Your Word Power – Proverbs 25:18

Proverbs 25:18 “A man that beareth false witness against his neighbor is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.”

The context, here seems to indicate that this false witness is slandering a person in a court of law which results in their punishment unjustly.  King Solomon saw this happen probably on more than one occasion as King of Israel.  1 Kings 3:16-28 vividly illustrates this proverb with the account of the two harlots and their sons and how Solomon determined the true mother of the living son and the mother of the son that had died.  King Solomon saved the true mother from greater suffering through his wisdom.

A person that tells lies about another is a slanderer.  Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “slander” as:

To defame; to injure by maliciously uttering a false report respecting one; to tarnish or impair the reputation of one by false tales, maliciously told or propagated.

A slanderer is likened to three instruments of destruction in this proverb, a maul, a sword, and a sharp arrow.

The maul refers to a war club.  It was a tool for scattering and breaking down.  This Hebrew word for Maul is only used once in the Bible and comes from another Hebrew word that means “to scatter.”  Therefore, a slanderer is like a heavy club delivering jolting, crushing blows to one’s character and reputation that shatters it in pieces.

Secondly, the slander is likened unto a sword.  A sharp weapon designed to cut, pierce, and kill.

Thirdly, a slander is likened to a sharp arrow.  This speaks of a whetted arrow or an arrow carefully sharpened.  This arrow is designed to pierce through its target with ease.

So in other words, slandering someone is figuratively wounding or killing them; slander delivers irreparable damage.  Slander crushes.  Slander divides with precision.  Slander pierces through a person’s reputation.  The slanderer or false witness is well aware that what he says defames another’s character and causes suffering.

We can learn several things from this verse.

  1. Lying words motivated by hate are words of death.The opposite also holds true.
  2. Words are powerful, words can destroy.  Therefore we need to be careful what we think and say. The little saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a flat out lie.  Since God created the entire universe with just words, words are very powerful.  Words influence and form the opinions of others.  Words are the basic language in which everyone thinks.  Just as blood is the life of the body, so good words are the blood and energy of life.  Inversely, just as poisoned blood can kill the life of the body so can poisoned words kill the life of a person’s soul, that is their mind, will, and emotions (1 Thes. 5:23).
  3. Words of truth spoken in love are words of life which promote life and spiritual growth.  Ephesians 4:15 says, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” The truth spoken in love is what needs to be on our minds, and it is these words that ought to proceed out of our mouths (Eph. 4:29).

While we may never lie about someone in a court of law, are we careful with  our words, whether it be spoken, written, or posted on social media?  Words are an outflow of what’s in our hearts, so let’s keep our heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life (Prov. 4:23).  Let’s never defame another’s character, but let’s always strive to use our words to build another up.  Let’s then ask ourselves, “How is the building process going? Am I at a standstill? Have I forgotten about the power of words?”  Also, let’s be careful that we do not complain, otherwise we are that maul, sword, and sharp arrow to God’s character and His goodness to us.  Let’s instead be in stark contrast to a false witness, and be a true witness of the one true God as David was.  Let’s catch the spark of his love for God in Psalm 71:15, “My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.”  Let’s be in awe of who He is and the rest will follow as we seek Him first (Mat. 6:33).  Remember your words are powerful, so use them for good for the glory of God (Rev. 4:11)

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Good News from Afar – Proverbs 25:25

Proverbs 25:25 “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”

Abraham and Sarah had heard the good news from a far country, a heavenly country. They looked for that city whose builder and maker is God. They desired that heavenly country; they did not desire the world, they desired a better country. In their eyes, they were strangers and pilgrims on this earth, bound for a country far better than this world could ever afford. Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, and He has prepared them a city. They heard, embraced, and believed the good news (Hebrews 11:8-16). This good news radically transformed their lives. While they only saw a shadow of the Christ to come, we have the reality of more than a shadow, Christ has come. Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Christ promised those who believe in Him everlasting life in the mansions which He is preparing for us in heaven. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house, are many mansions …I go to prepare a place for you… I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3). Our eternal life is now, it is knowing the only true God and Jesus whom He sent (John 17:3) Have you drank deeply of this living water?

The shepherds heard the good news from that heavenly country. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. . .Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:10-11, 14) The good tidings were as cold waters to the shepherds’ thirsty souls. The nation of Israel had waited centuries for the coming of their Messiah, and now He was here.

1 John 4:14 “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” Through faith in Him we have this peace and goodwill the angel proclaimed (Romans 4:20-5:1).

Abraham, Sarah, and the shepherds had thirsty souls. The message of Christ’s birth is good news from heaven, but is your soul thirsty for it? Is it as cold waters to your soul? I will be the first to admit, that I become callous. I forget how awesome the news God’s great love for me is, but when I am still before Him allowing Him to speak to me through His Word and in prayer, it softens my heart. I am filled with gratitude for the God, whose love for me and all people I do not understand (John 3:16, Luke 2:10). Let’s not be callous. Take some time to be still and know that God is God. Then share His love and His words of love with someone else. This good news of the Holy birth will become even sweeter to you as you do (Hebrews 3:13). God designed us to be social creatures. He created us for fellowship with Him first, and then for fellowship with others too. As Abraham, Sarah, and shepherds did, let the good news motivate you to act upon what God has done and what He has promised.

Praying you all have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the reality of this good news from afar. Merry Christmas!

The Key to Enjoying Christmas – Proverbs 25:16

Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."

This proverb is one of the proverbs of Solomon that the men of Hezekiah copied out and added to the book of Proverbs. This occurred nearly 300 years after the death of King Solomon. H. A. Ironside, in his commentary, said that there are nearly 400 Proverbs preserved of Solomon’s 3,000 proverbs in the first 24 chapters, and then the next five chapters were compiled by Hezekiah’s men, Proverbs 25-29 (1 Kings 4:32).

Proverbs 25:16 is an exhortation to moderation. We may have a good thing, such as friends, a spouse, family, food, family time, rest, sweets and so on that bring us pleasure. However, when we have so much of a good thing that it causes us to divert our focus off of God onto the pleasures we become sick spiritually. We have a life out of balance. Just as we get sick if we eat to much junk food, especially during the holiday season, we get sick spiritually if we devour the pleasures meant to be enjoyed in moderation. H. A. Ironside again in his commentary on Proverbs alludes to Proverbs 24:13-14 where honey is called a good thing, commanded to be enjoyed. When we find God’s wisdom, there is a reward, our expectation will not be cut off, and God’s knowledge will be sweet as honey.

Let’s keep a proper balance today. It is so easy to get our focus off the One who ought to be our chief joy, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is His birthday we are celebrating! Have you enjoyed and delighted in the thought of the birth of our Savior as God robed in human flesh for us? He was born to die for us. Is your heart full of gratitude? Let’s take pleasure in moderation the family, the gifts, the food which He has so wonderfully blessed us with hearts under the Spirit’s control.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas everyone!

Are You Worshiping God His Way – Proverbs 25:20

Proverbs 25:20 "As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon niter, so is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart."

The obvious reaction to someone taking away a garment in cold weather or pouring vinegar on niter (baking soda) is a severe reaction. Having just summer clothing in cold weather and vinegar and niter do not mix. These two vivid comparisons show the disorder of singing songs to a heavy heart.

The attitude of our heart effects the attitude of God’s heart toward us. When I think of this verse, Ephesians 4:17-32 comes to mind. In this passage, Paul gives the Ephesian church a mandate to put off the old man and to put on the new man. He encourages them to put on the new man with the same zeal that they had put on the old man and practical ways to do it.

Ephesians 4:22-24, 30 say, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness… And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. "

When we refuse to put off our old fleshly thinking we grieve God’s Holy Spirit. Any song of worship we bring to Him is not going to be acceptable to Him because we are grieving Him. When we come and worship God our own way instead of His way, it is not acceptable worship. Our hearts must be right with Him and we must come His way. A sterling example of this is Cain and Abel (Gen. 4). Cain brought the best he had, be he did not bring a blood sacrifice. He brought the fruits of the ground which had been cursed. Abel brought a lamb, as a picture that only through the shedding of blood could there be remission of sins (Heb. 9:22).

Today, your desire may be to worship the Lord. However, there may be an area of your life that you refuse to surrender over to the Lord’s control. When we regard our own way (iniquity) higher than God’s way, we grieve God’s heart (Psalm 66:18). We cut off our fellowship with God. Our songs of praise and adoration to Him mean little when we choose to come our own way. Or, maybe we have not even considered whether the way we worship, is the way God wants us to worship. Like the Proverb says, worship to God our way is like taking away Jesus’ garment in cold weather and singing songs to His heavy heart. How insensitive. God’s wants all or nothing. In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus told the Laodician church that he would rather have them be cold or hot, but because they were lukewarm he was going to vomit them out of His mouth.

Now for the application,

  1. Am I cold, lukewarm, or hot for Christ?
  2. Do I worship God His way, or my way?
  3. How do I determine what God’s way to worship is?
  4. Am I sensitive to the Lord’s leading in my life, so I don’t grieve His Spirit?
  1. Have I purposed to walk in the Spirit, so my life is a hymn of worship to the Lord (Gal. 5:16)?

In Christ,

Aaron Diedrich