And Then There Were None…

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Those who are in the habit of lying, complaining, or bragging should not be surprised to one day discover that their former audience is no longer listening.
~Me.
.
 
 Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly.
The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
~Proverbs 16:22-23 (ESV)
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When You Just Gotta Vent

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*Proverbs 29:11 (NKJV)*

A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.
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It seems this particular warning is always applicable to my own life.
I think it is interesting that the Hebrew word which is translated as “feelings” is ruwach, which can refer to one’s actual spirit, or to their emotional temperament/disposition
BLB lexicon offers both of the following entries (as well as a few others).
In
3.6 disposition (of various kinds), unaccountable or uncontrollable impulse
And
6.
1. as seat or organ of mental acts
2. rarely of the will
3. as seat especially of moral character
In context, I believe these two ideas are the most applicable to the Proverb because they refer to the core essence of who one really is.
In effect, if one is a fool, (s)he will impulsively give vent to ignorance, impatience, arrogance, anger etc when enough pressure is applied to just the right place in his/her life.
It will be a spontaneously childish reaction, rather than a carefully considered, wise response.
This is to be expected because this is who they really are inside.
Regardless, such behavior is neither attractive, nor productive.

Inferno

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*Proverbs 29:8 (NKJV)*
Scoffers set a city aflame, But wise men turn away wrath. 

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Things that come to mind when reading this verse:

1. It is unwise to scoff at the righteousness of God.
2. The destruction of Sodom by God in response to the wickedness of the people. Their irrationally hostile attitude toward their heavenly visitors sealed their fate. (see Genesis 18-19)

*Genesis 18:20-21 (NKJV)* And the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave,
I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”

*Genesis 19:24-25 (NKJV)* Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens.
So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.

3. The mocking, rejection, and crucifixion of Christ Jesus, which preceded the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 ad

Matthew 27:27-32, 39-44 (NKJV) Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.
28 And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.
29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.
31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.

39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads
40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said,
42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.
43 “He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”

44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.

4. And this:

*Psalm 33:10-12 (NKJV)*
10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.
*12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.*

Saved! (From more than just the consequences of our Sin.)

John 17:20-23 (NKJV)
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

 

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Illicit Love Affair

 

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 1 John 2:15-17 (ESV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life–is not from the Father but is from the world.

Matthew 6:24-25, 32-33 (ESV) “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
6:32-33 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ~Jesus

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(me)
We have legitimate physical and emotional needs, and it is not inherently evil to appreciate pleasant earthly experiences.

But we tend to lose sight of that which is of eternal value when we directly attempt to satisfy deeply-rooted cravings (aka lusts, desires) for ourselves, through temporal means. And we can make very, very damaging choices with regard to the way we go about getting what we want.

Jesus warned that it is impossible to maintain a heavenly-minded perspective while being preoccupied with gaining material treasure such as food, clothing, possessions, social status and human approval (See also Matthew 6:1-8).

He demonstrated that He cannot be tempted to sin in the way we are (Matthew 4:1-11).

And He reassured us that He has indeed overcome the world on our behalf (John 16:33)

He has also enabled us to overcome by the power of His indwelling Spirit:

1 John 5:4-4 (ESV) For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.
Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

(me) The Apostle Paul reminded readers to stay the course.

Romans 14:17-19 (ESV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.
So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

 

Note: This is my personal consideration of these verses.  Please do take the time to check my references and prayerfully determine what is true.

 

Confession is Good For Any Soul

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Proverbs 28:13 (ESV) Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

2 Chronicles 6:24-25 (ESV) “If Your people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have sinned against You, and they turn again and acknowledge Your name and pray and plead with You in this house, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel and bring them again to the land that You gave to them and to their fathers.

Psalm 32:3-5 (ESV) For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

1 John 1:8-9 (ESV) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

My Way….or the High(er) Way?

Proverbs 14:14 (ESV) The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.

Ezekiel 36:31-32 Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations,
It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.

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Contemplation of the day. Please exercise discretion if you choose to read my thoughts.

So.
When God rescued Israel from subjection to Egyptian slave masters, the people quickly (and repeatedly) began to find fault with their new circumstances.
Many revealed a heart that would have willingly returned to their former state of servitude as they pined for the perks (appealing meals, a house to return to each day, relative security regarding what hazards to expect, etc…).

They were truly freed from oppression in Egypt, yet had developed a strong internal attraction to the few comforts that sustained their miserable physical existence.

Likewise, we have been given the gift of freedom from bondage to sin, yet also can complain or even openly rebel when faced with the difficulty of relocation to God’s promised place of peace.

In response, God sometimes gives us exactly what we demand. Exodus 16 offers an interesting narrative as God sent both a familiar form of sustenance (quail) and a completely “supernatural” one (manna, which came with specific instructions) to the grumblers.

Personally, I see this as illustrative of the choice we are called to make to be nourished by either earthly “food” (which our sin-nature craves) vs God-blessed spiritual enrichment (through faith in Christ Jesus).

It is important to read Numbers 11 (ESP v 13, 18-21 and 31-34) to get a better idea of what happened specifically with the quail. It was NOT good.
The people gorged themselves and literally got sick from indulging their own unbelief-based desires.

(Oh. The song is obnoxiously loud and repetitive. I included it because I think it helps emphasize the point scripture makes regarding how foolish and damaging it is to stubbornly insist on opposing God. The question echoes loudly: Are you finally “fed up” with the results you’ve gotten for yourself?)