Purposed Focus and Focused Purpose – Proverbs 4:25

Proverbs 4:25 “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.”

This verse is part of Solomon’s miniseries of commands on keeping one’s heart with all diligence.  The word “heart” in this verse refers to a person’s attitude, their mind, center of being, understanding, or wisdom.  This is the second of five keys to keeping one’s heart with all diligence.  These five keys to keeping your heart with all diligence can be summarized as follows:

  1. Putting away from myself perverse and froward (contrary, complaining) speech (Proverbs 4:24)
  2. Faithfully keeping focused on Christ and what He wants me to do (Proverbs 4:25)
  3. Pondering, seriously considering, what way my feet are pointing in life (Proverbs 4:26).
  4. Not compromising by turning away from going God’s way, to go my way (Proverbs 4:27)
  5. Removing my foot from any known sin in my life (Proverbs 4:27)

Remember, the concept of keeping our deceitful heart in check, means figuratively, that we keep a rifle trained on our heart rather than a rifle trained on intruders outside our heart.  Our hearts are prone to wander from God because they are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked as the prophet Jeremiah testified (Jeremiah 17:9).  Most of the time, WE ARE OUR GREATEST ENEMY.  The worst thing we can do is to follow our heart; this is what the fool does (Proverbs 18:3).  The best thing we can do is to keep our heart with all diligence.  I know these ideas are totally contrary to popular opinion. However, because people are following their hearts is why our world so messed up.  So, instead of having our eyes gazing on what our heart wants to do, let’s have our eyes focused on Jesus Christ’s desires for us instead.  What does He want me to do this year?  Is not our goal, God Himself?  I like the words of Fredrick Brook, “My goal is God Himself; not joy, nor peace, nor even blessing, but Himself, my God.”  Let’s ask ourselves, “Is God my goal?  Is He what consumes my thoughts?  Is He my passion?  How is He my goal and passion? Is my purposed focus on God and is my focused purpose, God Himself?

We are so easily distracted.  When we are, our focus is no longer purposed on what it ought to be and it meanders around from thing to thing, circumstance to circumstance, and event to event.  We forget our purpose, that is, God Himself.  Our purposed is to bring Him the glory and pleasure He rightfully deserves (Revelation 4:11).  While, many people have a purposed focus, often themselves, they have an out of focus purpose.  They are in a rat race trying to find the thing that will bring them the most satisfaction.  Eventually this leads to disillusionment.  True satisfaction and fulfillment will never be found in something but only in the person of Jesus Christ, yet we often live as if the opposite is true.

As the first part of this verse says, “Let your eyes look right on.” (Prov. 4:25a)  This command means to look with regard and respect.  Let’s be steadfast looking to Jesus for our marching orders as soldiers of Christ.  The second part of the verse reiterates the same command with slightly different wording for emphasis.  “Let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” (Prov. 4:25b)  Let’s find out our marching orders from the Commander and Chief and then do His orders with all our heart, by the power of His Spirit in us (Romans 8:11-13).  Let’s keep looking to Him, and not get distracted.  Let’s stay focused on the work He has called us to do (John 17:4).

As we live our Christian’s lives in this New Year, I pray that we will have a resolute, purposed focus on a focused purpose, Jesus Christ.  We can be confident; God is not done with us and will continue to perform His work in us.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

The Keys to an Eternal Reign – Proverbs 29:14

Proverbs 29:14 “The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established forever.”

In a nutshell this verse says, if a king is a respecter of persons, his kingdom will come to an end. The only one who perfectly fulfills this verse is the King of kings, Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 9:7 says of Jesus’ coming literal Millennial reign on earth and beyond, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

So what principles are key to establishing a kingdom?

  1. Faithfully judging the poor so show no favoritism (29:14)
  1. Mercy and truth, these preserve the king (20:28). What is mercy and truth, but the antidote to purge iniquity, that is, having one’s own way (Prov. 16:6)
  1. Mercy, it upholds the king’s throne (20:28)
  1. Taking away the wicked from before the king (25:5)

When Christ comes back to rescue Israel from annihilation and defeats the armies of the anti-Christ we will reign with Him. But how we live our lives now will determine our reign then as evidenced in the parable of the talents (Mat. 25:14-30). Through Christ, we are made kings and priests to God according to Revelation 1:6. Let’s ask God to help us have His character and live our lives as He would want us. Let’s implement the four things listed above in our own lives of not showing favoritism to certain people, being merciful, embracing the Truth, and surrounding ourselves with Godly individuals. Let’s be faithful to pray for these four things for our authorities so that our countries will be strong and we can lead quiet and peaceable lives in all Godliness and honesty (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

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!

Desire Granted – Proverbs 10:24

Proverbs 10:24 “The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.”

While the fears of the wicked overtake him, the desires of the righteous will overtake him. These statements are polar opposites of each other. The wicked gets what he fears and the righteous gets what he wants.

Eliphaz, Job’s friend, who falsely accused Job of sin, described the fear of the wicked. In Job 15:20-21 he says, “The wicked man travaileth in pain all his days…A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.” “A dreadful sound” means “a sound of fears.” The wicked live in constant fear and worry, and what they fear will come upon them. The desire of the wicked is to please themselves rather than their Creator. Psalm 73:27 states, “For, lo, they that are far from Thee (God) shall perish: Thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from Thee.”

Praise the Lord, the same is not true for those who do what is right. When I think of the desire of the righteous, Psalm 27:4 and Psalm 73:25 come to mind. The righteous’ desire, unlike the wicked’s desire, is God Himself. In Psalm 73:25, Asaph writes, “Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” David echoes this righteous desire in Psalms 27:4, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.”

The cool thing is now, is that God has made the very bodies of New Testament believers His temple, and His Holy Spirit resides in each believer. How awesome! As believers we need to treat our bodies as what they are, the temples of the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:18-20). God says those that defile/destroy His temple, God will destroy them. A believer cannot lose his salvation, but will reap what he sows (John 10:28-29). In other words, sexual sin, tobacco, drugs, alcohol are all things that are destructive to a person’s body. As Christians, our bodies belong to the Lord. We have been bought with a price, and therefore we each have a holy responsibility to glorify God in our body and spirit, because they are His.

A closing thought on the desire of the righteous and the fear of the wicked is from Proverbs 11:23. “The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.”

In application, compile a list of your desires, and then categorize them as righteous or wicked desires. Plead with the Lord to take away your wicked desires. Confess those wrong desires to Him as sin, claiming the promise that God will grant the desire of the righteous. Remember that in Christ, we are justified. That means Christ has made us righteous (Romans 5:1-2). I love Pastor John Yates’ way he has shared to remember what justification means. God see me just as if I’d never sinned, and just as if I’d been as righteous as Christ. Praise God! Ask yourself, “Is the Lord my chief desire?” If not, He ought to be just as He was for Asaph and David. When God is my chief desire, all the rest of my desires will be only good, and praise God, those desires will be granted.

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4

Discretion & Understanding’s Preserving and Keeping Power – Proverbs 2:20

Proverbs 2:20 “That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous."

This is Solomon’s third reason why when wisdom enters into our heart and knowledge is pleasant unto our soul that discretion will preserve us and understanding will keep us (Prov. 2:10-11). The other two reasons why discretion and understanding will keep and preserve us is to deliver us from the way of the evil man and from the strange woman (Prov. 2:12, 16). God delivers believers from sin, to empower us to live unto Him (1 John 1:9).

When God’s wisdom enters a believer’s heart and His knowledge is pleasant to his soul it results in deliverance from evil and the empowerment to do what is right (Romans 6). This deliverance and empowerment to be discreet and have good understanding comes from obeying, crying out and seeking whole heartedly after God’s wisdom (Prov. 2:1-5). Solomon starts out his dissertation to his son on the rewards of wisdom, saying, "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee…" (Prov. 2:1) God’s wisdom, therefore, starts with a proper relationship with one’s father. God resists the proud and gives grace, the power to do what is right, to the humble (James 4:6, Phil. 2:13). How you honor your dad, will be how you honor your Heavenly Father which in turn will have a huge impact on the rest of your life.

The Hebrew word for walk means to "exercise one self." The Hebrew word for "keep” means "to guard, to hedge about as with thorns, to regard, to observe." God’s purpose for us is to exercise ourselves in the way/lifestyle of the good and follow the Godly examples/paths of the righteous. How do the righteous walk? The Hebrew for "righteous" in this passage is the same Hebrew word for "just" in Habakkuk 2:4.

Habakkuk 2:4 says, "… but the just shall live by his faith.” Thus the paths/example of the just/righteous is to walk by faith. God calls us to a life of doing what is right no matter the cost. Faith believes that God is who He says He is, and that He is rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Proverbs 2:21 contains the promise that the upright will dwell in the land and the perfect will remain in it.

Now let’s apply the verse by asking ourselves several questions. "Is discretion and understanding preserving and keeping me because I love and seek God’s wisdom as one would seek silver and hid treasure (Prov. 2:4)? Do I treat my father with due honor and respect and therefore honor my Heavenly Father? Am I walking by faith? Am I exercising myself unto Godliness, that is, training like a disciplined athlete/Olympian? 1 Timothy 4:7-8 "But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."

The Blessing of Hearing – Proverbs 21:13

The Blessing of Hearing

Proverbs 21:13 "Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard."

Those who ignore and refuse to help those who cry to them in their need, will become needy themselves, cry, and will be ignored. Henry A. Ironside in his commentary on this verse notes the opposite of this verse in Proverbs 19:17. In Proverbs 19:17 the Lord promises to repay those who lend to the poor because they are in effect lending to him. Therefore, to ignore the cry of the poor is to ignore the cry of God (Matthew 25:31-46). To ignore the cry of God means he will ignore your cry.

Let’s take a look at a few word meanings.

Stoppeth (H331) – close the ears, narrow, shut, stop. Plug your ears, in other words.

Cry (H2201) – shriek, outcry.

Poor (H1800) – weak, needy, lean, oppressed persons. God has a special concern for the poor, and therefore wants us as Christians to have that same concern (Psalm 82:3).

Who are the poor? From the above definition, the poor are those without the most basic necessities of life, food and clothing. Why would I say that this probably is referring to the poor’s lack of food and adequate clothing? This seems to be the Bible’s definition of poor. 1 Timothy 6:8 says, "And having food and raiment, let us therewith be content." James 2:14-17 is a New Testament parallel passage with this Old Testament Proverb.

James 2:14-17 says, "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." After reading these passages there are definitely differences between Scripture’s and society’s or government’s definition of poor.

The government seems to define "poor” as everyone not having a cell phone, a roof over their head, healthcare, food stamps for more than just basic food staples, etc. Yes, while those things are nice, the government oversteps its bounds when it tries to redistribute the wealth to meet those perceived needs. When the government tries to be God, it creates problems. Instead of the poor looking to God to help solve their problems they look to the government, a terrible substitute. Instead of people being motivated to work they become takers instead of givers. They get that welfare mentality that people owe them something. Instead of a Godly lifestyle being encouraged, a destructive immoral lifestyle is perpetuated on to the next generation.

The poor’s needs are far better met by individuals, churches and other charitable organizations. As Christians, we are responsible to remember the poor (Galatian 2:9-10). God promises blessing and happiness to those who are generous in these endeavors (Proverbs 22:9, 14:21). In fact, God says that we honor Him when we have mercy on the poor (Proverbs 14:31). Proverbs 22:9 says, "He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor." There has to be balance in giving to the poor. If someone is able to work, but are unwilling to work, they should not eat (2 Thes. 3:10). Giving them food does not help them, it promotes their laziness. If instead someone is lacking basic necessities because of unforeseen circumstances, wants to work but does not have a job, or is not physically able to work. These are people that are genuinely poor and should receive assistance. All giving ought to be guided by the Holy Spirit’s leading. Jesus said we will always have the poor with us (John 12:8). Be ready and willing to give to the poor. In fact, Jesus’ brother James said that pure religion and undefiled was to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1:27).

Do you want to dishonor God, be unhappy, and cursed? Then forget about the poor.

Do you want to honor God, be happy, and be blessed? Remember the poor. Be led by the Holy Spirit. Pray for them and give them help. In what ways can you and are you hearing and responding to the cry of the poor with Christ’s love?

God’s Glorious Design – Proverbs 5:16

Proverbs 5:16 "Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets."

In Proverbs 5, Solomon warns his son of the seductiveness and destructiveness of sexual sin and encourages his son to lawfully satisfy his sexual desires within the bounds of marriage alone. This is God’s glorious design. Solomon gives ten consequences for unlawfully fulfilling sexual desires outside of marriage in Proverbs 5:9-14, 22-23. The 10 consequences are

  1. You will throw away your honor/dignity (5:9)
  1. Your years will be given over to the cruel (5:9).
  1. Strangers will be filled with your wealth (5:10)
  2. Your painstaking work will be for a stranger because you will not enjoy its benefits (5:10)
  3. You will mourn in the end. The Hebrew here for "mourn" means "to roar, to groan, to growl" (5:11).
  4. Your flesh and body will be consumed with disease (5:11).
  5. You getting your own way (iniquity) will take you down (5:22)
  6. You will be bound in bondage by this sin (5:22).
  7. You will die without instruction (5:23).
  8. You will go astray (5:23).

This is really serious. Do not toy with sin. Sin is deceiving. Sin will always take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.

Now let’s get back to the verse and look at God’s glorious design for marriage. What does it mean to have one’s fountains dispersed abroad? This is a symbol of sexual pleasure. A husband and wife should enjoy each other. This is good and actually commanded by God. Hebrews 13:4 says, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled:" Sex is good in marriage like fire in a fireplace, but sex outside of marriage, is like fire outside the fireplace that destroys the home. Sex outside marriage does not follow God’s glorious design; therefore, as we already saw, it is self-inflicted destruction.

Then the natural progression occurs of fountains growing into rivers. What are the rivers of waters to which Solomon refers? They are the children from the husband and wife enjoying each other. When you consider Solomon’s command to his son, he is really reiterating God’s blessing in which He commands to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:27, 9:1).

Next, Solomon says that these rivers of waters will be in the streets. These children from those following God’s glorious design of a Godly marriage are then a source of benefit in the cities in which they live. These are children trained up in the ways of the Lord (Prov. 22:6). Perhaps Solomon had Psalm 127:4-5 in mind when he wrote this. Psalm 127:4-5 says, "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." The speaking with the enemy in the gate means subduing the enemies in the gate. Wow!

God blesses those who follow His ways. The Apostle John no doubt, summarizes the joy of parents that have those rivers of waters in the streets, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 1:4)

We have seen the curse of sexual sin and the blessing of His glorious design, a Godly marriage. Be a person that loves and obeys the Lord and leaves a Godly legacy!

Psalm 112:1-2 says, "Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed."

Are you patiently waiting on God’s timing? Have you purposed to follow God’s glorious design of sex only within the bounds of marriage? What kind of legacy are you building now?

Are You Fulfilled or Just Filled? – Proverbs 18:20

Proverbs 18:20 "A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled."

Did you ever think that what you say will either come back to haunt you or to bless you? Either way, you are going to be filled, not with the seed of what you said, but the fruit of what you said. What we say, has a huge influence on shaping our future satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

Words are powerful, and how they are said is even more powerful. In fact, the next verse, Proverbs 18:21, talks about death and life being in the power of the tongue. I have heard that words make up 10% of the message while the other 90% is made of our tone and body language, how true. How we speak makes a big difference. Our tongues are instruments of great influence. James, Jesus’ half-brother, likens the tongue to a bridle in a horse’s mouth and the rudder on a ship which turn the direction of the whole beast or ship around, respectively (James 3:3-5). Our tongues have the power to turn situations around. By God’s grace, we can change situations for good by responding in a Christ-like way. The results of the wise or unwise use of our mouth will result in being full of satisfaction or full of dissatisfaction.

Being full of something is inevitable, so be careful what you say now, because you will be full of the fruits of it later, and maybe sooner than you think. According to AMG’s Complete Word Study Dictionary, in ancient literature like this verse, the word "belly" refers to our innermost being, the place where thoughts are treasured and the spiritual being expresses itself and is satisfied.

What is in your heart comes out your mouth, and plants seeds which bear fruit, which fruit you will eat. The fruit will make you sick if it is bad or satisfy you if its good, so be careful what you say.

Now let’s apply it personally. Am I planting seeds of kind words in others’ lives, rather than the words that are natural to my old nature? What am I full of now, the fruit of good words, or the rotten fruit of nasty words? How can I better encourage others to love and obey the Lord by planting words of kindness in their lives? Notice the power of words in Hebrews 3:13.

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Words of grace have the power to keep myself and others from being deceived by sin. On the contrary, if I am not exhorting others, I am being hardened by sin. Wow!

I pray that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts would be acceptable in the sight of the Lord who is our strength and our Redeemer (Psalm 19:14). May we be fulfilled, not just filled.

Wisdom is Royalty – Proverbs 3:16

Proverbs 3:16 "Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor."

This verse speaks of the things had in possession by wisdom. In John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible he says, "Length of days is in her right hand,…. Wisdom is here represented as a queen, as indeed she is above all kings and queens; … holding in one hand, instead of a sceptre, "length of days"; and in the other, instead of a globe , riches and honour: the allusion is thought by some on this clause to be to an ancient custom of numbering things, and the ages of men, by the hand and fingers, beginning with the left hand, and when they came to a hundred went to the right." Neat!

The globe or orb pictured the sovereign’s rule over the earth. Throughout the Middle Ages, because of the influence of Christianity, many orbs had a cross over the globe signifying Christ as sovereign over the earth, and the king or queen as God’s appointed ruler. This type of orb is called a Globus Cruciger, and perpetrated the doctrine of the divine right of kings. Praise God we serve the one who does not need a cross over His orb. He does not even have an orb but extends to all the world the length of days (eternal life) and riches and honor found in Himself.

Again, Wisdom is personified as a benevolent queen. The neat thing is, that as Christ, she also is more than willing to impart the length of days, riches, and honor in her hands to those who will embrace her instruction. Who better to know that Wisdom possesses these things than Solomon himself who asked for wisdom rather than long life, riches, or honor. He experienced this first hand (1 Kings 3:3-14). Because Solomon chose wisdom, God gave him the riches, honor, and life in Wisdom’s hands. Wow! Christ is made unto us Wisdom according to 1 Cor. 1:30. In Him, is eternal life, unsearchable riches, and honor (John 3:15, Eph. 3:8, Psalm 71:8).

Solomon’s father, King David, understood this truth of God being wisdom, and the source of riches and honor. He demonstrates what our response should be to this truth in 1 Chronicles 29:10-14 after an offering was taken in preparation to build the temple:

"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee."

Let’s ask ourselves, "Who am I that I am given the opportunity to serve such a benevolent, gracious, and good God? As a believer, I am blessed with spiritual riches far better than any physical riches. Have I thanked the Lord for them? Do I treat wisdom as royalty? Am I following Christ the King who is made unto me Wisdom (1 Cor. 1:30)? In what ways have I been blessed tangibly and intangibly because of Christ being my wisdom?"

My Bible has a good note on this passage that really sums it up: "True wisdom yields better and more enduring benefits than mere material things. The result of having wisdom is a quality of life full of tranquility and confidence." (The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, AMG Publishers) Seek and live for that which is eternal, not temporal (1 Cor. 4:17-18). In Christ, we are royalty because we are the sons and daughters of the King of kings (John 1:12, Rev. 1:6). Praise God!

What God Thinks About Human Life – Proverbs 28:17

"A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him." Proverbs 28:17

Blood (H1818) – bloodshed, slaughter, the guilt of murder. This Hebrew word is used 360 times in Scripture and can be divided into the two following categories:

a. The violence of shedding blood usually resulting in death such as in war or murder

b. Shedding blood while making a sacrifice to God which always resulted in death and was a picture in the OT of Jesus’ death on the cross as the spotless Lamb of God for the everyone’s sin.

Lexical Aids to the Old Testament, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible

Violence (H6231) – to press upon, oppress, defraud, violate, deceive, do wrong.

Pit (H953) – The Hebrew word for pit is used figuratively here for the grave or death. The Hebrews thought of death as a giant pit (Psalm 28:1, 30:3, 88:4; Isaiah 38:18). – Lexical Aids to the Old Testament, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible

Stay (H8551) – to sustain, maintain, to help, support.

Thus a murder, should not be put in jail for twenty years, he needs capital punishment.

This verse is a great support for capital punishment. To clarify, this verse does not mean that anyone in the armed forces that kills someone in war should be put to death. There is a difference, one is fighting in defense of his country and against oppression. The murder kills for his own selfish end.

I find it interesting that putting someone in jail is not a Biblical punishment. Nowhere in Scripture did God command His people to use prison as a tool of punishment, He only planned on using it on Satan and his angels (Mat. 25:41, Rev. 20:7) . In God’s law for Israel, certain crimes required the death penalty such as for murder, kidnapping, witchcraft, adultery, and rape (Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:16, 22:18; Lev. 20:10, Deut. 22:25). For other crimes, the offender made restitution, received a beating, or sometimes loss a limb or eye (Exodus 22:1-5; Lev. 6:1-5; Deut. 19:16-21; 25:1-3, 11-12). A nation implementing these laws would be much better off. It would certainly solve the problem of overcrowded jails.

So why is capital punishment good? It upholds the value and sanctity of life. Mankind was created in God’s image. Someone violently taking away an innocent person’s life deserves to die (Gen. 9:6). That includes people murdering babies in the womb. God gave the death penalty to anyone who hurt a pregnant woman and caused her baby to die in the womb (Exodus 21:22-23). Human life is extremely valuable. If we do not have God’s perspective on the value of human life, we need to take some time to read and meditate on His Word. The references already mentioned in this ProWisdom Text would be a great place to start. Based upon God’s Word, do you value human life as God values it? We have His image stamped upon us. Consider how much God valued your life.

Just thinking about this verse, makes me realize the awfulness of our sin. I am so grateful that though God gives an idea of what His justice demands, He was showed us His marvelous grace and love. He sent Jesus to die on the cross, though it was our sin that nailed Him there. We were His murderous executioners through our sin. COME TO GRIPS WITH THIS FACT! PERSONALIZE IT. “I was Christ’s murderous executioner; it was my sin that nailed Him to that cruel cross. I did not kill someone just made in the image of God, but God Himself! Yet Jesus love me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so! As Jesus was dying that most horrible death invented in my place, He cried out to His Father, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) Praise God He did not stay dead and rose bodily from the dead three days later, and one day because I have accepted by faith alone the forgiveness Christ offered on the cross and continues to offer today, I will thank and praise Him in heaven for all eternity. Praise God for His grace and mercy! Christ took the capital punishment I deserved and justice demanded on the cross!”

O Lord, help us each individually to value human life as You do, by sharing Your Gospel with everyone we can!