GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS!
Today’s readings are Proverbs 16-18
Y’all, I’m struggling with Proverbs because we are drinking from a fire hose! I simply can’t touch on every verse, there is too much wisdom to discuss it all. As a result, I’ve never quite found my flow with writing Proverbs notes so I hope you can find something helpful in what I do share, regardless of my writing style completely lacking in uniformity.
Things I chose to focus on with my notes today are below:
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from YHWH. Proverbs 16:1
There is a great cross reference verse that helps us to wrap our head around this one.
“When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matthew 10:19-21
It is our nature to make plans, to prepare, to plot out our next steps and possible future. But at the end of the day, we are still dependent upon YHWH for wisdom. The depth to which we realize that – and take action by leaning into and relying on that wisdom, will prove to be one of the most impactful forces on the outcome of our lives.
Who is ultimately in control? This verse is directed to Believers and it reminds us that each day, the most important thing we can do when we wake up is to slide over into the passenger seat.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Proverbs 16:2
Man, ain’t that the truth. Our ways are pure in our own eyes. I can tell you that most of my life my ways were pure and seemed right in my own eyes and I was convinced they were so with the Father as well – until I started reading how He saw things. Even now, I am ever mindful that my own understanding is flawed. We are learning, growing, and He is training us up in His wisdom. Through His Grace, He makes provision for all those who wholeheartedly seek him to stumble and fall along the way from time to time. May we remain humble, malleable in His hands, and with our full focus on His guiding wisdom.
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3
When the Father led me to start what is now our Bible study Facebook group, He wouldn’t tell me why. He has used that group to teach me to follow him step by step, day by day, often having no idea what is coming next until it arrives or just before. It’s a new level of trust and faith and I’m so grateful for it! HE has established my plans – and it’s even more exciting when He tells me what those are!
All of this to say: None of us have it figured out. When the Father calls us to do something, all we have to do is take the step. We don’t even have to know where we are going, when we will arrive, or how we will get there. He will offer training and instruction as we need it along the way. From time to time, He may even let us glance at the roadmap!
Now let us look at that verse in another translation:
Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to YHWH, And your thoughts will be established.
There is an interesting dichotomy between works and faith. The Father tells us that it is not enough just to claim to know Him, we must actually obey and do what He says (Deut 5:1). Messiah says that those who love Him show this love by obeying the commandments (John 14:15). And our Messiah’s brother tells us that faith without works is a dead faith (James 2:17-18) and that he will show his faith by his works.
Yet the world tells us that to try to practice obedience and good works nullifies our salvation by trying to earn it – even though YHWH, Messiah, and all of the apostles have always been clear that salvation cannot be earned. One of these sources is lying to us. And tragically, it is the one that most people trust in the most. If we love Him, it will naturally manifest itself in our actions and our desire to follow Him. Good trees bear good fruit. Show me your faith apart from works and I’ll show you my faith by my works. James 2:18
Addendum: Where is this coming from? Y’all, I actually hear this all the time. Whenever I talk about the ten commandments, keeping them, and what a blessing humbling myself to obey YHWH has been. It is a very heavy handed focus of a few small denominations and I get messages about it, emails, have even received letters to my home telling me I’m trying to earn my salvation by obeying the Father. Now I want to be clear: To dissuade someone from walking in obedience to YHWH is not of YHWH (Matthew 5:19) but blessedly it is a small number who have been taught this and great is the awakening of the Father in showing the truth of His word to all who would seek Him. Just so you know, this is personal for me. It’s personal for Him, too. And so it should be for all Believers and followers of our precious Messiah.
Commit your works to the Father. From there, He will help to ensure that your thoughts and heart follow. Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit.
For a large group of Believers coming out of Babylon today, there is a need to stop letting the world make us feel bad for wanting to obey the Father’s instructions, walk as Messiah walked, and do good things in the Father’s name. And stop believing that the Father doesn’t desire that.
It’s not the me show, it’s the HE show.
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
No matter how many times we’ve read the Bible, no matter how many verses we can quote by memory, no matter how many decades we’ve sat in a church pew, and no matter how many accolades the world bestows upon us, we must never lose sight of the fact that all good things come from one source – and that is not ourselves. It is always, always, always, always, Him. To YHWH be the glory.
Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
From a Biblical perspective, do we take pleasure in pondering His word? Do we take pleasure in reading His instructions and wisdom and taking time to turn them over in our mind? Thinking of them when we rise and as we go about our day and when we lay down again at night? Deut 6:6-9 If the answer is no, be honest and take it to the Father. Ask Him to put that desire and love for His wisdom in your heart. He has so many gifts to give us, but for many of them, He waits until we ask.
From a worldly perspective, do we form an opinion based on whatever source we have and then use that as our excuse to clash with anyone who is not of that same opinion – or do we seek to put ourselves in their shoes and see the world through their eyes in an attempt to build bridges to our brother and become a better witness for the light of the Father which is within us? This particular proverb could be a response to the majority of posts and comment threads made on Facebook on any given day.
Most of our translations make Proverbs 18:10 ironic. Can you spot why? Click here to view that verse in the interlinear version on Biblehub. It is ironic that a text declaring the importance of His name made sure to remove His name. A gentle reminder that, when left to our own devices, we can mess up the simplest of things He puts us in charge of.
It’s impossible not to notice how circular Proverbs is. This book shares wisdom and then a verse or two later rephrase it and share the same wisdom again, then a chapter later, it circles back to that same wisdom, shared in another way. This is very much like YHWH when He speaks. He is often repetitive.
As a parent, when do we repeat ourselves? When it is important. So when I see the Father Himself say something more than once, I sit up extra straight! It is the same throughout His word, not just when His voice is speaking.
A personal note from me: This part of the Bible is always hard to write about because it is the same points over and over and over and leaves me feeling like I’m beating a dead horse when I write about it over and over. But you know what? God is the one making those same points over and over and we’re just here reading and talking about them. I know that I have personally benefitted from the Father’s patient, persistent repetition and still do, to this day. His wisdom runs deeper than any of us can ever imagine so if you feel like you’ve already “got” something, hang around because He offers advanced lessons on all subject matter. Once you graduate the advanced class, there are more levels still.
The comfort and encouragement found in His repetition should serve as a persistent reminder to us that He has not stopped forming us, molding us, building us up, we are being held in His hands as He works. Nothing is wasted. The father uses it all in this blessed process of renewing our spirits and drawing us so close that it is His spirit within us choosing the steps we take each and every moment. Y’all, if He repeats Himself time and again, just remember – this is personal for Him. He loves us that much.
May we write these words on our heart as we set our eyes firmly upon following the Father!
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
1 John 2:3-6
Let’s go do our Messiah proud and love on people today.
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!