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 FOR MONTHS NOW  I HAVE BEEN WRITING A LITTLE DAILY COMMENTARY ON A VERSE FROM THE PROVERBS.

I HAVE HERE COLLECTED ANOTHER GROUP OF THIRTY ONE (ONE FROM EACH CHAPTER) OF THESE AND NAMED THEM "POINTERS FROM PROVERBS."

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO LOVE THE OLD TESTAMENT BOOK OF WISDOM, THESE LITTLE ARTICLES MIGHT PROVIDE SOME EDIFYING BIBLE STUDY.

(SOME OF THEM PREACH PRETTY WELL TOO!)

--- 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

 

FROM PROVERBS 1 ...

PROVERBS 1:32

 "For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them."

(Posted February 1, 2004, from Cumming, Georgia, at 7:18 AM)

Today we are given notice of two dangers.  (Dangers to the spiritual life!)

The "simple" man is one who is silly and easily led.  (The "root" word means "open" or "roomy!"  This man is too gullible!  He believes everything without any investigation!)

"Turning away" is to veer off to the right or left.  It is the Old Testament counterpart to the New Testament word "apostasize."  To "depart" from the faith.  God is looking for faithful and steady men and women!

DO NOT TURN AWAY!  Jesus said:  "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."  (Luke 9:62)

This type of backsliding will ultimately "kill" you!  The verb "slay" means "to smite with deadly intent."  The devil wants you to depart from the faith!  If for no other reason ... to hasten your death!

And these who are most easily led ("simple") are most vulnerable to "turning away." We preachers just MUST preach on faithfulness!  Paul did!  In 1 Corinthians 15:58 he says: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

Next the "fools" are in view.  The noun here means "silly" or stupid (especially in reference to spiritual things)!

What's their great danger?  "Prosperity!"  The word means success (or security or even happiness).    Some folks can't handle too many of the rich blessings of life (given by God)!

This is the idea behind Proverbs 30:8-9 which warns us: "Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."

Too much "prosperity" will destroy the fool.  The verb "destroy" means to perish or to vanish.

Dear Christian friends, reading this verse today ought to caution us as well!  

DO NOT TURN AWAY FROM THE LORD!

NEITHER LET THE MANY BLESSINGS OF LIFE LURE YOU AWAY FROM GOD!

What a verse!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 2 ...

PROVERBS 2:10-11

"When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;  Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee."

(Posted Monday morning, February 2, 2004, at 7:35 AM)

I am focusing today on that little "adverb" WHEN.  

Once one attains wisdom, what next?

Accompanying wisdom one will always find three other things:  knowledge and discretion and understanding!

They are all see in this passage!

But, still the question remains:  "What is the goal of these great qualities?"

The rest of chapter 2 answers that query.

Verse 12 says we have wisdom and her "cousins" to "deliver thee from the way of the evil man!"  Wisdom teaches me whom to avoid!  (Evil mean are bad for those who desire to pursue godly living!)

Then verse 16 adds another purpose for seeking wisdom:  "to deliver thee from the strange woman!"  (Then I would say bad women are also enemies of the godly life!)

How practical can a chapter of Scripture get?

Lord give us wisdom, knowledge, discretion and understanding.  Then let those traits KEEP US AWAY FROM evil men and strange women!

Who would have ever thought it?

Wisdom's great goal;  separation from iniquity! 

Then "Come out from among them and be ye separate" is a very wise statement!  (2 Corinthians 6:17)

So is "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers."  (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Thank God for Proverbs chapter 2!

(The rest of chapter 2 describes how to "spot" evil men and strange women!)

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 3 ...

PROVERBS 3:1

"My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments."

(Posted February 3, 2004, from Covington, Louisiana)

I saw something in this verse earlier today that thrilled me!  Let me tell you about it as we study together.

Here is a father teaching his son godly truth!  We are commanded to do that! See Deuteronomy 6:6-7.  "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

(For an example of a mother doing the teaching see Proverbs 31:1!)

The first function in the "steps" to godly living involves one's memory.  "Forget not" is a command!  (The verb means to forget or to ignore or even to "wither!")  One dictionary says:  "To mislay due to inattention!"  To be oblivious to something!

There are just some things we MUST remember! (And the LAW of God is at the top of the list.)

That word "law" sure is interesting!  It comes with two Bible "word pictures."  It means "to flow" (as water).  Then it means "to drip" as honey does when it is thick and sweet!  God's Word is just like sweet dripping honey to the hungry or cool clear water to the thirsty!

Secondly the word came to mean (in Hebrew) to hurl or throw or shoot!  It IS God's Word that we must shoot as an arrow at the enemy the devil!  Every time you tell satan "It is written" you fire a salvo of ammunition in his direction.

The verb "let keep" as in "Let thine heart keep my commandments" means to guard (in a good sense).  (To watch over!)

And "commandments" means basically something enjoined or charged or committed to someone for obedient response!

The sequence here is:  HEAR GOD'S WORD!  Then REMEMBER GOD'S WORD (Do not forget it!) And one will consequently KEEP GOD'S COMMANDMENTS (Obey them.)!  Here, first one's ears ... then one's mind ... then one's heart ... then one's whole being is involved!

Wow!

What Wisdom is to be found in the Scriptures!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

FROM PROVERBS 4 ...

PROVERBS 4:25

"Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee."

(Posted February 4, 2004, at 8:15 AM from Covington, Louisiana)

This verse is so appropriate this week!

I have heard that Sunday night (of all times, the Lord's Day!  Shame!  Shame! Shame!) on the football game called the Super Bowl there was a bit of nudity exposed for the whole viewing audience to see!  (Which rules out all godly Bible believing Christians, doesn't it?  They would have either been in church ... or on their way home from evening services!)

What sneaky ways the devil has to plant an unholy thought in the minds of thousands of men nationwide!  (You will never convince me that such a deed was just an "accident!")

Today's chapter in Proverbs gives us men some good advice.

Be very careful with your eyes!

The verb "look" indicates more than just one quick (possibly even accidental) glance.  It means "to regard, to pay attention to, to look upon."  One lexicon says "to scan."  (To look upon with pleasure)  The verb is in the "causative" stem, which means that there is some CAUSE propelling the look!  (And it is not good!)

The Scripture here says DO NOT GET DETRACTED.  Keep looking straight ahead! Do not swerve to the right or to the left!  Keep your eyes on the straight and narrow path!

And the verb "look straight" (yashar) means "to be right" or "to be level."  (I believe this means we should let all our glances be "right" in the eyes of God!)  Level with Him!

Lot got into more and more trouble once he "pitched his tent toward Sodom!" (Genesis 12:13)  He was LOOKING the wrong way!

Old godly Job also knew well the danger of a wrong look!  He pledges in Job 31:1 --- "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?"  Job was already predetermined NOT to look wrongfully upon a maid (a young girl, a virgin)!  You godly men ought to memorize Job's verse and have it in your hearts!

David covenanted (and later broke his promise) to never look upon anything inappropriate!  He said in Psalm 101:3 --- "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes."

Men, be careful!

And ladies, you too need to remember to be very cautious regarding your dress habits!  Remember that Peter told us that there would be wicked men who ..."having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls."  These lust hounds can not even look at a woman without desiring her in their hearts!  They are filthy beasts.  Do not feed their wicked imaginations!

I do not even know who Janet Jackson is.  But I do know Who the Lord God Almighty is!  Guess which one is going to influence my life this week (the Lord willing)!

Serve the Lord.  Keep your eyes on HIM!  Paul says it best in Hebrews 12:2 --- "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith!"

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

FROM PROVERBS 5 ...

PROVERBS 5:18-19

"... and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love."

(Posted February 5, 2004, at 7:35 AM from Covington, Louisiana)

I did not think I would ever have to use THIS verse in a sermon!

I am just about tired of this Super Bowl mess that's been lingering since the game was played.  (If believers would go to church on Super Bowl Sunday night and preachers would preach an hour or so in that evening service ... not one real believer would have to worry with this trash!)

It seems some young woman exposed her breast on national television and the nation can't quit talking about it (and showing it in varying degrees of detail)!

I would like to say something to you Christian men today.

Proverbs 5 is about the ungodly (no morals) "strange woman."  We are warned about her carefully.  I am NOT going to spend my precious time looking at some wicked lady.  I pray God will deliver His people from such lewdness.

BUT PREACHER, WHAT'S A MAN TO DO?

Well, our verse today has the answer!

"Rejoice" with you wife!

The verb means to "be glad."  (To be so glad that you "brighten up.")

By her being the wife of your "youth," the implication is made that she is your first wife (your only wife)!

God is NOT the Author of divorce.

One's wife is compared to two graceful beautiful little deer!  (The Old Testament abounds in word pictures!)  Deer are shy but pleasant!

Now ... Solomon gets a little "plain" here.

I do not intend to be crass ... but the word for "breast" means just that.  The wife's breast (or nipple) is the subject here. 

How did THAT get into the Bible?

Wait a minute.

Her breasts are to "satisfy" her husband at all times!  The verb means "to slake the thirst."  (To saturate!  To fill to the brim!)

God is saying that Christian men NEVER need "halftime" entertainment such as the disaster from that terrible ball game!

He just needs his godly wife!  SHE is his source (only source) of satisfaction!

And just HOW satisfied is she to make him?

To the point that he is "ravished!"

The word means to be "intoxicated!"  (To swerve, reel, roll, wander, meander!  He is "out of his mind" in delight!)

Excuse me.  I am just explaining this verb.

THAT is the Bible solution to the Janet Jackson debacle.

May God bless you in your marriages is my prayer.

                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

FROM PROVERBS 6 ...

PROVERBS 6:22

"When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee."

(Written and posted February 6, 2004, from Louisiana at 7:58 AM)

The verse today is talking about the "commandments" a godly father gives to his son and the "law" a godly mother shares as well!  But we all know that those commandments and laws are just portions of the Word of God!  Christian parents rear their children by the Book!

Therefore  the three things listed in our verse above may be attributed to the Scriptures themselves.  The pronoun "it" has reference to the Bible and its Truth.

If so ... when I travel (the verb means "walk") the Word of God will LEAD me!  The word "lead" literally means "to guide!"  The dictionary in the back of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance adds that the word is often used of a pilgrim on a journey or a colonist en route to his new country!  (That's exactly what we Christians are! Strangers and pilgrims on a journey!)

The verb "sleepest" just means to lie down!  Of course if you do that ... and are tired enough ... you WILL sleep!  This is a Qal infinitive.  The Psalmist believes sleep will become a habit with us humans!  (It has!)

Even when we are asleep ... the Scriptures "keep" us!  The meaning here is "to guard or protect or have charge of someone!"  Maybe a mind filled with the Word of God is not as susceptible to the workings of the devil ... even when we are asleep!  Maybe it is spared certain wicked dreams or imaginations to which others are subjected! (One lexicon says:  To hedge about ... as with thorns!)

And the verb "awakest" is from a stem that means "to clip off!"  (As when one's sleep is abruptly halted!)  It is a Hiphil stem verb ... meaning that it's "causative."  You awake due to some cause!  (And just like going to sleep was habitual ... so is this waking up the next morning!  Not much Bible ground here for sleeping late!)

Did you know the Bible could "talk?"  The word means "to ponder, to converse, to muse, etc.!"  And the "time" sense of this verb is the same as the other two verbs in the verse.  It keeps on talking to you ... all day long!

This verse literally portrays the Scriptures as a Companion to us!

Gladly should we welcome It into our lives!

It is alive!  (Hebrews 4:12)

                                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

FROM PROVERBS 7 ...

PROVERBS 7:5

"That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words."

(The pronoun "they" has as its antecedents "Wisdom" and "Understanding" from the previous verse.)

(Written Friday afternoon but posted Saturday morning, February 7, 2004 at 1:45 AM)

 

Proverbs chapter 7 is mostly about the woman who today would be called a "prostitute." Just an old harlot. A "call girl." She is described in many ways. However I am going to focus today on verse 5.

The word "strange" carries the idea of foreign. Surely no Jew would have been this immoral! It would have to be a "stranger!" (Times surely have changed, havenít they?)

I am particularly interested in the fact that she well knows how to "flatter" with her words! First letís get some definitions. To say something good about someone is NOT wrong! In fact to "praise" someone for a godly character trait is wise. It will help them to work even more on something God is developing in their lives. It also encourages them in their Christian walk. BUT praising someone for godly reasons and flattering someone for selfish reasons are as different as day and night! The flatterer insincerely lifts someone up verbally IN ORDER TO MANIPULATE THEM IN A CERTAIN DIRECTION! (Praising them in order to get a "favor" from them in return, for example!)

The verb "flatter" is one of those Hebrew words that has a couple of published meanings (either of which may well be accurate). One source says it comes from the verb "to be smooth." This would hint at "smooth" sweet pleasing words in order to get oneís goals from a person! THAT IS FLATTERY! The other definition means to divide, share, plunder or allot! (Doing something for whatís in it for YOU!) This also is a goal of flattery! Saying things to get a "payoff" of some kind! Either way (which really amounts to the same motive) a "strange woman" is good at it!  Ask the Lord to help you be discerning when folks start saying extremely "good things" about you. They may really be trying to help you further grown in the Lord ... or they may be trying to "use" you for their own ends. The Old Testament in general and the Book of Proverbs in particular are quite informative about the "flatterer." Listen.

Psalm 5:9 speaks of the wicked man! "For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue." Note the other "sins" with which flattery is associated!

Psalm 78:36 describes backslidden Israel flattering even God Himself! "Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues."

Psalm 36:2 tells us that it is even possible for a man to flatter himself! (As it is possible to deceive oneself! James 1:22) "For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful."

Proverbs 2:16 again links flattery with the prostitute. "To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words."

Proverbs 20:19 --- "He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips."  Even the "gossip" knows how to flatter someone ... in order to get them to hear their trash!  They "flatter" you first ... so you feel you have to listen to them!

Proverbs 29:5 --- "A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet."  When you flatter someone you build a false PRIDE in their hearts. This sin is dangerous spiritually!

These next two verses are speaking of the coming anti-christ! Daniel 11:21 --- "And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries." (He rises to power via flattery!) And Daniel 11:32 --- "And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." (It takes a strong Believer to avoid the pitfalls of flattery!)

In Job 32:21 Elihu said: "Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man." He here expresses wisdom.

Psalm 12:2 describes the wicked: "They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak." (See how flattery and "double hearts" go together?)

Psalm 12:3 --- "The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things." Judgments awaits the lying flatterer!

Proverbs 7:21 --- "With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him." A skilled "call girl" can FORCE her client (victim) with flattering words!

Proverbs 26:28 --- "A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin." (Even the flatterer reaps what he sows!)

Job 17:5 promises judgment even upon the children of the flatterer! "He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail." (Perhaps much flattery distorts a childís sense of reality, thus blinding him socially!)

And here is the ONLY time the sin of "flattery" is mentioned in the New Testament! Itís in 1 Thessalonians 2:5 --- "For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness." Paul just said he didnít flatter anyone! Preachers, let God provide your needs. Do not flatter to get anything!

Lord, help us to learn how to Biblically encourage one another with genuine words of encouragement (and even godly praise)! And help us to avoid the terrible sin of flattery! This "sermon" got a little long, didnít it? But it may have well been worth the time it took to read (and study)!

                                                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

FROM PROVERBS 8 ...

PROVERBS 8:1

"Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?"

(Posted February 8, 2004)

This great Proverbs chapter pictures Wisdom as alive and calling to men and women to come and learn the great things of God!

(This literary technique of making a character trait "come alive" and speak and move is called "personification."  However, I am not at all sure that personification is ALL we have involved in this little verse!  I happen to believe that the kind of Wisdom discussed here by Solomon IS ALIVE!  It lives eternally in the Person of the precious Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ! Paul said of Jesus:  "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3  HE IS WISDOM!) 

Notice what Wisdom and her "first cousin" Understanding are said to do.  Wisdom "cries" to passers-by to come and hear the truth of her words!  The verb "cry" (Hebrew = "qara") means "to call out loud to!"  It is such a strong verb that one dictionary says it means "to accost" someone.  (Dictionary definition of "accost:"  to approach and speak to in a challenging and aggressive way!)

Does anyone reading this remember when the Wisdom of God (the Holy Spirit) accosted you and brought you to Jesus?  (I sure do!)

And understanding "puts forth" her voice too!  This verb I know and you do too! (Hebrew = "nathan")  It is the very English name "Nathan!"  (Transliterated from Hebrew!)  It means "to give!"  Understanding literally wants to "give" us words of godly advice!

Now if Wisdom is arresting people and Understanding is giving away God's Knowledge ... I WANT TO GET IN ON IT!  How about you?

Well, if so ...

*  We must be in the right place! 

*  We must have ears attentive to listening!

*  We must not allow ourselves to be detracted!

*  We must be willing to admit that we are "simple" and need God's instruction!

*  We must be willing to forsake wickedness!

*  And we must "receive" the good news (according to verse 10)!  The verb means "to fetch, to lay hold of or even to seize!"

Excuse me. It's Sunday and I hear Wisdom calling.

I'm going to church to listen to the living Word of God!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell 

 

FROM PROVERBS 9 ...

SERMON FROM PROVERBS CHAPTER 9

(Placed here on the 9th day of December, 2003)

1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. 3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, 4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. 6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. 7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. 11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. 12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. 14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 15 To call passengers who go right on their ways: 16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. 18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.  (Proverbs 9:1-18)

I noticed the other day that the White House where our President lives employs five full-time chefs! They can serve in-house nearly 200 people! And they do have some sumptuous feasts!

Scripture tells us of the meals King Solomon served! "And Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal, Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallowdeer, and fatted fowl." (1 Kings 4:22-23)  Thatís a lot of food!

Even Jesus spoke often about feasts and meals with lavish items. (Remember that His parables were loaded with such pictures!) And, as you know, Jesus ate with folks again and again ... sitting around table in fellowship and communion.

John says that we all (Christians) are going to a great "Marriage Supper" some day! Jesus told the Disciples about it in Matthew 26:29.

Well, in this 9th chapter of Proverbs we have two feasts! One is prepared by godly Miss Wisdom and she invites her guests!

The other is prepared by ungodly Miss Wickedness and she invites folks to enjoy her pleasures of sin for a season!

Which meal are you attending! You canít go to both!

Briefly I would like to catalogue the meals.

The godly meal of Wisdom:

1. "Seven" pillars! The House of Wisdom is firm and stable! Seven also indicates completion and perfection! (Nothing is lacking at this feast!)

2. What a full course meal is planned! Meat = strength! Wine = joy! Furnished table = beauty!

3. She has dispatched maidens to invite people to come! It is sort of a "whosoever will" situation, I believe!

4. The only kind of folks who will come are those who recognize their need! The "simple" (ignorant) and those who lack understanding (unwise) are the only ones who will respond! By the way, only SINNERS respond to the Gospel!

5. Apparently the meal is FREE! (No mention of money!) So is salvation free because of the Price Jesus paid!

6. The ultimate "reward" of this feast: LIFE! ("Forsake the foolish and LIVE!) The precious result of believing on Jesus: "They shall never perish but have everlasting life!"

Now, on to the ungodly meal of Wickedness:

1. It is served amidst great "clamour." This Hebrew word means to roar or to be excessively loud! (The godly person mumbles Scripture! The literal meaning of "meditate" in Psalm 1:3 is to mutter!) THE GODLY MEAL IS SERVED IN PEACE!

2. It is served by one who is "simple, knowing nothing!" The idea of this word simple is that of being "open" to anything ... with no ability to discern that which is evil or dangerous! (Seducibility ... one teacher says!) THE GODLY MEAL IS SERVED BY ONE WHO IS OMNISCIENT!

3. Not much work in this meal! The wicked woman sits (while woman Wisdom worked hard)! I guess it's a T.V. dinner kind of thing! GODíS MEAL IS WELL PREPARED AND FULLY FURNISHED!

4. This meal of permissiveness is served with a pack of lies! Stolen waters are NOT sweet ... they are deadly! THE MEAL OF GODLY WISDOM IS SERVED WITH TRUTH AND SINCERITY!

5. Those who attend the meal of wickedness end up dead! It appears that they die as a result of Miss Foolish Womanís hand! She murders them. (Either deliberately or by means of the deadly food she serves! Ever heard of food poisoning?) WHILE THE FOOD OF WISDOM BACK IN VERSE 11 "MULTIPLIES DAYS AND INCREASES THE YEARS OF LIFE!"

Thatís enough information for me! I know where Iím going to eat! Donít you?  "Come and get it!"

                                                                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

FROM PROVERBS 10 ...

PROVERBS 10:1-3

(Placed on this page Wednesday, December 10, 2003)

The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.  The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

I want to mention to you that the Book of Proverbs actually begins here in chapter 10.  The first nine chapters are the inspired errorless introductory portions of the Book!  There one finds the longer speeches.  By the way, much of those first nine chapters is addressed to the young folks. 

Is is therefore so fitting that the introductory paragraph of chapter 10 deals with the subject of sons (and daughters).  Here begin the dozens of individual proverbs of Solomon.  We shall look today only at the first three.

"Maketh glad" as a verb means "to brighten up!"  It is a Piel imperfect Hebrew verb.  It is therefore intensive in action!  And it is also ongoing action.  A wise child will dramatically gladden a father through the years!  Also a foolish child is a "heaviness" to his Mother!  This verb means "to cause grief!"  (By the way, since Biblically a Father and Mother or Husband and Wife are ONE in God's eyes ... these nouns are interchangeable.  A wise child can also make his mother glad!  A foolish child can also make his father heavy in spirit!)

But the real question is ... how do you determine if a child is "wise!"  There is worldly wisdom, and there is godly wisdom!  (See James 3:13-18.)  Many parents today consider a child wise if he or she makes lots of money!  Or is popular with the world!  Or is a prominent physician or lawyer.  BUT THAT IS NOT GOD'S STANDARD FOR WISDOM!

"The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom" God says!  (Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10)  Wisdom is a spiritual trait according to the Bible.  It involves purity of life and love of God!

By the way, a parent would have to be "wise" himself or herself in order to appreciate such Biblical godly wisdom! 

But ... I can hear folks screaming now ... if a kid just loves God and knows the Bible he will grow up and be ignorant of the ways of the world and probably poor too!  He just can't be a success in this world today if he or she knows only the things of the spirit!

THEN JUST NOTICE VERSE 2 OF OUR TEXT PLEASE:  "Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death."  Raise a child by the world's standards and he may some day be wealthy ... but that will profit him nothing!  Yet the godly child will be delivered (rescued) from death!  (What's better ... earthly riches or eternal life?)

I still can hear now someone's objections:  "But, preacher, if you keep kids within the confines of the Word of God, they will starve to death in this old world.  You've got to let them go and be themselves!  They must circulate with the world and make money and be successful!"  THEN VERSE 3 WILL RELIEVE YOUR FEARS!  "The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked."  God will not allow His little children to starve!  (The word means to go hungry!)  BUT THE LORD WILL EXPEL OR THRUST AWAY (VERY STRONG WORDS) THE POSSESSIONS OF THE GODLESS!  (That which the wicked man owns becomes wicked anyway in the sight of God!  Even the prayers of the wicked are abominable to the Lord! See Proverbs 15:8 and 28:9.  Mercy!  The very work ("plowing" --- as farmers in that day would do) of the wicked is sin!  See Proverbs 21:4.

I believe that this passage does a good a job as I've ever seen of anticipating a man's arguments against a Bible truth ... and answering those vile arguments beforehand!

We truly have a living Book!

Thank God for wise children!

May you have some ... and may they make you glad!

                                                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

FROM PROVERBS 11 ...

PROVERBS 11:5-6

(Posted Thursday morning, December 11, 2003)

The Book of Proverbs says in its 11th chapter:  "The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.  The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness." (Proverbs 11:5-6)

Look at the by-products of righteousness in these 2 verses!  Righteousness is what we receive when we are "saved!"  Once a man is "born again," he becomes a child of God. God's very righteousness is applied to that former sinner's heart! 

But righteousness does MORE than just get you to heaven!  It impacts (greatly) one's life on earth!  Here we are told that righteousness also "directs" the Christian's way!  That verb "direct" is a Hebrew term meaning "to make straight!"  The verb is in the Piel stem ... meaning that it is intensive in nature!  Righteousness just comes into one's life ... takes over ... and begins to control everything!  It makes our crooked ways straight!  It also can mean to make smooth!  Righteousness can sure make things smooth ... in a formerly rough old life!

Additionally, righteousness can "deliver" the trusting saint!  This verb is equally thrilling!  It means "to rescue, to save or even to snatch away!"  Here we have the idea of God as Protector! 

Also would you notice that our little two verse duo shows two by-products of sin as well! Wickedness will cause one to "fall!"  It means "fall down, fall away or to be overthrown!"  (The very opposite of being "steadfast and unmoveable" as in 1 Corinthians 15:58!)  In fact, that's exactly what it is called when Adam first sinned ... the FALL of man!

Also the transgressor will be "taken" in his naughtiness!  (Transgressor has the idea of being sneaky or deceitful.)  The verb "taken" is the Hebrew "lakad," meaning to catch or to seize!  The man's own sins will boomerang on him!  The verb stem here (Niphal) means passive voice:  "to be taken, captured!"  They become addicted to their own sins! (Slaves to their wicked passions!)

Verse 8 of our same chapter seems to summarize the whole issue: "The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead."  Here is proof that God CAN keep his children out of trouble ... and can keep the wicked IN trouble!

I'll tell you this:  I want to be more and more godly!  I'll take the Lord's way anytime. His long-range benefits are astounding!

It's just thrilling what meat two or three little proverbs can supply to the hungry soul!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

FROM PROVERBS 12 ...

PROVERBS 12:18

(Posted Friday morning, December 12, 2003 at 10:15 AM from Wartburg, Tennessee)

Our verse for today reads:  "There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health."  

This is one of the "tongue-tamer" verses of Scripture!  (James first used that term in his New Testament epistle!)

The verse presents us with two types of tongues!  They are: the tongue of the wise and the tongue of the unwise.

The unwise tongue is skilled at "piercing" things (mostly other people's reputations)!  That word piercing means stabbings, thrustings, or lunging at or toward someone or something!  It sounds dangerous to me!  Notice that you do not accidentally lunge at someone!  It is deliberate and premeditated!  This is a determined individual.

The word "sword" explains itself, but it used in the King James Bible 413 times and is translated as:  sword (401 times), knife (5 times), dagger (3 times), axe (1 time), and mattock (1 time)!  Sounds pretty deadly!

Stay away from that crowd that commits verbal murder again and again! And (sad to say) there are some in churches today!  In the past eight years of my ministry I've met more of them than in all the other 32 years of  pastoring combined!

Even the word "speaketh" in our verse has significance!  It is an unusual Hebrew word meaning "to babble."  It came to mean to vociferate (talk) angrily! (to speak rashly or thoughtlessly)

But, praise God, there is a bright side to our verse!  The tongue of the wise is "health!"  That is a Hebrew noun (marpe) than means:  remedy, cure or soundness (wellness)!  It comes from a root verb that means "to mend!"

Thank God that while some wicked tongues try to destroy ... wise Godly tongues seek to mend and bring health to hurting souls!

Let us pray today as did David in the 19th Psalm:  "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."  That adjective "acceptable" means pleasing or delightful!  (Our words to please God!)

God will answer that prayer and you will become ... a walking (talking) health dispensing (with your tongue) believer.

The choice is yours!  (Make that ... the choice is ours!)

Are you going to be a verbal killer ... or a verbal healer?

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 13 ...

 

 PROVERBS 13:13

(Posted Saturday morning, December 13, 2003, in Harriman, Tennessee, at 7:03 AM)

My sermon "seed thought" today is found in Proverbs 13:13! Let me show you this great verse of Scripture:

"Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded."

The noun for "word" is "dabar" in Hebrew. It means sayings or words or speech ... but especially indicates words with POWER! Godís Word is a powerful book! It is dynamite!

The verb "despise" means to condemn! It has the idea of disrespect! It is a Qal participle. It is in the active voice. (No one made this wicked man despise Godís Word! He did it himself!) The participal sense lends the idea of progressive continual action. This hatred of Godís Word has been a lifelong pursuit!

"Shall be destroyed" is a Hebrew verb (chabal) meaning to spoil or to destroy! Other definitions: to pervert! To wind tightly or to bind! God binds them up in their own sins! God gives them over to their wicked perversions! Their sins become addictions to them!

BUT he that "feareth" ... a verb (yare) meaning to respect, to revere or to honour! It is a Qal participle (again) and that shows a lifestyle of respect and worship for the things of God!

"Commandment" is just another of the many synonyms used in Scripture for the dear Word of God! Itís the Law, the Precepts, the Statures, etc., as well.

Hereís a verb I sure do like! "Rewarded" (shalam) means to be at peace! To be recompensed! It can also carry the meaning "to be made safe!" It is an imperfect verb, meaning that the action is COMPLETE! If you love and honour the Word of God ... God has already taken care of your REWARD!

I donít know about you, but this verse surely makes me want to love the Word of God and treasure it more and more!

I hope Iíve not sounded like a broken record this week. Iíve said a lot about the Scriptures! But, really, thatís exactly (the Bible) the material on which these web-pages are going to major!

                                                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 14 ...

PROVERBS 14:11

"The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish."

(Posted Sunday morning from Cumming, Georgia, at 9:13 AM)

This verse in Proverbs contrasts the wicked and the upright (the ungodly and the godly)!  Let's study it briefly.

Note first of all the two different words used for the "homes" of these 2 classes of people.  The wicked live in a "house" (Hebrew into English is something like "BATH").  The root word behind this noun is the verb "to build."  They spend their lives building their literal earthly houses!  BUT the upright man is said to live in a "tabernacle."  That word is "tent!"  See the difference?  The ungodly ones plan to live here permanently ... while the saved man is just a pilgrim and stranger (living in a tent) on his way Home!

Then see the results of their two lifestyles!  One ends up being overthrown!  (To be made desolate!  To perish!  To be plucked down!)  The other is said to flourish!  (To break forth as a bud in springtime!  To bloom!  To spread!)  Psalm 92 uses this verb twice (in verses 12 and 13) of the godly man!  What a difference between the two!

Lastly, what kind of people are these?  "Wicked" and "Upright!"  Wicked (Hebrew RASHA) means sin as a disturbing, violating force!  It is sin running rampant and destroying everything it touches!  It is a very active and strong word!  Sin here is dangerous (as always) ... but with a special touch of malignancy!  WHILE the "upright" (Hebrew YASHAR) mean those who are "straight" according to the laws of God!  The word literally means not crooked ... but straight!

Well, that answers it for me.  I'll just "line up" with God!  (That will make you straight, I'd say!)  I choose to follow the ways of the Lord.  I want to conform to His Word ... and the results of that?  Why, that's exactly what this verse is all about!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 15 ...

Proverbs 15:1

(Posted Monday, December 15, 2003 12:29 PM)

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

What is a "soft answer?" The noun "answer" simply means a reply or response. Its root means "to eye, to pay attention to or to heed." It is the qualifying adjective "soft" that lends meaning to our term here. It is only used 16 times in the King James Version of the Bible. Nine of those times it is translated "tender." Its firs Bible use is in Genesis 18:7 where Abraham prepared a calf for the Lord and the 2 angels who had come to visit him. He selected a calf that was "tender" and good. "Tender" there is our word for "soft" here. Three times in Scripture we are told that Solomon as a young son was "tender." That again is the very word here that the Holy Spirit used for "soft!" Isn't it interesting that Solomon (twice called "tender") here uses the word in a proverb? Our word "soft" here is translated "tenderhearted" in 2 Chronicles 13:7 when used of Rehoboam (Solomon's son). Later in Proverbs (25:15) Solomon again mentions a "soft" tongue!

What does a soft answer do? It "turns away" something! The verb (SHUB) means basically "to move back to the point of departure." (It goes like this: Someone was not mad. They were just fine. Something happened. They yelled at you. You replied with a sweet answer. That answer turned their anger back to their original peaceful state!) It's a Hiphil imperfect verb meaning causative active with ongoing action. Their anger CAN be turned away ... but there must be a CAUSE to do that ... and the cause specifically is your KIND SOFT WORDS! (It sure makes sense to me!)

Now let's look at that word "wrath." It is Hebrew (CHEMAH) for "fury!" In fact it is even translated poison 6 times in the Old Testament! (It's "rage" ... twice!) Its root means "to be HOT!"

I suggest that we all begin practicing the use of "SOFT ANSWERS!"

The last half of the verse is just as interesting!

"Grievous" words (ETZSEB) means that which is "painful, hurtful or sorrowful." In Genesis 6:6 our root word as a verb means "to grieve!" God was grieved that He had made man who sinned so much!

The verb "stir up" (ALAH) mean "to come up, to offer up, to ascend," etc. Again, it is a Hiphil imperfect. (Causative active and ongoing action) Hurtful, painful words will almost always belch forth anger!

And then finally "anger" (Hebrew, ALF) means wrath. But here is an interesting view of the word. Thirteen times in Scripture it is translated "nostrils" and twelve times it's "nose!" The word picture: to breathe hard through the nose, to be enraged, to be furious ... so much so that it affects your breathing!

Here is one of the Bible's best verses on anger control! And we (via the Scriptures) have the answer to one of psychology's greatest problems!

What a wise Book is the Bible!

                                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 16 ...

PROVERBS 16:3

"Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established."

(Posted December 16, 2003 at 9:35 AM)

That first verb, "commit," is just beautiful!  It literally means ("galal") ... "to roll!"  Its first Bible use was in Genesis 29:3 where a stone was ROLLED AWAY from the mouth of a well!  (In 2 Samuel 20:12 our verb is translated "wallow!"  It's where someone wallowed in blood until dead!)  By the way, the verb here is a Qal imperative.  It is a COMMAND, not a request!  Also it is in the active voice.  No one can do this for you. You must do it yourself!

The idea here plainly is that we are to take our works (our chores, duties, activities) and roll them onto the dear Lord!  (He will gladly take your burdens that way, too!  "Cast thy care upon the Lord!")  Just take the work that is so heavy on you ... and wallow it in the great power of God Almighty! 

Have I just had an idea!  Preachers, why can't someone take a concordance and (using this verb) see  how many things in Scripture we are told to ROLL OVER onto the Lord?  What a study that would be!  In fact, it sounds like a pretty good sermon topic!

The precise noun here for "works" is ("maaseh") and has the idea of our deeds or labour.  But it also has this little nuance of meaning:  artwork!  poetry!  needlework!  It can contain an aesthetic (beautiful) nature!  My works that I can so easily butches (and make so ugly) ... if turned over to HIM can be made (by Him) into something beautiful, poetic, lovely!

"Thoughts" is the Hebrew noun "machashabah!"  It's only used 56 times in the Bible.  It is translated as follows:  thought, 28 times!  device, 12 times!  purpose, 6 times!  work, 3 times!  imaginations, 3 times!  inventions, 1 time!  things devised, 1 time!  (Wow!)  If I give God my works ... He will control my ______________ !

And what exactly will God do with my "thoughts?"  He will ESTABLISH them!  This verb ("kun") means to make fixed!  to confirm!  to make stable!  The verb is in the Niphal stem ... meaning simple passive voice!  God will do this for me!  He will FIX my very thoughts!

Glory to His Name!

I was especially tired today and nearly skipped our Proverbs time together!

After this verse, I'm sure glad I didn't!

Praise the Lord!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

FROM PROVERBS 17 ...

PROVERBS 17:22

(Posted December 17, 2003 at Cumming, Georgia, at 7:50 AM)

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

The term "merry heart" is interesting!  In one form or another it can be found about 12 times in Scripture.  The adjective "merry" ("sameach") means glad or joyful!  It comes from a root verb which means "to brighten up!"  (Get this!  Except for the book of Proverbs, every time in Scripture when the heart is "merry" ... wine is associated with it!  Every time!  I will take wine here as a symbol of the good Holy Spirit ... Who makes our hearts merry!  Remember Paul's admonition to not be drunk with wine ... but filled with the Spirit?  It's in Ephesians 5:18.)

"Medicine" is a noun that means "that which cures or that which heals." The root verb behind it means "to remove" ... likely picturing the removing of a bandage or covering on a wound!

"Broken" is a Hebrew stem meaning "to smite or to drive away!"  Except for one use in Job (where different vowel points are used), this word is only found in Proverbs!  (Proverbs 15:13 and 17:22 and 18:14)  Once it is translated "wounded."

"Drieth" as a verb means not only to deprive of moisture (to dry) ... but also to make ashamed, confused or disappointed!  In the King James Version it is translated "withered" 22 times and "confounded" 9 times and "ashamed" 7 times!

Lastly "bones" is the noun "gerem," meaning obviously bones ... but once translated "strength!"  (A broken spirit robs one of his strength!  Contrast that thought with Nehemiah 8:10 which says: "For the joy of the LORD is your strength.")

This "string" of words "merry heart" can be located only in the writings of Solomon.  You may locate them in Proverbs 15:13 and 15:15 and 17:22. (Also Ecclesiastes 9:7 uses this exact string.)  These 3 verses tell us how a merry heart affects one's FACE ... one's FOOD ... and one's FUTURE!

I must close but let me mention one more thing!  I read it last week in a review of the December 4th issue of Nature magazine.  Scientists have now established the fact that laughter activates the very same brain region as cocaine!  That's amazing!  In other words, why do something illegal when a "merry heart" can make one feel just as good?  (Without all the deadly side effects!)

Our Lord sure knows!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 18 ...

PROVERBS 18:1

"Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom."

(Posted December 18, 2003 at 8:45 AM)

This verse has always interested me.  I believe that today we will just work through it together.  I see that it tells us the first step necessary in our obtaining the very wisdom of God!  It declares that wisdom comes through "desire!"  The word in Hebrew ("desire = TAAVAH) comes from a root that means "to wish for!"  It literally is a "longing" of one's heart!  In Psalm 78:30 our word is even translated "lust!"  Its first Bible use is in Genesis 3:6 where it is translated "pleasant!"  In Job 33:20 it is used to describe "dainty" things!  And in Proverbs 21:26 it is verbalized and translated "covet!"  One will never become proficient in wisdom until he DESIRES to do so!

"Having separated himself" is a verb that means to break through!  It means to divide some things!  If one is going to acquire real wisdom ... he will have to divide some things ... leaving many of them out of his life so he can concentrate on his goal ... wisdom!  In Judges 4:11 our word is used ("severed himself") of Heber the Kenite who left his people and lived elsewhere.  Its first Bible use (in any form) is Genesis 2:10 where the river out of Eden "parted" into four heads!

And the verb "intermeddleth" is Hebrew (GALA) which means (as a primary root) "to be obstinate!"  Get with wisdom ... and be STUBBORN about staying with it!  Another lexicon gives a second shade of meaning:  to disclose oneself!  (One must not only bring wisdom into his heart!  He also must expose his heart ... open it up ... to wisdom as well!)

The verb is only found 3 times in Scripture ... all in Proverbs!  The other two uses are:  Proverbs 17:14 "The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with."  Also it's found in Proverbs 20:3 "It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling."  See these contextual examples will help us form an accurate view of the Bible meaning of the word!

And, of course, (the last word of the verse) "wisdom" is God's viewpoint of life (and everything else) as found in the Scriptures.

Well, there you have it!  HOW one must begin in acquiring the greatest trait in the universe, the very Wisdom of God!

What a verse!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

FROM PROVERBS 19 ...

PROVERBS 19:11

"The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."

(Posted Friday, December 19th, at 6:42 AM)

Quickly let's glance at the words here.  All the definitions I give are based on the Hebrew words themselves and their root meanings.

"Discretion" comes from a word that means "to be circumspect ... therefore, to be intelligent!"  (Spiritually wise!)  It is in fact translated in the King James Bible understanding (7 times) and wisdom or wise (4 times)!

The verb "deferreth" means to be long ... and in our context here means "to defer" or to "put off."  The "tense" sense of the word is that of completed action.  In other words, the truly wise and godly man has already decided that he will prolong getting angry about many matters of life!

Even the noun "anger" is amazing.  It is from the root word that means to breathe hard!  It's the noun for nose or nostrils!  It pictures someone being so MAD that they are breathing hard and have turned red in the face, etc.!

"Glory" here is from a verb meaning "to gleam!"  It suggests the "ornamentation" on a tree even including its limbs  ...  according to Strong's word dictionary.  Of its 51 uses in the Old Testament, it is translated "beauty or beautiful" (16 times) "honour" (4 times) and both "bravery" and "excellence" once each.  (To be a beautifully ornamented believer ... learn to postpone your anger!  Folks will be watching you!)

The verb "pass over" combines 2 little words that mean just what they say.  To cross over!  It's first use as a verb is in Genesis 8:1 where the wind passed by and dried the earth after the flood!  As a Qal stem infinitive the verb suggests habitual action ... a habit of life ... not getting angry!

Lastly the word "transgression" means "to break away" or even to apostatize!  This will lead to permanent separation and great pain or loss undoubtedly.  Sin always does!  Get this.  It's first use in Scripture describes (Genesis 50:17) the things Joseph's brethren did to him in anger and revenge!  (Amazing!)  Use the "law of first mention" often in interpreting the Scriptures.  It is very helpful in determining a meaning!

There you have it!  Another living verse from the book of Proverbs.  Now go back and put it all together and meditate on it throughout the day.  (That's what I'm planning to do too.)  Print this article and take it with you.  It makes a bit of a study sheet for this one verse.

                                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 20 ...

PROVERBS 20:15

(Posted Saturday morning, December 20th at 6:55 AM)

"There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel."

IF ANYONE KNEW ABOUT THE MULTITUDE OF RUBIES, IT WAS SOLOMON!  HE WAS THE WEALTHIEST MAN ON EARTH! 

YET HE FELT THAT THERE WAS SOMETHING WORTH FAR MORE THAN JUST MONEY!  (NOW THE WORLD TODAY DOES NOT FEEL THAT WAY!)  MONEY HAS BECOME ONE OF THE GODS OF THIS AGE!

YET WHEN SOLOMON WAS AROUND ONE WHO HAD THE "LIPS OF KNOWLEDGE," HE CONSIDERED IT A VALUABLE (PRICELESS) EXPERIENCE! EVERY TIME I GET TO BE AROUND A MAN OF GOD I TRY TO "PULL" FROM HIM THE WISDOM AND ADVICE HE HAS BEEN STORING THROUGH THE YEARS OF WALKING WITH GOD AND LIVING IN THE WORD!  (SEE PROVERBS 18:4. THERE A MAN'S WISDOM IS COMPARED TO DEEP WATERS WHICH MUST BE DRAWN FROM THE WELL OF HIS MIND AND HEART!) IT IS AMAZING WHAT I'VE LEARNED JUST LISTENING TO THOSE LIPS OF GODLY PREACHERS!

HERE THE LIPS OF KNOWLEDGE ARE CALLED "A PRECIOUS JEWEL!" PRECIOUS IS A HEBREW ADJECTIVE MEANING "HEAVY!"  THIS IS A HEAVINESS IN THE SENSE OF BEING IMPORTANT OR WEIGHTY IN YOUR MIND!  (SOMETHING "PRECIOUS" IN THIS SENSE HAS A LOT OF "WEIGHT" TO IT!)  WHEN THE REAL MAN OR WOMAN OF WISDOM SPEAKS ... I AM GOING TO LISTEN!

LASTLY, THE NOUN "JEWEL" MEANS A VESSEL OR A UTENSIL.  IN THE KING JAMES VERSION IT IS TRANSLATED:  VESSEL (166 TIMES), INSTRUMENT (39 TIMES), WEAPON (21 TIMES), JEWEL (21 TIMES), ARMOUR (10 TIMES), AND EVEN FURNITURE (7 TIMES)!  STRONG'S DICTIONARY SAYS IT COMES FROM A VERB WHICH MEANS "TO END."  IN OTHER WORDS ... TO REACH THE GOAL!  THE REAL GOAL OF WISDOM IS TO EQUIP THE MAN OF GOD TO DISPENSE HIS PRECIOUS CARGO OF KNOWLEDGE TO OTHERS!

TODAY LITERALLY I BELIEVE WE HAVE HIT A GOLD MINE!

                                                             --- DR. MIKE BAGWELL

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 21 ...

PROVERBS 21:18

"The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright."

(Posted december  21, 2003 --- Sunday morning 8:15 AM)

I have always wondered about this verse!  I never have felt that I understood it very well. What does it mean?  Well, let's study it a few minutes!

Those who study these things tell us that God here is making a statement about His great system of Justice.  (We already know God believes in the concept of "ransom.") 

There are times when the wicked man plans terrible things for the godly!  (For example, what Haman planned for Mordecai and the Jews in the book of Esther!)  But you well remember how things ended.  Haman was hanged on the very gallows he built for Mordecai!  That is an example of our Proverbs verse here being fulfilled!  The wicked man actually gets the "payment" he designed for the righteous!

The word "ransom" (kopher) in the King James Bible is translated "satisfaction" 2 times!   God is "satisfied" when such justice is served!  (Our word is only used 17 times in the whole Bible.)  Its root meaning is "to cover."

Here's another example:  God allowed the death of all the firstborn sons in Egypt ... and spared the firstborn of Israel who were covered by the blood of a little lamb!  The Egyptians had mercilessly killed Israel's sons ... now their own sons were a "payment" in return!

Here's an example from this week's newspapers.  Saddam Hussein last week was finally caught by our military forces.  Remember where he was found?  In a pit in the ground! How many innocent people had he slaughtered and thrown into pits?  How many believers in Jesus Christ had he slain and entombed in a hole in the ground?

But God took a "ransom!"  He put old Saddam in a pit!  (Could we say the former dictator of Iraq fell into the pit he had dug for others?)  Read Proverbs 26:27 --- "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him."  That verse has been literally fulfilled before our eyes!

I do thank God that He believes in the concept of ransom!  Jesus became our Ransom on the old rugged Cross!  Jesus' Blood has saved our souls!  The word "ransom" is only used 3 times in the New Testament.  

Matthew 20:28 "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

Mark 10:45  "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

1 Timothy 2:6 "The man Christ Jesus;  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time"

Glory to God!

I believe there's a sermon in there somewhere!

                                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 22 ...

PROVERBS 22:10

"Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease."

(Posted Monday, December 22, 2003 at 7:55 AM)

 

What a verse is before us here!  It is true whether the location is at home, at church, on the job or anywhere else!

Have you ever noticed that where there is contention ... there also is strife and reproach?  The three grow together.  Let's look at the words.  "Contention" is a Hebrew word for  "a contest or a quarrel."  (It pictorially means someone who will not budge one way or another!  THEIR WAY must be followed or else!)

"Strife" carries the idea of a "judgment" and literally involves such things as "lawsuits!" 

And "reproach" means "the state of being held in contempt."  (despised, lightly esteemed)

Who could be the cause of such troubles?  One man!  Or one woman!  THE SCORNER!  We meet him a few dozen times in Scripture and he's always bad.  The word first means "to make mouths at."  That's the idea of mocking or making fun of something or someone.  Get this:  the first time the word is used in Scripture (Genesis 42:23) it is translated "interpreter."  A scorner is someone who takes your words and puts a bad slant on them!  You preachers ever met one?  (A scorner in a church will halt God best blessings!  See Psalm 1:1-3.)  The book of Proverbs uses this word in one form or another 17 times! 

What's to be done to such a person?  "Cast him out!"  The verb means literally to "drive out!" or to "thrust out."  It is an imperative verb ... a COMMAND from God! It's also in the Peil stem ... suggesting INTENSIVE action!  Get rid of the scorner forcefully!

What will then happen?   The contention and strife and reproach will CEASE!  That verb is a form of the Hebrew word for Sabbath!  There will be REST when the scorner is gone!  That reminds me of Acts 9:31 which says:  "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied."

I pray God will help us to be scorner-busters to His Glory!

Peace!

                                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 23 ...

PROVERBS 23:12

"Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge."

(Posted December 23, 2003 at Cumming, Georgia, 9:15 AM)

The wise father here is still teaching his son (or daughter) to follow the words of wisdom.  The verb "apply" is a Hebrew imperative!  It is a command from this father to his son!  This reminds me of what the Lord said about Abraham of old.  "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."  Genesis 18:19  Lord, help us to so teach our children (and grandchildren!)

The exact verb "apply" (Hebrew = BO pronounced "bow" as in "bow and arrow") here literally means "to come."  It is translated "come" 1,435 times in the King James Bible!   The Hiphil stem indicates that there is a CAUSE that makes one come to wisdom and instruction and knowledge!  What cause that Cause be?   Maybe the Holy Spirit of God!  Maybe a God given HUNGER for the Word as a new-born baby has for its mother's milk!

The word for instruction" is ("musar") and often means "correction" (8 times), "chasten" (3 times), "chastisement" (3 times), "discipline (1 time), and even "rebuker" (1 time)!  We are to gladly come unto the Lord to receive even His training!

And "knowledge" is the Hebrew noun "daath"  (from yada = to know) and means perception, discernment, and is once even translated "cunning!"  This is God's knowledge!

Since this verse is not specifically a prayer, Solomon believes that his sons can do the "applying" of their own hearts if they diligently try.  (Of course prayer is in order anytime!) It's true that we do what we WANT to do, isn't it? 

That's it for me!  I must better determine in my own heart to APPLY myself to God's wisdom!

That's our "proverb-of-the-day!"

                                                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 24 ...

PROVERBS 24:5

"A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength."

(Posted December 24, 2003, at 6:59 AM)

This short verse gives us yet another by-product of God's wisdom!  (It looks to me like "wisdom" and "knowledge" here are treated as parallel traits.  God is the Giver of both.)

The word for "strong" ("oz" in Hebrew) means power or might (root verb = to be stout).  Let the Prophet Daniel word it a little differently for us:  "But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits."  Daniel 11:32

Also in Colossians 1:9-11 Paul prays for our spiritual KNOWLEDGE ... then for our spiritual STRENGTH!  The one is followed by the other!  (Amazing, isn't it?)

And do notice that the wisdom of God causes one's strength to "increase!"  (amatzs in Hebrew)  Interestingly this is the only time in Scripture that this verb is translated "increaseth!"  It is in root form:  "to be alert!"  It is a Piel participle: indicating intensive on-going action!  Wisdom is a spiritual hyper-vitamin for your STRENGTH!  (It's a dose of "godly" geritol!)  In the King James Version it's translated "fortified" (1 time), "prevailed" (1 time), "obstinate" (1 time), "confirmed" (1 time), and "hardened" (1 time)!  Wow! 

Believing friends, all I know to say is that since wisdom does all this for us ... we have better get all of it we can! Proverbs 4:7 is still true! "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."

That's today's (December 24th ... Proverbs chapter 24!) verse from our "chapter-of-the-day!"

                                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 25 ...

PROVERBS 25:1

"These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out."

Posted December 25, 2003 at 8:55 AM --- Proverbs chapter 25 on December 25 ... based upon the the "chapter-of-the-day" concept

Why verse one?  That seems to be where the Lord led me this morning.  I have a thought here I'd like to share with you!  (Incidentally, ALL of the chapter's 28 verses are "inspired" of God.  They are without error!  A man could not pick a bad verse out of the whole batch, could he?)

The book of Proverbs seems to have been divided by the Holy Spirit into 3 sections.  Chapters 1-9 are basically sermons from a father to his son.  Chapters 10-24 contain dozens and dozens of individual proverbs for our learning.  And (after the "revival" in Hezekiah's day ...) the "rediscovered" Proverbs of Solomon are published to the glory of God! (Chapters 25-31)

Solomon wrote a total of 3,000 Proverbs!  ("And he ... Solomon ... spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five."  1 Kings 4:32)  Not all of these are recorded in the book of Proverbs either!  (There are 915 verses in the book of proverbs.  I added all 31 of the verse totals seven times Sunday night.  I am sure!)  Within these 915 verses, there are 581 proverbs by my calculation and evaluation.

But ... for some special reason the Holy Spirit wants to emphasize to us that there  were some of these "copied out" for our use!  (From chapter 25 to the end of chapter 31 I find 132 of the book's proverbs.  These are part of the 581 total I gave you earlier.)

This verb "copied out" is the Hebrew term athaq (pronounced aw-thak').  It means "to remove!"  They found these sayings (Thank God!) and removed them from their storage places, putting them into this great book of Proverbs!  I can only find 9 times the verb is used in ALL of the Old Testament!  (That alone makes a word exciting.  You can easily study every time the Holy Spirit uses it!)  It is a Hiphil perfect verb ... meaning that it's a "causative active" stem --- something caused this to be done!  Yes!  The Holy Spirit did!  (This is as good as "Holy men of old spake as they were MOVED by the Holy Ghost!"  2 Peter 1:21)

The time sense of the verb is "perfect," indicating that the action is completed.  (No more copying is being done by the men of Hezekiah!)  The Word of God is complete!  (Glory!)

Our verb is translated "removed" 5 times!  (Again, these words were removed from one place and divinely inserted into the Word of God!)  It is even rendered "become old" once and "waxeth old" once in the Old Testament.  How so?  The proverbs of Solomon were transferred into Scripture so they would last and last eternally!  (I call that waxing old!)  Yet they remain forever fresh and living!  (A form of our word is used in Proverbs 8:18 where it is translated "durable!")

Do you know what you do every week preacher?  As you study the word of God and exegete ( from Greek, ek + ago = to lead out ... to lead the meaning out of a text for your people to see) Scripture, you are "copying it out" in their hearts!  God sees and knows and rewards you for your work too!

And, lastly, what was it they were copying?  It was the PROVERBS of Solomon.  That little noun "mashal" means "parable," or " byword" or "proverb."  It's translated as such 18, 1 (Psalm 44:14) and 19 times respectively.  It is strongly believed that this Hebrew word comes from a verb that mean "to rule!"  Get this!  These proverbs are not cute little sayings meant to entertain us!  They are maxims to RULE our lives!  These Proverbs are to be our guides and leaders throughout life!  What rules by which to live!

I've written much too long today.  If anyone finishes this article, please e-mail me and let me know what you think of it.  (I think it's worth the whole article just to get that definition of a "proverb!"  It's a little "ruler" for my life ... right out of the vast Word of God!)

Thank God for Proverbs 25:1.

                                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 26 ...

Proverbs 26:10

"The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors."

(Posted Monday morning, January 26, 2004, at 2:00 AM)

The adjective "great" means abundant in size, quality and rank! Truly our God is GREAT!

Notice that Solomon says God "formed" all things. The verb here is literally "to twist or whirl!" (It is as though God "twirled" the planets and stars off His very Fingers!) Solomon was no evolutionist! (And YES, there were evolutionsists long before Darwin!)

The two words in our King James Version translated "rewardeth" of course come from the same Hebrew verb ("sakar"). It speaks of continual action. God is constantly repaying the wicked! The verb means "to pay wages!"

Let's look at the two kinds of people who are judged here.

"Fools" are those who are "silly" (not serious about the things of God)! Some lexicons even say "stupid" regarding this spiritually bankrupt person.

And "transgressors" are those who "cross over the line!" God draws lines and standards by which we humans are to live. If one chooses to step across those lines, he or she is transgressing God's laws!

One old commentator says that these fools may commit their sins in ignorance; while the transgressors sin knowingly! (Either way, God will judge and reward them accordingly!)

In these days when it seems the wicked are prospering ... it thrills my heart to know that God is watching! He is already calculating their rewards!

I believe that if He can create the worlds ... He can also judge the sinners!

Praise His Good Name!

                                                                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 27 ...

Proverbs 27:10

"Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel."

(Posted Tuesday morning, January 27, 2004, from Meredosia, Illinois)

Here's another "common sense" bit of advice from the Bible book of Wisdom!

The word for "ointment" literally (in Hebrew) means "fat."  It actually pictures "olive oil," rich and fragrant.  (One of its derivatives means to "shine!")

"Perfume" here is their word for "incense," with all its sweet smells! 

The verb "rejoice" has developed to mean "to brighten up!" (To make happy or gleesome!)

Especially in the oriental culture of the Old Testament, such substances meant a lot to people.  Even today the companies who specialize in such things have invented the term "aromatherapy!"  It is believed that pleasant smells do affect one physically and psychologically!  (And here the Bible says so too!)

The noun "friend" (Hebrew = "rea") means a companion or a close associate ... but it comes from the verb that means "to tend a flock!"  (It's the word for "shepherd" too!)  Do you know what a real friend really does?  He or she cares for your spiritual welfare!  (In that case your PASTOR is perhaps one of your very best friends!)

What does that "friend" do?  He gives "counsel."  ("etzsah")  It is the word for advice (to help one with his plans, deliberations and resolutions)!

"Hearty" advice, too!  This adjective is derived from their word for "soul" (nephesh) and means "living or breathing!"  If you're going to do something to glorify the dear Lord, do it with vigor!

BUT with all this being said, the verse yet adds one more great truth.  It tells us the "spirit" in which such advice must be given!

Without this right spirit, no advice or teaching or preaching or parenting (etc.) will EVER be fully successful!

I am speaking of the "sweetness" of one's words!  (Hebrew = "metheq")  The word is only used twice in the whole Bible!  Hee is the other time it's found:   Proverbs 16:21 --- "The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning."

I am so glad God speaks to us sweetly!  (Idea behind the word:  something pleasant, something which brings delight!) 

If you are going to try to help someone grow in the Lord ... you MUST do it "sweetly!"

Even of preachers, Paul said:  "And the servant of the Lord (the preacher) must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves."  (2 Timothy 2:24-25)

There you have it.

Be SWEET today, dear Christian friend.  Someone is watching ... and listening!

                                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 28 ...

Proverbs 28:4

"They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them."

(Posted January 28, 2004, from Meredosia, Illinois, at 8:41 AM)

Is is astounding how our nation has forsaken the law of God!  "Forsake" means to leave or to loose or to depart from.  (Also:  to abandon, forsake or neglect!) 

Then by definition America has really done more than just "forsake" God's Law.  We have outlawed it!  It is illegal to even post it in thousands of places!

The prevailing "politically correct" opinion is that removing the Ten Commandments and other vestiges of religion will make the country ecumenically neutral.  It will NOT do any such thing!

Our Proverbs verse tells us what will happen.  If a people forsake God's Word ... they will automatically praise the wicked!  "Praise" ("halal") means to make to shine!  (to "flash forth" or to brag upon!)  In other words:  put the Law of God DOWN!  lift the wicked UP!  (This is a "cause and effect" sequence! If one is done ... the other will follow!)

HOWEVER ... if one "keeps" the Law ... he (again, automatically) "contends" with the wicked!

To "keep" here means to guard, protect, obey, observe or watch."  We believers are to reverence and respect and obey and fight for the dear Word of God!

To "contend" is to "go to battle."  (To engage in strife!)  Just loving and obeying (and preaching and studying, etc.) the Scriptures ... FIGHTS the wicked!

Please pass me my Bible!

                                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 29 ...

PROVERBS 29:6

"In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice."

(Prepared and posted Thursday, January 29, 2004, from Meredosia, Illinois at 8:59 AM)

Our verse today draws a sharp contrast between the evil man and the righteous man.

The evil man lives with a "snare."

The godly man lives with a "song!"

"Transgression" is the Hebrew word for sin that means sheer "rebellion!"  (A revolt against God!)  There's one going on in America right now!

But sin always has a pay-day!  The side effect of iniquity here is called a "snare." 

"Snare" is a word the Hebrews used for "bait" to catch one's prey!  It is a "trap" or a "lure" to use in capturing something.

Sin "catches" you!  It makes a slave of you!  It robs you of your liberty!

Would you believe me if I told you that pornography contains a "trap" into which many a man has fallen?  And, once "in" it is very hard to get back "out!" This is also true of alcohol and narcotics and profanity and every other sin as well!

When we are here told that the righteous "sing," the verb indicates giving a ringing cry!  (A shout of melodious joy!)

And the verb "rejoice" is from an old Hebrew stem that means "to brighten up!"  (To be merry!  To be glad!)

What a picture we have here!

Now ... beware!

On the outside this verse may not always look true!

Right now you probably know some old transgressor who seems very happy ... and some dear saint of God who is "under great pressure!"

BUT ... if we could only see the inside!

Remember Acts 16!  Paul and Silas were imprisoned, beaten, bleeding and no doubt hungry, cold and hurting (on the outside)!  BUT on the inside ... they were singing and shouting the praises of God!  (Before long the "inside" bubbled forth to the "outside!"  Then a whole lot of things started happening!)

I sure do thank God today that He has given us a song!

Could I hear an "AMEN" please?

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 30 ...

PROVERBS 30:33

"Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife."

(Posted January 30, 2004, at 7:57 AM, Central Standard Time)

This is another of the Proverbs that illustrates a "cause and effect" sequence.

IF one churns milk ... he WILL have butter.

IF one twists a nose (hard enough) ... he WILL see blood!

IF one pushes and shoves another into anger ... he WILL have a battle on his hands!

One interesting fact:  both the verbs "churning" and "wringing" come from the same Hebrew root!  (Literally they are the very same word!)  It means to squeeze or press!

And, guess what?  The verbal "forcing" (of wrath) is ALSO that same word!  This is a verse about over-pressing things!

And SOME of the things "squeezed" out are good!  (Butter!)  Others are not so good! (Blood!)  And some are just bad!  (Strife!)

I don't think Solomon is saying never press!  He is saying be careful what you do press!  (Usually pressing and squeezing  do accomplish something!)

Here we have our King James translators taking one Hebrew verb ("miytzs") and rendering it three different ways in one single verse:  churning, wringing and forcing!  And in each case the translation perfectly fits the context!  I believe God's wisdom rested upon these men.

Today, dear friend, be careful how you "press!"

Even a good man can be forced into wrath!

(That word "strife" means controversy, dispute, quarrel or contention.)

Also remember how to often avoid that strife.

Proverbs 15:1 --- "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

Words of Wisdom from the inspired pen of Solomon ... telling us how to better live godly lives to the glory of our Lord Jesus!

                                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

FROM PROVERBS 31 ...

PROVERBS 31:3

"Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings."

(Posted January 31, 2004, Saturday at 1:30 AM)

Most of the book of Proverbs consists of wise words taught Solomon by his father.

But in this verse we have wise words taught Lemuel by his mother!

I am so glad that godly Moms and Dads can share the wisdom of God!

Lemuelís mother warns him of two things here.  She warns him about the wrong kind of women.

The "giving" a wrong kind of woman demands is on on-going thing. It is habitual bankruptcy!

"Strength" is the Hebrew word "chayil" and means might, force, efficiency or even wealth!  (The wicked woman will take them all!)

Promiscuity with wicked women costs a man so much!

Iíve know preachers to lose everything from a single affair with a sinful woman! (An extra-marital "affair" with any woman will rob and ruin a preacher!)

"Ways" is the Hebrew word for "road." It means set patterns of activity.

Certain "ways" can help make a king stronger. Other ways will destroy the king!  (By the way, Christian. You are a "child of the King" yourself! Act like it!)

"Destroy" means "to wipe out, to obliterate, to exterminate!"

And, hereís the sad part!  Solomonís father, King David, ruined his life with a woman (or should I just say "too many wives?")  And Solomon did so as well! Read Nehemiah 13:26 carefully. "Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin."

The Word of God has warned us well. Be careful!  Sin costs!  Sin destroys!

Jesus saves!

                                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

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