!'” (Luke 19:22) Jesus concluded another parable with this, “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:13-14)

BDBD is Proverb 15:27

A bribe is receiving something for self so that another may get away with injustice. (Deuteronomy 16:19-20) Bribery is also giving anything of value with the intention of influencing one in the discharge of his or her duties. (1 Samuel 12:3) Both the giver and receiver are guilty. Most wealthy are only different than the poor in that they have the means to bribe, the poor would most likely be involved in a bribe if they had the means to.

Is there such a thing as spiritual bribes? Is saying to God, “I will do this if you do what I want,” a spiritual bribe? Yes. Yet, God cannot be bribed. I cannot buy God’s favor. I have nothing to buy God’s favor anyway because he owns all and what little I have to offer he can obtain without me. Yet, mostly God cannot be bribed because it is not in his character. “A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live.”

BDBD is Proverb 15:26

The Lord God, Yahweh knows what everyone is thinking all the time. Nothing that can or cannot be done will stop this truth. He knows my thoughts and from where they spring.

The Lord Jesus has emotions and values. He detests or finds pleasure in a person’s thoughts. Pleasure and despise are considered two of the core dimensions of emotion. Emotions, and how they’re expressed, are tied deeply to personality.

Why does it matter if God, the creator and owner of the universe knows my thoughts and can either find pleasure in or detest my thoughts. Because he will either draw me closer to him or send me farther away. “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.” (Psalm 24:3-5)

So my thoughts are mine and mine alone. They are not anyone else’s. Therefore, the consequences are mine alone. Do not be fooled by the pride of religion. I am accountable for all the thoughts in my head.

BDBD is Proverb 15:25

A surveyor’s task to mark land boundaries has existed from modern-day to many millenniums past including in Solomon’s day. When modern surveyors find a property’s boundaries they place metal stakes in the ground to mark the corners. In Solomon’s day, they either placed a large stone in corners or a large pile of small stones. No one can illegally move corner markers set by a surveyor without punishment. (22:28; Deuteronomy 19:14; Job 24:2; Psalm 68:5)

What if a society’s leadership is corrupt and they move or demolish boundary stones? What is there to do when some in a corrupt society have no way to seek justice? Such was often the case in Israel’s history, especially for widows. Even though the law of the Lord protected all including widows, at times Israel and Jewish leadership ignored or changed the Lord’s laws. They derived ways to circumvent the law as Ahab and Jezabel did. (1 Kings 21)

Hope exists for the Lord “keeps the widow’s boundaries intact.” Though I may lose that which is mine momentarily, the Lord in the end will eternally restore that which he has promised and established. “For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.” (Psalm 37:9-10) “So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line’…'” (Isaiah 28:16-17)

1 Corinthians 15:57-58a promises, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

BDBD is Proverb 15:24

What happens when I die? Is there life after physical death? Two questions that unite all. The answers are many. The Bible has two answers. This verse speaks of both; “upward” and “downward to the grave” (“maal” and “sheol matta” in Hebrew).

Sheol (i.e. grave, hell) is deep within the earth (Ps. 88:6; Ezek. 26:20; 31:14-15; Amos 9:2) and was entered by crossing a river (Job 33:18). Sheol is pictured as a city with gates (Isa. 38:10), a place of ruins (Ezek. 26:20), or a trap (2 Sam. 22:6; Ps. 18:5). Sheol is sometimes personified as a hungry beast (Pr. 27:20; Isa. 5:14; Hab. 2:5) with an open mouth and an insatiable appetite. Sheol is described as a place of dust (Ps. 30:9; Job 17:16) and of gloom and darkness (Job. 10:21). (Holman Bible Dictionary.)

Paradise is the name of the upward place referring to an enclosed wooden park, the dwelling place of God. All three New Testament occurrences (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7) refer to the abode of the righteous dead (heaven). The Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) used “paradise” to translate the Hebrew words for the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2-3. Paradise is the proper name of heaven.

The wise go to Paradise upward being saved from the dark gloom of Sheol beneath. What do the wise know and believe? It is not what, but who they know. Jesus proclaimed, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) To the man on the cross next to him who ask for forgiveness and remembrance Jesus promised, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in Paradise.” To his people Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. ‘To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.'” (Revelation 2:7)

BDBD is Proverb 15:23

If someone asks me for advice or is seeking an answer to something in their heart and mind I find joy when I answer. According to this proverb everyone does. Whether my answer is good or bad, true or false, right or wrong, timely or not doesn’t matter. I am still happy to reply. The joy is because this act of respect pumps my ego.

However, this verse gives me advice in its second half. “How good is a timely word!” The original Hebrew “dabar et tob orah” (a transliteration) literally means “word time good way”. My reaction to a request for assistance should be to give the right words at the right time. So how is a person like me who isn’t as wise as Solomon to know what good word to reply and when to say it? Ask the Lord like Solomon did! Isaiah 50:4 says, “The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” After asking the Lord as Solomon did I am to receive instruction from the Lord. This is why I do BDBD ever since I became a Christian in the mid-1980s to this very day.

BDBD is Proverb 15:22

The point is clear. Seek counsel and advice because you are not as clever and wise as you think you are. The principle is so important variations of it appear in three other places in the book of Proverbs (11:14, 20:18, 24:6). Stubborn obstinate pride doesn’t succeed as often as a humble amenable heart.

The advent of the printing press in 1426 by Johannes Gutenberg began the fast and extensive sharing of knowledge that has multiplied greatly with the invention of the personal computer, the internet, and the world wide web. Many had believed at the beginning of the last century that things were going to get better for all mankind with so much sharing of information. People were seeking and getting all kinds of advice. Things did look like they were improving until WWI and WWII proved that with many advisers we can exceed at anything including vast devastating wars.

So now I can find all kinds of advice on my cell phone, my computer, my TV, my radio, and even from the lady cleaning my teeth yesterday. Much counsel can be obtained and most counsel obtained is not good and some are downright nasty. Sometimes I don’t discover which are nasty until I am awash in nasty. Where can I find wise counsel?

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe… to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:20-21)

BDBD is Proverb 15:21

The proverb is a variation of the one in 10:23. “Folly delights a man who lacks judgment…” here is “A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct…” in 10:23. “…a man of understanding keeps a straight course” here is “…a man of understanding delights in wisdom” in 10:23. A fool to God is a person who lacks judgment. Fools do find delight, though the subject of their amusement is evil conduct. Such is the way of the sinful nature in all.

The person of understanding also finds delight too, though the subject of their amusement is wisdom in the kingdom of God and the straight course. Abraham rejoiced at the thought of Jesus’ day and was glad. (John 8:56). The large crowds listened to Jesus with delight. (Mark 12:37) These were wise.

What do I delight in? Is it folly or a straight course? A good way to know what is folly and what is sensible is to ask and answer the question, “If Jesus were with me right now would he delight in this?”

BDBD is Proverb 15:20

Sadly, a child can be taught to despise their father and/or mother. This callous and cruel act can be accomplished by someone they look up to whether a peer, family member, teacher, the other parent, and/or society. The result is often harmful to the child and the inflictor of this education. A child trained to despise even one parent, research shows, is much more likely to end up isolated, have poor self-esteem, a tendency to depression, low academic performance, mental health problems, and a high rate of addiction to alcohol and drugs. Over 30 percent of surveyed parents believe they are being alienated from their offspring by the other parent, especially during divorces.

Hope exists for all three members involved, but it is not without will, decisions, effort, and especially prayer. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27) “Pray continually.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.” (Job 5:15-16)

Since God our Father is able to turn around those who are estranged from him, then surely there is hope for our children to turn their hearts back to their parents. I can become a peacemaker with the power of God. As the angel told Zechariah, “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers (the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous) –to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17)

BDBD is Proverb 15:19

A sluggard lifestyle and its trappings are well defined in Proverbs (6:6, 9; 10:16; 13:4; 15:19; 19:24; 20:4; 22:13; 24:13; 26:13-16). A way of life has the same meaning as the path of life that someone chooses. A sluggard is a lazy person whose lifestyle blocks them like thorns block a pathway. No one would walk down a path that has many sharp long stiff thorns. Such a path would cause a person to stand idle not moving ahead, nor to the side, or even to backtrack. I would just stand or sit and not go anywhere.

My grandfather’s dairy farm had thorn trees. I can tell you that they do indeed bring sharp pain and blood. The cows would never walk into one. I would not climb one; at least not a second time. What keeps a sluggard from cutting down thorn trees? Why not change lifestyles? Why not leave the old and walk the path of the righteous that is a highway? What causes a person to have will?

The solution is to not cut down the tree from the trunk. The solution is to cut off one thorn-covered branch at a time. Start at easy-to-reach goals and execute them. Build up one small habit at a time. The road to your destination is covered with many individual foot imprints, not one giant leap. Small successes are the individual foot imprints that reach your destination.

BDBD is Proverbs 15:18

Patience is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that Jesus sends to his people (Galatians 5:22-23). That is to say that a person with a personal love and respect relationship with Jesus is given the Holy Spirit who endows on a person the ability to be patient if they so desire.

A benefit of being patient is given here. I can calm in a quarrel. Quarrels are part of any and all relationships. The quarrel may be as simple as two people not having the same will and desire to do something. One wants to do one thing and the other does not or wants to do something else. If I am not patient, then I will get angry and create and escalate the disagreement till it becomes a conflict or even a fight; a downright shouting match with angry body movements and evil eyes. Later regrets and bitterness fester that could end a relationship that once had great love and passion. This is the nature of fallen mankind.

The nature of the Holy Spirit is not this way. Therefore, if I get into an enraged conflict then I need to stop, ask for permission to momentarily remove myself, do so, move my emotions and thoughts to the Spirit, and submit to His nature. Easier said than done. But not impossible to the person of God. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:24-25)

BDBD is Proverb 15:17.

Love and hate can change anything. Love can make a simple meal into something wonderful. Hate can make a feast unappetizing. The proverb here implies that the meal has more than one person and assumes that several family members are sharing a meal. “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” My mother would often say, “You can choose your friends, but you cannot choose family.” However, I can choose to practice love even when I do not like a family member’s life choices.

Jesus once prophecied, “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:49-53) Choosing Jesus as Lord and Savior may start a family baptism of fire.

When I did just that some forty years ago my mother was not at all happy and my siblings thought I was strange. I prayed for them for many years. Eventually, I saw my father and older brother turn to God and God flew me one thousand miles to see my sister living in Texas be baptized. I look forward to a day when we share a loving meal together, especially those of us still living before one of us passes. Persistent prayers change a disaster meal into a feast.

BDBD is Proverb 15:16

The proverb in this verse combines two popular subjects in the book of Proverbs: fear of the LORD and wealth. The two at first seem opposed to each other. Upon closer examination, a lot about the two are revealed. First, fearing God is in degrees. One can have a little fear of God just as one can have faith as small as a mustard seed in God.

Second, great wealth does not guarantee peace of heart and mind. Great wealth often included turmoil, especially for those who do not have even a little fear of the LORD. The wealthy fool as defined in the Bible always worries about two things: losing what they have and not having enough. Since neither can be solved outside of fear and trust in God such people often have great inward trouble.

Third, fearing God does not guarantee great wealth all the time as some preach. If that were true then I would have to reconsider the lives of Jesus, the apostles. They were so poor they had to eat raw wheat allotted for the poor. And then the troubles of most of the prophets (Hebrews 11:36-38). Yet, I believe the truth stated in 3:9-10, “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”

BDBD is Proverb 15:15

Is life merely a matter of perspective? Better put, is the way I experience life a matter of the way I perceive it? The “oppressed” are people that are “afflicted” in this proverb meaning that they are troubled in their mind and heart. This type of person believes that the world is against them, God does not love them, and everything happens to make them feel miserable. They are never satisfied and can always find a burden to carry in their heart and something to complain about. They live every day wretchedly and really don’t want it any other way. They find a peculiar satisfaction in making themself accept that they are always miserable.

Is the way I experience life a matter of the way I perceive it? Is the ability to be cheerful mine? Is the lighthearted and bubbly sibling of the oppressed miserable child able to make lemonade out of a lemon? Or are they unwilling to accept reality? It is possible to see and experience the good in anything, but can that turn spoiled food into a continual feast? If the answer is yes as this proverb states, then I need to ask, “How can I be like that?”

Apostle Peter wrote to the oppressed congregations, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9) And the writer of the oppressed Hebrews directed, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)

BDBD is Proveb 15:14

The heart of one person is compared to the mouth of another. The first seeks knowledge and is called discerning. The second feeds on folly and is called a fool. The fact that I have to seek knowledge implies several truths. First, I am not born with knowledge. Though I am born with instincts and pre-hard-wiring with character, mostly I do not know the world I am born into and how I am to live in it. For example, I must learn to roll over, sit, stand, walk, and run.

Secondly, I have to seek knowledge and that takes effort; dedication, faithful, courageous, and persistent effort. As a baby such effort lead to me mastering rolling over, sitting, standing, and walking. Mastering these included many bumps and bruises. I often remember when my son was three feet tall and growing he would run around the room as I worked at a desk on what became Often he would stop at my desk to check up on me. One day he rather abruptly realized that his height had to be lowered when he ran up to my desk if he wanted to avoid a bump on the head. A toddler seeking knowledge obtains it one way or another.

Third, the need to seek it implies that knowledge is often not readily found. This truth is not because knowledge hides. Rather, I am slow to recognize it and often too stubborn and proud to learn. I am thankful that I did not live in ancient Israel under the Mosaic law when I was a teenager. I would surely be dead for it says, “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) Humbly learn the truth or be purged on judgment day.

BDBD is Proverb 15:13

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.'” (Matthew 26:36-38; Mark 14:33-34) “…being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)

“…by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” (KJV, ASV) “…an aching heart breaks the spirit.” (WEB) The last several months I endured some unexpected physical pain. Some of it was anguishing pain and none that I want to endure again. What would I do if I knew terrible physical pain was coming, pain that I could avoid but resolved to go through because of love and obedience?” What if I knew that after nearly 24 hours of torcher that included crucifixion, I would die? …by grief of heart my spirit would be smitten. (YLT)

Though Jesus’ spirit was broken because he knew what he was about to be subject to he did not walk away from it. How? He prayed. He believed. Can I do the same? I am just like the disciples. I would disobey Jesus and not pray. I would sleep. I hear Jesus tell me, “‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.'” (Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38) Truly a great temptation is coming. Am I ready?

BDBD is Proverb 15:12

One of the attributes of a mocker is destructive self-pride. Such a person will not consult the luminous truth of the wise. They resent correction. Even when disaster sweeps over them like a dark whirlwind, they will not accept the advice of the wise and spurn their rebuke (1:28-30, 10:8, 13:1). Even if God were to consult them to the way of peace and serenity a fool would subject himself to a hundred lashes than accept it (17:10).

Though I may believe that I am not a mocker with destructive self-pride the truth of the matter is that the seed is in me. More so the fact is that until I surrender myself to the love and fear of the Lord the seed is a full-grown plant with all kinds of poisonous fruit. I am grateful that though I was a rebellious mocker the Lord kept pursuing me till I entered his glorious light. By God’s grace, I cut down the tree of self-pride to let his light shine on me. I was humbled by the power and love of God.

However, new sprouts of self-pride shoot up from the roots. So the Lord God corrects me. I seek the consult of the wise before me by reading their writings first and foremost in the Bible. Then also other men and women of God since them. I have learned that it is wise to remain humble before the wisdom of God.

BDBD is Proverb 15:11

Death and Destruction” in the NIV is from the Hebrew words “Sheol and Abaddon” (a transliteration) in the original Hebrew. The KJV translated them as “hell and destruction” leaving the incorrect impression of the place of the wicked after their physical body dies. That is why most translations keep the original Hebrew. Still, I am left to ask, “What are Sheol and Abandon that lie open to the Lord?”

The prophet Job separated the two while saying the same thing as Solomon. “Death is naked before God; Destruction lies uncovered.” (Job 26:6) Shoel is the place of the dead, the nether realm of the disembodied spirits. Hades in Greek is used in the New Testament. So, not even the grave, the nether realm, is inaccessible to God. David wrote, “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” (Psalm 139:8) “Depths” there is “Shoel” in the original Hebrew.

The proverb’s meaning is simple. Since God is everywhere, even in the place of the dead, then he knows everything everyone thinks all the time. Not only does he know my thoughts, but he knows the heart’s motivation behind the thought. God knows me better than I know myself. Knowing this should be the beginning of wisdom. Knowing this should bring to the wicked fear of the Lord that leads to salvation from destruction.

BDBD is Proverb 15:10

Jesus’ first disciples and the apostles were known as the “Way” (Acts 9:2, 22:4,, 14, 22) after his resurrection and ascension into heaven before and as much as they were called “Christians” (Acts 11:26, 25:28). Choosing to be a Christian is accepting and adopting the way to live as taught by Jesus and the apostles. The way is a path. Jesus defined it this way, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road (way) that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road (way) that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

The proverb in verse 10 is a warning and hope to the Christian who leaves the way (path). “Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path…”

Jesus is my good and great Shepherd (Matthew 9:36, 25:32, 26:31; John 10:11). His rod comforts me. The rod of a shepherd has many uses including providing a strayed sheep back onto the path to green fields and quiet waters. Jesus loves me and though I stay he will lead me back to the narrow way.

People whether called pasture, shepherd, priest, bishop, or leader should pay attention that they do not believe they are God’s rod. Many sheep have been driven further away from the narrow path by people who believe they are the hand of God’s discipline. “…he who hates correction will die.”

BDBD is Proverb 15:9

I want to gain the Lord God’s attention in a good way. I want God to love me as a good father loves their favorite child. This proverb tells me how. First, since he loves those who pursue righteousness I will pursue righteousness. Second, since he detests the way of the wicked I will avoid the way of the wicked. Third, I will gain an understanding and knowledge of what he considers righteous pursuit and what he considers the way of wickedness.

Paul’s first letter to Timothy says, “But you, man of God… pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11) Righteousness goes with godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Jesus taught about these. Studying his teachings with a Bible Daily Bread Devotional, with Free Bible Study Help, during a weekly worship service at a Bible teaching church, and while meeting with other Christians will help me keep my eyes fixed on the pursuit of God’s righteousness.

BDBD is Proverb 15:8

Both the upright and the wicked can be and often are religious. Just because I offer sacrifices doesn’t mean that I am upright in the Lord God’s eyes. The wicked also offer sacrifices. The LORD detests the sacrifices of the wicked. Niccolo Machiavelli’s political treatise “The Prince” is about justifying immoral and irreligious means to obtain glory and survival and many follow his guises. “The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable– how much more so when brought with evil intent!” (21:27)

Though often the upright only has enough to offer prayers to the Lord, the prayer of the upright pleases him. (.8) “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (21:3) Jesus told the Pharisees, “…go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13) Hosea 6:6 which Jesus quoted continues, “…and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

So I need to ask myself, “Am I relying on religious practices for justification while continuing wicked living or does my justification through Jesus’ blood compel me to do what is right and just? Am I seeking God’s favor through religion while seeking my own benefit? Or does my faith compel me to love and mercy?” Is it time to let God change my heart and for me to change my ways? No time like the present.

BDBD is Proverbs 15:7

A society rises or falls based on who is teaching and what is being taught. When wisdom is taught a society rises. When foolishness is taught a society falls. “The lips of the wise spread knowledge, not so the hearts of fools.” Just what is wisdom has always been a matter of opinion in human societies. What a person and a society believes does not change the fact that God is the keeper and dispenser of wisdom. The Lord speaks the truth (Isaiah 45:18-19). Jesus often said, “I tell you the truth…”

I can spread knowledge when I learn from Jesus and am filled with his Spirit. Then my lips will be the lips of a wise man. I want to spread the truth that Jesus taught. Lord, I want a seraph to fly to me with your live coal taken with tongs from the altar and touch my mouth saying as was said to Isaiah, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” (Isaiah 6:6-7) Then I want you to enable me to spread your knowledge to society.

Lord place your truth in BDBD and through me.

BDBD is Proverbs 15:6.

  What do the righteous consider great treasure? What income do the wicked seek? What do I treasure? What do I collect? When I read the word treasure in this parable the thought of money and possessions came to mind. I do not have much.
   Jesus taught, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This was a summary to his teaching about not storing up treasures on earth, but in heaven. (Matthew 6:19)
   As I thought some more about the proverb in verse 6 I thought about where I spend my time, money, and attention. I was trying to determine what I treasure. I have a job where I spend eight hours five days a week to make money to pay the bills. I cook, eat  and sleep. In the early morning I write BDBD blog. Much of the rest of my time I spend working on the website and BDBD podcast. I also enjoy the company of a special woman. Sometimes I watch TV.
  Then I thought, “Do I treasure God and my relationship with Jesus?” Is that my heart’s income? The commandment says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

BDBD is Proverbs 15:5

   A good Father will find the need to discipline his children even though it is hard and not pleasant (Hebrews 12:7-10). A prudent child will respond well to a Father’s discipline even when it is hard and not pleasant.

   Discipline takes several forms, meanings, and methods. The Spirit leading Jesus to 40 days of temptation in the desert is a form of discipline. It was not pleasant nor easy, yet needed at the start of his public ministry.
   Jesus sending out the 12 apostles and then the 72 disciples was a form of discipline. It was challenging and required faith, yet needed as preparation for when Jesus would assend into heaven.
   Jesus disciplines me to. “…God disciples me for good, that I may share in his holiness.” (Hebrews12:10) Perhaps these continual computer and internet connection problems are a form of his discipline. I shall not spur my Father’s discipline.

BDBD is Proverb 15:4

The Tree of Life is alluding to the physical tree found in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9) and in the Paradise of God (Revelation 2:7, 22:2,19). The words I say to others can be healing (12:18). They can be life. Since Jesus is the author of life (Acts 3:15) I can learn from him what it means to have a tongue that gives healing and life. Actually, thinking about this verse more why not tell them about Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

“My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance from my heart will give understanding. I will turn my ear to a proverb; with the harp I will expound my riddle: Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me– those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches? No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him– the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough– that he should live on forever and not see decay… This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings… But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.” (Psalm 49:3-15)

BDBD is Proverb 15:3

“The Lord’s (Yahweh’s) eyes are everywhere…” starts this parable. God does not miss anything. When I was young there was a funny saying, “My mother has eyes in the back of her head,” meaning when I was doing something she knew disapproved of she knew it and would let me know. This verse isn’t exactly saying this. It continued, “…keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” Not that the wicked and good have the same reaction. Nor that God’s action is different for each. Rather, the action is the same and the reactions can be the same.

The Lord’s eyes are everywhere. What is he looking for and at? For the wicked, he is the Father who is looking to see if his child will turn to him as the father is Jesus’ parable, The Prodigal Son. Then the Father shouts in joy, “‘For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:24)

For the good, “tob” in the original Hebrew meaning “doing good”, he is watching to protect, lead, teach, correct, provide, and bless as a good father does. He is like the father to the other son in Jesus’ parable, The Prodigal Son. The Father corrected and instructed, “‘My son you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'” (Luke 15:31-32)

BDBD is Proverb 15:2

The Christian Standard Version translation presents the first half of this proverb like sitting in a comfortable easy-chair, “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge attractive…” The Hebrew word for attractive is “yatab” which can also be translated as “well”, “good”, “pleasing”, and “merry”. Who doesn’t admire a teacher who commands knowledge to the point where they make learning pleasing? The difference between a good teacher and an unpleasant one is presenting in spirit and truth.

Jesus is this kind of teacher. “The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching–and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.” (Mark 1:27-28) “Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” (Luke 5:26)

Jesus taught the Samaritan woman by the well, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24) Teaching is a way to worship God. Pleasant easy-chair teaching is a gift of God.

When I walk into a congregational service a time comes when the musicians say correctly that it is time to worship God in song and hymn. Sometimes the music is off-key and off-beat fools gushing folly rather than a blessed harmonic stanza. Yet, music time is not the only time the tongue of the wise commends knowledge. The adults teaching the young can also be “yatab”. My everyday speech can also be “yatab”. Lord, make BDBD,, and the programming language I write for those pages become “yatab”.

BDBD is Proverb 15:1

Me in a bad mood and in the right situation will bring forth harsh words that stir up anger in another and which I will regret later. A gentle answer is easier when I am in a good mood and in easygoing circumstances. But I have limits that prove that I am always in need of divine assistance.

Gideon’s answer to the angry Ephraimites when they asked, “Why have you treated us like this?” is a good example of a gentle answer turning away wrath (Judges 8:1-3). He complimented them. Jesus’ answer to Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” is also a good example (John 18:38). He said nothing.

Nabal’s answer to generous David when he asked Nabal for kind assistance and while reminding Nabal that he had been righteous towards him, his servants, and his possessions is a good example of a harsh word stirring up anger. Nabal’s wife’s answer to David who was going to attack Nabal is a good example of wise gentle words turning away wrath (1 Samuel 25:7-34). David’s repent included these words, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me.”

Lord God paint my tongue with the sugar of your Spirit.

BDBD is Proverbs 14:34-35

A nation and a king are the subjects of these two proverbs. A nation is basically a group of people existing under the same rule whether one person or a group of people. “Nation” in Hebrew is “goy” which can also be translated as “gentiles, heathens, and peoples”. “King” in Hebrew is “melek”. Therefore, the truths stated here apply to any people group – a state, a city, an organization, and a family – literally any and all social groups including religious and congregations.

Isreal was a nation created by God. The relationship between God as their King and the nation of Israel (and later Judah) as his people was under the banner of these truths. If they obeyed the LORD God, that is live righteously he would bless them (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). And if they did not he would curse them (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). Righteousness would exalt the nation but sin would be their disgrace. Surely their King, the Lord God would have delighted in his wise servants if they obeyed the laws of the covenant both agreed. Yet, they didn’t and incurred his wrath.

Congregations under the banner of the Messiah, Jesus is also created by God. The relationship between God as our King and his church as his people is under the banner of these truths. Paul wrote in Romans 11, “I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles…” Consider the Jewish nation “…they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. If God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.”

BDBD is Proverb 14:33

Everyone has access to wisdom, but only among the discerning it rests (reposes) claims this proverb. The discerning is the person that considers wisdom and harbors it in their heart. Rests in the heart is “leb bin” in Hebrew implying our soul vault. The proverb implies that wisdom can rest in the heart of the discerning because they happily allow it to.

Paul proclaimed to a crowd of Greeks in Athens who spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas, “…God determined the times set for people and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'” (Acts 17:25-28) God is the source of wisdom. In fact, he is wisdom and he makes himself and his wisdom accessible to all (Romans 1:19-20).

God supplied wisdom to Athen’s seekers of the latest ideas through Paul. Some sneered. Others wanted to hear more. Today people are the same as in the first century. As for me, from this moment to the next I can allow the Lord God and his wisdom to reside in my soul vault or sneer. As Jesus said, “Seek and you will find.” (Matthew 7:7). And, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29)

BDBD is Proverb 14:32

Death is not the end of existence. “… even in death, the righteous have a refuge.” David, Solomon’s father often referred to the Lord God as his refuge. He said: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior– from violent men you save me… He is a shield for all who take refuge in him… Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge… I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.” (2 Samuel 22:2-3, 31, 16:1, 17:6-7)

No greater foe is there than death who overpowers and defeats everyone. “When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down…” No matter how powerful or rich the wicked, they cannot defeat the calamity death brings. David warned, “Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 2:10-12)

Jesus, the Son boldly proclaimed, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed… For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.” (John 8:34-36, 5:20-21)

Therefore, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8) Take refuge in the Son of God, Jesus, and live forever in his power and love.

BDBD is Proverb 14:31

The way I deal with those who do not have as much as me reflects my relationship with God. All that exists is God’s. All that I have was obtained and is maintained by God. “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised,” quoting Job who was rich and became poor in one day. (Job 1:21)

God does not give directly the same amount of anything and everything to each person. Some have more than others, whether monetary or physical characteristics. And like Job throughout everyone’s life some are poor one day and later become rich and vice versa.

This proverb is about how the rich and the poor interact. The focus is the rich’s response to the poor. The person who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. The closer my relationship with God the kinder I am. The farther my relationship with God the more selfish I am. Thus, God is good, gentle, kind, and generous at the core of his being. Humans are unclean, harsh, mean, and selfish at the core of their being. God’s core existence overpowers human’s core existence. The closer I am to him, the more his character affects me. Do I need and want to change? Then draw near to God.

How to be kind to others who have less takes wisdom. For he who is able in the body to work and yet is poor in wealth needs one kind of assistance while a person who is not able in body and yet is poor in wealth needs another kind of need.

BDBD is Proverb 14:30

A heart at peace is contrasted with envy. As a noun envy is a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or status. As a verb envy is a desire to have a quality, possession, or another attribute belonging to someone else. Envy is never satisfied. Envy always wrongfully believes more will bring peace. Envy wrongfully believes those who have what they desire are happy. Envy rots the bones.

A heart is at peace when it is content and thankful for what God has done. Peace is the state of being one with God for he is enough. Peace is knowing and accepting God’s love and grace for it is enough. A heart at peace knows God and his one and only Son, Jesus the prince of peace. A heart at peace gives life to the body. Life to the body is the health effects of fearing the Lord and walking in his wisdom (3:7-8, 16-18).

Since all this is true, I am thankful to have time to be one with God every morning, if I stop to do it. The choice is mine. He is always there waiting for me to find his peace.

BDBD is Proverb 14:29

Patience is an active endurance of opposition, not a passive resignation. (Romans 12:12) Patience and patient are used to translate several Hebrew and Greek words. Patience is endurance, steadfastness, longsuffering, and forbearance. Patience is one of the characteristics of God. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

The Lord was patient with Israel for many generations. By his Spirit, he admonished them through prophets. But they did not listen or pay attention to them. Eventually, he sent them their enemies who defeated them. (Nehemiah 9:30) A person who is patient displays the character of God. A patient person has great understanding and love (Ephesians 4:2). Love is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4). Having the gift of faith in God enables me to be patient.

How can I be patient with enemies? How can I be patient with someone who shows no remorse or grief? How can I be patient with another who shows no sign of mature growth? How can I be patient with someone who commits the same error and sin over and over again? I can first remember that God is patient with me in those ways.

James 5:7-11 says, “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

BDBD is Proverb 14:28

Since a large population is a king’s glory, then Jesus’ glory far exceeds all kingdom’s ever to exist. Jesus told a parable about his kingdom’s size. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32) Jesus illustrated the ever-expanding power of his kingdom.

In another parable, Jesus shared the basis of his kingdom’s expansion of glory. “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20) Though Jesus’ kingdom started small with a few ordinary people who had faith in him, it is now the largest. For in the last 2,000 years, many more have put their faith in the glorious king Jesus.

The power and glory of faith in Jesus cannot be doubted nor underestimated. It will never end. It will never change. It will ever increase in glory and power.

BDBD is Proverbs 14:26-27

The fear of the Lord is again eulogized; claiming it is a secure fortress, a refuge, and a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. The word picture establishes that fear of the Lord is a powerful and undefeatable defender who aids in the time of need. The enemy is death, the sting of death’s trap is sin, and the power of sin is the law. (1 Corinthians 15:56)

What is sin and why is it powerful enough to kill? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his book “The Plight of Man and the Power of God” wrote in chapter 3, “The Nature of Sin”, “…it is not enough just to say that sin is a power that has independent existence. It is a mighty power, a terrible power. It has a fiendish quality, a malignity that is truly terrifying. It is a definite spirit, a positive attitude, active and powerful. Furthermore, it is a power that we have allowed to enter our life and which affects us profoundly and vitally. It is not something light and comparatively trivial. It does not belong to the order of vestigial remains. It does not merely affect one part of us and our nature. It is so deep-seated and so much a part of us that the entire person is affected – the intellect, the desires, and therefore the will. Indeed, it constitutes such a terrible problem that God alone in Christ can deal with it.”

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the battle against the snares of death and its sting sin. The end is the love of Christ displayed on the cross, battling and defeating the terrible foe of sin with the power of his death and completed with his resurrection and victory over death.

BDBD is Proverb 14:25

The truthful witness and the false witness are the subjects of today’s proverb. A truthful witness gives honest testimony, (12:17) does not deceive (5), and saves lives (25). A false witness tells lies (5, 12:17) and is deceitful (25).

I am called to be a witness for I am told, “This is what the LORD says– Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God… Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” (Isaiah 44:6, 8)

I am called to witness about Jesus for I am told, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:46-48)

So will I be a truthful witness or a false witness today?

BDBD is Proverb 14:24

The wealth of the wise is not merely monetary wealth. While it is true that financial wealth is a blessing of the Lord (10:22) and a gift from God, not a product of human attainment; the wealth that is a crown is not solely money.

The wealth of the wise that is their crown is compared to the folly of fools that yields folly. The fool inherits shame (18, 3:35). The crown of the wise is knowledge (18). The wise inherit honor (3:35).

Consider Levi who was a rich young man sitting in his tax collector booth and partying with his friends. Why did he leave all that behind to follow a traveling country preacher? Consider also the rich young man who came to ask Jesus a question about how to inherit eternal life. Why did this nameless man walk away sad when Jesus told him to sell all he had and give to the poor? Levi became Matthew whose book is read and studied over 2,000 years later and the other man is the image of folly. Matthew wears a crown and the other is called a fool.

BDBD is Proverb 14:23

Why does work have to be hard? Work doesn’t need to be hard. However, if I want to bring a profit I need to work hard. This proverb is amazing in that it says that ALL hard work brings a profit. This includes ministry too.

I have worked very hard and very long on and I can say that I have made no monetary profit. Truthfully it cost me. In the entire thirty years, only a few made an offering, nowhere near covering the monetary expenses. I guess having the word free in the name contributes to the lack of offerings. I am writing this with some humor and some pain because for two months now I have been trying to fix the desktop computer with no success. I really do not want to spend the little money I have to buy a new desktop.

So does the hard labor that I put into including BDBD podcast and this blog translate into profit? Is all my hard work merely talk? I never started this to make a profit. This all stemmed from a passion for the Word and a command given to me by a man of God. If I were in it for monetary profit I would have quit a long time ago. I hope that these mere words bring a profit to the kingdom of God and for me, maybe also in the kingdom of God.

BDBD is Proverb 14:22

The plans I make show what is in my heart and what will happen to me in the future. If I plot evil I will go astray (22, 5:22-23, 12:26). If I plan what is good I will find love and faithfulness (22, 20:28). 3:3-4 states the reciprocal, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

Love and faithfulness are key ingredients to a joyful and happy future. I can exercise and find love by plan and design. Love is an emotion expressed in action. I can plan to express an act of love today to a spouse, a parent, a child, and a friend. I can also plan to love those who make themselves my enemy.

This prophetic proverb tells me that if I plot evil for those who are my enemy, then I will be led astray from people and God. Perhaps my evil plot will succeed. But as Jesus said, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36) Will I be happy and joyful when I watch my enemy fall and at the same time not find love and faithfulness, sitting all alone day after day?

BDBD is Proverb 14:21

Despising someone is disrespecting them which is a sin. Blessing someone is to allow both the giver and the receiver to experience happiness. Blessed is the person that is kind to the needy. How can I be kind?

22:9 declares, “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” 31:9 also declares what it means to be kind to the needy. “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Deuteronomy 15:8 commands, “Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs.”

God has given all the ability to be creative and imaginative. Surely I can come up with a way to bless someone. I can look at those in my life and see what they need. Not everyone needs finances. Perhaps a person needs attention and kindness. Another may need to know that they matter and are of value. Perhaps they need help with a task. Surely everyone needs prayer. Hugs and kind words are worth more than riches to many. Lord God give me eyes ways to be kind to the people in my life.

BDBD is Proverb 14:20

Every generation in every society that has existed since Adam and Eve sinned and were driven out of the Garden of Eden not only knows the truth of this proverb, but we also live the truth of this proverb. “The poor are shunned (and hated) even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends.” Even when God made many laws to provide help to the poor (Exodus 23:6, 11; 30:15; Leviticus 14:21, 19:10, 23:22, 25:35, etc.) the sad truth remains. Why? Because our sinful nature has that much subtle and persistent power.

When I see a poor person on the side of the street with a cardboard sign though I may give them some money, still my feelings towards them are different than my thoughts towards the people living in the mansions just down the street from where they stand begging. Now as I think and search my soul I see that I have several thoughts and emotions for rich and poor. Many if not most towards the poor are not extended to the rich.

Proverb 20 has one contrast that helps explain why I am like this. The poor are shunned and hated. The opposite emotion, love is expressed for the rich. The Hebrew word “aheb” is translated as love, lover, friend, and beloved meaning a strong emotion towards someone I want to be with. Why do I love the rich? I want something from them for me. Why do I hate the poor? Doing the right thing toward them is giving them something. The sinful nature is selfish. It wants to be ner one that gives to me and away from the one I am to give to.

BDBD is Proverb 14:19

The proverb in verse 19 is looking towards the future. The evil and the wicked are the same types of people as the good and the righteous are the same types of people. The proverb implies that the opposite is true in the present. Though the future will have the evil and the wicked submitting in the presence of the good and righteous, the opposite may be true in the present.

Jesus had a simple yet direct saying to conclude a parable that is the same as this verse. “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16, Mark 10:31) Jesus provides hope to those who are finishing last. Hope resides in the message of the gospel. Hope is a powerful gift. Hope is whole-heartedly believing promises.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:5-6)

BDBD is Proverb 14:18

A crown and being crowned are mentioned many times in Solomon’s proverbs. Wisdom is said to present a crown of splendor (4:9). God crowns the head of the righteous with blessings (12:4). The wealth of the wise is their crown (12:24). And here “the prudent are crowned with knowledge”. A crown in ancient society was a symbol of honor and high status in society. A crown was usually passed to a deceased king’s son. The prudent show care and thought about the future (15).

The simple do not inherit a crown. They inherit folly according to this proverb. God’s Word English translates the Hebrew as, “Gullible people are gifted with stupidity, but sensible people are crowned with knowledge.” An inheritance (the better translation) is more than a gift. It is a right. Inheritance refers to the assets that an individual bequeaths to their loved ones after they pass away.

I can see that the difference between the wise and the fool is that the wise plan for the future according to God’s word and ways, whereas the simple expect good things to come their way. This is also true in regard to what happens after our physical body dies. The wise see that eternal life in paradise with God is in the power and decision of God. So they look to what he requires. When asked what is required to inherit eternal life “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.'” (Mark 10:17, 27)

BDBD is Proverbs 14:17

Surprising is the fact that this easy-to-accept and understand proverb is not a comparative proverb as is so many in the book of Proverbs. Another surprising fact is that it defines the character traits of both a quick-tempered man and a crafty man. Could King Solomon have a specific person in mind when he wrote this?

Just because a person gets angry does not mean that they will do foolish things. God gets angry. However, if I am quick to anger, that is I have little or no control over my emotions I will eventually and repeatedly do stupid things. I have known a few men who were quick-tempered. Like King Saul, most people were afraid to get too close to them. “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” (Proverbs 25:28)

Controlling emotions is not a natural trait for humans. Self-control is learned through repeated use and exercises of calming my thoughts and emotions. Self-control is a gift of God. Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit of God. (Galatians 5:22)

Self-control is a choice for Paul wrote, “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8)

BDBD is Proverbs 14:16

A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil…” is one of the main themes of the book of Proverbs. (1:7, 1:29, 2:5, 3:7, 8:13, 9:10, 10:27, 14:2, 16, 26, 27, etc) Here the wise man is compared to the fool who is “hotheaded and reckless”. Hotheaded and reckless in the original Hebrew is “abar batah”. While most agree with the NIVs translation (which is used in BDBD), some English translations have “careless and overconfident”.

A person who does not fear the Lord loses self-control. Left uncontrolled we all will slide toward thoughts and emotions that include anger and confidence in abilities that do not exist. These lead to disastrous results.

When I was a young teen I went snow-sliding down a steep hill on a Flexible Flyer. After many trips sitting down on the Flyer, my friends and cousin started standing up while going down. So did I. Someone had built a snow ramp at the bottom of the hill. While I was gliding down the hill standing up on the Flyer I saw that I was heading straight for a snow ramp. No matter how I tried to turn the Flyer it remained on course. Instead of gliding over the ramp, the front metal rails dug into the ramp. I was flung in the air doing flips and other not-so-elegant spins. I landed hard on a frozen lake. I instinctively tried to brace my landing with my hands. Thus breaking my wrist.

Losing control breaks things. A wise man learns to have respect enough to know what shouldn’t be done and what should be done. Fearing the Lord and shining evil are the actions of the wise who know what deserves respect.

BDBD is Proverb 14:15

Jesus had his own way of saying, “… a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:15, 13;43; Luke 8:8) Saying, “A simple man believes anything…” is not meant to be a retort to others. Rather, I can take it as God’s challenge to me to investigate to determine the validity of his words.

Several ways exist to determine the validity of Jesus’ words. One way is to put them into practice. (Matthew 7:24-27) This is not as easy as it appears. Considering all the proverbs I have thought about so far in BDBD, I find them true but I wonder if I have really put them into practice.

A saying goes, “I know in my head, but do I believe in my heart?” If I do what Jesus’ says I will come to believe in what he says in my heart. The way from the head to the heart is putting Jesus’ words into practice. “Consider carefully how you listen,” Jesus tells me. “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.” (Luke 8:18)

BDBD is Proverb 14:14

God has a lot to say about having faith in him. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) “For it is by grace you have been saved; through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) “For in the gospel, a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written; “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) “Now these three remain; faith, hope, and love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Jesus often commended faith. When Jesus saw the faith (of the men who lowered their paralytic friend in front of Jesus) he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5) When a woman reached out to touch Jesus’ cloak to be healed “he said to her, “Daughter, our faith has healed you. God in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34) When a blind man began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus said to him “Go your faith has healed you.” (Mark 10:47, 52)

All these align with the proverb in verse 14, “The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for his.” The future for all contains one judgment with two possible outcomes.” If I have faith in God which is similar to the faith of the people Jesus commended, I will be rewarded. If I do not have faith in God such as they I will be condemned and punished.