Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Proverbs 13-15
Do y’all remember when I challenged you to write out the Ten Commandments back in Exodus? I noticed the same thing each year we do that: Most folks do not write the commandments as God spoke them, they write them as the world has taught them. Even looking at the exact Scripture, at the direct passages, we automatically reduce, condense, and shorten His words to a series of one liners. And you know, I completely get this. Because Believers have been taught the world’s version of the ten commandments. Simplified, easier to remember, with the glaring absence of emphasis and details that YHWH felt were important enough to include. The world’s version of the ten commandments is not what we find in the Bible – but most of us, whether currently or in the past, have had times in our life where we didn’t even notice the difference.
I want to be clear here, I’m not condemning anyone as I’ve done this exact same thing. In many cases, it’s what we’ve been taught our whole lives. In fact, just a couple of years ago I decided to write the ten commandments on a doorframe in my house. Since there are ten, I decided that I would write five on one side and five on the other and they would be perfectly balanced. Boy, was I thrown to find that a single commandment took up more room than most of the others combined! It was a shocking awakening for me and I sat there, reading those commandments in awe at how much I had missed that was plainly before me all of my life.
We have been conditioned to only see what we are told is there.
I am challenging myself today and I want to challenge you as well, to ask for the Father’s help in SEEING His word. I want to give you an example that may feel a bit extreme but I assure you it perfectly demonstrates our takeaway under the world’s tutelage. We have to realize that we have been conditioned to only see what we are told is there and this filter is so ingrained within us that someone can give us a paragraph like this:
16 This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16
And if they ask us to write that down, we might write the single sentence below with complete confidence that we’ve written the entire paragraph:
Look for the paths.
Father, as we seek you, help us to realize when our vision is so blurred that we don’t see you standing directly before us.
For further food to digest along with this, check out these verses: Deut 12:32 and Deut 4:2.
Moving on. ❤️
Pay attention to how many times throughout our readings (and the whole Bible) where we are cautioned, instructed, and urged to control our tongue and choose our words wisely. We will see more of that today.
From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good. Proverbs 13:2
This is an interesting analogy and I really enjoyed turning it over in my mind. When we speak, we are bringing forth fruit. If that fruit is born from YHWH’s wisdom, it will be sweet and honoring. If it is rotted, it will leave a bad taste to us and all those we serve it (our words) to. Proverbs 13:3 reiterates the importance of our words.
Note that we ingest the fruit of our own words first and foremost. I do what I call daily “fruit checks” on my actions, my thoughts, and my life to make sure I’m lining up with the word. If done daily, the inevitably needed course corrections are much less painful!
At this point in my notes I went off on a significant tangent and it ended up being far too important of a topic for me to include it as a mere mention in my notes, so I am going to save that for a featured post on it’s own.
Here are a few quick bullet points from the remainder of my notes:
Proverbs 14:2 Whoever walks in uprightness fears YHWH.
Notice this doesn’t say whoever walks in uprightness commands YHWH, and yet how many Believers go about their day and spend their time of “worship” ordering Him around as if He was their servant and not the other way around?
A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding. Proverbs 14:6
Yup, go to the book, the whole book, open it up in the beginning and read. Pretty easy but, historically, one of the most neglected ways to gain understanding and wisdom.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
I can attest to this, having sought both my own path and now the Father’s.
Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
Fruit check! You can’t be a follower of YHWH without walking in YHWH’s ways. Messiah agrees. Matthew 7:17-18
(Hint: Messiah always agrees with YHWH. I know this seems obvious but as we go forward in our readings and studying of His word, you’ll be surprised at the subtle ways the world has taught people to believe differently).
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger…
Proverbs has a lot of verses in this same line of thinking and it’s so needed in our culture today. I want to encourage you, when folks are acting as antagonizers, attacking your beliefs or challenging your judgement on something, etc, make it your goal not to be offended. (Proverbs 14:29 says Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding). Instead, be patient with them. Sometimes, when we are walking out YHWH’s path differently from someone else, others will see us doing that and feel a conviction. Sometimes, when we are following what YHWH’s Word clearly instructs us to do and another person has chosen not to, they may even get angry and feel compelled to convince us that we are wrong so that they can feel right.
In these moments we need to remind ourselves that we are not seeking to be right – we are seeking what is right – and HE is the source of right. Each of us are works in progress.
Times like this are when my friend, Donna will say “You’ve disturbed their demons.” and that helps us to realize that there are often battles within those around us that have nothing to do with us. I want to encourage you to not be offended. Remain gentle, kind, and loving. Don’t engage, don’t fight back, just let it go. Eventually they will grow tired of arguing with themselves and, if you’ve maintained your grace and kindness, when they begin seeking the truth they will remember you as a safe place. And in that act of obedience on your part today, you could help build the bridge the prodigal son crosses on his way back home tomorrow.
And YHWH will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!