Thursday, May 25, 2017

Wear The Armor, So You Don't Falter--Proverb 25:26

Proverb 25 (NKJV)

Rule Your Spirit

01 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of
00 Judah copied:

02 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
00 But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

03 As the heavens for height and the earth for depth,
00 So the heart of kings is unsearchable. 04 Take away the dross from silver,

00 And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.
05 Take away the wicked from before the king,
00 And his throne will be established in righteousness.

06 Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king,
00 And do not stand in the place of the great;
07 For it is better that he say to you,
00 "Come up here,"
00 Than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince,
00 Whom your eyes have seen.

08 Do not go hastily to court;
00 For what will you do in the end,
00 When your neighbor has put you to shame?
09 Debate your case with your neighbor,
00 And do not disclose the secret to another;
10 Lest he who hears it expose your shame,
00 And your reputation be ruined.

11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold
00 In settings of silver.
12 Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold
00 Is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.

13 Like the cold of snow in time of harvest
00 Is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
00 For he refreshes the soul of his masters.

14 Whoever falsely boasts of giving
00 Is like clouds and wind without rain.

15 By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded,
00 And a gentle tongue breaks a bone.

16 Have you found honey?
00 Eat only as much as you need,
00 Lest you be filled with it and vomit.

17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house,
00 Lest he become weary of you and hate you.

18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
00 Is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.

19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble
00 Is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.

20 Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather,
00 And like vinegar on soda,
00 Is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
00 And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
00 And the LORD will reward you.

23 The north wind brings forth rain,
00 And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.

24 It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
0 Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

25 As cold water to a weary soul,
0o So is good news from a far country.

26 A righteous man who falters before the wicked
00 Is like a murky spring and a polluted well.

27 It is not good to eat much honey;
00 So to seek one's own glory is not glory.

28 Whoever has no rule over his own spirit
00 Is like a city broken down, without walls.

Today's highlighted proverb is, 25:26
26 A righteous man who falters before the wicked
00 Is like a murky spring and a polluted well.
As Christians, we are admonished throughout the Scriptures to be strong, especially in the face of temptation from wicked people around us. As Christians we are all tempted on a daily basis. If you have lived a life of sin before coming to Christ, the temptations to return to the old ways just add to the pressure we are already under by the world. This proverb speaks to us about the destruction that can happen to us if we falter under the pressure.

Consider the times Solomon lived in when he wrote the Proverbs. It was sometime around 900 B.C. and the lands of Israel have he Middle East have not changed much since then. They did not have modern technology that we have today, where they are able to turn vast amounts of dry lands into lush Oasis's. Fountains and springs in the Middle East were important. The scarcity of rain in certain locations made them very important, and any drought, or war could result in the scarcity of water. A corrupt spring was one that gave impure water. Such fountains or springs lost their value as assets and were a frustrating disappointment.

A clean fountain is also a metaphor for righteous or wise men. As children of God we have been cleansed and purified. Thus we are to be fountains of life and trees of life to those around us. However, if we compromise our conduct or our influence, then we are as disappointing and frustrating as an inconsistent fountain or an impure spring to those needing the water of life that that is Christ flowing through us. We are a conduit that Christ uses to reach the lost around us. Christ can do it without us, and He does, but He wants us to be His emissary to the world. How can we give clean, free flowing water of life if we ourselves are swimming in a cesspool of sin?

Paul admonishes taught Timothy that a righteous man of Jesus Christ is duty bound to carefully guard both his personal life and his doctrine. He is to live a holy life, and to stand immovable on Holy Scripture. It is by diligent zeal in both matters that a minister saves his own life and his hearers’ from shipwreck.
Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.1Timothy 4:16
Now Paul was teaching Timothy in how to be a proper minister, but as Christians we are all ministers of the word to the world. In order for our message to have credence, we need to protect ourselves from being tainted by the world around us. If a wise man is foolish even in a small way, it is like leaving dead flies in perfume, which causes it to stink instead;
Dead flies putrefy[Dead flies putrefy the perfumer's ointment,
And cause it to give off a foul odor;
So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.
Ecclesiastes 10:1
The wicked rejoice to see a righteous man fall. They overlook all the sins of the ungodly, but they will spread a single sin of the righteous far and wide. In King David's case, he not only gave chance for his enemies to attack the Lord, but it also cost the life of an innocent man and the child Bathsheba was pregnant with from their act of adultery.
"However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die." II Samuel 12:14
As Christians, we must live and work in the world, but understand that the world awaits the chance to make a mockery out of us, our faith, and our God. It is our duty and privilege to shut their mouths by living a virtuous life that allows for no such criticism of our Lord or our faith. We need to be on guard at all times, and the best way is to put on the whole armor of God so that we can withstand the wicked that abounds all around us in today's evil world.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints
Ephesians 6:10-18

The purpose of Writing the book of Proverbs was to reveal the mind of God in matters high and lofty and in common, ordinary, everyday situations. It appears that no topic escaped King Solomon's attention. Matters pertaining to personal conduct, sexual relations, business, wealth, charity, ambition, discipline, debt, child-rearing, character, alcohol, politics, revenge, and Godliness are among the many topics covered in this rich collection of wise sayings.

Without wisdom, knowledge is nothing more than an accumulation of raw facts, influenced by emotional feelings. Many highly educated people are in positions of power in the United States, but very few of those educated leaders have the wisdom needed to rule properly.

One can say that they have been educated well beyond their intelligence. A cursory look at the court system will prove my point that knowledge without wisdom will only lead to an immoral society that eventually crumbles from within. Judges are supposed to be above the fray, and immovable to emotions. Instead, the vast majority of judges today are Godless individuals who are vacant of wisdom. So their rulings are totally based upon emotional feelings.

We the people are to blame, because we ignored God's guidance in appointing our leaders. Instead of putting leaders full wisdom in power, we instead chose those who would scratch our itchy ears to lead us.

Of the 31 Proverbs, only the first 24 were written by Solomon. King Hezekiah wrote 5, Proverbs 25 to 29, Agur wrote Proverb 30, and Lemuel wrote Proverb 31. Now many believe Lemuel was in fact King Solomon and Lemuel was just a nick name his Mother, Bathsheba gave him. We are told that Solomon write over 3000 Proverbs and composed 1000 songs, but the only Proverbs God decided to preserve for us are Proverbs 1-24. Like the New Testament epistle by James, it is impossible to get a chronological outline for a study since they all bounce from subject to subject.

Along with my daily routine of reading the Bible, I try to read through the book of Proverbs once a Month. It's an easy task when you consider there are 31 Proverbs. So all you need to know is what day of the Month it is. In the Months that have 30 days, or in the case of February, I just double up by reading more than one two proverb so I can begin the next month with Proverb 1 on the first again.

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