Category Archives: Strife

Instructions for All Who Follow Christ

1 Timothy 6 contains timeless wisdom for us to consider and apply in our lives. As you begin to read, consider that though the slave / master guidance may seem obsolete, perhaps you should consider it in regards to employee / employer perspective as I believe it still applies in that context or others where you are subject to proper authority.

1 Timothy 6

Instructions to Those Who Minister

     1All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. 2Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.

      3If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 6But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

      11But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

      17Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

      20O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.
Grace be with you.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Proverbs: A Manual For Living

Proverbs is a manual for living. It is every bit as relevant today as it was when YHWH revealed it to Solomon. Read it slowly, one verse at a time and pause to reflect on the wisdom and how it applies in your life and the life of others today. Let it guide your path.

Proverbs 28

Warnings and Instructions

      1The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

      2By the transgression of a land many are its princes,
But by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.

      3A poor man who oppresses the lowly
Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.

      4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But those who keep the law strive with them.

      5Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the LORD understand all things.

      6Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked though he be rich.

      7He who keeps the law is a discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.

      8He who increases his wealth by interest and usury
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.

      9He who turns away his ear from listening to the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

      10He who leads the upright astray in an evil way
Will himself fall into his own pit,
But the blameless will inherit good.

      11The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding sees through him.

      12When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.

      13He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

      14How blessed is the man who fears always,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

      15Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear
Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

      16A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding,
But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.

      17A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood
Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him.

      18He who walks blamelessly will be delivered,
But he who is crooked will fall all at once.

      19He who tills his land will have plenty of food,
But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.

      20A faithful man will abound with blessings,
But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.

      21To show partiality is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.

      22A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth
And does not know that want will come upon him.

      23He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
Than he who flatters with the tongue.

      24He who robs his father or his mother
And says, “It is not a transgression,”
Is the companion of a man who destroys.

      25An arrogant man stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

      26He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But he who walks wisely will be delivered.

      27He who gives to the poor will never want,
But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.

      28When the wicked rise, men hide themselves;
But when they perish, the righteous increase.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Gospel Is Preached

Ask the Spirit to help you share with boldness the truth of Christ. Give thanks for those who bring the truth of God’s word to people. Recognize, however, that there are many who teach it from false motives and sadly, many of them do not preach it in truth, but rather tell people what they want to hear.  Test everything you hear against the truth of scripture and keep that which is good and true.

Philippians 1:12-20

The Gospel Is Preached

     12Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, 13so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, 14and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. 15Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; 16the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. 18What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

Rejoice that the gospel is preached. Pray for discernment in understanding the truth of the gospel. Do not just accept whatever is said about Christ, but test everything against the Bible. False teaching tickles the ears but leads people away from Christ, all the while they believe they are following Him.  Pray for the Spirit to be with those who share the gospel and give them wisdom and discernment and boldness and courage. Pray for Yeshua to be shared with the world boldly and truthfully, without filtering the message for fear of offending people with truth. Pray that the Lord would use even our personal suffering to His glory and the glory of the gospel of Christ.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Do Not Answer A Fool According To His Folly

Wisdom for any age in which we deal with other people…

Proverbs 26

Similitudes, Instructions

     1Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest,
So honor is not fitting for a fool.

      2Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
So a curse without cause does not alight.

      3A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the back of fools.

      4Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Or you will also be like him.

      5Answer a fool as his folly deserves,
That he not be wise in his own eyes.

      6He cuts off his own feet and drinks violence
Who sends a message by the hand of a fool.

      7Like the legs which are useless to the lame,
So is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

      8Like one who binds a stone in a sling,
So is he who gives honor to a fool.

      9Like a thorn which falls into the hand of a drunkard,
So is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

      10Like an archer who wounds everyone,
So is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by.

      11Like a dog that returns to its vomit
Is a fool who repeats his folly.

      12Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

      13The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
A lion is in the open square!”

      14As the door turns on its hinges,
So does the sluggard on his bed.

      15The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
He is weary of bringing it to his mouth again.

      16The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can give a discreet answer.

      17Like one who takes a dog by the ears
Is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.

      18Like a madman who throws
Firebrands, arrows and death,

      19So is the man who deceives his neighbor,
And says, “Was I not joking?”

      20For lack of wood the fire goes out,
And where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down.

      21Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.

      22The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels,
And they go down into the innermost parts of the body.

      23Like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross
Are burning lips and a wicked heart.

      24He who hates disguises it with his lips,
But he lays up deceit in his heart.

      25When he speaks graciously, do not believe him,
For there are seven abominations in his heart.

      26Though his hatred covers itself with guile,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

      27He who digs a pit will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him.

      28A lying tongue hates those it crushes,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

For The LORD Will Not Abandon His People

There are certainly times when we look around us and see wickedness rotting out our culture and the people of the world. Often we see the wicked oppress or attack the righteous, perhaps at times for no other reason than to feel better about their own wickedness by influencing others to join them rather than call them out for their sin.

Pray for the plans of the wicked to be destroyed and the righteous to be elevated. For the LORD will not abandon His people. Pray for repentance in the wicked that they would turn from sin and humble themselves before the Lord.

Psalm 94

The LORD Implored to Avenge His People.

     1O LORD, God of vengeance,
God of vengeance, shine forth!

      2Rise up, O Judge of the earth,
Render recompense to the proud.

      3How long shall the wicked, O LORD,
How long shall the wicked exult?

      4They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly;
All who do wickedness vaunt themselves.

      5They crush Your people, O LORD,
And afflict Your heritage.

      6They slay the widow and the stranger
And murder the orphans.

      7They have said, “The LORD does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob pay heed.”

      8Pay heed, you senseless among the people;
And when will you understand, stupid ones?

      9He who planted the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?

      10He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke,
Even He who teaches man knowledge?

      11The LORD knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath.

      12Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD,
And whom You teach out of Your law;

      13That You may grant him relief from the days of adversity,
Until a pit is dug for the wicked.

      14For the LORD will not abandon His people,
Nor will He forsake His inheritance.

      15For judgment will again be righteous,
And all the upright in heart will follow it.

      16Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?

      17If the LORD had not been my help,
My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.

      18If I should say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, will hold me up.

      19When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.

      20Can a throne of destruction be allied with You,
One which devises mischief by decree?

      21They band themselves together against the life of the righteous
And condemn the innocent to death.

      22But the LORD has been my stronghold,
And my God the rock of my refuge.

      23He has brought back their wickedness upon them
And will destroy them in their evil;
The LORD our God will destroy them.

There is evil of many shades around the world. Some openly persecute and execute Christians, such as is common in some Muslim dominated countries. Others just constantly try to shame Christians for standing up for God’s instructions in life and pointing out sin in the society around them or for just refusing to participate in the sinful culture around them. They use lawsuits and lawmakers to discriminate against Christians living out their beliefs. They stir up anger and strife against businesses, calling for boycotts.

These same people are willing to murder unborn babies for their own selfishness and demand that it be free. They demand that Christians embrace and support and participate in homosexual marriage. They take no accountability for their own lives and just demand government pay them so they can buy what they have not earned.

Pray for repentance and revival. Pray for the righteous to rise up and be moved by God to take back our local, state, and national government proudly and without fear standing for and living out our beliefs. Then listen for how God wants you to be active and engaged in this revival and allow Him to direct you. Prepare yourself that if you are to serve Him, you will likely have to make changes in your own life and may likely face adversity and conflict… as He did.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Reward of Humility And The Fear Of The Lord

The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life. Pause and ask the Spirit to guide you and speak to you as you read Proverbs today. May He open our eyes to the truth of God’s word and how it applies in our lives. May we be humble enough to identify and admit where we need to make changes.

Proverbs 22

On Life and Conduct

     1A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold.

      2The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The LORD is the maker of them all.

      3The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the naive go on, and are punished for it.

      4The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

      5Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.

      6Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

      7The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

      8He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,
And the rod of his fury will perish.

      9He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.

      10Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out,
Even strife and dishonor will cease.

      11He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

      12The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.

      13The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”

      14The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the LORD will fall into it.

      15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

      16He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

      17Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;

      18For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.

      19So that your trust may be in the LORD,
I have taught you today, even you.

      20Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,

      21To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?

      22Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;

      23For the LORD will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.

      24Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,

      25Or you will learn his ways
And find a snare for yourself.

      26Do not be among those who give pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.

      27If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?

      28Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.

      29Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

There is much wisdom, much treasure, in Proverbs. Read it slowly and carefully. Reflect on how each part applies in your life and the lives of others around you. Pray for insight and help to make necessary changes in your life to come more in line with God’s wisdom and advice rather than “how you have always done things” or “how the world does things” or what is “normal”.

Only God is truly wise, so let us listen and obey.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

On Life And Conduct

Wisdom that never goes out of style… how will you apply it in your life?

Proverbs 20

On Life and Conduct

     1Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.

      2The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.

      3Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man,
But any fool will quarrel.

      4The sluggard does not plow after the autumn,
So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.

      5A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding draws it out.

      6Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man?

      7A righteous man who walks in his integrity—
How blessed are his sons after him.

      8A king who sits on the throne of justice
Disperses all evil with his eyes.

      9Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin”?

      10Differing weights and differing measures,
Both of them are abominable to the LORD.

      11It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself
If his conduct is pure and right.

      12The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The LORD has made both of them.

      13Do not love sleep, or you will become poor;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.

      14“Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
But when he goes his way, then he boasts.

      15There is gold, and an abundance of jewels;
But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.

      16Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger;
And for foreigners, hold him in pledge.

      17Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.

      18Prepare plans by consultation,
And make war by wise guidance.

      19He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets,
Therefore do not associate with a gossip.

      20He who curses his father or his mother,
His lamp will go out in time of darkness.

      21An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning
Will not be blessed in the end.

      22Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.

      23Differing weights are an abomination to the LORD,
And a false scale is not good.

      24Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD,
How then can man understand his way?

      25It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!”
And after the vows to make inquiry.

      26A wise king winnows the wicked,
And drives the threshing wheel over them.

      27The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD,
Searching all the innermost parts of his being.

      28Loyalty and truth preserve the king,
And he upholds his throne by righteousness.

      29The glory of young men is their strength,
And the honor of old men is their gray hair.

      30Stripes that wound scour away evil,
And strokes reach the innermost parts.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Fool Does Not Delight In Understanding

I like to continually cycle through Proverbs at a higher frequency than I cycle through the whole of the Bible. It is filled with so much practical advice. Pray the Spirit would enlighten you as to what He wants to say to you and enter in with patience and without hurry. Above all, believe the wisdom is still relevant and come with humility looking for areas in which the Lord is directing you to change.

Sometimes gaining insight and understanding is difficult for us to take as it shows us our mistakes and leads us to change, but it is a fool who does not delight in understanding. The wise seek to understand and become wiser still. Gaining wisdom is necessary if we are to step out of our own folly.

Proverbs 18

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

1He who separates himself seeks his own desire,
He quarrels against all sound wisdom.

      2A fool does not delight in understanding,
But only in revealing his own mind.

3When a wicked man comes, contempt also comes,
And with dishonor comes scorn.

4The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

5To show partiality to the wicked is not good,
Nor to thrust aside the righteous in judgment.

6A fool’s lips bring strife,
And his mouth calls for blows.

7A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
And his lips are the snare of his soul.

8The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels,
And they go down into the innermost parts of the body.

9He also who is slack in his work
Is brother to him who destroys.

10The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.

11A rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
And like a high wall in his own imagination.

12Before destruction the heart of man is haughty,
But humility goes before honor.

13He who gives an answer before he hears,
It is folly and shame to him.

14The spirit of a man can endure his sickness,
But as for a broken spirit who can bear it?

15The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

16A man’s gift makes room for him
And brings him before great men.

17The first to plead his case seems right,
Until another comes and examines him.

18The cast lot puts an end to strife
And decides between the mighty ones.

19A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city,
And contentions are like the bars of a citadel.

20With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied;
He will be satisfied with the product of his lips.

21Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

22He who finds a wife finds a good thing
And obtains favor from the LORD.

23The poor man utters supplications,
But the rich man answers roughly.

24A man of too many friends comes to ruin,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Lord Does Not Appreciate Greedy Whiners

Contentment is rare in the United States of America today.  A country filled with great wealth across almost all of its population is filled with complaints and whining by many who covet what others have. Compared to other countries globally, even the “poor” in the USA have much to be thankful for. They have food, clothing and shelter. What’s more… they have freedom and opportunity to improve their lives.

One does not need to use much imagination to compare God’s displeasure with those He considered greedy complainers in Numbers 11 with people in the USA today.  I would find it a fairly safe conclusion that our Father is disappointed with the attitude of many in the USA.

Rather than complaining and whining or coveting and attacking others for what they have, let us pray that our nation would be characterized by contentment and thankfulness before our Lord. If someone else has more… good for them. Why is that such a problem for me because I have less? Rather than whine about it, come before the Lord in supplication and with a thankful heart and ask for what you desire, but also ask Him for contentment with what you have. Ask Him for joy.

Numbers 11

The People Complain

     1Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. 2The people therefore cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD and the fire died out. 3So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them.

      4The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? 5“We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, 6but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”

      7Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. 8The people would go about and gather it and grind it between two millstones or beat it in the mortar, and boil it in the pot and make cakes with it; and its taste was as the taste of cakes baked with oil. 9When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.

The Complaint of Moses

     10Now Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, each man at the doorway of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly, and Moses was displeased. 11So Moses said to the LORD, “Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? 12“Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers’? 13“Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat that we may eat!’ 14“I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. 15“So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.”

Seventy Elders to Assist

     16The LORD therefore said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. 17“Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone. 18“Say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, “Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well-off in Egypt.” Therefore the LORD will give you meat and you shall eat. 19‘You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, 20but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’” 21But Moses said, “The people, among whom I am, are 600,000 on foot; yet You have said, ‘I will give them meat, so that they may eat for a whole month.’ 22“Should flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to be sufficient for them? Or should all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to be sufficient for them?” 23The LORD said to Moses, “Is the LORD’S power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.”

      24So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD. Also, he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and stationed them around the tent. 25Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again.

      26But two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them (now they were among those who had been registered, but had not gone out to the tent), and they prophesied in the camp. 27So a young man ran and told Moses and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28Then Joshua the son of Nun, the attendant of Moses from his youth, said, “Moses, my lord, restrain them.” 29But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” 30Then Moses returned to the camp, both he and the elders of Israel.

The Quail and the Plague

     31Now there went forth a wind from the LORD and it brought quail from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp and about two cubits deep on the surface of the ground. 32The people spent all day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very severe plague. 34So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy. 35From Kibroth-hattaavah the people set out for Hazeroth, and they remained at Hazeroth.

The Lord did indeed answer the distressed prayer of Moses, whose heart was in obedience and submission to the Lord. He also provided for the people meat, to His own glory as Provider. For the people who complained… it was not pretty. They received meat and a plague to go with it.

Again I say, rather than whine about it, come before the Lord in supplication and with a thankful heart and ask for what you desire, but also ask Him for contentment with what you have. Ask Him for joy.  Oh… and ask Him for godly leadership to guide the people.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Fear And Humility On The Path To Wisdom

Solomon was truly used by the Father to lay out many timeless principles and truths for us that can be helpful and practical in guiding our lives in accord with Jehovah’s instruction. We should seek to learn and grow in godly wisdom, leveraging the Bible and the Holy Spirit to help us along the way. In order to undertake this journey successfully, however, we must not start with too much confidence (or arrogance) in our own knowledge. Instead we must first be humble before the Lord and submit to Him and fear Him. In this way we allow ourselves to learn from our mistakes and accept His correction of a means of changing how we live our lives.

Proverbs 15

Self control in regards to our “tongue”. What we say and how we say it can edify or destroy. It is powerful. It needs to be controlled. The Lord sees everything and knows all we say, even if someone else we may be talking about does not.

1A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.

      2The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable,
But the mouth of fools spouts folly.

      3The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.

      4A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.

The fool remains a fool because he refuses to acknowledge his folly and accept wise counsel or reproof.

      5A fool rejects his father’s discipline,
But he who regards reproof is sensible.

The wicked have trouble coming to peace with their money. They often become too attached to it and even as they gain wealth, they increase in fear and anxiety about losing what they have or gaining more. There is no contentment.

      6Great wealth is in the house of the righteous,
But trouble is in the income of the wicked.

The wise share knowledge cheerfully and purposefully, but fools have nothing to share.

      7The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
But the hearts of fools are not so.

The wicked have rejected Jehovah. Their sacrifice is not acceptable. It is empty action or hypocritical for show. However our loving Father wants to hear from and help those who submit to Him and love Him through obedience to His instructions.

      8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

      9The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But He loves one who pursues righteousness.

      10Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way;
He who hates reproof will die.

Jehovah is all knowing. There are no secrets. Even the most private motivations for our actions are open to Him.

      11Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD,
How much more the hearts of men!

Scoffers do not seek wisdom. In fact they will often avoid it. Thus they remain fools trapped in their own folly.

      12A scoffer does not love one who reproves him,
He will not go to the wise.

There are few things harder to suppress than a truly joyful heart. When we have found our joy in the Lord, it can take us through both good and challenging times.

      13A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

Again… we refer back to wisdom and intelligence being characterized by a willingness to admit there is more to learn.

      14The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge,
But the mouth of fools feeds on folly.

Again… the cheerful heart based on a relationship with the Lord is a powerful thing. Joy can be found even through adversity. Without the Lord, there is no lasting peace or contentment regardless of circumstance.

      15All the days of the afflicted are bad,
But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.

I could not agree more with these next verses. Good perspective for all of us. Find peace and contentment with the Lord rather than earthly striving for gain.

      16Better is a little with the fear of the LORD
Than great treasure and turmoil with it.

      17Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.

Our Lord is slow to anger. It is a righteous trait reflecting the character of the Father. Those who get angry easily will always have reason.

      18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.

The lazy create their own obstacles rather than overcome them. Their way will always be tough.

      19The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns,
But the path of the upright is a highway.

Wisdom in following the Lord instead of the world brings joy. Lack of it brings hardship and strife.

      20A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish man despises his mother.

      21Folly is joy to him who lacks sense,
But a man of understanding walks straight.

The wise are not so arrogant as to assume they have all the answers and understand all there is on a subject by themselves. They consult with others and then make decisions. Plans are more successful in this manner.

      22Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they succeed.

Take some time to meditate on the remaining scripture verses yourself. How do they apply in your life?

      23A man has joy in an apt answer,
And how delightful is a timely word!

      24The path of life leads upward for the wise
That he may keep away from Sheol below.

      25The LORD will tear down the house of the proud,
But He will establish the boundary of the widow.

      26Evil plans are an abomination to the LORD,
But pleasant words are pure.

      27He who profits illicitly troubles his own house,
But he who hates bribes will live.

      28The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

      29The LORD is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

      30Bright eyes gladden the heart;
Good news puts fat on the bones.

      31He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.

      32He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.

      33The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility.

The last verse is certainly something to dwell on. This is another example of our Father pointing out that “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of wisdom. We must fear and revere the Lord to find the right path. This helps us seek and accept answers from Him and others who know Him. We will not grow in wisdom and gain honor before the Lord if we can not first be humble enough to recognize our limitations and submit to His guidance and instruction. In a way, our journey to God begins with humility.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.