August 25, 2009 – Daily Journal
Proverbs 25:1 →Hezekiah is remembered as a good king. What did he do that was so good? Apparently, copied from the smart guy! Don't be ashamed to have sources for your wisdom and knowledge. Just be sure to give credit where it's due.
Proverbs 25:3 →The hearts of kings cannot be investigated because even they don't know what they're doing!
Proverbs 25:4-5 →If we could remove the wicked from influencing the government, we'd be making a silver-level masterpiece. Remove the wicked that are in the government, and we'd be up to gold!
Proverbs 25:6-7 →It's okay to receive recognition. Don't seek it.
Proverbs 25:8-10 →Take care of your issues with other people without public knowledge if it is at all possible. Don't rush to have others involved in your situation.
Proverbs 25:16 →You can get too much of a good thing. Really. So, just take what you need. Leave the rest for others.
Proverbs 25:17 →Let's not overreact to this one. It's one thing to not be too often in your neighbor's house. It's another thing entirely to never be there. Let's learn to be honest enough with each other to welcome as much as possible, and to tell people “not today.”
Proverbs 25:20 →Sometimes people need to be sad. Don't try to force cheerfulness on them.
Proverbs 25:27 →Don't seek too much honey, don't keep pursuing glory. Let your life settle down. Every day is not fantastic or marvelous, every experience is not sweet and glorious. Some are downright dull. Learn to live with that. Some days are Folgers, some days are Cameron's Amaretto. You appreciate the great because you live through the ordinary. And the ordinary need not be despised just because it's ordinary.
Psalm 124 is this week's Psalm of Response in my devotional book. The setup for this response is the story of the oppression of Israel at the beginning of the book of Exodus coupled with the deliverance of Moses, who would eventually lead the people to freedom. How ought we respond to oppression? With praise and thanksgiving:
Had it not been the Lord on our side, had we been trusting on others or had we turned against Him that He was against us, we would not only have lost a little, but all would have been lost. Where is our help? Where can we find assurance in this world? In the One who made heaven and earth! Thanksgiving and praise to Him who has done this!!
Do you see here one of the reasons we fight for the right to teach our children that God has made the world? Why it is that a generation taught from 1 st Grade through college that the world was not made by God but by the processes of nature without any divine design or intention, why that generation is falling away from God? Why? It's illustrated in Psalm 124:8. Our help is in the maker of heaven and earth. If heaven and earth have no maker, we have no help. There is no God to turn to, no one to cry out to.
1 Peter 5:6 →Do we trust God with our exaltation? I tend to seek my own favor. I want people to recognize how awesome I am, how wonderful I am. And when I am seeking that, I'm usually doing a lesser job of the things I want to be recognized for! I must determine in my heart that I will seek only to do the Lord's work, and let Him handle my exaltation in His time, not my own.
James 5:7-11 →Be patient! It takes time to see the work of God in your own life, much less the life of others. Yet, we cannot neglect the work that must be done. A farmer doesn't simply scatter seed and ignore the fields until harvest, but protects and strengthens the crops throughout the growing season.
Likewise, we have no right to complain about each other. At all. Whatever excuse you thought you had, just erase it. You have no excuse and no right to complain. I have none. We must quit the whiny bickering that characterize so many of our churches.
And let's consider the prophets whose lives were characterized by suffering and rejection. These are our examples to follow. Not the kings that lived in wealth and splendor.