THE OUTSIDER thirteen-reasons-to-keep-living_021 Waging War - Heather Freeman IS THERE A REBEL IN THE HOUSE
Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored ninety-two books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

2 Timothy 3:16-17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be fully competent, equipped for every good work.

Christian living is carried out through the study and application of God’s Word, in which, our spirit (mental disposition), is in harmony with God’s Spirit. Our day-to-day decisions are made with a biblical mind, a biblically-guided conscience, and a heart that is motivated by love of God and neighbor. Because we have received, treasured, have been attentive, inclining our heart to understanding, calling out for insight, raising our voice for understanding, sought it like silver, have searched for it like gold, we have come to understand the fear of Jehovah, and have found the very knowledge of God, which now leads and directs us daily in our Christian walk.

Christian Families that Pleases God

Proverbs 22:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it [generally speaking].

22:6, 15 This verse is popularly debated on two fronts. Some take v. 6a to mean, “Train a child in accordance with his nature,” meaning that the teacher must take into account the idiosyncrasies of the child and customize the method of training accordingly. Others, including the NIV, take it to mean simply that one should train a child in the way he should go.408 A better interpretation is, loosely rendered, “Train a child in a manner befitting a child.”409 In other words, one should train a child using vocabulary, concepts, and illustrations a child can understand. It does not mean that instruction should be tailor-made for each individual child (however valid that concept may be) but that one should begin instructing a child in elementary principles of right and wrong as soon as possible.

Another contention is whether “and when he is old” implies he will come back to the right way in later years after a period of straying or whether it simply means that he will faithfully persevere in the right way. “Old” here does not mean after he is “elderly,” however; the point, after v. 6a, is that he will build on the fundamental principles as he grows up and persevere in the right way. The whole could be translated, “Train a child in a manner befitting a child, and even as he grows old he will not turn from it.”

Verse 15 is fairly clear. In conjunction with v. 6, it implies that if one gets the folly out of a child in the beginning, the child will continue in the right way.[1]

Proverbs 29:15-16 English Standard Version (ESV)

15 The rod [of parental authority] and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.

29:15–17 Discipline must be maintained at home and in society at large. In this parallel text vv. 15, 17 concern the former, and vv. 16, 18 concern the latter. Verses 15, 17 set up a simple contrast: those who do not discipline their children suffer grievous embarrassment; those who do will be at ease80 (able to trust their children) and delighted with the children’s growth and accomplishments.81

Verse 16a, literally, “When the wicked increase, rebellion increases,” repeats the notion that as ruthless people come to the forefront, society begins to experience widespread moral decay. Verse 16b, however, gives the assurance that those who stay in the right way will yet see the fall of evildoers. A contrast between immoral society and the moral individual is more pronounced in v. 18, which establishes the need for people to submit to the word of God. It implies that people at large may cast off restraint when free of prophetic sermons, but one can still follow the law.[2]

Colossians 3:21 Amplified Bible (AMP)

21 Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.]

3:21. Just as the authority of the husband is not to lead to harshness with the wife, the authority of fathers is not to lead to the kind of behavior that will embitter [their] children. Embitter means “to provoke or irritate.” The Christian father is not to overcorrect or harass his children, or they will become discouraged, which refers to “a listless, sullen resignation—a broken spirit.” To be discouraged as a child means to think things like, I’ll never get it right, or, All he does is criticize, or, He’ll never love me. John Newton is reported to have said, “I know that my father loved me—but he did not seem to wish me to see it.” Christian fathers should be sure their children are as sure of their love as they are of their authority.[3]

Ephesians 5:28-32 Amplified Bible (AMP)

28 Even so husbands should and are morally obligated to love their own wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own body, but [instead] he nourishes and protects and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members (parts) of His body.31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined[and be faithfully devoted] to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery [of two becoming one] is great; but I am speaking with reference to [the relationship of] Christ and the church.

5:28–32. After having presented the work of Christ for the church, Paul now comes back to the reality of husband-wife relationships. He repeats the fact that husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. Even though the husband lives in an imperfect body, he loves it, nourishes it, and cherishes it. So he is to do the same for his wife, even though she is imperfect.

Paul repeats Genesis 2:24, establishing that a husband and wife are to become one flesh, and closes by restating that the relationship between the wife and a husband is like the relationship between Christ and the church.[4]

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Ephesians 5:22-24, 33 Amplified Bible (AMP)

22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as [a service] to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as Christ is head of the church, Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives should be subject to their husbands in everything [respecting both their position as protector and their responsibility to God as head of the house]. 33 However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].

5:22–24. The wife is to be subject to her husband as to the Lord. This does not mean that she submits to her husband in the same way and to the same degree as she does the Lord, since the husband might ask her to disobey God. Rather she serves the Lord by having a submissive heart toward her husband and by obeying him as long as it does not require her to disobey the Lord. The reason she is called upon to be subject to her husband is that the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. As the church is to be subject to Christ, so the wife is to be subject to her husband. This subjection does not mean inferiority. It is clear that male and female are both created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) and that in Christ, where personal worth is concerned, there is “neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). However, in the overall scheme of things, God has placed all of us in differing positions of authority and submission. The man may be in authority at home but submissive at work. The woman may be in submission at home and in authority at work. The point is, all social order depends on people’s willingness to work together and ability to determine who is the head of certain endeavors. God’s intention is that the husband be the head of the relationship with his wife.

5:33. After discussing the role of the husband, Paul comes back in a summary statement in verse 33 to add that the wife is to respect her husband. In summary, she is to be subject to her husband and to respect him. Respect (phobetai) literally means “fear.” It can refer, however, to the fear a person should have before God, a reverence and respect (Luke 1:50; 18:2; Acts 10:35; 1 Pet. 2:17; Rev. 14:7; 19:5). This type of reverence and regard should characterize the relationship of a wife and her husband.[5]

Proverbs 15:22 Amplified Bible (AMP)

22 Where there is no counsel, purposes are frustrated, but with many counselors they are accomplished.

15:22. Even on a personal lever, the same principle operates. When we seek no counsel, our purposes will be disappointed. But when we seek much counsel, our purposes will be established.[6]

Proverbs 20:5 New Living Translation (NLT)

5 Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out.

20:5 To say that a person’s purposes are “deep” (v. 5) does not mean that they are necessarily profound, as in the English expression “still waters run deep.” The metaphor is of a well whose waters are far beneath the surface of the ground so that one must use a bucket with a long rope to draw water to the surface. Thus a person’s real motives are “deep” in that they are difficult to extract; one must be wary of the pretenses of others.[7]

20:5 Purposes (עֵצָה, ˓ēṣāh) is the same word used in 19:21 to describe God’s work. Deep waters is a positive image of that which is profound (see comment on 18:4). Such profound insights often lie buried within an individual. However, in the company of a man of understanding, such insights are drawn out. In other words, it takes wisdom to expose the valuable insights of others. This saying affirms a fundamental principle of wisdom: wisdom is not gained in isolation but in relationship with others.[8]

Matthew 19:19 Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 He said to Jesus, “Which commandments?” And Jesus answered, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not give false testimony;19 Honor your father and mother; and love your neighbor as yourself” [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].

19:18–19. The man’s next question revealed his misunderstanding still further. He did not understand that God required absolute perfection. He seemed to presume that God graded on a curve and that his “goodness” was better than many. Jesus let this man know that anything less than perfection is no “good” at all. A righteous man would have to keep all of the commandments perfectly. The man, grasping for possibilities, assumed that there must be some special set of commandments that made a person particularly righteous.

Jesus listed some of the commandments. His listing of the fifth through the ninth of the Ten Commandments, together with love your neighbor as yourself from Leviticus 19:18 (cf. Matt. 22:34–40) was intended not as an exhaustive list of all commandments necessary for eternal life but as a representative sample. The man would need to keep all of the Old Testament commandments. Even this “short list” would be understood as impossible for anyone.[9]

THE POWER OF GOD Let God Use You to Solve Your PROBLEMS PROMISES OF GODS GUIDANCE

Proverbs 23:22 English Standard Version (ESV)

22 Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

23:22–25 To buy the truth (v. 23) does not mean to pay money for it. Rather it means for one to invest mental, emotional, and spiritual resources in pursuing it (see 17:16). Even though the primary referent of this instruction is the youth, the admonition describes the reciprocal relationship that exists in healthy families. Parents bestow life in its fullest sense (biological, spiritual, and moral) on children. In return, children bestow honor on father and mother. After children have spent years pursuing wisdom, discipline and understanding, parents experience the final reward of satisfaction and joy (v. 24). It is only in the context of such healthy reciprocity and mutual respect that sages envisioned the use of corporal punishment (vv. 13–14).[10]

Proverbs 19:26 Amplified Bible (AMP)

26 He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.

19:26 The proverb describes how the conduct of children can bring disgrace on the whole house (cf. 28:24).[11]

Proverbs 18:1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 He who willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment.

18:1 The saying in verse 1 is difficult to translate. As such, a reader will find quite a variety of meanings when comparing English translations. The NIV translates the Hebrew word פָּרַד (pārad, “to separate”) as unfriendly, understanding it to refer to a person who removes him or herself from others. Literally the Hebrew text reads, “a separated person seeks his own desire.” The sense is of one who goes his or her own way. Such a person does not acknowledge the value of community.

The second line intensifies the first and describes “the separated one” as breaking out against conventional wisdom. As the NIV puts it, he defies all sound judgment (תּוּשִׁיָּה, tûšîyāh, or “sound wisdom”; see 2:7; 3:21; 8:14; 18:1 for use of this same phrase). The description is of persons who isolate themselves from the community because they do not need the insights or understanding of others. They are sufficient unto themselves. Clifford translates the verse, “An estranged person seeks his own will, rails against wisdom.” He concludes that “… excessive devotion to one’s own ideas is an obstacle to prudent decision making.”[12]

HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR BAD HABITS-1 GOD WILL GET YOU THROUGH THIS YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Appropriate Use of Alcohol Pleases God

Ecclesiastes 10:19 New Living Translation (NLT)

19 A party gives laughter, wine gives happiness, and money gives everything! [Money is required to enjoy life, but there is a personal accountability on how it is spent.]

10:18–20 These verses move us from the Teacher’s final political comments to his final remarks on wealth (11:1–6). As such they relate to both discussions. The proverb of v. 18 can obviously apply equally well to the administration of the whole state and the private economy of one’s household. Verse 19 should be rendered, “People prepare food for pleasure, and wine makes life joyful, but money pays for both.” The point is that at least some money is essential for enjoying life, and steps must therefore be taken to insure that the economy (be it national or personal) is sound.

In v. 20 it is possible that the phrase “in your thoughts” should be rendered “among your friends.” In either case it counsels the reader to give due deference to both kings (i.e., political power) and the wealthy (i.e., economic power). With this the transition is complete, and the Teacher moves into his concluding remarks on financial prudence.[13]

Proverbs 31:4-7 English Standard Version (ESV)

It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to take strong drink,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;
let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.

31:4–7 Verses 4–7 advise the king to maintain sobriety in order to carry out the work of establishing justice in the kingdom. The queen-mother does not recommend a free beer program for the poor or justify its use as an opiate for the masses; her point is simply that the king must avoid drunkenness in order to reign properly. The comparison to the suffering poor and to their use of alcohol is meant to awaken Lemuel to the duties that go with his class and status rather than to describe some kind of permissible drunkenness.[14]

Proverbs 20:1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a riotous brawler; and whoever errs or reels because of it is not wise.

Proverbs 20:1 is an afterword that employs the catchword “mocker.” It does not describe the human mocker but calls wine a mocker. The point here is probably that mockers are prone to consume this mocking beverage in excess and that drinking in excess in turn degrades one’s respect for authority and propriety.[15]

Proverbs 23:29-35 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

29 To whom is woe? To whom is sorrow? To whom are quarrels? To whom is complaint?
To whom are wounds without cause? To whom is redness of the eyes?
30 To those who linger over wine,
to those who come to try mixed wine.
31 Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles on the cup,
going down smoothly.
32 In the end, it will bite like a serpent,
and it will sting like an adder.
33 [Under the influence of wine] your eyes will see strange things, [and loose women]
and your heart will speak perverse things [untrue, incorrect, and petulant].
34 And you will be [as unsteady] like him who lies down in the heart of the sea,
and [as open to disaster] like him who lies down on top of a mast.
35 “They struck me; I was not hurt. They beat me [as with a hammer]; I did not know it.
When I will awake, I will continue; I will seek it again [and escape reality].”

23:29–35 This poem is a small masterpiece; it is surely the most effective combination lampoon and lament over the sorry state of the drunkard. Although the precise meaning of a few phrases is uncertain,437 the text describes with profound accuracy and bite the pathetic physical and emotional decline of those addicted to alcohol. Wine (and in modern society, illicit drugs) brings physical pain and debilitation, exhausts one’s resources, takes away mental acuity, and yet leaves one craving for more of the same. “Lingering over” alcohol (vv. 30–31) describes those who derive comfort and security in knowing that a glass of wine is at hand, ready to deaden the senses. In the end, however, it only leaves people more confused and in deeper pain than ever before (vv. 32–35a).[16]

REASONABLE FAITH Why Me_ THE CHURCH CURE

Financial Responsibility Pleases God

Proverbs 23:20-21 English Standard Version (ESV)

20 Be not among drunkards
or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and slumber will clothe them with rags.

23:19–21 Those who live like Shakespeare’s Falstaff soon exhaust their resources. Christians should note that both drunkenness and gluttony are condemned. We often eschew the former and practice the latter.[17]

Proverbs 28:19 English Standard Version (ESV)

19 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.

28:19 While not condemning possessions in themselves, Proverbs always rejects greed. It contrasts financial prudence, diligence, and generosity with the desire for quick and easy money. Greed can be manifested in unrealistic business enterprises (v. 19), accepting bribes (v. 21), ingratiating oneself with powerful people (v. 23), taking from one’s parents (v. 24), and general greediness (vv. 22, 25). “Fantasies” is perhaps too specific a translation in v. 19. The Hebrew only describes someone who follows “empty pursuits.” It could refer to idle fantasies, but it also could be unprofitable occupations or business speculations. The point of the verse is that hard work is the only way to prosperity; anything else is a waste of time. McKane observes that in this verse agriculture is viewed as making “a basic contribution to the stability and health of the community.”[18]

1 Timothy 6:7-10 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

For we have brought nothing into the world, so that neither can we bring anything out. But if we have food and clothing, with these things we will be content. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and a trap and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge those people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all evil, by which some, because they desire it, have gone astray from the faith and have pierced themselves with many [mental] pains.

6:7–8. Paul next provided some logic and reasonableness to his assertion that money and material wealth are unworthy goals: we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. No one comes into the world all dressed up clutching a shopping catalog. Nothing we own will follow us into the next world. We end life as we started it—empty-handed.

So in the interim, if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. For Christians, God’s “divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet. 1:3). Add clothing, given man’s need for covering and protection; then add food, given the human need for physical development and health. Now we are set.

Paul was not developing a philosophy that equates the material word with evil. He was not advocating a Christian culture that requires poverty. He was drawing a definite line between possessions and true contentment. The former has no bearing on the latter.

6:9. Paul continued to add evidence supporting his statement that money and possessions do not add up to personal satisfaction. He described for his readers the downward spiral into which money and materialism pull an individual. It begins because those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap.

Money opens a whole new world of possibilities. I spoke once with a friend who remarked that when he and his wife were first married and had little money, they never went to the malls, never flipped through catalogs. They spent their time on walks, playing softball, sitting together reading. Later, as their income level rose, they began buying a few luxuries, acquired a mortgage, had to add to their insurance payments. They suddenly saw a lot more things they could buy, a lot more objects that drew their attention, time, and resources.

These “things” can be kept in balance, but it requires a constant critique of our daily living and choices. Balance demands an objective understanding of our culture’s values and the ways money can entice us. If extreme care is not taken, the temptations that money can buy can entrap us into the values and pleasures which Satan peddles.

Once we become vulnerable to temptation, it is easier to fall into many foolish and harmful desires. Compromise leads to participation. James outlined this same process: “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin” (Jas. 1:14–15). Many people have lost their integrity or abandoned their faith for fifteen minutes in the spotlight or for a little sensual pleasure.

Such things plunge men into ruin and destruction. Just as true gain is spiritual in nature, true ruin and destruction are spiritual as well.

Our deepest joys and well-being are to be found in God’s kingdom. We are to be content with God—period. In the Old Testament, the Levitical priesthood received no portion in the division of the land; their portion was God himself as they served before him day after day (Num. 18:20). Under the new covenant, Christians are priests unto God (1 Pet. 2:5). He alone is our inheritance. The question comes back to us, “Will we be content with him?”

Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). He was not talking about houses and lands, bank accounts or cars. Though he is the giver of all good gifts (Jas. 1:17), his dearest gifts are of the soul.

6:10. This verse begins with some first-century folk wisdom, a saying common in Paul’s day: the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

Money is not the only cause of misfortune and evil, but it is a powerful one. Love of money is the root, the life support for a variety of wrongs and destructive behaviors.

Look candidly at life. From a love of money grow thistles which choke out abundant living:

•   The businessman determines to secure advancements and higher salaries, neglects his family, and loses their love and affection.

•   The dreamer thinks he can gamble and make a fortune, hoping never to work again. He keeps trying, wasting his resources in hopes of a big win, losing friends and dignity instead.

•   The housewife habitually buys new furniture and redecorates her home, neglecting to tithe or give to others because her comforts have made her insensitive to those in need.

•   The pimp sells drugs or sex for the sake of money, fancy cars, expensive clothes.

•   The guy down the street steals from others, his desire for things ruining his sense of personal worth.

•   The mercenary kills for the sake of cash.

•   A woman complains, gossips about a neighbor, snaps at her children and husband, making herself and those around her miserable because she is envious, bitter over what she does not have, always wanting more.

In order to end the evil behavior, each person must dig out its root—the love of money.

The drive for money can destroy relationships, resulting in immoral decisions and compromise. It can also bring spiritual ruin. Paul noted that some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith.

Today our entire culture is built upon the accumulation of wealth and material possessions. It determines the success or failure of presidents. It is the foundation of free enterprise, the principle behind our system of credit cards and debt, banking, and loans. It is what drives the advertising, music, entertainment, and sports industries. Materialism and personal wealth are hammered into our thinking every day all day long.

It is easy to put Christian ministry, personal godliness, acts of justice and charity, and sacrificial giving on the peripheries of life—to see no connection between these Christian “ideals” and life as we experience it. The truth is that there is no compatibility.

Even so, we are forced to decide which offers truth and which offers illusions, which brings contentment and peace, and which leads to frustration and emptiness. It seems simple on the surface, but in our daily decisions the choices become hard; it is far easier to compromise then rationalize. Resistance to wealth’s temptations becomes difficult. Though we would never deny the faith, it is easier (though just as deadly) to wander from it.

Paul’s warning should not be minimized. Those who love money and wander from the faith have pierced themselves with many griefs.

Just as the rich young ruler who questioned Jesus was brought to a point of decision, so are we. It becomes a choice as to whether we will trust in God or the stuff around us. God allows us to make the choice. The young ruler decided to keep his riches. He walked away a wealthy man … but sad (Mark 10:17–24). There is always a price to be paid.

Paul was not against the drive to accomplish or the ambition to make a difference in the world or on the job. The Bible states clearly that we are to work hard, to be model employees or employers. But money should not be the driving force. It should be God’s glory that pushes us—love of people, the mission of the church, our devotion to Christ.[19]

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Luke 12:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)

15 And He said to them, Guard yourselves and keep free from all [greediness] (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs.

12:15. Not making a legal judgment, Jesus did make a moral one. Your request shows how greedy you are, he told the man. Lay aside your greed. Think about life. What is most important to you? Money or relationship with God? Surely, your life is more important than what you own.[20]

Proverbs 6:6-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Which having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
11 your poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and your want like an armed man. [making you helpless].

6:6–11 The ants are models of diligence in that they work tirelessly in spite of having no taskmaster to goad them on, and they prepare for the winter in spite of having no administration to lay out economic plans. Wisdom literature often examines the natural world for moral lessons. Laziness leads to inescapable poverty and ruin. Instead of poverty coming “like a bandit” and an “armed man,” it is better to translate v. 11 to say that poverty will come like a “vagabond” and a “beggar.”120 The point is not that it will attack suddenly, like armed robbers in ambush. Rather, poverty and indebtedness cling to the slothful like incorrigible beggars who always linger about the house and always want more. Laziness will siphon off resources until the indolent have nothing left.[21]

Luke 14:28 Amplified Bible (AMP)

28 For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it?

14:28–30. Discipleship is not a hasty decision. You become a disciple only after you have carefully analyzed the changes it will bring in your life. It is like starting a building project. You must budget for it and see that you can finish it. No one wants a half-finished tower. If you have what it takes, go for it. Otherwise, do not subject yourself to the disappointment of starting the discipleship journey and having to turn back when you are only halfway there. People will laugh and ridicule you. Those whom you thought you could leave behind, you now return to, only to find they have rejected and made fun of you. Count the cost. Be ready to pay the cost. Take up your cross.[22]

Ecclesiastes 7:12 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

12 For wisdom offers protection like money offers protection.
But knowledge has an advantage—wisdom restores life to its possessor.

7:11–12 Verse 11a should be translated, “Wisdom, with an inheritance, is good.”165 Even the wise prefer prosperity to poverty. Those who possess both money and wisdom are under the protection of both.166 The superiority of wisdom, however, is that it guides one through difficult times and thus preserves life. Money, to the contrary, often vanishes in hard times.[23]

Proverbs 22:29 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

29 A man who is skillful in his work, you shall see:
before kings, he will serve;
he will not serve before the commoners.

22:29 Quality work deserves recognition. This is a verse for those unwilling to stop at what seems good enough in job performance and push on to doing it right.[24]

Luke 6:38 Amplified Bible (AMP)

38 Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.

6:37–38. Perhaps you had a different job description in mind when you decided to follow Jesus. You would join him in judging the world. You would point out all the evil people to God so he could give them what they deserve. God’s ways are different. You experienced them from him. No judgment. No condemnation. No heaping punishment on others. Forgive! Give! Use fair, generous measuring cups to sell something to someone else.

Yes, be generous in what you give to others. God will give you the same kind of measure you give others.[25]

Proverbs 11:25 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

25 A person of blessing will be enriched,
and he who gives water also will be refreshed.

11:23–27 It is axiomatic that greedy and selfish people, epitomized in Western literature as Mr. Scrooge, are hated by the populace at large while generous people gain love and respect. What the hoarder fails to realize, however, is that in the economy of God the greedy ultimately lose even the material things they try so hard to keep while the benevolent only prosper more and more. Verses 23, 27 closely parallel each other234 and form an inclusio around vv. 24–26, all of which center on the theme of generosity and selfishness. The inclusio states the general truth that one receives back according to one’s own behavior while vv. 24–26 deal with the concrete issue of hoarding. Those who hoard by refusal either to give (v. 24)235 or to sell (v. 26) finally face not only widespread hatred (v. 26) but the poverty they dread as well (v. 24). The generous only have greater and greater prosperity (v. 25).[26]

Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Send out your bread on the water,
for in many days you will find it.
Divide your share in seven or in eight,
for you do not know what disaster will happen on the earth.  [Living in the light of the limits of human knowledge, the uncertainties of life]

This is not an exhortation to charity but advice on investments. To cast bread upon the waters is to engage in commercial enterprises involving overseas trade (cf. 1 Kgs 9:26–28; 10:22). Eventually the investment will pay off. “Seven” and “eight” represent a wide diversity of investments. Such diversification is necessary because it affords protection against unforeseen calamity in one or two of the enterprises. An English equivalent is, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”[27]

REASONABLE FAITH BLESSED IN SATAN'S WORLD_02 FEARLESS-1

Good Relationships Pleases God

Ecclesiastes 4:4 English Standard Version (ESV)

4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. [We need balance in our approach to labor.]

4:4 Seeking happiness in wealth is folly because people desire money for the worst possible reasons—especially covetousness and envy. With that as a motivation, no amount of wealth will ever satisfy.[28]

Ecclesiastes 7:9 English Standard Version (ESV)

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry,
for anger lodges in the heart of fools.

Once again we have a discussion of politics (extortion and bribery are political matters), but it is not simply a reflection on political matters in and of themselves but a reflection on how the wise man confronts political reality.162

7:7 Extortion makes a wise man into a fool precisely in that it shows that his advice is wrong.163 Behind this text stand the admonitions not only of biblical texts but of all ancient Near Eastern wisdom (particularly Egyptian) that those who hold political power should shun all corrupt practices. Still, when people see how pervasive abuse of political power is, that it is indeed so common that it is impossible to function in politics without being tainted, they conclude that the words of the wise are hopelessly idealistic. Thus it is that they smirk and laugh at wisdom (v. 6).164 Bribery also undoes the work of wisdom in that it corrupts the heart.

7:8–9 Nevertheless, the final verdict is not in, and people prematurely conclude that warnings to avoid corruption are naive. If one is patient, one will finally see that moral integrity is indeed the better way (v. 8). At the same time, to allow oneself to be vexed and grief stricken over corruption in the world is also foolish (v. 9). The wise man is neither naive nor cynical and embittered.[29]

Ephesians 4:26-27 Amplified Bible (AMP)

26 When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. 27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].

4:26–27. Sometimes a Christian may legitimately become angry. Jesus became angry at times. In those times we must be extra careful how we act, for anger gives no excuse to sin. Sinning in anger would include things such as saying unkind things or acting in harmful ways toward others. We may not always be able to keep from getting angry, but we can keep from sinning when we do. When we do get angry, we should deal with it before the day is through.

When we allow our anger to become sin or when we allow ourselves to keep our anger for more than a day, it gives the devil an opportunity to gain control over our attitudes, our actions, and our relationships. It gives him a foothold to lead us into greater anger and more sin.[30]

Proverbs 19:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

19:11 Literally, “a prudent man is slow to anger, and his glory is to pass over (עָבַר, ˓ābar) a transgression.” The NIV captures the meaning of the proverb. The second line expands on the first by insisting that it is to a person’s credit to overlook an offense. This thought is quite similar to that of 10:12 and 17:9 where the seeker of wisdom is called on to “cover over” an offense that he has experienced. The proverb does not refer to continuing sin that a person engages in, or to a criminal act. This proverb is suitable advice for the quarrelsome man (26:21) and the quarrelsome woman (19:13). One gains respect by not being contentious.[31]

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Colossians 3:12-14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

12 Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper]. 13 Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. 14 And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

3:12–14. Verses 12–17 contain the virtues that stand in contrast to the vices mentioned in the preceding verses. With the old discarded, the character of Christ is to be displayed in its place. The transformation process includes more than don’ts. There are some dos as well.

Since the old humanity has been put off and the new community has been put on, believers are therefore to clothe themselves with the kind of behavioral apparel that fits their new life. The famous story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Hans Christian Andersen has many possible applications for believers. One of them would be the simple lesson that we are not to be foolish like the emperor and take off our old clothes and put nothing back on. Before listing the appropriate attire, Paul reminds believers that they are God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved. These are exalted titles formerly used as designations for the nation of Israel (Deut. 4:37; 7:7–8) but now applied to the new community in Christ (1 Pet. 2:9–10).

William Barclay has an insightful comment on the nature of the virtues listed now:

“It is most significant to note that every one of the virtues and graces listed has to do with personal relationships between man and man. There is no mention of virtues like efficiency, cleverness, even diligence and industry—not that these things are not important. But the great basic Christian virtues are the virtues which govern and set the tone of human relationships. Christianity is community” (Barclay, 188).

The first piece in the believer’s fashionable wardrobe is compassion, which refers to “heartfelt sympathy for those suffering or in need.” The next item in the believer’s wardrobe is kindness, the friendly and helpful spirit which meets needs through good deeds. This is the concrete action of compassion. If the believer is to be fully dressed, other Christlike characteristics are to be worn as well. The believer is to be clothed with humility, which is a proper estimation of oneself (Rom. 12:3). Humility is not a self-debasing attitude (like the “false humility” of 2:18 and 2:23) but an attitude that is free from pride and self assertion. The believer is to be clothed with gentleness, sometimes translated “meekness.” Gentleness has been described as “power under control”; the picture of a powerful horse under the control of its master is a helpful image. The attitude behind gentleness is an attitude of refusing to demand one’s rights. The believer is to be clothed with patience which is the capacity to bear injustice or injury without revenge or retaliation.

The idea of putting up with the abuses and offenses of others continues with Paul’s call to bear with each other. Believers are to go beyond quiet resignation positively to forgive whatever grievances [they] may have against one another. Believers have been fully forgiven by Christ (2:13–14), and the forgiven are obligated to become forgivers. The standard for this forgiveness is Christ himself.

Paul saves the most important item of clothing for last. Without love, all the other virtues may amount to mere moralism and little else (a thought found also in 1 Cor. 13:1–3). When love is present, there is harmony and unity in the community. It is not clear whether love binds the virtues together, completing a lovely garment of Christlike character, or whether love binds the members of the community together in mature oneness. Perhaps the ambiguity is intentional. Both ideas make good sense.[32]

James 3:5-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze! And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna). For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea animal, can be tamed and has been tamed by human genius (nature). But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison.

BLESSED IN SATAN'S WORLD_023:3–5a. The rider of a horse can use a bit to control and govern a wild, unmanageable horse. Though the bit is small, its use gives riders the potential for turning the animal wherever they want.

In gales and violent winds, pilots use the rudder to guide the ship to safety or point it in the direction of intended travel. Compared to the size of a ship, the rudder was very small, but its importance in controlling the ship demanded careful attention in its use.

Verse 5a summarizes the point of these illustrations. Like the bit for the horse and the rudder for the ship, the tongue is small in relation to the body and yet has powerful potential to achieve great results, both good and bad. It can stir up violence or promote peace. It can crush the spirit or soothe the discouraged. If the tongue could personally express itself, it could legitimately boast of its great exploits.

3:5b–6. Verse 5b shows that an uncontrolled tongue is a source of great destruction. Just as a little flame can destroy a huge forest, a small misuse of the tongue can cause pain and agony to many.

The tongue can produce ruin and may represent the presence of a vast system of iniquity within our body. Within this body the tongue can produce three results. First, it can corrupt the whole person. It is a source of pollution and defilement for the entire personality. Second, it sets the whole course of his life on fire. Course may also mean “wheel.” Life may refer to “birth,” “origin,” or “existence.” A misused tongue may affect the cycle of life from birth onward! Third, the tongue is itself set on fire by hell. This describes Satan’s influence on the tongue.

James 3:1–6 describes the tongue as it is by nature. By nature the tongue could serve as a divisive instrument of evil. By grace the tongue can become an instrument of positive blessing (Col. 4:6). We must not conclude that our tongue is doomed to be an instrument of discord and strife. God can mold an abusive tongue into a force for good and righteousness.

3:7–8. Verse 7 mentions four classifications of earthly animals men have subdued or tamed: animals which could walk, fly, crawl, or swim. Genesis 9:2 follows the same type of classification. These classifications represent a human observation about different types of animals rather than a scientific ordering.

Certainly no one has ever tamed a rhinoceros or an alligator, but in general wild animals can be brought under human control. Elephants, charmed snakes, and porpoises are examples of this principle. Although human beings can tame animals, they cannot tame their own tongues. The tongue is a restless evil, always busy creating more mischief. We must always keep the tongue under careful guard and never give it freedom to roam relentlessly, for it is full of deadly poison. Like the tongue of a serpent, the tongue deals out death (see Ps. 140:3).

Several years ago at the conclusion of a moving musical presentation, a man claiming to be Leonard Bernstein, Jr., son of the world-famous conductor, gave a check for twenty thousand dollars to the sanctuary choir of a large Baptist church. With tears in his eyes the man indicated that he and his father were Christian Jews and members of a New York City Baptist church. He asked that the church use the money to take the church choir to New York to perform with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Officials at the bank on which the check was drawn could not locate the account. The office of Leonard Bernstein in New York indicated that he had one son, whose name was Alexander. Neither father nor son had any connection with a Baptist church in New York. Someone had pulled a hoax. He had presented a picture of a tongue full of restless mischief.

The Bible’s accurate picture of the tongue’s destructive potential offers us no excuse for acquiescing to the tongue’s evil potential (see Eph. 4:29). By committing our tongues to the power of God, we can see them used to build up and strengthen others rather than to tear them down.

Recently I spoke to a church in South Texas and focused during one evening on Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:15–23. I urged my listeners to adopt the requests of Paul’s prayer as they interceded for others. The next day one of the members pulled me aside to say that those words from Paul had changed her own prayer life. Her words of encouragement built me up and sent me back to my teaching with renewed enthusiasm. A tongue committed to God can be used as a positive tool for building hope and stamina in others.[33]

James 1:19 Amplified Bible (AMP)

19 Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.

1:19. Christians can pretend to obey God without truly listening to his commands. The readers of James’s letter knew the transforming power of God’s Word, the gospel. James urged them to demonstrate this change, particularly in their speech. He began by courteously addressing them as My dear brothers, and then challenged them to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. The commands probably refer both to our relationships to one another and to God. We are to be quick to hear and slow to talk both toward other people and toward God.

The command to be quick to listen calls for an eagerness to hear and obey God’s message. The appeal to be slow to speak demands silence until we have understood and applied the message. It is a call for restraint lest we produce hasty, ill-timed reactions. The challenge to be slow to become angry warns against hostile, bitter feelings. We cannot hear God if we remain distracted with resentment, hatred, or vengeful attitudes.

Our society encourages us to express our feelings, whether they be good or bad, peaceful or inflammatory, godly or ungodly. James 1:19, however, pictures the wise person as one who listens to God and others, deliberates a response carefully, and answers with cautious words.[34]

Matthew 5:37 Amplified Bible (AMP)

37 Let your Yes be simply Yes, and your No be simply No; anything more than that comes from the evil one.

5:33–37. Jesus’ quotes regarding oaths in 5:33 are derived from such passages as Leviticus 19:12; Numbers 30:2; and Deuteronomy 5:11; 6:13; 23:21–23. A biblical vow or oath in the Old Testament was an optional, above-and-beyond promise of an offering to God. Vows were never required, as were the basic tithes (Deut. 23:22). But once made, a vow was to be kept. A promise must not be complicated, legalized, or reduced to technicalities. A broken vow was subject to God’s punishment.

The Pharisees, in contrast to Jesus’ insistence upon straightforward truthfulness, had expanded oaths to matters of technicalities, much like our own American legal system that often twists and turns the normal meaning of words. Legal technicalities can devolve to the point of destroying the justice they are supposed to serve. Truth loses itself in wordiness. The pharisaical system of oaths was expanded to cover all kinds of promises made to one another. “Levels of truth” emerged from the varieties of oaths. Oaths … by heaven were considered more binding than oaths on the earth. Like children crossing their fingers behind their backs, the Pharisees camouflaged reality in elaborate technicalities.

Beginning in 5:34, Jesus again used hyperbole when he instructed the people not to make any oaths. Oaths, properly understood and respectfully used, are a good thing. Jesus was saying that it is better just to make a promise and keep it (and prove by your track record that you are a promise keeper worth trusting) than to thoughtlessly use the powerful name of Yahweh to back up a promise that may or may not be kept. Simply put, Jesus insisted that his followers tell the truth always—not simply when “under oath.” Citizens of his kingdom are to be truth tellers, in contrast to those who play with words and twist their meaning to their own selfish ends.[35]

Philippians 2:4 English Standard Version (ESV)

4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

2:4. Looking out for our own interests comes naturally. We need, and receive, no instruction for that. We are instructed to look out for the interests of others. We are to keep an eye out to discover ways we can help others even when they do not see they need such help. The apostle stated in Galatians 6:2: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”[36]

Matthew 7:12 Amplified Bible (AMP)

12 So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.

7:12. The “Golden Rule” needs to be seen in a fresh light. For those who know the Bible, this verse has the tendency to go the way of John 3:16, often quoted but seldom applied. Jesus gave his audience a simple and profound principle to guide them in relating to others. We are to treat them the way we would want them to treat us in the same circumstance.

Jesus indicated that this “Golden Rule” sums up much of the Old Testament teaching on interpersonal relationships. Leviticus 19:18, together with Deuteronomy 6:5, quoted by Jesus in Matthew 22:35–40, is essentially an equivalent statement (see also Rom. 13:8–10; Gal. 5:14).[37]

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Emotional Balance Pleases God

Proverbs 12:25 Amplified Bible (AMP)

25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.

12:13–25 The majority of proverbs in this unit are concerned in one way or another with speech, a topic of special interest to the sage. Verses 13 and 14 affirm that one’s speech reveals one’s character. Verse 14a is duplicated in 13:2 and 18:20.

Verses 15 and 16 describe the fool as possessing two characteristics. The fool engages in self-deception (v. 15): The way of a fool seems right to him. That is, the fool appears “wise in his own eyes” (3:7; 26:5, 12, 16). This blind spot is lethal. The fool also lacks self-control, a favorite subject of sapience (v. 16). The fool cannot control his feelings (v. 16 literally reads, “a fool’s anger will be made known in the day”). Crenshaw identifies the focus of the sages’ pedagogy when he observes that the aim of instruction was moral formation, the building of character. The sages “praised the virtues of self-control, restraint, eloquence, and honesty.”34 Teaching self-control was a priority in the wisdom school. In contrast to the wise, the fool refuses advice from others and is quickly provoked to anger.

The most powerful resources the wise possessed were words. Words could pierce like a sword that maims and kills (v. 18a). Or they could bring much needed healing (v. 18b). Verse 19 contains a contrast between that which is salient and that which is evanescent: Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. The phrase “only a moment” is literally “while I would twinkle” and emphasizes the brevity of the deceptive tongue.

It is helpful to look at verse 25 along with these two proverbs (vv. 18–19). Words have the power to transform the mental and emotional state of another human being. The contrast exists between the internal anxiety of the depressed individual and the external word expressed that lifts the spirits. Throughout the book of Proverbs, the function of speech is to promote social well-being within the community through the development of moral character.

26 A righteous man is cautious in friendship,a

but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

27 The lazy man does not roastb his game,

but the diligent man prizes his possessions.

28 In the way of righteousness there is life;

along that path is immortality.[38]

Ecclesiastes 7:16 Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 Be not [morbidly exacting and externally] righteous overmuch, neither strive to make yourself [pretentiously appear] overwise—why should you [get puffed up and] destroy yourself [with presumptuous self-sufficiency]?

7:15–18 The simple equation that links prosperity and long life to religious zeal and wisdom, while associating suffering and an early death with sin, is only a generalization. There are many exceptions. Those who with pathological devotion embrace the precepts of religion and wisdom (the two are conceived together here) will be disappointed. Like Job’s three friends, such people are convinced that the question of how a human is to relate to God and the world is easily answered: If you obey all the rules, you will be safe. The practical result of such a philosophy is asceticism (self-denial in spiritual discipline). For the Teacher such asceticism is futile (in that it is bound to fail), arrogant (in that it stems from a smug certainty about one’s own righteousness), and miserable (in that ascetics have cut themselves off from the normal joys of life). The Teacher anticipates Paul’s understanding of grace and the law (cf. Rom 7–8).168

The warning not to be “overrighteous” or “overwise” is not an exhortation to do a little sinning.169 The Teacher is not dealing here with the issue of personal sins as such. Rather, he is concerned with a philosophy of life that seeks the benefits of long life, prosperity, and personal happiness through the strict observation of religious and wisdom principles. A modern way to put it would be, “Do not be a fanatic.”

Also, as Crenshaw observes, v. 17 does not counsel that sin in moderation is acceptable.170 Rather, it implies that while some sin in everyone’s life is inevitable, those who embrace evil as a way of life are destroyed by it.

Verse 18b, a famous crux, should be rendered, “He who fears God comes forth with both of them.”171 But what are the two things the God-fearer should hold to, and in what sense does he come forth with both? In this context the two things to be maintained are, on the one hand, devotion to God and the teachings of wisdom and, on the other hand, enjoyment of the good things of life. The God-fearer “comes forth” with them in that he maintains both through his life. While the ascetic looks upon every form of indulgence or mirth as sin (against religion) or folly (against wisdom) and the libertine looks upon any restraint as a threat to his pleasure-seeking, the Teacher counsels combining true religion—the fear of God—with true enjoyment of the good things of life.[39]

Proverbs 17:22 Amplified Bible (AMP)

22 A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

17:20–22 Verses 20 and 22 describe various mental states (heart, spirit) and how they affect one’s life. This text, when read as a series, asserts first that the twisted, scheming man will have a life of trouble (v. 20). Second, it teaches that a bad son (perhaps one who embodies the description in v. 20) is an affliction for his parents (v. 21). Third, a happy heart is the key to a full, healthy life (v. 22). Following v. 21, the implication is that the greatest source of a crushed spirit is trouble in the family.[40]

THE GREAT TEACHER Jesus Christ King James Bible THE APOSTLE PAUL

Acts 20:35 Amplified Bible (AMP)

35 In everything I have pointed out to you [by example] that, by working diligently in this manner, we ought to assist the weak, being mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, It is more blessed (makes one happier and more to be envied) to give than to receive.

20:33–35. Like Paul, the Ephesian elders should not covet material things nor expect such from the congregation. One can only assume that these were hardly full-time vocational pastors but lay leaders who served others through hard work. Paul’s concern for the weak and the needy is well documented in his epistles (Rom. 15:1; 1 Thess. 5:14; Eph. 4:28; Gal. 6:2). He particularly turns to this theme in dealing with the elders (1 Tim. 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7, 11), perhaps because false teachers in Asia so frequently acted in greed and love of material things.

Would God that modern church leaders, many of whom live in opulence far exceeding that of their parishioners and constituents, would pay heed to this simple teaching from Miletus. The greed against which Paul warned the Ephesian elders seems to be an assumed trait of many popular figures in the modern church.

20:36–38. What a touching scene, this tearful prayer meeting and farewell at Miletus. The obvious love between Paul and the elders stands as a model for us today, which Francis Schaeffer so often called the mark of the church. Marshall captures the scene.

The display of emotion with tears and kisses would be natural enough in the culture of that time. The kiss is here a sign of affection rather than the more formal “holy kiss” of Christian worship. The last impression left by the scene is the conviction that Paul will not be able to see them again. There is a finality about his ensuing journey to Jerusalem. We may well see a certain parallel between Jesus, setting his face to go to Jerusalem to certain death, and Paul, conscious that he was going to imprisonment and not expecting to see his friends again (Marshall, 337).[41]

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Good Mental Health Pleases God

Matthew 15:18-20 Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. 20 These are what make a man unclean and defile [him]; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean or defile [him].

15:18–20. Jesus then revealed that it is not the mouth of a person that is the source of defilement, but the heart. The heart represents the invisible, “inner person.” The inner person includes the mind and will—those components that determine moral character. The heart (not any external influence) is the source of all evil character, not the physical or spiritual “dirt” on a person’s hands. The “renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2) is critical for every believer. Christ detailed here the principle that a person is as he thinks in his heart. Entry into the heart is through the eye and the ear, not the mouth.

Jesus listed seven defiling sins that begin in a person’s heart. Some of these manifest themselves through avenues other than one’s mouth (e.g., murder, theft), but Jesus was not inconsistent here. Although the debate began over eating and washing, Jesus now began to broaden the discussion to encompass the whole-person expression of the evil in one’s heart. The mouth happened to be one of the most prominent tools for good and for evil (Jas. 3:1–12). Jesus’ list of sins was not meant to be comprehensive, but he gave a series of examples.

Jesus mentioned adultery, a sexual sin that defiles a marriage vow. Sexual immorality is a broader category that includes all Kinds of sexual sin. Slander includes all abusive speech, whether against God or other people.[42]

Philippians 4:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].

4:8. Continuing his strong imperative style, Paul suggested what should occupy our minds rather than anxiety and worry. Paul understood the influence of one’s thoughts on one’s life. Right thinking is the first step toward righteous living. What is right thinking? It is thinking devoted to life’s higher goods and virtues. Thus Paul picked up a practice from secular writers of his day and listed a catalog of virtues that should occupy the mind. Such virtues are not limited to the Christian community but are recognized even by pagan cultures.

True is that which corresponds to reality. Anxiety comes when false ideas and unreal circumstances occupy the mind instead of truth. Ultimately, thinking on the truth is thinking on Jesus, who is the truth (John 14:6; Eph. 4:21). Noble refers to lofty, majestic, awesome things, things that lift the mind above the world’s dirt and scandal. Right refers to that which is fair to all parties involved, that which fulfills all obligations and debts. Thinking right thoughts steers one away from quarrels and dissensions to think of the needs and rights of the other party. Pure casts its net of meaning over all of life from sexual acts to noble thoughts to moral and ritual readiness for worship. Thinking on the pure leads one away from sin and shame and toward God and worship. Lovely is a rare word referring to things that attract, please, and win other people’s admiration and affection. Such thoughts bring people together in peace rather than separating them in fighting and feuding. Admirable is something worthy of praise or approval, that which deserves a good reputation. Pondering ways to protect one’s moral and spiritual image in the community leads away from worries about circumstances and possessions that project a different image to the community and which thinking cannot change.

The catalog of virtues Paul sums up in two words: excellent and praiseworthy. The first encompasses what is best in every area of life, the philosophical good for which every person should strive. Here it is especially the ethical best a person can achieve. The second term refers to that which deserves human praise. The catalog of virtues thus reflects the best life a person can live and the best reputation a person can thereby achieve in the community.

Finally, in this verse, Paul gets to his point: think on these things. That, joined with prayer will relieve all anxieties and lead one to praise God and live life the way he desires.[43]

Proverbs 23:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.

[Our thinking affects our emotions, which in turn affects our behavior.]

23:6–8 Cultivating the friendship of the wealthy is a waste of effort. The NIV rendition of v. 7 (“for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost”) is improbable.428 On a Ugaritic analogy Dahood suggests the translation, “For like one serving his own appetite, such he is.”429 A simpler solution is to follow the LXX and translate, “For like a hair in the throat, so he is.”430 Just as getting a hair in the throat while eating causes a gag reflex and sometimes vomiting (v. 8), even so the wealthy man’s hospitality will leave one feeling disgusted. These proverbs contradict the common notion that Proverbs regards the rich as righteous and thus favored by God. To the contrary, wealthy people often are viewed with a marked suspicion, and their company is not always valued.[44]

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Proverbs 14:29 English Standard Version (ESV)

29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

[Discernment, perception and insight will help one be slow to anger.]

14:28–35 The health and well-being of a nation depends upon both the ruler and the governed. A ruler must be fair and above all must respect the rights of his people. The people, on the other hand, must have virtue in their lives or they will bring society into chaos. No government can succeed without the people, and no people can thrive if corruption and evil abound.

The inclusio here is formed by v. 28, which describes a king’s need for a sizable populace, and v. 35, which obliquely asserts a king’s need for capable servants.

Verse 29 stresses the importance of patience. In this context an impatient king may lose his following (v. 28), and a headstrong courtier may lose his place before the king (v. 35), although the proverb naturally applies equally well to nonpolitical situations. Verse 30 looks at patience from a different perspective: it is essential for a healthy life. Verse 31 stands in the ancient Near Eastern tradition of warning rulers not to trample upon the rights of the poor; the king who ignores this advice will soon find himself without a nation.

Verse 32b may appear to describe the hope of eternal life, but one should use it in this way with caution. The MT literally reads, “But a righteous man seeks refuge in his death.” The NIV smooths over this by translating it more neutrally that “even295 in death the righteous have a refuge.” In other words, the MT as it stands speaks of the righteous actively running to death for refuge;296 it does not speak simply of a consolation offered by the hope of afterlife. If the MT is to be followed, it should be followed fully.

The notion of seeking refuge in death, however, is incompatible with the rest of Proverbs and indeed with biblical theology. Elsewhere in Proverbs, death is the result of evil behavior and is often associated with the prostitute (2:18; 5:5, 23; 7:27; 8:36; 10:2, 21; 11:19; 14:12; 16:25; 19:16, 18; 21:6, 25; 24:11). Conversely, righteousness saves from death (11:4; 12:28; 13:14; 14:27; 16:14). For the New Testament Christian, death is an enemy overcome by the resurrection of Christ (1 Cor 15). Even though Paul faced death courageously and yearned to be with Christ, he chose life over death (Phil 1:21–26) and did not speak of death as a refuge toward which he would flee. To do so approximates the theological justification of suicide that Augustine warned against (City of God 1.20).

Following the LXX, an alternative translation of v. 32 is, “When trouble comes, a wicked man is cast down, / but a righteous man seeks refuge in integrity.”297 This suits the context better. While some may advance themselves through scheming opportunism, their lack of integrity will one day be their undoing. Conversely, those who have behaved fairly will be vindicated when under examination (v. 35).

A similar problem occurs in v. 33, where it is entirely out of character with the rest of Proverbs to assert that wisdom may be found among fools.298 It is better to follow the LXX and Syriac and translate v. 33 as, “Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning, / but among fools she is unknown.”299 In the political context this means that the ruler should choose counselors carefully.[45]

Proverbs 15:18 English Standard Version (ESV)

18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

[If one takes time to meditate, so as to answer, he can identify his thinking errors, substituting a more rational, less upsetting thought.]

15:18–24 Verse 19 refers to a common image used in wisdom instruction, the two ways: the way of the sluggard and the way of the upright. There are two possibilities for understanding how the sluggard’s path is blocked with thorns. One possibility is that the road overgrows with bushes because of the negligence of the lazy person (cf. 24:30–31). The other possibility is that the sluggard is simply offering an excuse for not working. He cannot work because there are obstacles in the way. This excuse compares closely to a later one mentioned by the sluggard, “There’s a lion in the road!” (22:13). The highway the upright follow is not necessarily trouble free, but they can clearly see the way they need to go.

Verse 20a is identical with 10:1a. Wise children reflect the successful instruction of their parents. In contrast, foolish children despise parental guidance. Verses 20, 21, and 23 all use the catchword joy/delight (שָׂמַח, śāma). The word order of verse 23b in the Hebrew text highlights the pleasure received from speaking a word at the right time: “a word in its time—how good!” Wisdom expresses its fundamental character in saying and doing the right thing at the right time (cf. 16:24; 18:13; 25:11, 15; 24:26).

The phrase the path of life leads upward for the wise in verse 24a does not refer to heaven. Rather “upward” is a metaphor for success. It would be like someone today saying “onward and upward!”56 Down to the grave does not refer to hell but to Sheol. In this proverb, the image of going down to the grave conveys failure.[46]

Proverbs 16:32 English Standard Version (ESV)

32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

[It is the perception of an event or person that makes us angry, or contributes to any negative emotion.]

16:32 Once again, this proverb identifies a fundamental quality of wisdom, self-control. The term patient is literally “long of nose” (a Hebrew idiom for one who is slow to anger). This is another better-than proverb. Such proverbs usually contrast the internal with the external. This proverb is no exception. Private conquest of self is more valuable than public conquest of a city. The person who controls self has accomplished more than the one who controls others.[47]

Proverbs 17:27 English Standard Version (ESV)

27 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

[If we back our immediate reaction, it will give us the time to challenge any irrational thinking.]

17:26–28 As a proverb pair, verses 27 and 28 describe the quality of self-control when it comes to the use of words. The idea in the first line of verse 27 is that the one whose thought is clear uses few words to express it. The second line contains an unusual Hebrew phrase “cool of spirit” (קַר־רוּחַ, qar–rûa), which the NIV translates even-tempered. The person who is “cool” is opposite of the “heated” one. Verse 28 suggests that silence is the first step towards wisdom. Van Leeuwen observes a pedagogical irony here in this proverb, “if you are a fool, at least act wise by keeping silent.”70 Mental and verbal restraint are qualities of wisdom.

Chapter 18 contains a variety of aphorisms that speak to a variety of subjects. One of the most prominent subjects is the fool. In addition, a number of proverbs offer advice about speaking and listening. A few sayings give attention to strife and quarreling.[48]

Proverbs 19:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

[The discernment, insight, and perception of a person or event will slow down our self-defeating emotions.]

19:11 Literally, “a prudent man is slow to anger, and his glory is to pass over (עָבַר, ˓ābar) a transgression.” The NIV captures the meaning of the proverb. The second line expands on the first by insisting that it is to a person’s credit to overlook an offense. This thought is quite similar to that of 10:12 and 17:9 where the seeker of wisdom is called on to “cover over” an offense that he has experienced. The proverb does not refer to continuing sin that a person engages in, or to a criminal act. This proverb is suitable advice for the quarrelsome man (26:21) and the quarrelsome woman (19:13). One gains respect by not being contentious.[49]

REASONABLE FAITH Why Me_ PROMISES OF GODS GUIDANCE

James 1:14-15 English Standard Version (ESV)

14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

[Whenever our eyes inadvertently happen onto something that we should not be looking at, we need to dismiss it immediately. If we entertain it, we are cultivating it, and it will inevitably lead to sin.]

1:13–16. People sometimes complain, God is tempting me. Two insights about God show that he is not responsible for evil. First, God cannot be tempted by evil. God has no weakness or tendency which temptation can exploit. God’s holy character puts him out of reach of temptation. Evil has no appeal for God. Evil is repulsive to God.

Second, God does not use evil to tempt anyone. True, God sometimes places us in situations in which we can compromise (Gen. 22:1). However, he does not do this with a view to encourage our sin but to build us up.

Verses 14–15 outline the beginnings of sin in the human heart. First, openness to temptation develops from weaknesses in the human heart. Dragged away and enticed comes from the language of fishing. The first word described the act of luring fish from their hiding places. The second word pictured the enticing of fish as with a juicy worm on a hook. Evil desire is the bait which hooks the human being. The Bible will not let us blame heredity, an evil environment, or wicked companions for sin. The blame rests squarely on the individual, on you and me.

Verse 15 uses the language of childbirth to trace the development of evil desire. A conception occurs when persons surrender their wills to lust. The conception produces a child named sin. When sin becomes full grown, it produces death.

Practically speaking, sin occurs whenever a person’s mind approves the performance of a sinful act. Whenever the person repeatedly approves the same sin, the result is death. This is death in all its terror—a total disintegration of the personality, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It leads to a separation from God lasting for eternity. It all begins when an individual yields his will to evil. No one can blame God for this. I do it to myself.

The act of temptation itself is not sinful. Sin develops only when an individual assents to the deed and agrees that it is good or desirable. Our evil nature and disobedient wills provide an easy avenue along which temptation can stroll. Sin develops only when we invite temptation to leave the avenue and visit with us personally.

Verses 14 and 15 do not mention the role of Satan in temptation. The Bible pictures Satan as active in temptation (1 Pet. 5:8–9), but James was not presenting a complete analysis of all temptation. He only wanted to show that God was not the cause of sin. He laid the blame for sin upon human weakness and disobedience.

Verse 16 provides a solemn warning against being deceived by wrong thinking concerning the source of sin. We may apply the words either to what has immediately preceded (vv. 13–15) or the verses which follow (vv. 17–18). If we apply the words to the preceding statements, the warning is against excusing ourselves from responsibility for sin. If we apply the words to what follows, the warning is against a wrong view of God’s character. Either interpretation provides truth.

Verses 2–12 urge us to endure the trials of life. Verses 13–16 urge us to resist temptations. We can ask God for the wisdom to know whether to endure the trial or to resist the temptation. God can supply both grace to endure and strength to resist. He uses our endurance and our resistance to give us spiritual maturity and growth in holiness and stamina.[50]

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Christian Living

Herein Andrews will answer the “why.” He will address whether God is responsible for the suffering we see. He will also delve into whether God’s foreknowledge is compatible with our having free will. He will consider how we can objectively view Bible evidence, as he answers why an almighty, loving and just God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Will there ever be an end to the suffering? He will explain why life is so unfair and does God step in and solve our every problem because we are faithful? He will also discuss how the work of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should be understood in the light of wickedness. Lastly, Andrews will also offer biblical counsel on how we can cope when any tragedy strikes, …

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PROMISES OF GODS GUIDANCE

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THE POWER OF GODTHE POWER OF GOD: The Word That Will Change Your Life Today 

Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth …

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Why should you be interested in the prophecy recorded by Daniel in chapter 11 of the book that bears his name? The King of the North and the King of the South of Daniel are locked in an all-out conflict for domination as a world power. As the centuries pass, turning into millenniums, …

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TURN OLD HABITS INTO NEW HABITS: Why and How the Bible Makes a DifferenceTURN OLD HABITS INTO NEW HABITS: Why and How the Bible Makes a Difference

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FEARLESS: Be Courageous and Strong Through Your Faith In These Last DaysFEARLESS: Be Courageous and Strong Through Your Faith In These Last Days

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JOHN 3:16: For God So Loved the WorldJOHN 3:16: For God So Loved the World

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THE BOOK OF JAMES: CPH New Testament Commentary, Vol. 17 (An Apologetic and Background Exposition of the Holy Scriptures) CPH New Testament CommentaryTHE BOOK OF JAMES (CPH New Testament Commentary 17)

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THE OUTSIDER: Coming-of-Age In This MomentTHE OUTSIDER Coming-of-Age In This Moment

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WAGING WAR: A Christian's Cognitive Behavioral Therapy WorkbookWAGING WAR: A Christian’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Workbook

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THE POWERFUL WEAPON OF PRAYER: A Healthy Prayer LifeTHE POWERFUL WEAPON OF PRAYER: A Healthy Prayer Life

DOZENS OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED: Why is prayer necessary? What must we do to be heard by God? How does God answer our prayers? Does God listen to all prayers? Does God hear everyone’s prayers? What may we pray about? Does the Father truly grant everything we ask for? What kind …

HUMAN IMPERFECTION: While We Were Sinners Christ Died For UsHUMAN IMPERFECTION: While We Were Sinners Christ Died For Us

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FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART SO I AM: Combining Biblical Counseling with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy [Second Edition]FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART SO I AM: Combining Biblical Counseling with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy [Second Edition] 

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APPLYING GOD'S WORD MORE FULLY: The Secret of a Successful Christian Life [Second Edition]APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY: The Secret of a Successful Christian Life [Second Edition]

There is a genuine happiness, contentment, and joy, which come from reading, studying and applying God’s Word. This is true because the Scriptures offer us guidance and direction that aids us in living a life that coincides with our existence as a creation of Almighty God. For example, we …

PUT OFF THE OLD PERSON: Put On the New Person [Second Edition]PUT OFF THE OLD PERSON: Put On the New Person [Second Edition]

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Walking With Your God_Second EditionWALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD: Putting God’s Purpose First in Your Life [Second Edition]

A clean conscience brings us inner peace, calmness, and a profound joy that is seldom found in this world under the imperfection of fallen flesh that is catered to by Satan, the god of the world. Many who were formerly living in sin and have now turned their life over to God, they now know this amazing relief and are able today to hold a good and clean conscience as they carry out the will of the Father. WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD, has been written to help its readers to find that same joy, to have and maintain a good, clean conscience in their lives. Of course, it is incapable of covering every detail that one would need to consider and apply in their lives …

WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS: How Should Wives Treat Their Husbands?WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS How Should Wives Treat Their Husbands?

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TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL TRENDS: A Biblical Point of View

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CHRISTIANS AND GOVERNMENT: A Biblical Point of View

Government affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to politics and government. This book provides an overview of the biblical principles relating to what the apostle Paul calls “governing authorities” (i.e., government) with specific chapters dealing with the founding principles of the American government. This includes an examination of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers.

CHRISTIANS AND ECONOMICS A Biblical Point of View

Economics affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to money, investment, borrowing, and spending. They also need to understand the free enterprise system and know how to defend capitalism. Chapters in this book not only look at broad economic principles, but a section of the book is devoted to the challenges we face in the 21st century from globalization and tough economic times. A section of the book also provides an in-depth look at other important social and economic issues (gambling, welfare) that we face every day

A Dangerous JourneyA DANGEROUS JOURNEY: Those Who Become Jesus’ Disciples 

Do you desire to follow Jesus Christ and transform the culture around you? Are you sure you know what it means to be a disciple and follow a dangerous revolutionary who often comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Jesus Christ is not the mild status quo rabbi you may have been taught in your local church. He is dangerous and anyone who follows him is on a dangerous journey. The demands he places upon you and the challenges you will encounter are necessary on the journey. The journey with Jesus Christ is not for the fainthearted. If you are really serious about joining Jesus Christ in the transformation of the culture around you, here is a raw outlook on what to expect on this DANGEROUS JOURNEY.

Christian Apologetics and Evangelism

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Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.

THE GREAT TEACHER Jesus ChristTHE GREAT TEACHER JESUS CHRIST: What Made Jesus Christ’s Teaching, Preaching, Evangelism, and Apologetics Outstanding Effective?

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The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.

DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP: The Word of God Is Authentic and TrueDEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP: The Word of God Is Authentic and True

How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis-Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars …

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WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIEWHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE?: Should You Be Afraid of Death or of People Who Have Died?

People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM: A Biblical Point of ViewUNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM: A Biblical Point of View

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REASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and MindREASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and Mind

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BIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism?BIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism

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BIBLICAL CRITICISM: Beyond the BasicsBIBLICAL CRITICISM: Beyond the Basics

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CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of PersuasionCHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion

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REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Examining the History of the Watchtower Translation and the Latest Revision

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REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES: Sharing CHRIST as You Help Others to Learn about the Mighty works of God

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REASONING WITH THE WORLD’S VARIOUS RELIGIONS: Examining and Evangelizing Other Faiths

God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8 That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions…

CONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM: Defending the Faith, Reasoning from the Scriptures, Explaining and Proving, Instructing in Sound Doctrine, and Overturning False Reasoning, [Second Edition]CONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM, [Second Edition]

Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the …

THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]

MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist words should always be seasoned with salt as we share the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example …

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God's Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God’s Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. Matthew 24:14; …

YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]

The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for …

THE CULTURE WAR: How the West Lost Its Greatness & Was Weakened From WithinTHE CULTURE WAR: How the West Lost Its Greatness & Was Weakened From Within 

The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the1960’s has permeated the Western culture and …

EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY Jesus' Witnesses to the Ends of the EarthEARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY Jesus’ Witnesses to the Ends of the Earth

EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the …

CRISIS OF FAITH: Saving Those Who DoubtCRISIS OF FAITH Saving Those Who Doubt 

Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the …

Investigating Jehovah's Witnesses: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s WitnessesINVESTIGATING JEHOVAH?S WITNESSES: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s Witnesses

The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of …

THE CHURCH CURETHE CHURCH CURE: Overcoming Church Problems

In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.

FLEECING THE FLOCK_03FLEECING THE FLOCK: Setting the People of God Free From the Lies of Tithing

Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, …

Deception In the ChurchDECEPTION IN THE CHURCH: Does It Matter How You Worship?

DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.

Translation and Textual Criticism

THE COMPLETE GUIDE to BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition]THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition] 

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use.

CHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation DifferencesCHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation Differences

There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word …

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT The Science and Art of Textual CriticismTHE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Science and Art of Textual Criticism

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews …

MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman's MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” [Third Edition]

Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …

Biblical Studies

HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of GodHOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of God

A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are …

THE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & ContentTHE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & Content

…the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and how that meaning can then apply to us. Marshall gives you what you need for deeper and richer Bible study. Dr. Lee M. Fields writes, “‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees …

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded] 

The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has …

THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded] 

Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of …

INTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical HermeneuticsINTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …

HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to HermeneuticsHOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to Hermeneutics

…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …

THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern PeopleTHE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern People

Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzz word. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …

DEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in RevelationDEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in Revelation

church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy ChurchesA Case-Study in Revelationbegins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …

DYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted SuicideDYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …

JOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK: Experience the Ministry of Jesus in a Spiritually Captivating WayJOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK

Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …

ANGELS & DEMONS: The Bible AnswersANGELS & DEMONS The Bible Answers

What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …

AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT The Christian Worldview

An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.

Bible Doctrines

WHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …

IDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast RevealedIDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast Revealed

Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …

UNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithUNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …

The SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithThe SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …

WHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …

Miracles? - Do They Still Happen Today?: God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith HealingMIRACLES – DO THEY STILL HAPPEN TODAY? God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith Healing 

Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …

HOMOSEXUALITY - The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithHOMOSEXUALITY – The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …

Daily Devotionals

DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Growing Up In Christ

Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach.

DEVOTIONAL FOR TRAGEDYDEVOTIONAL FOR THOSE COPING WITH TRAGEDY: A Journey Back to God

This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.

DEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERSDEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERS: Finding Strength Through Faith 

Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL Daily Musings From the Old Testament

Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musing From the New Testament

Paul counseled, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:2) It is, for this reason, Marshall has penned the DAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musings From the New Testament, which can help us be protected against Satan’s efforts at controlling our mind and heart.  For each day of the year, DAILY DEVOTIONAL provides a Daily Bible Reading and comments for consideration.

BREAD OF HEAVEN: Daily Meditations on Scripture

BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior.

Christian Fiction

THE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm's LengthTHE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm’s Length

…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …

THE SECRET HIDEAWAYTHE SECRET HIDEAWAY ON BRIDGETON HILL

Rachael Garrison knows all the shrewd ways to successfully close multi-million-dollar real estate deals with her father’s famous New York real estate enterprise. But beyond her savvy to rake in huge deals is her premonition that an impending global takeover of the world’s financial wealth is on the horizon by evil leaders of The Great Ten Nations. From New York City to the Irish Hills of Michigan, and into the streets of Detroit her life takes on enormous purpose as

THE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed WrathTHE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed Wrath

Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …

SEEKERS AND DECEIVERS: Which One are You? It Is Time to Join the Fight!

There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to  …

The Shadow Flames of Uluru: Book ONE in the CHAOS DOWN UNDER 

When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …

WRITE PLACE, RIGHT TIME: The Pre-Apocalyptic Misadventure of a Freelance Journalist 

“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.

408 E.g., McKane, Proverbs, 564.

409 The phrase עַל־פִּי דַרְכּוֹ is literally “in accordance with his way,” and it is difficult to see how this could mean “in the way he should go.” But as Delitzsch (Proverbs 2:86–87) points out, the “way” is not the child’s individual nature but the way of children as such.

[1] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 187–188.

80 The hiphil of נוּח implies that the parent will be able to relax and not worry about what the child is going to do next.

81 “Dainties for your soul” (מַעֲדַנִּים לְנַפְשֶׁךָ) is metaphoric for the joyful, legitimate pride a parent has when a child does well in life.

[2] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 231.

[3] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 333.

[4] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 175.

[5] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 173–174.

[6] Anders, Max. Holman Old Testament Commentary – Proverbs (p. 118). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.

[7] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 175–176.

[8] Dave Bland, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 2002), 181.

[9] Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 314.

[10] Dave Bland, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 2002), 212.

[11] Dave Bland, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 2002), 179.

NIV New International Version

NIV New International Version

[12] Dave Bland, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 2002), 167–168.

[13] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 336–337.

[14] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 246.

[15] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 172–173.

437 In v. 29 חַכְלִלוּת עֵינָיִם could be translated as “bloodshot eyes,” as “blackened eyes” (from beatings), or as “dull eyes” (blurred vision). In v. 32 the bite of the serpent could simply be a metaphor for the effect of alcohol, or it could allude to the frightening hallucinations some alcoholics have (the latter is implied in v. 33). In v. 34 חִבֵּל could mean the “top of the mast” of a ship or the “rigging” (the former makes for a more dramatic metaphor of unsteadiness, while the implication of the latter is somewhat unclear).

[16] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 197.

[17] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 196.

[18] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 226–227.

[19] Knute Larson, I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, vol. 9, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 243–246.

[20] Trent C. Butler, Luke, vol. 3, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 204.

120 Thus Albright, “Canaanite-Phoenician Sources,” 9–10. Although precise evidence for the meaning of מְהַלֵּךְ is lacking, it is not clear how the piel of הלךְ could mean “bandit.” The association of the word with the English “highwayman” in the older commentaries (Toy, Proverbs, 125; BDB, 235) is far-fetched. One who “walks about” should more naturally be taken as a loiterer or vagrant. אִישׁ מָגֵטט is also difficult, but the verb mgn, “to beg,” in Ugaritic indicates that “beggar” is meant here. The interpretation that it means “man of a shield” and thus “armed man” is, as Albright says, meaningless.

[21] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 96–97.

[22] Trent C. Butler, Luke, vol. 3, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 238.

165 The NIV, “like an inheritance,” is incorrect. עִם־נַחֲלָה means with an inheritance, notwithstanding the attempts of many to render עִם “like” here. Whitley (Koheleth, 64) and Fox (Qohelet, 231) defend the translation “like” particularly on analogy to 2:16. There the wise man, along with the fool (עִם הַכְּסִיל), dies and is not long remembered. The two are “alike” in that they share the same fate; but this is not at all analogous to the usage in 7:11. Note also that the word is rendered cum in the Vg, μετά in the LXX, and עם in the Targum.

166 כִּי בְּצֵל הַחָכְמָה בְּצֵל הַכָּסֶף (v. 12), a highly abbreviated line (note asyndeton), has caused a great deal of speculation and discussion (cf. Delitzsch, Ecclesiastes, 321; Gordis, Koheleth, 273–74). The easiest solution is to take those who have both wisdom and an inheritance (v. 11) as the implied subject. Thus, “For [those who possess both are] in the shadow of wisdom, [they are] in the shadow of money.”

[23] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 321.

[24] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 195.

[25] Trent C. Butler, Luke, vol. 3, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 93.

234 Note that תַּאֲוַת (“desire”) and תִּקְוַת (“hope”) in v. 23 are answered by שֹׁחֵר (“seeking”) and וְדֹרֵשׁ (“looking for”) in v. 27. Note also that the reward of the righteous, “good” (טוֹב), in v. 23a contrasts with “evil” (רָעָה) in v. 27b as עֶבְרָה (“[divine] wrath”) in v. 23b contrasts with רָצוֹן (“[divine] favor”) in v. 27a.

235 Charitable giving is the primary focus of v. 24, but refusal to give fair pay to workers may be implied in מִיֹּשֶׁר (cf. Jas 5:1–4).

[26] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 127–128.

[27] Duane A. Garrett, vol. 14, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, The New American Commentary, 338 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993).

[28] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 307.

162 The instructional form (second level discourse) continues.

163 The verb יְהוֹלֵל (“to make a fool of”) is found in Isa 44:25, where God makes fools of diviners by causing their predictions to fail, and Job 12:17, where God makes fools of judges in showing his wisdom to be higher than theirs. In other words, they are made to be fools in that their sage opinions are shown to be false. Cf. H. Cazelles, “הלל hll III,” in TDOT 3:411–13. Cazelles notes that the word here has the sense of “deceive” and comments that it “was admirably suited to Ecclesiastes for describing the utter ineffectiveness of political wisdom” (pp. 412–13).

164 כִּי (“because”) in v. 7 establishes the link between this and v. 6. NIV incorrectly leaves the word untranslated. Nor is it correct to translate כִּי as “surely” or postulate that another verse has dropped out. See Garrett, “Qoheleth,” 167–68.

[29] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 319–320.

[30] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 155.

NIV New International Version

[31] Dave Bland, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 2002), 176.

[32] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 330–331.

[33] Thomas D. Lea, Hebrews, James, vol. 10, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 303–305.

[34] Thomas D. Lea, Hebrews, James, vol. 10, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 264.

[35] Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 68–69.

[36] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 225.

[37] Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 99.

34 Crenshaw, Education, pp. 1–2.

a Or man is a guide to his neighbor

b The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

[38] Dave Bland, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 2002), 128–129.

168 Cf. D. A. Garrett, “Inerrancy as a Principle of Biblical Hermeneutics,” in Authority and Interpretation, ed. D. A. Garrett and R. R. Melick, Jr. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987), 61–63.

169 Cf. Loader, Polar Structures, 48.

170 Crenshaw, Ecclesiastes, 140. He aptly observes that Deut 27:24 does not imply that public homicide is acceptable.

171 יֵצֵא אֶת־כֻּלָם, taking אֶת as “with” and יֵצֵא in its normal sense. The NIV translation “will avoid all extremes” is a doubtful paraphrase. A number of scholars compare the usage of יצא here to a Mishnaic idiom, “to do one’s duty” and thus be released from an obligation (Delitzsch, Ecclesiastes, 326; Gordis, Koheleth, 277–78; Crenshaw, Ecclesiastes, 142); but it is difficult to see how fulfilling an obligation enters here. Rather, we have a continuation of the metaphor of v. 18a: the one who fears God is to hold fast to both the one and the other and come out with both.

[39] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 323–324.

[40] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 162.

[41] Kenneth O. Gangel, Acts, vol. 5, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 344.

[42] Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 228–229.

[43] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 262.

428 While שָׁעַר means “a measure of grain” in Gen 26:12 and a verb שׁער in the piel stem can mean to set the price of goods in postbiblical Hebrew, no other use of שׁער as a verb (here in the qal stem) exists in the Bible. Also one would expect a participle after כְּמוֹ and not a finite verb as is found here.

429 Dahood, Proverbs, 47. He repoints as a participle and takes the meaning “to serve [food]” from the Ugaritic verb tʿr.

430 Reading שֵׂעָר (“hair”) for the MT שָׁעַר (the LXX has τρίχα). Cf. BHS note a and see McKane, Proverbs, 383–85, for a full discussion.

[44] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 195–196.

295 The word “even” is not in the original. The conjunction on וְחֹסֶה cannot have that function here, and at any rate the NIV has attached the word “even” to the noun “death.”

296 The verb חָסָה (in the participle form in this verse) speaks of actively seeking refuge in something (Judg 9:15) or someone (usually God: Pss 2:12; 5:12 [Eng. v. 11]; 7:2 [Eng. v. 1]; 11:1; 71:1; Prov 30:5, etc.).

297 See BHS note. The LXX has τῇ ἑαυτοῦ ὁσιότητι (“in his own integrity”), for which the Hebrew equivalent would be בְתוּמּוֹ. This involves only a transposition of the letters מ and ת from the MT בְמוֹתוֹ (“in his death”). If בְמוֹתוֹ is intended, one might expect it to be in the initial position of colon b (parallel to בְּרָעָתוֹ, “in his trouble”).

298 Once again the NIV is somewhat gratuitous in its addition of the word “even”; it is doubtful that the conjunction can bear that meaning in this construction. The MT literally reads, “And in the midst of fools she is known.” One might object that this is a case where the “more difficult reading is to be preferred.” That canon is not inviolable, however. It is one thing to choose a harder reading, but it is another to choose a reading that directly contradicts the whole message of Proverbs regarding the exclusive nature of wisdom and folly.

299 The LXX has οὐ διαγινώσκεται.

[45] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 146–147.

56 Van Leeuwen, “Proverbs,” p. 151.

[46] Dave Bland, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 2002), 147–148.

[47] Dave Bland, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 2002), 160.

NIV New International Version

70 Van Leeuwen, “Proverbs,” p. 169.

[48] Dave Bland, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 2002), 166–167.

NIV New International Version

[49] Dave Bland, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 2002), 176.

[50] Thomas D. Lea, Hebrews, James, vol. 10, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 261–262.

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