Author: Stephen Ricker

BDBD is Proverb 17:3

A crucible is a vessel made of a refractory substance such as graphite or porcelain, used for melting and calcining silver at high temperatures. A gold furnace is an enclosure of clay bricks where intense heat is generated by the combustion of coal or wood. Both have such a highly concentrated heat that the silver […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:2

This prophecy proverb would have been shocking in Solomon’s day. No one would even consider their servants anything but subjects let alone ruling over their sons and daughters. Furthermore, nobody would allow them to share the inheritance as one of the brothers. Yet that is just what happened with Joseph, Jacob’s second youngest son. He […]

BDBD is Proverb 17:1

A house that experiences much arguing knows this proverb to be true. A home of peace and quiet is better than a house with strife, even if that house doesn’t have an abundance of food and extravagant decor. The proverb does not directly say how to have peace probably because the reader is supposed to […]

BDBD is Proverb 16:33

Casting a lot in the lap was a way for the people in Solomon’s day to determine their god(s) will. They did not wear pants. They wore long robes called a mantle from the neck to the ankles. They would take small stones or pebbles and cast them in the mantle’s lap to determine their […]

BDBD is Proverb 16:32

Patience is compared to uncontrolled temper elsewhere in Proverbs and other books in the Bible (14:29, 15:18, 19:11; James 1:19-20; Ecclesiastes 9:18). The commentaries for 14:29 and 15:18 discusses the virtue of patience and the commentary for Ecclesiastes 9:18 discusses the benefit of controlling emotions. This proverb does not say that going to war […]

BDBD is Proverb 16:31

The body changes as we age no matter what lifestyle is kept. After birth, we increase in size. The cranial bones continue to expand till they meet to form one solid hard cap. As adolescents men and women hormones flow as the bodies change in unique male and female ways both externally visible and internal […]

BDBD is Proverb 16:30

Intention to commit a sin is the same as committing a sin. This is true because whether a sin is in the mind or act, it comes from the same perverse soul. Jesus taught, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a […]

BDBD is Proverb 16:29

Some have a liking to entice their neighbor to be ill-behaved. This proverb is clear. Such people are violent in nature. The Hebrew word “pata” here, translated as “entice” and “lure” is in a passive-aggressive sense. The violent hunter is pleased to see their victim slowly destroy themselves as they lead them to walk down […]

BDBD is Proverb 16:28

A person who stirs up dissension is perverse. Whether planned or caused by a slip of the tongue, the action is still from a depraved soul. Dissension means strife, contention, and a sharp difference of opinion. The opposite is a peacemaker. Jesus promised, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 subtle weaknesses we all possess. The haughty falsely believe that if […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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; […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. And “…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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

BDBD is Proverb 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

BDBD is Proverb 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 society falls. “The lips of the wise spread knowledge, not so the hearts of fools.” What is wisdom has always been a matter of opinion in human societies. What […]

BDBD is Proverb 15:6

  What does the righteous consider a great treasure? What income does 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 […]

BDBD is Proverb 15:5

   A good Father will find the need to discipline his children even though it is hard and unpleasant (Hebrews 12:7-10). A prudent child will respond well to a Father’s discipline even when it is hard and unpleasant. Discipline takes several forms, meanings, and methods. The Spirit leading Jesus to 40 days of temptation in […]

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 […]

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 of and disapproved of she would let me know. This verse isn’t exactly saying […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]