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--- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:1




"Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you."

(Posted January 1, 2003, at 8:45 AM from Cumming, Georgia)

Wisdom is speaking in our verse today!  And she is inviting guests to come.  She makes several promises to her suitors.  That's the focus of our verse today.

Would you notice that before we ever COME to the Lord (Wisdom) ... we have to TURN from our foolish ways!  The word "reproof" means chastisement and comes from a "root" that means "to be right!"  Only GOD can say that He is always right!  (This reproof is a picture of the Holy Ghost "conviction" we experienced prior to coming to the Lord Jesus as our Saviour!  Prior to being saved!)

The verb "turn" is in the imperative mood!  It is a command.  If we want real Wisdom ... we HAVE to turn from foolishness and sin!

"Behold" is a particle meaning "Lo!"  It expresses surprise!  In English it means "Look!"

Now here's the Real Blessing!  God promises that He will "pour out" His Spirit unto us! 

The verb literally means "to gush forth!"  Once in the Bible it's translated "belch out!  (Psalm 59:7)   Of its 11 uses in the Bible, it is rendered "pour out (3 times), "flowing" (1 time), "send forth" (1 time) and "to utter" (5 times). 

In Psalm 119:71 when the Psalmist says that his lips will UTTER praise, he means that his mouth will POUR OUT praises unto God!  In Psalm 145:7 God's people are to "utter the memory of His great goodness!"  (Mouths pouring out accounts of His past mercy!)  In Proverbs 15:2 the mouths of fools POUR OUT foolishness!  And in Proverbs 18:4 our wise words are compared to a FLOWING brook! (See the unique use in Ecclesiastes 10:1 where dead flies cause the ointment to SEND FORTH a stinking smell!)

I want to follow Wisdom all my days!  As a result the Spirit of God will be constantly poured out upon me!  (Now I realize that in the New Testament we live after Pentecost and the Holy Spirit indwells us as God's children.  BUT I still believe in the "fresh oil" David mentions in Psalm 92:10.)

I got to thinking about the things God "pours out" upon His little family!  In Malachi 3:10 he pours out blessings upon tithers!  In Romans 5:5 He pours out ("shed abroad" means exactly to pour out!) His love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost!  In Zechariah 12:10 He pours out a spirit of prayer upon Israel! (Now God can pour out his wrath and indignation also!)    But by far the most prominent "pouring out" in Scripture is that of the Holy Spirit!  Dear friend, live in such a place that you receive all the good the Lord has to pour upon you!  (One of you preachers ought to preach on the things God "pours out" upon His children!)

Our verb "pour out" in this verse is in a Hebrew form called  "imperfect."  That just means that the verbal action is incomplete.  God is still pouring out His Spirit upon those who are still seeking  His Wisdom!

I need to close this article, but look at the result of the Holy Spirit being "poured out" upon someone. The Words of God will be "made known" unto them!  "Yada" (made known) is here a Hiphil stem verb. That makes it "causative active," which indicates God only does this for a REASON!  A cause motivates the Lord to teach us His Word!  That Cause is the precious Holy Spirit!  He is the Teacher of Truth!  Jesus said in John 16:13 --- "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come."  Wow!

Let's spend this new year pursuing Wisdom.

The rewards for doing so are tremendous!

                                                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."

(Posted January 2, 2004, at 8:15 AM from Cumming, Georgia)

Who is the Source of Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding?  This question is answered in our verse for today.  The Lord ("Jehovah") gives these things.  The verb "giveth" reveals that the Lord's generosity here is constant and habitual!  He has a never ending supply of wisdom and understanding and knowledge and He's always ready to share it!  (Wow!)

But ... specifically ... what "particular" part of God gives these things?  Look at the verse carefully.  They come from God's MOUTH, His WORDS!  (These "blessings then come from the "BIBLE," which is God's Holy Word!)  Don't you agree that the Bible is the totally inspired Word of God?

So ... if I am ever going to get these three great qualities in my life ... I MUST stay "in" the Word of God diligently!  THERE and there alone will I find God's wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

The three following definitions are based upon my sense of what the Hebrew words actually mean.

Wisdom = godly skill at living life!  Someone defined wisdom as "seeing life from God's point of view!"

Knowledge = has a nuance of meaning that points toward intimate experiential knowledge.  This is not mere "book" learning.  This is a knowing of the heart as well.

Understanding = has the idea of discernment.  (Being able to see different shades of meaning in life situations and reacting properly to them!)  That same preacher I mentioned earlier also said that understanding was "responding to life from God's point of view!"

I guess we shall spend the rest of our lives trying to comprehend what those three words mean for the Believer in Christ!  BUT I DO KNOW THIS:  THE BIBLE IS THE SOURCE OF GOD'S WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING ... BECAUSE THE BIBLE POINTS ONE DIRECTLY TO JESUS, THE PRECIOUS SON OF GOD!

Let's go study the Scriptures!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous."

(Posted Saturday Morning, January 3, 2004, at 7:35 AM)

The "froward" are those who have (lexicon definition) "turned aside, or departed, or gone astray, or become crooked."  It's a classic Old Testament description of the wicked man. 

An "abomination" is something "disgusting" to God!   It comes from a root verb which means "to loathe" (to hate)!

BUT the Lord shares something with the "righteous" person!  This noun means "straight!"  (Look at it!  The ungodly man is "crooked" in the Eyes of the Lord, and the righteous man is "straight!")  We who are saved have been made straight by the Grace of God.

But what does the Lord give to the godly man here?  His "SECRET!"  What does that mean?

The word "secret" has a background that means "to come together (for a meeting)!"  One lexicon says "to consult!"  In the King James Bible our word is translated "secret" (9 times), "counsel" (6 times) and "assembly" (5 times)!  God literally shares His counsel with the godly!  He "meets" with him and shares "secrets" day by day!  (Glory to God!)

Listen to Amos 3:7 which says:  "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."

You all will have to excuse me.  I have a "meeting" to attend!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law."

(Posted Sunday, January 4, 2004, at 7:40 AM)

The day this is written happens to be a Sunday.  But it fits any day of the week!  As we go to church, our hearts should be craving "good doctrine."

The word "doctrine" means instruction or direction (or even law).  Its background is that of a verb which means "to take" or "to receive."  We had better be GETTING SOMETHING from the Word of God when we go to church!

And what "kind" of doctrine are we needing?  "GOOD" doctrine!  That little adjective is vast in its shades of meaning!  In the King James Bible it is translated as follows:  "good" (361 of 559 times), "better" (72 times), "well" (20 times), "best" (8 times), "merry" (7 times), "prosperity" (6 times), "precious" (4 times), "beautiful" (2 times), "fairer" (2 times), and even "glad" (2 times).  And even these do not exhaust the list!  (Sounds like GOOD doctrine is rather pleasant, doesn't it?  "Milk and Honey")

What are you hearing when you go to church, dear friend?  If it's some "watered down" message lacking the good doctrine you so badly need ... you just might need to consider going on down the road to some place where you can be FED mega-doses of the Word of God!  (That means BIG spiritual meals!)

Why is that so important, preacher?  LOOK AT THE REST OF THE VERSE!

"Good doctrine" is linked to the concept of being faithful to the Law of God!  Good teaching will keep you from "forsaking" the Book!  That little verb "forsake" means "to relinquish, to loosen or even to permit!"  One nuance of the word means "to leave when most badly needed!"

Friend, do not let anything keep you in some cold dead liberal church where you are robbed of "good doctrine!"  Get out!  Nothing is worth forsaking the precious Word of God.  We do THAT to the detriment of our own souls!

I think I somewhere along here began preaching.  All I meant to do was study a verse in Proverbs with you today!  Maybe that means somebody needed to hear just what this verse thunders out to us:  GET GOOD DOCTRINE!  DO NOT FORSAKE GOD'S WORD!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"Remove thy way far from her (the "strange woman"), and come not nigh the door of her house"

(Posted January 5, 2004, at 6:33 AM)

In Proverbs the "strange woman" indicates a woman of low (or no) morals!  It often describes an adulteress or a prostitute.  She is mentioned often in the Book ... and the advice is always the same concerning her.  "STAY AWAY!"

For proof just look at our verse today.  "Remove thy way far from her!"  The verb "remove" is an imperative .... revealing that this is a command!  The stem of the verb literally means "to widen!"  That is:  increase the distance between you and her!  The cost of being around her is just too great!  In Hebrew the verb is "causative," suggesting that there are MANY reasons why one should avoid this loose woman!

"Come (not) nigh" is a continual action verb meaning "to approach."  She will CONSTANTLY "draw you!"  You, son, must CONSTANTLY widen the gap between you and her!  Do NOT approach (ever) her place.

That's good advice!

However earlier this morning this verse got me to thinking about others whom we Christians are to avoid!

Here's a "short" list:

1.  Proverbs 22:24 --- "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go!  Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul."

2.  Proverbs 1:10, 15 --- "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.  My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path."

3.  1 Corinthians 5:11 --- "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat."

4.  2 Corinthians 6:14 --- "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

5.  Romans 16:17 --- "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."

There are others.  But surely this offers Biblical "proof" that God would have us stay away from sin!  2 Corinthians 6:17-18 declare:  "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,   And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

Stay away from immoral women! 

In fact, let's even go as far as Paul did in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 --- "Abstain from all appearance of evil."

Sound too "strict?"

Am I right or wrong?  It is Biblical?  I believe the Scriptural "evidence" speaks for itself!

                                                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




PROVERBS 6:32-33

"But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.   A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away."

(Posted January 6, 2004, at 9:20 AM)

Today's selection from the Proverbs "chapter-of-the-day" may be a little controversial.  And, of course, you do not have to agree with me.  BUT you had better let the Word of God speak to you heart!

What does the Bible mean by committing "adultery?"  It's explained earlier in Proverbs 6:29 --- "So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent."  Need I say any more?

Now we Bible believers hear a lot about the special "categories" into which certain sins fall!  For example, homosexuality seems to have brought about the fierce judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah based upon Jude 7.  ("Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.")

Also the sin of "PRIDE" does seem to bring about God's swift Hand of retribution! (Herod was eaten of worms when he accepted worship as God in Acts 12!  Lucifer was literally "kicked out" of Heaven for the same sin!)


Yet our text today certainly seems to imply that it's a sin with "special consequences!"

To "lack understanding" in common everyday terms means to be "stupid!"  The adulterer or adulteress is plainly "dumb!"  (The Hebrew word for "understanding" here is a bit unusual.  It's just their word for "heart."  I wonder if adultery does something to one's heart?  Or does the heart have to "slip" even before the adultery is committed?  I do know this.  David never soared as "high" spiritually AFTER his act of adultery as he did before his wicked deed!)

"Destroyeth" means "to decay or to cause ruin!"  There simply is a detrimental effect that adultery has on one's soul that is not as clearly mentioned in regard to other sins!  Want to destroy your soul (mind will and emotions)?  Go have a "fling" and you'll pay for it forevermore!

(Preachers, beware!  You ministry will be destroyed!)

Adultery promises at least three terrible consequences here!

1.  A "wound!"  (Plague, sore, stroke, stripes ... all are King James translations of the word here!)  The word literally means "to touch" then to touch HARD as with a blow or stroke!  How ironic of the Lord here!  I sometimes believe our God has a holy sense of humor!  He just said ... "You touched a woman being not your wife!  Then you will BE TOUCHED by the blast of My Mighty Hand!

2.  "Dishonour"  (It's translated "shame" 13 times and "confusion" 1 time in the King James!)  Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? 

3. "Reproach"  (The word comes from a root verb meaning "to pull off" or "to expose!"  Again, see the irony!  God says, "You pulled off another's man's wife's clothes, did you?  Well, I will pull off your disguises and pretenses and let everyone see what you really are!)


Men, stay faithful to your wives!

Ladies, do not listen to the devil!  Keep your marriage vows!

Avoid all these "pitfalls" of the sin of adultery!

(I don't know if this was a Bible "study" or a "sermon!"  But after God so laid it upon my heart, I had to share it with you!)

If anyone reads this far ... I'd sure like some "feedback."  (You can easily e-mail me by clicking the appropriate icon at the tope of this very page!)

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman"

(Posted January 7, 2004, at 7:59 AM)

This command is from the discerning father in Proverbs who is instructing his son about the things of God.

This is an interesting sentence in the Hebrew text.  The first word in the verse there is SAY! The last word there is CALL!  And both verbs are in the imperative mood!  This verse is "bracketed" with action words.  I am literally commanded  to "talk" to wisdom and understanding!  (By the way, if wisdom in Proverbs is just another name for our Lord Jesus Christ ... I am to "talk" to Him daily anyway!)  Remember what Paul said of Jesus in Colossians 2:3 --- "In Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."  And there are just some things said of Wisdom in Proverbs that can only be true of Jesus our Lord!

But what am I to say to Wisdom?  "Thou art my sister."  What does that mean?  The Hebrew word "sister" (achoth) comes from the Hebrew word for "brother" (ach)!  And they both come from the Hebrew word for "Father" (ab)!   Therefore all these words (called part of a "semantic field") indicate affinity to Father!  Likeness to one's Daddy! 

A believer will feel close to Wisdom because Wisdom is just another aspect of the Father's likeness!  Wisdom talks like the Father, acts like the Father, walks like the Father!  Wisdom is OF THE FATHER!  Wisdom (when feminine as here) is consequently my "sister!"

But what about "understanding?"  She is my "kinswoman."  This is a Hebrew noun that means "acquaintance" and comes from the key root verb "yada" (to KNOW)!  But not just any knowledge is meant here!  This is detailed knowledge.  This is intimate knowledge.  (As in "Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD." Genesis 4:1)  Wow!  This kinswoman business insinuates a "very close relative," or even a "wife!"

Talk to them all day!

Recognize the family likeness.

Love them dearly!

Maybe that's why in the previous verse we were told to "Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart."  I have on my finger right now a reminder of my wife ... a wedding ring!  (She also is in my heart as I type in this motel room nearly 300 miles from home!)

It sure sounds to me like we are to be "in love" with Wisdom and Understanding!  If you are ... you will be blessed abundantly of the Lord!

I'm so glad the Lord led us on a cold Wednesday morning to THIS verse from  our Proverbs "chapter-of-the-day!"

It has surely helped me.

                                                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things."

(Posted January 8, 2004, at 7:50AM)

Wisdom is talking in our verse!  She has invited us to come enjoy her teaching. (I'm going!  How about you?)

Wisdom here promises to "speak!"  The verb is "dabar" and means to carefully select what one is to say ... with the emphasis being NOT on the act of talking but on the CONTENT of the speech!  (The thrilling thing is not just that God has spoken to us ... but WHAT He has said!)

Wisdom has "excellent" things to give us!  The word is unique!  ("nagiyd" in Hebrew) It's only used 44 times in the Old Testament.  Here are its translations and their frequency of use:  "ruler" (20 times), "prince" (9x), "captain" (6x), "leader" (4x), "governor" (3x), "nobles" (1x) and "excellent things" (1x)!  This word has a pretty "classy" meaning!  The root stem is the word "front."  It is that which stands out front as the very BEST of anything!

Wow!  So much talk today is mediocre!  (Even preachers' talk!)  We wobble (in our words) from sheer gossip to trivia to downright carnality!

Well, I've got good news!  Wisdom's Tongue is tamed!  All she says is EXCELLENT! That's the very kind of conversation I want to hear!

And the "opening" of her lips is right!  That word for "opening" means "to open wide!"  Wisdom does not stutter or stammer.  What She says ... she says clearly!  (I like that kind of preaching and teaching, don't you?)

"Right" things are ("mayshar") "even" things or "straight" things or even pleasant things!  (Only used a total of 19 times in whole Bible!)  Song of Solomon 1:4 (using our very word) says to the Bridegroom" --- "The upright love Thee!"  (Therefore ... Wisdom's words will cause us to love Jesus!)

Once our word is translated "sweetly!"  (Song of Solomon 7:9)

Of it's 19 Bible uses, 14 of them are in the books of poetry!

Excuse me, I can't stay long with you today.  I've got to go!  Wisdom is about to speak, and I NEED HER EXCELLENT, SWEET UPRIGHT WORDS!

                                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Proverbs 9:13

"A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing."

(Posted Friday, January 9, 2004, at 4:25 AM)

Here are three traits you want your daughters to avoid! They spell trouble for the ladies.

Notice that Solomon says they belong to the "foolish" woman. The basic idea behind this little noun is "silliness!" (Remember that Paul speaks of "silly women, laden with sins."  2 Timothy 3:6)  She is not serious about spiritual matters!

First this woman is "clamorous."  The word means "loud, roaring, noisy, tumultuous or disquieted."  She simply lacks the "meek and quiet spirit" which Peter recommends!  (1 Peter 3:4)

Next she is "simple."  This means someone who is easily misled or even easily seduced!  One lexicon says "naive."  (Solomon says in Proverbs 14:15 --- "The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.")  The girl is "gullible."  Also this word is only used here (!!!) in Scripture. Therefore, we have no way to compare it to other verses!  (But that fact alone puts the word ... and this woman ... into a "special" category.  She is so unique that God gives her a word all to herself!  (Nothing like her in her sins!)

Lastly she is one who "knoweth nothing."  The word for "nothing" means WHAT.  It can mean what as a question (?) or what as an exclamation (!).  She knoweth what? (Nothing important!)  Or ... she knoweth ... WHAT!  (She knows plenty!  But what she has learned has no spiritual value whatsoever!  It's a shame to speak of what she knows!  Paul says in Ephesians 5:12 --- "For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.")

I don't think I'm any kind of an expert in fully describing the godly lady ... but now at least I know three characteristics she will nor have!

Stay away from these "strange women!"

Yet ... hold the godly ladies in high regard!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall."

(Posted Saturday, January 10, 2004, at 7:20 AM)

This verse gives us the general attitude of a wise man (or woman) toward the Word of God (the commandments).  He or she will simply "receive" whatever God says!  The verb means to take or even to "fetch!"  (Other Lexicons say:  to accept, to infold, even to seize!) 

However I've found 3 places in the King James Bible where our word "receive" here means to "marry!"  In fact, the word's "first use" in Scripture (Genesis 19:14) translates it as such.  For another example, find it "twice" in Numbers 12:1 --- "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman."

The word "fool" here is a designation for the man who lacks wisdom.  He just has no interest in seeing life as God does!  He is spiritually bankrupt.  The "root" of the word means "to be perverse."

But a specific kind of fool is mentioned here.  What is a "prating" fool?  The noun contains the idea of the lips!  It's a description of this fool's words (his "mouth")!  And ... he sure does have one.  He seems to use it constantly! (Language or speech) 

Our word "prating" is found in English three times in the whole Bible. (Twice in our very chapter, Proverbs 10:8 and Proverbs 10:10 ... where both times the "prat-er" will fall!  Plus once in 3 John verse 10 --- "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."  Thee John is talking about the "church boss" named Diotrephes.

What happens to "prating fools?"  They FALL.  The word means to be cast down!  To be overthrown!  To be cast aside.  (Something is very rare about this verb.  It is only used three times in all the Bible!  That alone makes it extra significant!)

Friend, stay in God's Word.  It's the antidote to being a foolish person!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Proverbs 11:31

"Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner."

(Posted January 11, 2004 from Lincolnton, North Carolina, at 1:59 PM)

Today's verse talks about the matter of rewards.  The verse begins with a bit of an exclamation!  "Behold" means "Lo!"  It suggests surprise.  It can mean "Look!"  In Hebrew it usually is employed to call attention to something upon which action is to be taken!  (In other words ... be righteous! God will reward you abundantly!  Of course our "righteousness" comes through the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed Blood!)            

Our word "righteous" here is a forensic term (from the courts of law).  It means to be judicially declared "just or lawful!"  (It is used 206 times in Scripture.)

The verb "recompensed" is in Hebrew "shalam" and is derived from their word "shalom!"  It means "to be at peace" or to "be in a covenant of peace!" (To be safe, to be complete and then to be recompensed!)

The verse plainly declares that God is not just going to wait until the godly man gets to heaven to reward and bless him!  No!  No!  No!  The blessings begin the moment one gets saved!  (In fact they began long before that, didn't they?)  The old timers used to talk of "prevenient" grace!  They meant by that the Grace God shed upon them in keeping them ALIVE until they got saved!  (Prevenient means to go in advance!  What God did for me BEFORE He saved me!)

"Much more" as a Hebrew term denotes addition ... especially of something greater! The lexicons say that its use is "very rare" in prose.  It can imply something surprising or unexpected as well!

The noun "wicked" is from the Hebrew root (ra) meaning to disturb or to violate and is a word for sin in its active malignant sense!  The wicked here are "lost" folks who violently rebel against God!

"Sinner" is the Hebrew stem that means "to miss the mark!"  (Falling short of the glory of God!  Not meeting His standards!)

It looks like we are being clearly taught here to ... "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."  (Galatians 6:9)

Many believe that 1 Peter 4:18 is a commentary on our Proverbs verse!  "And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

I do know this.  Our verse in Proverbs ought to motivate us all to live more godly lives!  And that for two reasons ... simply for the GLORY of God and for the prospect of His gracious rewards on our behalf!

What do you think?

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame."

(Posted Monday, January 12, 2004, from Lincolnton, NC, at 8:50 AM)

Here's another practical bit of advice from Solomon!

Here our word "fool" means "silly one."  This is the character who overlooks all things spiritual and easily mocks them to shame.

The "wrath" of that fool is his or her "anger" or "indignation."  In fact some fools even seem to "brag" on their short "fuses" and quick tempers!  They are always "flying off the handle!"

The adverb "presently" comes from the Hebrew word for "day" or "today." When a "fool" gets mad ... you don't have to "wait" to find it out!  He explodes immediately!  (What a "rebuke" this should be to many of us Christians!)

"Known" is the common verb "yada," meaning to know experientially!  Most all of us have been there in person when some foolish person belched forth anger and hatred!

BUT ... (here comes a contrasting thought) ... a "prudent" man is different! "Prudent" means "sensible" or even "shrewd!"  (Even when a good man does get angry ... he is smart enough to cover it until he can later "sort out the issues!")

"Covereth" means "to conceal or to hide."  It is a continual action verb also. This is truly "longsuffering" in action!  (God's anger at sin has been concealed for millenia!  But one day it will be revealed in full force!)

Lastly, look at what God calls anger!  He equates it with "shame!"  The noun shame means disgrace or dishonor!  To the Lord it is a reproach to a man to lose his temper quickly and frequently!

The principle behind our verse today:  The foolish man is a slave to his temper!  The prudent man is lord over his temper!  Into which group do you fall?

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom."

(Posted January 13, 2004, at 8:45 AM)

I thought you might like a little different way today of looking at our verse.  Here is what one commentator said about it:

"Those who are wise listen to advice rather than argue out of stubborn pride. The idea of "pride" here describes contempt for other opinions, a clash of competing and unyielding personalities. This kind of conceited person creates strife, enflames passions, and wounds feelings. Only strife can come from him. But the wise are "those who take advice."

Another (wise old Matthew Henry) said this:

1. Foolish pride is the great make-bate. Would you know whence come wars and fightings? They come from this root of bitterness. Whatever hand other lusts may have in contention (passion, envy, covetousness), pride has the great hand; it is its pride that it will itself sow discord and needs no help. Pride makes men impatient of contradiction in either their opinions or their desires, impatient of competition and rivalship, impatient of contempt, or any thing that looks like a slight ... and hence arise quarrels among relations and neighbours, quarrels in states and kingdoms, in churches and Christian societies. Men will be revenged, will not forgive, because they are proud.

2. Those that are humble and peaceable are wise and well advised. Those that will ask and take advice, that will consult their own consciences, their Bibles, their ministers, their friends, and will do nothing rashly, are wise, as in other things, so in this, that they will humble themselves, will stoop and yield, to preserve quietness and prevent quarrels.

Now let Brother Bagwell say a few words:

"Contentions" will come!  (But HOW do they come?)  The noun "contention" means "debate!"  It is so translated in Isaiah 58:4!  The word represents arguments and divisions wherever they may occur! (Maybe even at church!)  It means a quarrel. (Root verbal idea: "to expel, to go forth!"  This is an argument that gets so heated that someone wants to kick someone else out of the group!)

Again, who brings those contentions?  ONE kind of a man or woman!  A PROUD one!  The word means arrogance ... but comes from a verb "to seethe" which means to boil in anger!  Here's that person with a short temper again!  Always fighting mad!

The "well advised" are those godly folks who have "deliberated and resolved their plan of action" (through the precious pages of the Word of God)!  Its first use in in Exodus 18:19 where Moses' Father-in-Law Jethro says to him --- "Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God."  Note that this advice here invites God's very Presence!

And "wisdom" is the view of life that God takes!  It is responding to life situations as the Lord would! (Again, that's only revealed in Scripture!)

Let's all control our attitudes today!  After all, doing so reveals the difference between being wise and foolish!

The next time you see an old "troublemaker" who won't seek peace (always calling for his way to be done ... even if it means a fight) ... label him PROUD!

You may do so on the good authority of God's Holy Bible!

                                                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him."

(Posted January 14, 2004, at 8:26 AM)

Notice immediately that one's "lifestyle" (at least in this verse) determines one's attitude about God!  The upright man loves the Lord.  The perverse man hates God!

Here a man's "morality" determines his "theology!"

This teaches (that at least at times) a man's behavior determines that man's belief!

Do you want to know WHY atheists are such vehement enemies of God?  It's because (95% of the time) their lifestyles are such that IF GOD EXISTS ... hell awaits!  (And they just will not allow themselves to accept the possibility of such a future!)

Look at the real attitude a perverse man has toward God.  He "despiseth" our Lord!  It means "to hold in contempt."  ("to disesteem")  It's a participle ... indicating constant action.  He hates God all the time!

Who does this?  The "perverse" man.  He's one who "departs, turns aside, or deviates."  (only 6 times in the whole Hebrew Scriptures)  This certainly implies they he once knew the truth ... but rejected it because of his love for sin!

While the man who is "upright" (means to be "straight") will always respect, revere, adore, worship and honor the Lord!  (The ideas behind the Biblical "Fear of the Lord")

This verse surely paints clearly for us the two ways open to mankind!  I've made my choice ... how about you?

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good."

(Posted January 15, 2004, at 11:15 AM from Cumming, Georgia)

This verse is usually taught to the little children of Christian parents early in life.  If for some reason you haven't learned it, memorize it today!

Someone is always watching!  The Lord Himself sees our every move!

Even the angels before the Throne of God are "full of eyes before and behind." Revelation 4:6

An old Puritan writer penned these words:  "Adored be this All-seeing God!" Heaven, hell, the secret places of the earth, are all open before Him.

God sees all the evil in this old world.  No sin is every committed without His knowledge. 

BUT, thanks be to His Name, our God also sees the GOOD!  Every little deed done for His glory is right before His eyes!

Maybe the real question is this.  How do I respond to His all seeing Eyes?  With dread?  Or with delight? 

We believers should rejoice in His Presence!

Friend, you will never be where He is not looking!

The great "I AM" is also the great "I SEE!"

Worship Him gladly!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits."

(Posted Friday morning, January 16, at 7:20 AM from Cumming, Georgia)

Proverbs 21:2 is a similar verse.  "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts."  And Proverbs 12:15 begins "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes."  (Isn't it thrilling how the Bible is its own commentary!  By comparing Scripture with Scripture we are illuminated by the Holy Spirit of God!)

The noun for "ways" (derek) means roads or paths and suggests "habits."  By the time a man has established a certain "behavior" in his life, he's made it "right" to his conscience.  Even homosexuals and abortionists feel "right" in their own eyes.  BUT they are NOT right according to the God of the Bible! When a man convinces himself that his "ways" are all right, that's called "rationalization."  There's a whole lot of that going on nowadays!

Our word "clean" means pure or even righteous.  It's "root" idea is "clear" or transparent.

The contrasting conjunction BUT tells us that an altogether different thought is coming!

Man says that all he does is clean!  GOD SAYS not so.  He (and He alone) will be the Judge!  And His "Standard" of judgment is the Word of God!

The verb "weigheth" means (obviously) to measure or ponder or test or prove. Remember that Belshazzar was "weighed in the balances and found wanting!"  (Daniel 5:27)

"Spirits" ("ruach") would be man's spirit here, not the Holy Spirit of God.  Note that God is not here said to judge the actions ... but the spirit behind those actions!  He knows our hearts!

I'll tell you how it is all going to end.  Revelation 22:11 --- "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still."

But all this is AFTER God has "weighed the spirits!"

Christian, if I were you I would live near the "scales!"

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."

(Posted Saturday morning, January 17, 2004, from Bessemer Alabama, at 8:20 AM)

A "fool" is one (Strong's definition) who is perverse (twisted) and "silly."  (Not serious about the things of God!)  He is not living "straight" according to God's Rule!  "Fool" also carries the idea of being morally wrong.

But even THAT wicked man (if he does two things) can be thought wiser than he really is!

He must "hold his peace!"  To "hold peace" is an unusual word!  It first means "to plow or to engrave" as in agriculture or metalworking.  It is thought to mean here "to cut into" one's words.  To chop them to  pieces so that they are not spoken. (The idea here is:  the less words ... the less foolishness!)  It IS POSSIBLE to talk too much!

"Counted" means esteemed or calculated.  (Men think the quiet one is wiser perhaps than he really is because his words are few!)

"Shutteth" is a basic verb meaning "to close."  It's a "Qal participle" suggesting that the action here is constant.  One must control and restrain that tongue faithfully!

"Understanding" has the idea of discernment.  (Seeing "shades" of meaning in life situations from God's point of view!)

It just looks to me like this advice for a "fool" might be good for us all!  A little less talk equals a little less sin!  (For example, Proverbs 10:19 declares --- "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.")

The previous verse in Proverbs reinforces this great truth.  (Proverbs 17:26 --- "He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.")

Excuse me, I think I'll go off a while  (and close my mouth) and think upon this great Bible text!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."

(Posted January 18, 2004, at 7:59 AM, Central Standard Time)

This is one of my favorite verses of Scripture!

To properly "practice" this verse one must learn a bit about the beautiful Names of God given in the Bible!  (Jehovah, Elohim, Adonai, El Elyon and so many more.  Not counting His Compound Names such as Jehovah-Nissi!   Sister Norma covered a few of Them in her "Ladies" column several weeks ago.)  But if you don't know much about His Names ... just run to the LORD!  (Jehovah means the "I AM," the eternally existent One! The One Who is always with you!)

The "righteous" are those who are declared "just" at God's judgment bar!  This is done through (and ONLY through) the Blood of Jesus!

Now we have mentioned our two objects in today's verse --- The Name of the Lord ... and the righteous children of God!

What's the connection?

When "danger" comes ... or "trials" or "pressures" or the "devil" or anything from which you must "run," COME TO THE NAME OF THE LORD!  He has a Name for every situation in which you could possibly find yourself!  (Glory to God!)

"Run" means "to dart!"  (To run swiftly!  Quickly!  Hurriedly!)

Don't wait!  Take your burdens to the Lord!

And what will the Lord be?

"A Strong Tower!"  This little word "tower" is only used 50 times in Scripture.  (It is translated "tower" 47 of those times and "castle" 1 time!)  But ... wait until you hear this.  It is once translated "pulpit!"  (Nehemiah 8:4!)  And that's the only time the word "pulpit" is found in the Bible!

The Name of the Lord can be seen and heard most graphically where?  From the PULPIT, thank the Lord!  Go to Church today (written on Sunday)!  As the man of God preaches ... listen to him!  God speaks from that pulpit!  Learn to run there and be safe!  (Obeying the WORD OF GOD preached by the MAN OF GOD will keep the HAND OF GOD on the CHILD OF GOD!)

The last of those 50 translations (in the King James Bible) is "flowers!" (Song of Solomon 5:13)  Guess what?  That strong Tower (the Lord) to Which you run ... is as lovely as any Flower (and as fragrant) you've ever seen (or smelled)!

Excuse me!  I've got to "run" Somewhere!

                                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand."

(Posted January 19, 2004 at 7:35 AM)

I am so thankful that we serve an Almighty God!  He truly rules all His creation!

"Devices" are plans, thoughts, or even contrivances.  (And a man's "plans" are only as good as that man himself!)

Today across the earth millions of men and women are busily pursuing their "goals."

HOWEVER, there is another force at work!  It's the "Counsel of the Lord!"

"Counsel" means advice, deliberation or resolve!

God already knows what He's going to do ... and nothing's big enough to stop Him!

Jesus IS coming again!

The world WILL experience great tribulation!

Wickedness MUST be judged!

God's Word CANNOT fail!

That little verb "stand" literally means to rise up or to stand up! 

Watch every day!  With keen discerning eyes one can behold God's Counsel surfacing all around us in this new year!  (We live in exciting days.)

Our verse truly sets a great contrast between man and God!  How frail are my plans! How FIRM are God's!

It just seems to me that's it's best then to "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

God can even take the confusion of my plans and turn them into beautiful patterns of glory to His Name!  (Joseph's brothers plotted his downfall.  God brought their "devices" to ruin ... and engineered Joseph's rising to great power!  And all for the Glory of God!)

"For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."  (Psalm 119:89)

"Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let (to hinder or to turn) it?"  (Isaiah 43:13)

"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure."  (Isaiah 46:10)

How can we help but WORSHIP HIM today?

                                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee."

(Posted January 20, 2004, from Knoxville, Tennessee, at 5:03 AM)

This verse (in principle) is found elsewhere in Scripture.  Romans 12:17 says: "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men."  And in Deuteronomy 32:35 God thunders:  "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste."

"Recompense" in this context means "to pay back."  But the "root" verb has a rich and deep background!  It is in Hebrew "shalam," and means (from Shalom!) "to be safe or happy" or even "to be in a covenant of peace!"  This alone is a good lesson!   DO NOT BE AT PEACE WITH EVIL IN ANY FORM!

Solomon wisely knew that trials would come for the godly person.  (Insults, attacks, battles!)  He's just telling us how to handle them!

Paul told us the same thing. Romans 12:19 --- "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

"Wait" means "to look eagerly for!"  (Waiting in the Old Testament is definitely a form of trust!)  Using the very same form of our verb here, Hosea (12:7) says:  "Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually."

And WHAT will God do?  He will "save" you!  ("yasha")  The very first time this verb stem is used in the King James Old Testament (Exodus 2:17), it is translated "helped."  It's when a man named MOSES at a WELL drove off ENEMIES and met his WIFE to be!  (Do you Bible students see the typology in that?)  God can help us!  God can deliver us!  God will handle all the wrongs some great and glorious day!

In the mean time, we'll just have to "wait" on Him!

God just does not allow "revenge" for the Christian!  Two of Israel's greatest "enemies" were the Edomites and the Egyptians.  Yet the Lord specifically would not allow His people to hate them.  Deuteronomy 23:7 says --- "Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land."

One old Puritan said, "Revenge arises because we have no faith!"  God said He would take care of it.  Trust Him to do so!  (In His time!)

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin."

(Posted January 21, 2004, at 8:49 AM)

It looks to me like the verse today is saying that everything the wicked man does is sin!  (Even his everyday work on the farm, his "plowing.")

For the truly wicked man leaves God out of all the areas of his life!  If he takes any "look," it's a proud "look" because there's no thought of God ... to humble him!

His heart has never been "broken" in Holy Ghost conviction either.  It remains proud and stout.

The adjective "high" is translated "haughtiness" 3 times in the King James Version. The word "look" is the Hebrew noun for the "eye!"  This old boy views everything in a lofty manner.  (And the grammar of the term indicates it's a habitual attitude with him.)

The word for "proud" literally means large or roomy!  (He's NOT one of those old fashioned "narrow minded" fanatics, is he?  He has a "broad" mind.  Room for lots of gods and lots of heathen ideas!)

While poor little Paul said, "This one thing I do...!"  (Philippians 3:13)

And David said, "This one thing have I desired of the Lord and that ...!"  (Psalm 27:4)

But the noun "plowing" is also captivating.  It is Hebrew ("niyr") and means "fallow ground."  Again, I'm pretty sure it represents this man's daily work.

The verse proves that God looks through our actions and see the motives behind them!

If we do everything to the glory of God (seeking to obey His Word in the process), God is pleased.

But if we live an affluent life in today's American culture. leaving God out of it all, we are sinning constantly!

If this verse is right (AND IT IS),  the vast majority of what is done in the United States (or even in the whole world) today is SIN in the eyes of God!


By the way, when you start you car today (or turn on your computer or clock in on your job, etc.) ask God to bless all you do to His glory! 

(And if you can't ask Him to bless it ... DON'T DO IT!)

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein."

(Posted January 22, 2004, from a motel room in Knoxville, Tennessee, at 9:47 AM)

This is an interesting verse!

It obviously deals with a moral issue.

The word "mouth" is in Hebrew spelled "peh."  (It comes from a "root" verb that means "to puff" or "to blow.")

The interesting thing about the word is that it is also a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  It's their "p" and is equivalent to our English "p" as in policeman. 

Thing of having a letter in one's alphabet that means a puff or gentle breeze of fresh air!  (Hebrew is very picturesque!)  You ought to see some of the verses that begin with that letter!  Better yet, notice some of the "alphabet" Psalms that are associated with the letter "peh."  They convey a meaning similar to their "word pictures!"  (Remember that Psalm 119 has eight whole verses all of which begin with the letter!)

A mouth is something that either gives out (words or breath) ... OR ... takes in (food or victims)!  A predator takes in innocent little things and devours them! THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT'S PICTURED HERE!

A "strange" woman is a harlot or a prostitute!  And she is on the prowl, looking for innocent prey!  ("Strange" is a word that has the implication of "foreign!" Jews were certainly NOT to have loose morals ... so the ungodly woman MUST be foreign!)  That's how Solomon got into trouble ... all his "foreign" wives!

BUT ... LOOK!  She is compared to a "pit!"  The word comes from a verb that means "to sink!"  It is only used 5 times in the Old Testament and once is translated (in the King James Bible) "ditch!"  (Not very lovely images for an old harlot, are they?)

Not only that, she's a "deep" pit!  (Deep additionally means "mysterious."  It also can mean "unsearchable.") 

Now watch this word "abhorred!"  It means "to foam at the mouth!"  It pictures great rage and anger!   God is a God of love ... but when He does finally get angry ... watch out!

And "fall" is a verb meaning "to be cast down."  BUT the verb is in the active voice ... meaning that the poor "victim" is so deluded by the harlot that he "jumps" into the pit himself!  (Spiritual suicide!)

However, the verse also implies that if a man loves God and is "right" with Him ... he can (by That very God Whom he worships) be protected (guarded) from the strange woman! 

God CAN restrain us from sin!

If you have trouble believing that, read Genesis 20:6 --- "And God said unto him (Abimelech) in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her (Sarah)."


Let's dedicate our lives to moral living to the glory of God!

                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old."

(Posted Friday morning, January 23, 2004, at 6:48 AM)

Here is a lovely verse of Scripture!

"Hearken" is the Hebrew verb that means "to hear, to listen to, or even to obey!" Here itís in the imperative mood ... means itís a command!

"Begat" is to gender or to father or to bring forth.

"Despise" means "to hold as insignificant or to hold in contempt!" Now this is an unusual fact. This verb is NOT an imperative (as was "hearken")! Itís a standard Qal stem imperfect verb. Perhaps the wise man knew that a prudent son or daughter would not have to be commanded to respect his or her Mother! This would be done out of sheer honor!

How long does one honor Mom? (Not just until oneís teenage years! Not until married! Not even until oneís adulthood! BUT until she is old! In other words ... all her days!)

As a further commentary on our verse, listen to Hebrews 12:9 --- "Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence." Or the advice of Proverbs 31:28 --- "Her children arise up, and call her (their Mother) blessed."

Here's one of the signs of the last days of apostasy --- "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy...." (2 Timothy 3:1-2)

By the way, Christian Daddy, listen to me.

The very BEST WAY to teach a son or daughter to love and respect their Mother is for YOU to treat her with tender love and honor! Children learn how to respond to their Moms in just exactly the same manner they see us Dads and Husbands responding to their Moms!

And you know what else you would be teaching them?

How to live longer!

Exodus 20:12 --- "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men."

(Posted Saturday morning, January 24, 2004, at 7:12 AM)

Let's just take it word by word.

First I'd like to look at that word "scorner."  The root word here means "to make mouths at!"  This suggests mockery.  (To scoff or hold in derision!)  The word is used 10 times in Proverbs and paints quite an accurate picture of this person.  (Study that sometime!)  He particularly "mocks" sin!  He thinks the godly life-style is a "joke!"

But... the scorner apparently does not "wear" well.  He soon becomes an "abomination" to others.  This word just means "disgusting!"  (That which is abhorred!  Repugnant!  ---  are other lexicon definitions.)

Even former Presidents, Generals or other public officials  who mocked sin are soon held in disrepute by the general public!


"The thought of foolishness is sin!" 

"Thought" is a noun meaning "plan" or "purpose."  (An imagination or plot ... usually used in a bad sense in Scripture!)  It is translated "lewd" or "lewdness" 16 times in the King James Bible.

And "foolishness" is silliness.  It is thought by some lexicographers that the word may be derived from a stem meaning "twisted" or "perverse" (perverted).

Our text today certainly shows us that even in the Old Testament God expects us to control our very thoughts!  Remember Paul's classic New Testament passage on thoughts --- "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8)

The pagans criticize us believers because we allow the Scriptures to practice "thought-control" over our lives!  (They don't know the "half" of it, do they?  What if they knew of 2 Corinthians 10:5!))

Even in Psalm 10:4 it is apparent that God wants to be in ALL our thoughts! "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts."

I guess my remarks could be called (and will be) by some sheer "fanaticism." But I call it godly sanctified Christian living!  How about you?

                                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Proverbs 25:2

      "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter."

(Posted Sunday morning, January 25, 2004, at 8:45 AM)

Our verse today has an element of "mystery."

We shall use our word "glory" today as an indication of the "essence" of God! Let me explain that word.  It comes from a Latin verb, esse, which is a form of the verb "to be."  When a preacher speaks opf God's ESSENCE, He is speaking of Who God IS!  God is Love!  God is Light!  God is Life!  These things, when all totaled, comprise His ESSENCE!  The complete picture of His being is His ESSENCE!

The Name of God used here is Elohim and emphasizes God as a Triune Being (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)!

"To conceal" is to hide!  (To cover or make secret!)  Isn't that interesting!  Now for any reader today who does not believe that God yet conceals things, read Deuteronomy 29:29 --- "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law."

I even believe that God has lovingly placed some "deeper" truths into Scripture ... just waiting to be "discovered" by the diligent student!  Peter must have thought so too!  Listen to him speak about Paul:  "Even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;  as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood ...."  (2 Peter 3:15-16)

Elsewhere (1 Corinthians 2:10) Paul mentions:  "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."

The word "honour" is the same Hebrew term as "glory" earlier in our verse. Man is at his very best when he is searching out the treasured "buried" things of God!  (That's when mankind "weighs" his most to the Glory of God!  "Heaviness" is the literal definition for "honour.")

"Kings" is Hebrew "melech" and indicates "royalty!"  (Really somebody!)

And the final verb "search out" means to examine, to investigate, to explore, or to ascertain!  It's a Qal infinitive stem, meaning that the action is performed by the student and is a habitual pursuit! 

Just think of it!  Spending the rest of your lives searching out the beautiful deeper things of God!

Of course right now I am thinking about Bible Study!

Look, dear friend.  What YOU are DOING RIGHT NOW (SEARCHING OUT THE MEANING OF A VERSE OF SCRIPTURE), IS an "honourable" activity!  (God says so!)

So ... today ... go ahead!  Live like a KING!

Search out God's Word!

Excuse me, I have to go for a minute.  I must step over to the other side of the Palace.

                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool."

(Posted December 26, 2003 at 8:35 AM from cumming, georgia)

Snow in summer is out of place.  It just does not belong there!  (Some things are good in season and out of season!  Like, preaching!  But NOT snow in summer!) 

Likewise rain in harvest can halt the reaping!  Or worse yet ... ruin the crops!  (The first example ... snow in summer ... is inconvenient!  The second example ... rain in harvest ... is dangerous!) 

In like manner ... honor for a fool is unseemly!  The word honour (kabod) is the standard Old Testament word for GLORY!  (It's used in some form of "glory, glorious," etc. 167 of 200 times in the Old Testament!)  The other 33 times = honour or honourable.  (The word comes from a root that means "heavy!"  Giving a lot of "weight" to someone or something.  Counting them valuable or critical to one's views!)

The word for "fool" can carry the following ideas:  stupid, simple, arrogant (proud), or silly!  ("Fat" is the original word picture here!  Sluggish, dull!)


Excuse me!  I'm not going to sit in front of a television and watch a bunch of Hollywood "reprobates" receive rewards on some Oscar or Emmy night.  I refuse to honor such activities with my time!

Neither (this will upset someone) will I watch country music "crooners" get their Grammy awards  or other recognitions!  I just think there's better music than songs that center on immorality, booze (drinking) and broken marriages!

Neither will I honor folks like Elvis Pressley or Michael Jackson or _______________ (insert anyone else in their clan).

I'll tell you what that crowd needs!  They need the "medicine" of verse 3 in today's Proverbs chapter ... not honor and respect!  (A whip, a bridle and a rod!)

In Scripture (Book of Esther) when wicked Haman was honored ... everything went wrong! 

That's one of the major things wrong in our country today.  Men (and women) such as Judges have been promoted when they should have been fired!  Our leaders have been honoring the wrong kinds of people!

If you want to know WHOM to honour, see Psalm 15:4 which speaks of the godly man who "honoureth them that fear the Lord!"  They are my heroes too!

I'll tell you who deserves honour.  Those to whom God gives it!  The word "promotion" is used only twice in the English Bible.  Once it's used of the godly (Psalm 75:6-7) and once of the ungodly (Proverbs 3:35).  Notice them both:  "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." (the Psalms passage)   And the other:  "The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools."  (the Proverbs selection)

Well, if anyone's angry ... so be it! 

I shall honor those whom God honors!  (Proverbs is not always the quiet sweet little Book many imagine, is it?  It is the BOLD Word of God!)

                                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man."

(Posted Saturday, December 27, 2003, at 4:10 AM from Cumming, Georgia)

I've often wondered about this little proverb.  Today I want to "tackle" it.  Remember,  "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." 

First of all we need to notice the expression "heart of man."  These 2 men (man to man) obviously are men of like mind!  The heart of a godly man will NOT answer compatibly to the heart of a wicked man!  The face of a prostitute has nothing in common with the face of a virtuous pure young lady.  Like mindedness is assumed here.  Here we have a "word picture" of true fellowship!

The reflection of a face in water simply reveals a form identical in appearance.  So does godly communion one believer with another reveal dozens of "like" features!

I have occasionally heard Christians say "No one knows how I feel."  That's just not true. (By the way, Jesus certainly knows! Hebrews 4:15)  But if you'll open up and share your burdens ... I guarantee you there's another saint nearby who has been through just what you have ... and their face will answer to yours in holy conversation about the matter!

Hear Paul as he calls Timothy his son on the faith!  (1 Timothy 1:2 and two other places also) Listen to him "bragging" on that younger preacher  --- "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state."  Now, that's face answering to face!

That brings me to my point today.  Few people today are really interested in Bible study!  Yet I feel God may be building a special ministry here on these web-pages.  As I study, pray and type these line (all dedicated to the study of the Scriptures) I am seeing God "draw" a few good men (and maybe some ladies) around this site ... to an open Bible!  There we all (I believe) are conversing "heart to heart" over the good things of God!

I more and more in my life and ministry feel a "kinship" to those who love God's Word!  May this Proverbs verse "live" as long as these web-pages go forth!   In Psalm 119:63 David describes exactly how I want to feel:  "I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts."  One King James translation of the word "companion" is "knit together!" (Judges 20:11)  That expression says it all --- "knit together" in Christ Jesus over an open Bible!

                                                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things."

(Posted Sunday Morning, December 28, 2003, at 8:25 AM from Cumming, Georgia)

By "evil men" Solomon means the wicked ... who know not God!  "Understand" is the classic Hebrew verb that implies seeing "levels of meaning" in situations!  The ungodly just do not know how to comprehend and analyze "judgment" from God!  They would never view "bad" things as coming because of a nation's disobedience and rebellion against an Almighty God!  (But we know better ... don't we?)

That's the very point of the verse!  Those who "seek" (baqash in Hebrew) the Lord understand all things!  The root idea here is "to search out!'  Furthermore our verb is in the "Piel" stem indicating INTENSIVE action!  These who seek the Lord do so vehemently, vigorously, diligently! 

If one will simply put on the "glasses" of God's Word (wherein one gets God's Wisdom) ... he or she will see this old world in clear FOCUS and understand much (if not most) of the daily global occurrences! Now that sounds like a bit of bragging ... I'd rather say it's a bit of Bible Truth!

I'm telling you that GOD IS AT WORK EVERY HOUR IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE UNIVERSE IN WHICH WE LIVE!  Those who seek Him can see His fingerprints!  And footsteps!  And sense the very breath of His Presence!


                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him."

(Posted December 29, 2003, at 7:45 AM)

The verse very clearly speaks for itself !  Let me just add a few comments, most of which I've gleaned from others. 

James 1:19 admonishes us:  "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath"  (No wonder they often call the Book of James "The Proverbs of the New Testament!")

Proverbs 29:19 speaks of a man who talks too little.  And our verse (the very next one) speaks of one who talks too much!  (Seems God listens to our words!  Does He count them too?)  Jesus says in Matthew 12:36 --- "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

By the way, I'll guarantee you that a man who is so hasty in his words ... is also a man who is proud!  He's a "know-it-all!"  He thinks he has all the answers!  He would have been better advised to obey Proverbs 17:28 --- "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."

The word picture behind that word "hasty" is "to press!"  This foolish man actually "presses" or forces the words out of his mouth!  He can't wait to blabber!  He lives "to talk!"  Again, Proverbs warns us --- "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise."  Proverbs 10:19

One of they key steps to learning anything is to LISTEN!  The man of our verse has no time for that!  He must be talking!  (Some so-called Christians do little else that talk ... gossip ... on the phone all day!  You can't do THAT and be anything other than "hasty of words.")

I fear that the Bible Judge Jephthah was "hasty in his words" and this just may have cost him the life of his daughter!

In Matthew 26:73 we read of Peter --- "And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee."  Get it?  His speech betrayed him!  It gave him away!  Folks can tell a lot about us by the words of our mouths!

Well, enough has been said!

May God give you a good (and a quiet) day!

                                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.  Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."

(Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2003 at 6:55 AM)

Today I'm going to give you an "outline" for the our verses that I found in a commentary on Proverbs. It is not mine (alas, for it is borrowed), but I thought it was pretty good.

Notice ... 1. The PURITY of the Bible! ("every word")

                 2. The PROTECTION of the Bible! (a "shield")

                 3. The PERFECTION of the Bible! (nothing needs to be "added")

The adjective "pure" is a Hebrew word meaning "to refine, to test, to smelt, to try." It comes from the field of the goldsmith or silversmith! In the Old Testament it is translated often "founder or refine or even goldsmith!" The precious old Bible has been through many a fire ... but the fire didn't hurt it!  It proved its purity! Psalm 12:6 says: "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."

I believe the word "shield" must, in context, somehow be applied to the Word of God also! Often in Scripture the Word seems to come "alive!" Sometimes it is just hard to tell the difference often between the Written Word and the Living Word! "Shield" (magen) is in the Hebrew a "buckler" (hand-held shield) or a "defence" or one's "arms" (in the sense of battle gear). It's from a root verb that means "to hedge about!" Or "to protect!" I'm telling you right now ... the Word of God will protect you!   (Paul says in Ephesians 6 that the Bible is our sword!)

"Trust" means to "flee for protection!" When the devil comes, do what Jesus did! Go to the precious Word of God and say to satan, "IT IS WRITTEN!  IT IS WRITTEN!  IT IS WRITTEN!"

"Add" means to increase or to augment! (Like the Catholics have added the Aprocrypha to their Bibles! Like the Mormons have to include the Book of Mormon! Like the other cults add their own "scriptures!" Like liberal preachers like to add their own interpretations!) This warning is repeated in Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32 and Revelation 22:18-19. I'd say this is pretty important! (Three times in Scripture!) Of course many of the modernists today "take away" from the Bible. That is equally as wrong!

"Reprove" means "to correct or to judge or even to convince!" It is a "causative" verb ... indicating that there's a REASON why God so acts! The Reason: the integrity of the Bible! God will defend His Word!

Isn't it interesting that the very crowd that's "correcting" the Scriptures ... adding here and taking away there, effectively calling the Bible "wrong" in places ... IS THE VERY CROWD GOD WILL PROVE TO BE LIARS THEMSELVES! It is NOT the Bible that's in error ... it is the crowd that calls the Bible wrong!

That's our verse (today a couple of verses) from the Proverbs "chapter-of-the-day." (Proverbs 30 because it's December 30th.)

                                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





"The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him."

(Posted December 31, 2003, from Cumming, Georgia, at 7:42 AM)

The name "Lemuel" means "for God" or "belonging to God!"  (That's a pretty good name!)  Some Bible teachers through the years have associated Lemuel with Solomon.  Some even believe it's another of Solomon's names ... but we do not have Scripture to prove that.  (However, the Jewish "Talmud" does say this.)  We do know that Lemuel was a king.  See verses four and five.

But we do know THIS about Lemuel.  He had a godly Mother who taught him the Word of God!  Here he joins a "great cloud of witnesses" who can testify to the same thing! 

What his Mother did for him is interesting.  She "taught" him!  This is Hebrew ... "yacar" ... meaning to chastise (21 times in Scripture), to instruct (8 times), to correct (7 times), to punish (1 time), to reprove (1 time), to reform (1 time) and to teach (2 times)!  Its literal meaning is to chastise (with blows) ... then to chasten with words! It sounds like his Mother really got with him!

The word for "prophecy" initially meant "burden!"  (57 of 66 times in the Bible) That's what a Bible "message" is --- a burden!  (At least in the Old Testament sense!) All the prophets had "burdens" to deliver!  Lemuel's Mother took the truths of the Bible and indoctrinated them into her son!

Remember Timothy?   Paul says to him ... "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."   In 2 Timothy 3:15  Paul had previously told us about Timothy's Mother and Grandmother.  "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee (Timothy), which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."

Someone said, "The Book of Proverbs begins with the advice of a Father and ends with the advice of a Mother!"  (Wow!)  The home ought to be a central place of learning the things of God!

Let's stop today and thank God for Christian Mothers who take the time to teach their children the precious Word of God!  May their number increase!

For those of you whose Moms are still living ... you ought today (on this last day of the year) to tell her what a blessing she is to you!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell


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