|Proverbs 20 |
1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whoever is deceived by them is not wise.
2 The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own soul.
3 It is an honor for a man to cease from strife, but every fool will continue to press his cause.
4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore he shall beg in harvest, and have nothing.
5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
6 Most men will proclaim to everyone his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?
7 The just man walks in his integrity, and his children are blessed after him.
8 A king who sits in the throne of judgment scatters away all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, "I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?"1
10 Diverse weights, and many measures, both of them are an abomination to the LORD.
11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work is pure, and whether it is right.
12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD has made even both of them.2
13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with [spiritual] bread.
14 "It is worthless, it is worthless," said the buyer; but when he is gone his way, then he boasts of his buy.
15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies; but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger, and hold it in a pledge of him, if it is for a strange woman.
17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
18 Every purpose is established by counsel; and with good advice make war.
19 He that goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; do not associate with him that flatters with his lips.
20 Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
21 An inheritance may be obtained dishonestly in the beginning; but the end of it shall not be blessed.
22 Do not say, I will recompense evil [revenge]; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save you.
23 Dishonest weights are an abomination to the LORD, and a false scale is evil.
24 Man's steps are ordered by the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?3
25 It is a snare to the man who devours that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.
26 A wise king scatters the wicked, and brings the wheel over them.
27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all his inward parts [including the heart].
28 Mercy and truth preserve4 the king, and his throne is upheld by mercy.
29 The glory of young men is their strength, and the beauty of old men is the gray head.
30 The pain of a wound cleanses away evil, so do stripes purge the inward parts [including the heart] of man. [God chastens and scourges every son he accepts, Heb 12:6; he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God, 1 Pet 4:1-2.]
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1 No man can cleanse his heart, but the Lord can cleanse and purify a man's heart who has faith and obeys the teachings and commands of the Lord. God chastens and scourges every son he accepts. Heb 12:6. The pain of a wound cleanses away evil, so do stripes purge the inward parts [including the heart] of man. Pro 20:30. Your souls are purified in obeying the truth, through the spirit. 1 Pet 1:22. Your heart is purified by faith. Acts 15:9. But all the changes in a man's heart are done by the Spirit of Grace, which both charges sin, and removes sin.
But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
That he might sanctify and cleanse it [the church of believers] with the washing of water by the word, Eph 5:26.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:2
Therefore having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Cor 7:1
2 God grants a man the ability to spiritually see and hear. Jesus said: "For judgment I have come into this world, that they who do not see might see; and that they who see might be made blind. John 9:39. To the religious people of the world, Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, We see. Therefore your sin remains. John 9:41.
God reveals unrighteousness to the spiritual man. The natural man cannot accept the things of God and cannot see the depth of unrighteousness. This is a basic function of the Holy Spirit — to convince the world of sin [unrighteousness]. The typical sect-attending Christian has no concept of sin, limiting it to murder, theft, rape; he is unaware that intolerable sin includes: adultery, pre-marital sex, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, partying... immorality, impurity, greed... evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. From the word of the Lord within: "Every thought of man is at best a vain hiss."
Before a man can see sin and unrighteousness, it has to be shown to a man in his heart by revelation from God. What is to be known of God, is revealed by God within a man's heart. Rom 1:19 Mark! Not from reading a book. Not from listening to a preacher speaking without words supplied by the Holy Spirit as he speaks. The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, Rom 1:17; faith, revelation, more faith, revelation, more faith...etc.
3 Man's steps are ordered by the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way? A mystery of mysteries. God can control us, without violating our free will, and without us knowing that he is controlling us. How can this be? Because this life is an illusion. All things (including people) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28. He moves the entire world around those people whom he is bringing to spiritual maturity through his grace, but he does it in such a way as to not violate their free will, (their choices of good and evil). God knows all their choices and thoughts, and so without changing their moral direction, he manipulates insignificant details in their lives help in teaching those who are seeking him as the highest priority in their lives. The entire creation is a giant chessboard, and God moves the pieces, to create sons of love, to fill responsible positions in the ever expanding government of Jesus Christ. See Life's Purpose for more.
So as seekers of the Kingdom and His righteousness, we know that everything that happens to us has been willed by God, to help us grow, and we have a peace that is based on the love of God to us. We can cast all of our worries and fears upon him, and depend on him to work everything out to our benefit. We have confidence that he is working for us, even when we can't see how it is happening; we know he controls the whole universe, and to work our life to his union, is effortless for him.
He has to show us each and every problem we have, many that are hidden, and lead us (by moving the world around us if necessary) to feeling the pain of our problems — pain so great that when we are tempted, instead of a trigger to fail, it becomes a trigger to succeed. The sooner you understand that everything that happens to you has been arranged to help you grow, the sooner you will be able to forgive, and the sooner you will be at peace, rather than angry or resentful. This life is an illusion. God is far more powerful and at work around you than you can imagine. For those whom he loves and calls, he controls everything around them. (This arrangement of circumstances only occurs for those whom he loves and calls.) And if you have a deep hunger, he loves you and has called you. The hunger is his gift to you, his having chosen you. It is his way of drawing you to him. So you will starve and mourn, and starve and mourn. But you will eventually be filled and comforted. It works. Trust Him. He created you. He is in you. He knows you much better than you do. He will change you to be like Him, leading you to purity and then to union with Him in the Kingdom within, where you walk by the Light of God.
When you are committed to following the Lord, hearing Him as you wait on Him, everything that happens to you is permitted by the Lord to bring you to perfection. He will let those around you abuse you in order to teach you to give up anger, resentment, and wanting revenge; and instead to forgive them, just as He forgave those who beat and crucified Him. We must suffer with Him in order to reign with Him. 2 Tim 2:11-12. We have to trust that everything is from Him, which trust is faith; the just shall live by faith, Hab 2:4.
From the Word of the Lord within: "live in the fortress of faith where it doesn't matter if someone gives you a kiss or hits you with a baseball bat," knowing everything that happens to a true seeker is used to help him grow spiritually. So if I get hit with a baseball bat, He expects me to learn the necessity of forgiving: to ignore it, despite the pain suffered and wrongness of the person wielding the bat. Your life is an obstacle course, designed by God, for you to crawl over and through, learning to forgive and love despite the pain and injustice. This life is a boot camp to produce a soldier of love, whose weapon is the sword of the Spirit, the living word of God. When you realize it is God who has allowed, (permitted, not caused or motivated), that person to be rude, ugly, and painful to you, you can easily forgive them because they are just an obstacle of potential resentment, whose offense is to be overlooked, (or if not overlooked, to produce the pain of resentment), thus being used by God to help you spiritually progress.
4 Mercy triumphs over judgment! James 2:12-13. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psalm 85:10.
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