Human beings disappoint, so we become wary and find it hard to trust. Politicians aren’t the only ones who fail to carry through with promises. Friends, colleagues, and family members also let us down.
For the latter groups, we need large doses of forgiveness and, sometimes, confrontation about their perfidy, in order to give them opportunity to change.
Looking inward, we discover we ourselves have also made promises that we couldn’t keep or that we decided to disregard.
Here is Zerr‘s comment on Pro 15.13, “A joyful heart makes the face cheerful, but by a painful heart the spirit is broken.”
“This verse is a statement of facts known to almost everyone. It may be asked why take up space in the Bible with something everyone knows. It is for the implied advice it contains. It should always be our desire to be pleasant in mingling with other people, and to that end we should cultivate a cheerful mind. If we imagine there is nothing about which to be cheerful, just “count your many blessings” and you may be surprised at what the Lord has done for you, and change your mind.”
NET Bible notes C.H Toy’s observation that “a cheerful face shows a courageous spirit.”
It takes courage in the Lord to have a joyful heart as one surveys the ruin that man has made of this present world.
As in all Scripture, Pro 9 presents two ways, and two invitations, that of wisdom and that of folly. The invitations are personified. Both have a location, invitation, and meal, but the invitations lead to opposite results, life, v 6, and death, v 7. Continue reading →
Israel was God’s special nation among the pagans. It was a nation in the true sense of the word, with government, land, borders, states (tribes), and a population based on birth.
As such, the government was supposed to represent God’s will and promote it among the people. The government was first made up of judges and prophets. Then the people demanded to be ruled by a king, like the Gentiles. The king should encourage justice and righteousness and quickly punish evildoers. Continue reading →
Just now, a good friend posted an image on, where else?, Facebook with an elderly couple kissing over the text of Pro 24.26: “He who gives an honest answer gives a kiss on the lips.” (Not sure which version was used, but was close to this one, HCSB.)
The practice of that time, apparently, was for men to kiss men on the lips in greetings (as is practiced still in some cultures today), so that the kiss on the lips was a sign of true friendship. Continue reading →