BDBD is Proverbs 5:22-23

The chapter is a father’s warning to his son. He is educating him on the wisdom of avoiding the temptations of an adulteress. He concludes with the condition of the soul of the man who gives himself to the adulteress. That man is wicked and has committed an evil deed (22). “The cords of his sin hold him fast.”

The Father tells his son that if he marries and then has sexual relations with another then it is his own great folly (23). If he has not yet married and has sexual relations with another man’s wife, then that too is an evil act. The act of adultery is the fault of the person who does so. Evil is no one else’s fault but our own. Adultery is death due to our own lack of discipline (23). Adultery leads to eternal death.

Hope exists for those who have committed adultery, whether mentally or physically. Once religious elders brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus to trap him. (John 8:3-6) They quoted the law of Moses saying the woman should die for her evil act. Jesus’ reply to the woman is hope for the adulterer. He said to the woman, “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Jesus forgives, gives direction and strength to start over again, and most amazingly gives life to those who are dead because of their act of adultery and lack of discipline.

BDBD is Proverbs 5:21

Sometimes we believe that God doesn’t see us nor care for us. Other times we hope that God takes his gaze away from us and leaves us alone. Yet in spite of what we believe about God and want God to do for us his truth of character exists eternal.

One truth is revealed in verse 21, “Each person’s ways are clearly seen by the Lord, and he surveys all his actions.” God has the ability to see time and space completely at one. He knows everything I do and every place I am at all at once. More than that he knows what motivated me to be there, think that, feel that, say that, and do that. Nothing about every moment of me is hidden from God.

So what does this mean for my day? Knowing that God examines my path for this day will help me hold fast to him and his ways. I can be assured that whatever I do and where ever I am God knows and cares for me. I can be assured that though I do not understand and may not like it, all works out good for those who believe.

BDBD is Proverbs 5:18-20

Human nature tends to sway to unexciting familiarity concerning someone in our life and too unkind thoughts concerning their actions and character, especially to our spouse. The human mindset plays the same old song triggering unpleasant emotions concerning the one we deeply loved at one time in the past. Our nature, character, and idiosyncrasies also change over time for us and our spouse.

A healthy and blessed marital relationship must include a continual mature adult execution. We need to find ways to rejoice in the wife or husband of our youth (18). How? One way is to see them with new kind eyes every day. A man can see his wife as a loving doe, a graceful deer to gently care for always being satisfied by her breast (19). A woman can see her husband as a steed available and ready for riding.

A husband should look for the way his wife loves him. When he finds and touches her hidden eggs of love the husband will naturally be captivated by her. This is a natural male trait.

A wife should look for the ways her husband respects her. When she finds and intakes his hidden seeds of respect the wife will naturally be captivated by him.

A woman’s main relationship language is love and a man’s main relationship language is respect for that is what each craves more than the other. Men want and give respect more than love. Women want and give love more than respect.

Therefore, a way to find how to rejoice in the spouse of our youth is to look for signs in their relational language. Why be captivated by an adulteress? Why embrace the boom of another person’s spouse? (20) When right in front of you, laying right next to you is a person you deeply loved and respected in the past. It can be easy to be captivated again if we just look for and express love and respect.

BDBD is Proverbs 5:15-18

Marriage based on God and his character principles will enjoyingly last long. God is love. Therefore, a marriage based on his nature of love is well established. God’s love is displayed in Jesus who willingly laid down his life for others while we were still sinners. Love is an emotion executed.

Drinking water from one’s own cistern is expressing and enjoying romantic love with one’s spouse (15). When a wife displays respect for her husband and a husband displays love for his wife it is filling their cup.

Deliberate attention to detail is blessing their fountain (18). The years go by and the symbols of youth slowly change into hieroglyphs. Yet, a man can act to bless his wife’s gifts and a woman can bless her husband’s presence. Why should the streams drain a lake (16)? Shouldn’t the streams fill the lake? Purify the lake as you swim together with the spouse of your youth.

BDBD is Proverbs 5:11-14

Everyone looks back with regrets about foolish decisions made. The older I get new foolish decisions exist staring at me with disappointment at the fool I was. They extract from me the payments needed for the decisions I made. Debts that I can never pay off.

At the end of life, many groan when their flesh and body are spent due to foolish decisions’ continuing tolls (11). From when I was a youth till my early twenties I hated discipline! I did not listen to my instructors (13). How I hated correction (12). I brought myself to the brink of utter ruin. Now, the man that I am looks back to the foolish decisions made by the man that was.

I am so thankful for the Son of Man, the Son of God who paid the price for the fool that I was and sometimes still is. He redeemed me from the empty life I lived. (1 Peter 1:18) “He redeemed me in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to me a Gentiles through Christ Jesus so that by faith I might receive the promise of the Spirit.” (Galatians 3:14) Jesus paid the price with his blood.

BDBD is Proverbs 5:7-10

Adultery is to be avoided because a divided soul will not function well. Continuing with a divided soul does not mend a broken life. Infidelity self-robs strength, giving it to another (9). For when a man and woman are made into one through the covenant of marriage they are bound and synchronized by the hand of God. Marital immorality drains the life of the one made from the two like the sun drains a grape changing it into a hard raisin.

Marriage starts with a covenant before and with God thus becoming a newborn soul. The new life needs nourishment and nurturing to mature as a newborn baby does. Toil is a part of the maturing marital life. As the bounded conjugal soul develops they become a unique new life. Marital life is a reflection of the holy relationship between the Father and Jesus through the Spirit. The conjugal soul is more valuable than all the rare gems and minerals mined from rock and soil.

Infidelity is letting someone feast on the priceless conjugal soul (10). A perfidious spouse enriches another person’s house. The Father’s advice is wise and good. “Do not turn aside… keep to a path far from the adulterous, do not go near the door of that house.” (7)

BDBD is Proverbs 5:1-6

The marriage covenant is physical, emotional, mental, financial, and spiritual bonding. Two become one. A covenant is a binding vow between two. A covenant reflects the nature of God who makes covenants with people. Therefore, God pays attention to marriage covenants.

Adultery is breaking a marriage covenant for an important part of the covenant is the one that becomes new during sexual union. The Father instructs his child to maintain discretion when the temptation of adultery promises delight (1-3).

Sexual temptation wears blinders. The sweet honey and smooth oil promise of the tempted do not see the hidden bitter gall and heart-splitting double-edged sword (4). Breaking the marriage covenant is the death of the two that become one (5). The beautiful matrix created dies and is buried. The temptation does not see these consequences (6). Therefore, know now the truth about adultery.

BDBD is Proverbs 4:24-27

Life goals and life plans are good. Setting milestones that are needed to reach those life goals are needed too; considering that just because I have goals and plans doesn’t guarantee everything will go as I plan. I spent much of my life making plans that never happened or turned out not as we had hoped. Yet, life goals and plans are needed if I want to do well in this world. “Let my eye look straight ahead, fix my gaze directly before me (25).”

Several types of plans need to be set concerning each aspect of human living involving mental, emotional, social, physical, financial, and especially spiritual well-being. Each requires effort and will to overcome obstacles that will need to be dealt with. I will need to “make level paths for my fee and take only ways that are firm in order to arrive at each milestone (26).”

A steadfast will with a humble recognition of God’s sovereignty and love must always be on my mind and heart. I should not swerve to the right or the left from this good path (27). I need to keep my foot from the evil aspects of pride and hubris. Otherwise, I will become an obstacle that cannot be overcome.

BDBD is Proverbs 4:20-23

The heart is the wellspring of life (23). A wellspring is an original and bountiful source of something. The original meaning is the source of a spring, stream, or river. The picture given here is that my human heart is the source of my life. The physical heart pumps blood throughout the body supplying needed oxygen and nutrition as well as delivering white blood cells that fight against infections.

The psychological heart is also called the soul. The soul consists of my thoughts, emotions, and will. The psychological heart is related to a human’s cognitive nature. My soul is concerned with my acts or processes of knowing, perceiving, feeling, and desire.

My Father instructs me to keep his words within my heart (20,21). The word of God is life to my body and my soul. Jesus promised, “If anyone keeps his word, they will never see death.” (John 8:51) He also promised that whoever hears his word and believes in him who sent him, they have eternal life and will not be condemned; they have crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24) Jesus is the word of life (Php. 2:16; 1 John 1:1) His words are the wellspring of life.

The words of Jesus are life to those who find them and health to a person’s whole body (22). Therefore, each day I digest Bible Daily Bread Devotional (BDBD).

BDBD is Proverbs 4:18-19

Camping in the wilderness can be a fun time. Over an hour from where I lived, on the Michigan and Ohio line is a campground on a lake that was in a “dark area”. A dark area is where no lights are allowed for several miles in any direction. My children and I went there several times. At night around a small fire, we would gaze up at the Milkyway and follow the occasional meteor.

When we wandered too far from the campfire the darkness would wrap around us as we stumbled around hoping not to hit a low tree branch or stumble on a small bush. We hoped it was a bush and not a skunk or a cub bear. We could never tell because it was so dark. The darkness would enhance our imaginations and fears. Quickly we would get lost in the deepest dark nights.

So are the ways of the wicked in the world. “The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.” Terror, trouble, and hard times come to all. For the wicked life can be a scary and intimidating stroll in dark areas. Fears and haunted imaginations cause them to go nowhere.

Life for the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. One very early new winter morning on the rim of the grand canyon I watch the sun slowly light up the western wall. The display of new colors captured my being in a unique way. Every second the panoramic view changed and danced as the stars winked shut. There is seldom a dull moment in life walking with Christ.

BDBD is Proverbs 4:10-17

Proverbs repeat yet again the ills of not setting my foot on the path of the wicked or walking in the way of evil men (14). At first, I think in anguish, “Again. Ugh.” Then I realize that repetition is needed because I am so inclined to do wrong, even evil. How many times did the apostles argue about who was greatest before they accepted Jesus’ humility?

Experience seems to be a better teacher than verbal instruction until I repeat the same sin. If fact, considering all the forms one can learn it seems that in general, it takes an entire warehouse full of education methods for me to learn to reject the bread of wickedness and pour onto the ground the wine of violence. My inclination is to miss the mark of godliness and holiness.

Knowing the depravity of the human soul (as is repeated many times in the Bible) I realize and accept the ever-flowing grace of God. A good thing that Jesus came full of grace and truth because we need it to survive (John 1:14).

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” (Psalm 51:1-3)

Proverbs 4:1-9

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. (1)” The relationship between parent and child is echoed through the first nine chapters of Proverbs as if the Father were standing on the roof of a tall building and shouting into empty streets (1:8, 10, 15, 20, 2:1, 3:1, 11, 21, 4:1, 10, 20, 5:1, 6:1, 20, 7:1, 24, 8:32) The younger generation does not listen to the wisdom of generations before, and generations before give conflicting messages to the younger when their lives do not follow the wisdom they came to know. So here is a great example of when the younger generation obeys the wisdom of generations before. God the perfect Father of all gives sound life direction (2).

Solomon in his later years remembered how he was when he was his sons’ ages (3). His father, David taught him what would be best (4). “Get wisdom, get understanding” (5). So when his father, David died Solomon went to the Lord and asked the Lord God for a gift as his father instructed, “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead these people…” (1 Chronicles 1:10) Thus when Solomon obeyed his father David, he made the wisest act in his entire life.

Solomon personifies wisdom. Wisdom is a wise mother. She protects and watches over her children (6) Therefore, older women should be reverent in the way they live, not slanderers or addicted to much wine, but good. (Titus 3:3) Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, busy about the well-being of their family, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands. (Titus 2:4) Fathers are not to exasperate nor embitter their children or they will become discouraged. Instead, they are to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21)

Since parents want their children to succeed in life, then we need to show them in deed more than word what it means to live by faith and obedience in the Lord Jesus. If what we teach is wisdom, then we need to show them that we believe it is wisdom by living according to the Bible. Shout into the streets with our acts (8,9).

BDBD is Proverbs 3:31-35

Envy is an emotional trait humans share. Envy can be defined as a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, and possessions joined with the desire to possess the same advantage. Envy rots the bones (14:30).

Though envy is sometimes a motive for doing good, usually it has unwanted results most notably emotional restlessness. Envy is never satisfied for what envy craves never satisfies. Envy is a faith and perspective problem.

The Father’s advice is to not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways (31). The appearance of someone’s life does not see into the soul. Everything a violent man possesses has the image equivalent to a magician’s act; illusions that only appeal to the audience.

Thus, the Lord detests a perverse man (32) and his curse is on the house of the wicked (33). He mocks proud mockers (35) and fools he holds up to shame (35). In contrast to this, the Lord takes the upright into his confidence (32) and he blesses the home of the righteous (33). He gives grace to the humble (34) and the wise inherit honor (35).

BDBD is Proverbs 3:27-30

Wise interaction with others involves love and knowledge; spirit and truth. “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. (27).” I am not to do good to everyone; only those who deserve it. The wisdom in this is the ability to know who deserves it. Giving money to someone who will use it to buy destructive items like liquor or drugs is not wise. They do not deserve good. Wise interaction means I am not an enabler of someone’s destructive habits.

Wise, loving, and knowledgeable interaction do not find excuses to put off sacrificial love till later when it is convenient for me. If someone calls for help and advice when I am tired and about to go to bed it would be unloving to say, “Call me back later and I’ll help you” (28).

Love and wisdom are character traits of God. The Lord God does not plot harm. Therefore, I should not plot harm against my neighbor for any reason (29). This does not mean that God does not discipline his people (11,12). Discipline may seem like harm. It is not for in the end discipline turns us into adults who with the Spirit overcome sinful impulses.

Love should control the tongue (30). Unfortunately, the tongue is usually only connected to the heart bypassing the brain. The place where it connects to the heart is especially close to the areas of malice and revenge, not the areas of love and compassion. The tongue was originally designed to connect to both the mind and love. It is disconnected when a relationship with God is lost for God is love. So a reminder is needed, “Do not accuse another for no reason– when they have done me no harm.”

My mother use to tell my bitter tongue, “If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.” A better piece of advice is, “If I do not have anything nice to say, then I need to think about what is nice about another and say that. If I cannot think of anything nice then I need to pray for the eyes of God.”

BDBD is Proverbs 3:25-26

Fear is a base emotion that all humans share. There are many reasons to fear. God’s direction here is to not fear sudden disaster or the ruin that overtakes the wicked (25). God promises that he will be my confidence and will keep my foot from being snared (26). I should not have vague fears of future doom.

This morning I sit thinking about this from many perspectives. God is not promising that a sudden disaster will not happen. Rather, he is just telling me to not fear that it might happen in the future. During disasters, the Spirit gives me confidence. I won’t get caught in a snare.

I have gone through some hard events in my life. Yet, I don’t consider them sudden disasters because God enabled me to have faith in those times. Even when I wanted my life to end the Lord gave me confidence. I have at times had fear of the future hit me hard as if a prize fighter had swung at me. Yet just as fast as the blow came, I was able to bounce back and push it off. The blow did not knock me down and its sting quickly dissipated. This was God.

I don’t want to spend my life in fear of imagined dangers. I can have confidence now that my God will keep me in times of sudden disaster. I am safe in the Master Prize Fighter’s gloves.

BDBD is Proverbs 3:19-24

Many have problems sleeping at night. Some may have a physical problem; health, environment, or perhaps their bed is uncomfortable. Others may have problems sleeping because their soul is in torment. Some lament the past and live in regret while others have vague or real fears. Others are heart broke or mentally unstable. Others worry about the future; money, health, or relationships. They toss and turn all night.

The Lord God promises a way to be in safety. He gives guidance to the secret way where I can lie down and not be afraid; a way where sleep is sweet, comes quickly, and refreshing in the morning (24).

A key life practice to refreshing sleep is sound judgment and discernment. Almost every moment of the day I make judgments. Should I say this or that? Should I do this or that? Should I walk away? Should I stay?

Every moment of the day I need to discern. Some concern major life events. Others are everyday decisions. Habits do not have to be bad. Forming good habits is good discernment. Getting out of bad habits is leaving wagon wheel ruts and blazing new trails. When God created the earth he made everything run in set paths that are good (19,20). I have been given this gift to set good life paths by faith in God. When I repeatedly do so I will find the secret to sweet restful sleep. It’s never to late to create my own world of wise habits.

BDBD is Proverbs 3:9-18

Wealth, prosperity, health, and love; the desires of life under the sun. The Bible has a lot to say about these. Though most start out adult life dismissing what God has to say believing we have life all figured out and what we don’t know we are sure we will get it. If we succeed we are full of destructive self-pride. If we fail we blame others.

God gives a promise in verses 9 and 10 about wealth and prosperity. Honor the Lord with wealth = prosperity. To honor is to recognize the value of someone or something and to act accordingly. Jesus equated honoring God with doing what he says. (John 8:42, 14:15) He also said, “You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:26) Giving money during offering time while not loving God is not honoring God.

Honoring God is to accept his disciplines as love (11,12) When the Lord’s disciplines often prosperous times end. During the loss of wealth, prosperity, and perhaps even health God is teaching that “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” (Matthew 4:4) We are learning that “God disciplines us for our good.” (Hebrews 12:10)

Verses 13-18 is a short poem that expounds on the value of wisdom and understanding. God is stating that these are more valuable than any treasures in the world. This poem begins and ends with the fact that a blessed life is found and established in wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge and wisdom is the method to true riches and honor. They are pleasant ways and paths of peace (17). They are the tree of life (18).

BDBD is Proverbs 3:7-8

“Fear the Lord” is often repeated in the Bible, especially in the book of Proverbs. “Shun evil” is also repeated though not as much. Job was a man who feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1, 2:3, 28:28)

Fearing God and shunning evil is stated to be healthy for the body and nourishment to the bones. Yet what of Job whose body became infected with painful sores? (Job 2:7) Was fearing the Lord and shunning evil good for his body? Sure, the painful sores were only for a short time. Most of his life before and after was very pleasant for he lived wealthy. Yet, remembering the good times do not help when to body is in pain.

One keep thing is that these verses do not state that God will bring health and nourishment. Rather these verses state humility, fearing the Lord, and shunning evil will. Job’s pain was caused by Satan, who was jealous of Job. The majority of his life was prosperous because he was humble, feared the Lord, and shunned evil.

Ask Job after his health was restored what he thinks of his time of pain I am sure it is a mature response. “I did not like the pain and do not want such pain to return. Yet, through the pain, I met my maker and learned from him.” All are tested and pain usually accompanies the test. This does not take away from the statement here, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” In fact, from a certain perspective, it proves it true for the faithful make proper choices through both prosperity and pain.

BDBD is Proverbs 3:5-6

Search my heart. Do I trust in the Lord with all of my heart? Am I leaning on my own understanding? When Jesus approached Jerusalem he gave two disciples a set of instructions that would have been impossible for someone to predict could happen to find a donkey and her colt. (Matthew 21:1-5) The same was true when they were told to prepare the Passover, the Last Supper. (Mark 14:12-16)

Do I think about (acknowledge) God and his Son in all my ways? Am I ever mindful of God? Do I serve him with a willing and faithful heart? Am I like Nathanael who was under the fig tree before Philip brought him to Jesus? (John 1:48-50)

The word that is hard here is “all”; “all my heart” and “all my ways”. Is there a closet in my heart that does not trust in the Lord? Is there a secluded hidden path that I take that leads away from the Lord?

I see today is a day of self-examination questions. I start out the day with the simple prayer as I shower, “Cleanse me with the blood. Fill me with the Spirit. Show me your way and give me the power, strength, will, and what is needed to carry it out.” I am given what is needed. Yet, I was reminded Sunday when I watched the 2016 movie “Experimenter” of the flawed human soul. We try to convince ourselves we are good and yet willingly submit ourselves to leadership that leads us down horrendous ways.

BDBD is Proverbs 3:1-4

The Father again addresses his son as he did in the first two chapters. The Father beseeches his son to not forget his teachings. Forgetting the teachings of God and the wise is much easier to do than most are willing to accept. Just how easy it is to forget is found when temptation requires me to a quick decision.

A great help to remember the sound and wise ways is to keep God’s commands in my heart. BDBD, prayer, meditation, and meeting with other like-hearted followers of Jesus are methods I use to keep Jesus’ teachings and commands in my heart. Yet, even these good habits are not always enough to help me when I allow the troubles and stresses of life to control my emotions and thoughts.

The greatest gift God has given me is his Holy Spirit in my soul. The Spirit supplies me with love and faithfulness (3). The Spirit plants his good seed on the tablet of my heart. The Lord wrote the 10 commandments on tablets of stone (Exodus 24:12, 31:18) However when Jesus sends the Spirit to his followers to be with us forever we become “a letter from Christ… written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3:3)

The Spirit enables me the extra strength to overcome the wicked impulses of the flesh. The Father promises that my life will be prolonged for many years and bring me prosperity (2). He promises me that the good habits and Spirit will help me live righteously and win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man (4).

BDBD is Proverbs 2:20-22

The Father concludes this chapter’s wisdom with a promise, “Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous.” I thank God that he taught me these and gave me the strength to change my pattern of living when I was in my early twenties.

Oh, if I had only heeded his words earlier. Then I would have found a better way and avoided sin, error, and troubles. Wisdom lies in not dwelling on such thoughts. I recognize and accept the grace and mercy given me, keep my thoughts on the day, and hope for tomorrow. The Father’s words are for the present and future, not the past.

The Father tells me another very good reason for keeping to the good walk. He tells me his plans for the future. The future will come to the present and be the day of reckoning. The upright will live in the land and the wicked will be cut off from it (21,22).

The day that is coming when God will judge the living and the dead based on the decisions made. One decision will decide if a person will remain or be torn from the land. This decision is whether or not the person has decided to accept the words of the Father and his one and only Son Jesus (John 8:27-30), for the person who accepts the Son accepts the Father, and he who accepts the Son keeps his words (Mark 8:38)

Jesus taught, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (Luke 6:46-49).

BDBD is Proverbs 2:16-19.

Enacting on wisdom has some benefits. Another one is that it will save from giving into the adulteress wayward wife which her deductive words (16).

Marriage is a covenant made before God (17). Marriage is making a life-long commitment to another soul. A covenant is a relationship between two partners who make binding promises to each other and work together to reach a common goal. They’re often, but not always accompanied by oaths, signs, and ceremonies. Covenants define obligations and commitments, but they are different from a contract because they are relational and personal.

Breaking a marriage covenant is called adultery. Adultery is a very serious sin in the Bible mentioned fifty-two times, more than most other sins. Adultery is having sexual relations between a married (or betrothed) woman or man other than one’s spouse (Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, 1 Cor. 6:15-16) Jesus also taught that when a person looks lustfully at another other than their spouse is committing adultery in the heart. (Matthew 5:28)

Wisdom will save me from the death trap of adultery and its paths to the spirits of the dead.

BDBD is Proverbs 2:12-15

Enacting on wisdom has some benefits. One is that it will save from the ways of the wicked (12). Some celebrate wickedness. They believe that devious ways will provide wealth, prosperity, and power. Though they may succeed in gaining these, they find that these alone do not bring peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, self-control, and goodness. Usually the wicked find that other wicked people seek their harm.

The person who is weary of the ever-continuing submersion into deeper darkness can find a rescue with wisdom. Executed wisdom will save from those whose words are perverse and leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways (12,13).

Some delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil until the wickedness they have sown becomes a weed that starves them of delight and joy. Then they seek salvation only to find they cannot obtain it from the evil friends and aquatints they have surrounded themselves in.

Yet, hope exists. The wisdom of the Son of God changes weeds into fruitful gardens. “Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:44-26)

Proverbs 2:7-11

God equips his people so they are able to make sound decisions. “It is better to teach a person how to fish than to give them fish every day,” goes an old saying. So when verse 7 states that God holds victory in store for the upright and verse 8 says God guards the course of the just this is because as verse 11 points out it is because God explains to them and gives them discretion.

Discretion is the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation. Consider the discretion of an investor. The discretion of an investor knows what will increase in value and what will decrease. They have financial know-how. With experience and instinct, they are about to make a profit.

Likewise, God gives the excellent gift of wisdom thru fear of him and knowledge of him. The gift is understanding what is right and just and fair – every good path (9). The wonderful gift of God is that wisdom enters the heart, and knowledge is pleasant to my soul (10). Through this gift, God enables me to have life victories.

BDBD is Eccl. 2:1-6

I view these words as God talking to me. God is my Father. I am his son (1). He has great compassion for me. He wants and seeks the best for me. He wants me to grow up and be an adult. He wants me to be just like His Perfect Son, Jesus. He wants me to reach the full potential of what he is making me be.

My heavenly Father tells me to accept his words and store up his commands (2). And why not? He loves me and he is incredibly wise. He created me and sees all of time. So when he tells me to turn my ear to his wisdom and apply my heart to understanding him (2), then yea, I sure will.

God my Father is wisdom, knows that in order for our relationship to improve and in order for me to mature I need to seek insight and understanding with great passion and need. I need to cry out for them (3). I need to be like an infant telling my parent in the only way I can, with a loud voice in the darkest night. I need to want it as if mining for silver (4) and humbly ask for it.

When I accept and apply my heavenly Father’s commands within my heart and mind, then he will grant me fear of the Lord. I will understand who I am. I will understand my imperfection and sin. I will know my weakness and his strength. When I search my heart as a miner searches for silver, my Father will show me all the places I need to repent and improve. I will know the fear of my Father and find the knowledge of God (6).

BDBD is Proverbs 1:20-33

Wisdom is personified, a common ploy in ancient middle-east literature (20). Wisdom is beseeching the simple people going about their daily routines in the populated cities’ markets, restaurants, and forums (20,21). The simple people from wisdom’s perspective are those who rejected its call thus becoming mockers, hating knowledge, and not choosing to fear the LORD (22,28).

Wisdom’s oration contrasts the results of accepting and rejecting its implementation. Executing wisdom promises total enlightenment (23), life in safety (33), an easy set of mind (33), and life without fear of harm (33). The results of applying wisdom to daily decisions are inward in spite of what happens without.

Rebuffing wisdom promises self-imposed disaster (26), calamity (26), distress (27), and overwhelming trouble (27). The results of dismissing wisdom in daily decisions are self-fulfilling destruction and death (31,32). Lifestyle choices have results that come to a point where no matter what happens the results of decisions made cannot be avoided (26,28).

Jesus called out with words similar to verse 28. He told those in the temple, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.” (John 7:33-34) And, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.” (John 12:35-36)

BDBD is Proverbs 1:8-15

Gain is not bad. Gaining to the point of being wealthy is not bad either. Like everything in this world, I can gain properly and improperly. The ill-gotten gain eventually takes away the lives of those who gain it (15).

Verses 10 thru 14 contain a story. The story is a warning to not accept the enticement of others to join with them and steal from others. Just because no one approaches me to join their thieving band does not mean this has never happened to me. I hear of and am tempted to not act properly with money and possessions all the time.

Shoplifting is giving away my soul. Eat-n-dash leaves a sliver of my heart at the restaurant’s table. Forcing an employee to work and not compensating them is why the kingdom of Satan will end in terror. Taking delivered packages from door-steps is giving away an eternal dwelling.

Thieving is self-destruction (18). Subliminal ones exist. Not encouraging and complimenting a child is as much stealing from them as not teaching them that there are rules that when broken will result in punishment. Not disciplining a child brings pain and sorrow to both the child and parent in the future. A good parent will instruct a child with true complements and loving punishment. Of all the ill-gotten gains listen here, the worst is to steal a son’s or daughter’s future by holding bad a blunt education in respecting authority and rules (8,9).

BDBD is Proverbs 1:1-6

The book of Proverbs is a collection of wise words, mostly written by King Solomon, the third king of united Israel around 900 BC (1). Solomon’s wisdom was a gift of God. The Lord offered him anything when he first became king as a youth. He asked for wisdom so that he could lead Israel. (1 Kings 3:1-15; 2 Chronicles 2:1-17)

Solomon’s purpose was to use his Godly gift to help people gain wisdom and discipline. Modern education consists mostly of retaining information and understanding how to use the information. The proverbs of Solomon go beyond. They are for acquiring wisdom, discipline, and prudence for even the simplest mind.

When I ask God to give me a gift I should consider and intend to use it for others as well as for myself. God gives gifts to bring people together and form an interactive and connected community.

BDBD is Eccl. 12:13-14

The conclusion: “Fear God and keep his commandments”. The reason for these is given, “For God will bring every deed into judgment. including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

So is everything “meaningless, meaningless”? People’s pursuits apart from fearing God and keeping his commandments are meaningless. From God’s perspective, our thoughts and actions are either good or evil. His commandments give us an idea of how we were meant to live. The root of his commandments is loving God and others.

When asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” he answered. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

BDBD is Eccl. 12:9-12

A common belief about the leading of the Holy Spirit is that we do nothing. Instead, it is believed that suddenly words just come to us. However, these verses reveal that the revelation of God’s words is not always (if seldom) like that. The Spirit’s moving is a mutual undertaking.

Solomon is the Teacher of Ecclesiastes. He was wise, his wisdom a gift of God (9). He pondered and searched out before he wrote this book (9, 10). The words were inspired by God. Yet the revelation came while Solomon thought. After he received divine inspiration through rigorous thinking, a pen did not suddenly stand upright and begin writing. No. Solomon picked up the pen and started to write. The Spirit’s moving is a mutual undertaking.

Solomon is not the only person who experiences this process of mutual processing. “The words of the wise” -meaning many people- “are given by one Shepherd” -meaning one God the Spirit (11). Many books are written and it is not easy to write a divinely inspired manuscript.

More-so, when all of God’s people contemplate his words, their lives, their generation, and the nature of God and godly things they are the same as Solomon the wise Teacher, vigorously flowing and wrestling with God for just the right words. Bible Daily Bread Devotion (BDBD) and FreeBibleStudyHelp.com are the makings of 1,640 web pages (and growing) and it wearies my body and mind. I am blessed.