He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour. (Proverb 21:21)
What a most wonderful proverb! Full of the warmth of God's wisdom. It provides meat for the soul; embracing all our difficulties, enlightning life's sometimes questionable path with an enduring presence of Father God's love.
As I sit here writing this message, I can observe a mother bird feeding her newborn "chicks". Realizing that now they will be accustomed to the types of food that they will eat here after. They are totally dependent on their parents. As the bird returns to the nest, a choice has to be made which one of the four chicks will receive the precious cargo or have to wait for the next journey. Of course the hungriest and the loudest seem to win the prize.
Take a look at this proverb. Righteousness and mercy will produce life, righteousness, and honor. Our righteousness is not enough. We also have to demonstrate mercy. As the Holy Ghost brings the food of God's word to our soul, we will then know how to feed others. God will honor with his parenting character. The quoting of the Scriptures is not what others need. It is our living of them.
As food enhances the physical body with power to live and grow; so much more does the living of "the word of God" gives us a divine power to be called, "the children of God!" Praise the Lord!
A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. (Proverb 29:23)
As this proverb is being read, most readers will give an Amen even before they have finished reading all its context. This may result in keywords being overlooked. One's 20/20 spiritual vision could become blindness, resulting in the heavy suitcase of pride being added to the already overwhelming weights of this life.
A careful look at the beauty of this gem, will bring us to the undisputed fact that everyone has pride! Humility is not a state of mind, but a practice in the spirit or one's character. The apostle Paul advises, "what can man boast of that God has not given to him?" Or what can I give to God that he hasn't given to us first? When we realize this, and live its reality day by day; then pride can never find its residents in us. Only the humble in spirit can occupy this neighborhood whose streets are paved and upheld with God's honor and love. Praise the Lord!
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverb 15:3)
Sometimes it's hard to believe that God is seeing everything. There are times when it seems that there are no rules. Day by day men's wills are being exercised without any reasoning of right or wrong. They are void of the fear of the Lord and are unaware why they have been created. So masked are Father God's eyes that even the cleverest of persons sometimes forgets that HE is watching!
One of the joys of exercising God's gifts is that when I am praying for people, the spirit of the Lord will talk about their personal lives. So impressed is the hearer, that sometimes they are surprised that God knows! The Bible is not a lifeless book of yesteryear. Exactly what God did in his inspired word, he does today; seeing all, knowing all and pertaining to all. His presence is unlocked through faith. Fully persuaded that if his eyes are watching, his person will be there also. Jesus said, "behold, I stand at the door and knock." As we open our hearts, the floodgates will open and he will embrace our every need. Praise the Lord!
The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.(Proverb 28:1)
Once again we see the wisdom of Almighty God, the character of man, along with an open display of Father God's advice.
As we observe the manner in which others handle life in general, conclusions are drawn. Why even a child is known by his doings. (Proverbs 20:11) Here we find a deeper awareness and importance for having a strong foundation. For no other foundation can we build upon for success than that which has already then laid, Jesus Christ! (1 Corinthians 3:11) So, what happens in this life's almost seemingly endless journey that would bring about such a difference in character?
I'm reminded of times in my walk of faith when God had called upon me and others to be strong and do exploits. (Daniel 11:32) However, no sooner than the work of God had begun many fled. As I observed other areas in their life, the same pattern existed. Instead of the word of God producing a holy boldness; a weak character of surrender seemed to steal away blessing after blessing.
The lion knows his position. When he roars, others are reminded of his God-given abilities and authority. Jesus is referred to as, "The lion of Judah," in the book of Revelation. (Revelation 5:5) As his offspring, our role should reflect the same. Praise the Lord!
If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. (Proverb 24:10 )
Yes the day of adversity! In the book of Job, God has said, "Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward." (Job 5:7). But here we find a sure word of encouragement: strength!
About 39 years ago I was encouraging another pastor named Jonathan. He seemed to float in and out of being a strong spiritual, "man of God." As we Fellowship on a regular weekly basis, he seemed to handle his shepherding duties just fine. The Lord Jesus called me away for a season. Upon returning, I attended a gathering of the saints. No sooner was I in the room, when Jonathan came running to me, embraced me and said, "thank God you're back!" He looked as if he was being chased by a mob. I realize he had fainted because of the adversary. Jonathan was going on his own strength and terror was gripping him.
Beloved if you take time with God, he will be there in the times you need him most. As Jonathan and I conversed, the Holy Ghost enlighted the above proverb to him. Jesus explained that it was not our strength we live by, but by every word that has proceeded out of the mouth of God. This is where everyone finds their strength in times of adversity. Praise the Lord!
Dr. Thomas Snyder