Thursday, April 28, 2016


A false balance is an abomination?...Really?

That seems a little extreme, but that is what we read in Proverbs 11:1. Perhaps it is worth a second look.

An abomination is something that God hates, but stronger than hate. In the Old Testament idolatry is often described as an abomination to God. That places the ‘false balance’ in the same category with idolatry. Does God really hate a ‘false balance’ as much as he hates idolatry? It is really that serious?

Balance scales: You’ve seen a balance scale; you know how it works. An object of unknown weight is placed in a pan on one side of the balance scale. In the pan on the opposite side known weights are added until the two pans balance. The unknown weight is then known: It is the sum total of the known weights . . . unless someone has tampered with the weights or the balance scale.

A False Balance: A false balance is just another way of telling a lie. A false balance changes the appearance of things making two unequal things appear to be equal. God hates lies. Lies oppose the very nature of God.

It's all a lie: You might say that all sins are lies:

The idolater calls to his ‘god’. But deity is not made of created things: wood or stone; gold or silver; possessions, fame, entertainment or pleasure. The 'idol' is a lie.

A thief possesses things that he does not own, yet he thinks of them as his own and lets others think they are his own. A lie.

A man has a sexual relationship with a woman with whom he is not married. Yet, that behavior makes it appear as though they were married. A lie.

In prideful arrogance a man elevates himself to a position of importance that is not truly his. He lies to himself.

A murderer assumes authority over life and death, a position held by the Creator. The murderer lies.

A teen disobeys or dishonors mother or father. In doing so the teen brings his mother and father to his own level as if they were equals or as if he has greater authority. That’s a lie.

The Christian wears his ‘Sunday face,’ piously meeting with other Christians to worship. He does many religious acts of worship, but does not offer his heart in devotion to God. Liar!


There are many ways to lie, many without ever moving one’s lips. God hates them all. 
Lies are an abomination!

A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
But a just weight is His delight.
                                                            --Proverbs 11:1

May our thoughts, and our words, and our behaviors always balance with the truth.

Monday, April 25, 2016

What Are You Chasing?

“The proverbs,” those wise, clever, pithy (and often unrelated) sayings really begin in chapter ten with an announcement:

          The proverbs of Solomon.
          A wise son makes a father glad,
          But a foolish son is a grief to his mother.
                                                                  --Proverbs 10:1

I won’t press the matter, but it is probably correct to think of the first nine chapters as a lengthy introduction. It is as if Solomon was careful to prepare the mind of his son so that he could listen to wisdom. How did he prepare him?

If I had to reduce the first nine chapters into  one statement...
Chase after the knowledge and discernment of the Lord; do not chase after women.

In chapters eight and nine wisdom is personified as a woman who is desirable, offering wisdom, discretion, and life. In stark contrast is the ‘strange’ woman (adulteress) who is ultimately portrayed as naive. She doesn’t even realize that she seduces men to their deaths.

How many young men have fallen prey to the lure of a girlfriend, the power of pornography, the seduction of another man’s wife? For a moment of pleasure a life is changed!
Changed forever!!!

How many young men have set their eyes on a good and lofty goal in life; high thoughts of service, generosity, and devotion to God, perhaps even entering into the ministry? But things changed. It was not the demands of career or changed interests; rather it was the momentary distraction of the sexual lure of a woman.

Even if he is careful/clever enough to escape public notice, the guilt in the heart changes him. The lofty goals smashed. Changed forever!

It is not that God’s forgiveness cannot heal. But the power of sin and its psychological entanglement are great and all too often defeating.

Watch his parents...
Filled with high hopes his father’s heart is deeply saddened; his mother weeps.

There are many ways to act foolishly, but sexual sin is among the most devastating.

Young men! Sexual purity is of greatest importance. Purity of he spirit is the pursuit of God's wisdom and knowledge and discernment. You will NEVER regret the sin you did not commit!

The 'first' proverb...
          A wise son makes a father glad,
          But a foolish son is a grief to his mother.

Chase wisely.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Can You Live Without It?

Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars.
                                                --Proverbs 9:1

Seven pillars? Why seven? What does it mean?

Replica of an Ancient Israelite House
(Courtesy Harvard Public Affairs &
Communications, photo by Jon Chase)
While we might imagine beautiful styles of Greek or Roman pillars, the pillars in Israelite dwellings were probably much more simple. The importance was function, supporting the weight of upper floors and roof.

Wisdom's pillars are 'hewn,' that is, cut out. Whether this means a solid pillar of wood or stone, or simply stones cut and stacked to form a pillar is not known. Yet, the pillars were cut out and the house built, and it is a strong house.

Wisdom is portrayed as a woman building her house. Pillars are set in place; seven, perhaps indicating completeness. The verses that follow certainly suggest that the house of Wisdom is complete and ready. Wisdom lacks nothing in her ability to accomplish her purpose.

So, anyone who comes to the house of Wisdom will find true knowledge and discernment regarding life. The house of Wisdom is not a 'fixer upper.' Her knowledge and discernment are far superior to human knowledge which seem never to be complete. (What field of study has closed the book on research and announced complete knowledge???)

Wisdom offers life.
Sounds redundant, right?

Proverbs 1 . . . Get wisdom.
Proverbs 2 . . . Get wisdom.
Proverbs 3 . . . Get wisdom.
Proverbs 9 . . . Get wisdom.

Maybe we get the point...maybe not...

Things that are important, very important, are repeated. Repetition emphasizes. Repetition aids learning. Repetition virtually assures success.
God is no fool.

Wisdom is important, not simply so you can be ‘wise.’
Wisdom is important, not merely because it will give insight.
Wisdom is important, not just because it guides and gives aid in life.

Wisdom is important, because it gives life.

Wisdom gives life.


Wisdom has built her house...

Monday, April 11, 2016

Hate Evil?

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; 
Pride and arrogance and the evil way, 
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
                                                     --Proverbs 8:13

Tolerance! is the order of the day. In fact, our society tolerates just about anything, anyone, and any thought . . . except intolerance!!!

Most people assume that the soul of a person and the actions of a person are a 'single package' when it comes to acceptance. If you accept me, you must therefore accept what I do. If you do not accept what I do, you must not accept me.

Jesus stood out like a sore thumb and showed the right way.

When the Jewish leaders dragged a woman in front of Jesus and accused her of adultery, they demanded that he judge her according to the Law of Moses. Jesus made the most remarkable stand. He condemned the Jews for their arrogant judgment because they were also sinners. He then told the woman that he would not stand in judgment of her; but there is one thing more. Jesus instructed the woman to go her way “and sin no more.” He accepted the woman, but did not tolerate her sin!
(Read the entire encounter in John 8:1-11.)

He condemned those who judged.
He refused to judge.
He accepted the sinner.
He did not tolerate sin.

God does not tolerate sin.

Isn't that the beauty of the sacrifice of Jesus?
It expresses God’s love for the souls of men and, at the same time, his intolerance for sin. (If he tolerated sin, then why the sacrifice?!)

God hates evil.
Do you stand in awe of God?
Do you fear the Lord?
Do you hate evil?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Rethink 'Wink'

It was springtime during my sixth grade year. After considerable thought and planning I did it. I winked at the cute little dark-haired girl in my class!

Years later I learned that it was called non-verbal communication. I had no idea that I was capable of such sophistication! The ‘wink’ in sixth grade meant, “I like you.” The thing that was so confusing later on was that I had been winked at by adults and “I like you” just didn’t always make sense. So, using my kid-powered deductive reasoning skills I decided that winking was some kind of code, but I had no idea what it meant.

As a teen, I saw the wink again. An uncle of mine was playing a harmless prank on one of my younger cousins. That time I understood the wink, “Don’t say anything; play along.”
We all had a big laugh afterward.

I finally understood: The wink communicates when the mouth is closed. The wink can also communicate when the mouth speaks. Solomon observed that the wink may tell the truth while the mouth tells a lie.

A worthless person, a wicked man, 
    Is the one who walks with a false mouth,
Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, 
    Who points with his fingers;
Who with perversity in his heart devises evil continually, 
    Who spreads strife.
                                                --Proverbs 6:12-14

A person says one thing with his mouth, but he communicates a different message by non-verbal signals; a wink, shuffling of the feet, pointing the fingers. God has an opinion about that individual:

Solomon did not condemn non-verbal communication. The "I like you" wink is innocent. A head-nod, motion of the hand, and the “stink eye” are often effective means of communication used by parents and teachers. Solomon warned against using deceptive signals to cover a lie. He described a subtle and evil manipulation that ultimately causes strife. Don’t think this is just for kids. God hates the “one who spread strife among his brothers.” (v. 19)

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus instructed his followers to say, “Yes,” if they mean “Yes,” and to say, “No,” if they mean “No” (Matthew 5:37). In other words, speak the truth or say nothing at all; no verbal manipulation; no deceit; no lying; and no subtle silent signals.

Tell the truth.
(No Wink.)