Daily Devotional – ANTS

Proverbs 13:4 Illustrated: "The sluggard craves and gets nothing ...

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Mi suegra (mother-in-law) calls me her “conejito energizante” (energizer bunny) because I am always working. While I love her biblically she would be better off comparing me to the ants we can find in the sand pile in her back yard. 

The bible makes a clear comparison to those that work and provide (Ants) for their families, ( I would include immediate, church and the least of these in  need) to those that are lazy (Sluggards) and expect government handouts. Proverbs 6:6-8

All of Proverb 13, is a contrast of how a righteous person conducts their life vs. the unrighteous. The first few verses set up the 4th:

v.1 A wise son (remember Proverbs 6) accepts and does the instruction of the Father – while the one who laughs at instructions is doomed to errors

v.2 Wise and righteous words bring about much good fruit – while veil and evil words bring about violence and destruction 

v.3 A person who guards their mouth, thinks before they speak, is blessed – while and unguarded mouth leads to ruin 


BREAKDOWN:

The soul – While a few modern translation try and DUMB this down for readers I think they do it a GREAT disservice. It is the very soul, of a man that is in question here. The Hebrew word is Nephesh: (Strong’s 05315)

Definition
  1. soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion
    1. that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man
    2. living being
    3. living being (with life in the blood)
    4. the man himself, self, person or individual
    5. seat of the appetites
    6. seat of emotions and passions
    7. activity of mind
      1. dubious
    8. activity of the will
      1. dubious
    9. activity of the character
      1. dubious

of the sluggard desireth, – The desireth, some render it craving, appetite or wanting; the point is the lack of ambition (idleness) overcomes the  desire or need for work 

and hath nothing: – If y’all can’t see this you are more than physically blind, If you work at nothing you gain nothing. Zero (work) + Zero (effort) = Zero (Product). At least biblically that is the way it should be. The Apostle Paul wrote in his Second Letter to the Church at Thessalonica 3:9-11, if a man capable man will not work neither shall he eat. 

but the soul of the diligent – Same soul as the sluggard above, but this one infused by God’s Grace and motivated to do diligence in life, that is someone who has a willingness and desire to work and not only provide for their families, but at the same time please God. 

shall be made fat. – You have to love the KJV, in today’s society being “FAT” is taboo, unless of course you understand that it is the Hebrew word “Dashen” meaning to become prosperous and anointed.  


APPLICATION:

America as a whole has become a nation of entitlement, those who think they are entitled to something just because they live here. They have neither earned, payed into or worked for that entitlement but they demand it anyway. Unfortunately some so called “Christians” have bought into this mentality. One that is completely UNBIBLICAL.

God expects, no demands that capable men work and provide for their families. Young men of age have NO EXCUSE (I have heard them all from my degree won’t get me a job to I keep emailing in resumes, to they only offered me $__,000 )  to be sitting idly by playing video games all day. 

Ants are known as hard and industrious always working to get the job done. The bible warns us that we are to be as ants, and not as lazy “Couch Potato Christians”.

The question is simple, are you a worker or a sluggard? 

OTHER RESOURCES:

Is “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” a biblical statement?

The U.S. is one of the world’s laziest countries — and it’s making us fat

Daily Devotional – Strength in Adversity

proverbs 24 10 Memes & GIFs - Imgflip

AMP and RVR 1960 


CONTEXT:

Like all “Proverbs” this is a collection of “wise sayings” or as some Bible heading read “Precepts (rules) and Warnings” Proverbs 24:1-9

v.1-2 Do not accommodate or join up with evil people. That is anyone opposed to moral, ethical or civil law, especially if it violates God’s Law. 

v.3-4 Wise men build homes and lives filled with the wisdom and knowledge and glory of God.

v.5-6 Wisdom requires strength, not the physical strength of giants, but the Spiritual strength of God. If one is to wage war, they need this wisdom of a multitude of counselors, going it alone or even having the advise of only one is a recipe for disaster. 

 v.7 A fool will never understand wisdom, so he needs to just keep his mouth shut less he exposes his lack of understanding to all.

V.8-9 There are always those who oppose wisdom and common sense. Who despise the way of God. They will plot adversity, evil doings, trouble for self gain or just to stir things up. 


BREAKDOWN: 

 If thou faint –  If you become: weak, refuse to engage the enemy, falter, stumble, refuse to act, do nothing, lose hope, become slack, lazy, sluggard, cowardly, defile thyself, 

in the day of adversity, – Note it says “When Trouble Comes” – whether it is bodily afflictions, actual combat, financial woes, personal troubles, worldly chaos, the list goes on and on.

thy strength is small. – Again very personal “Your Strength”, no excuses here no Blame Game tactics, your personal strength (Faith) sucks. Harsh words, hey I did not write the book. God says if you can’t stand the tests it is not because I did not give you the tools.¹ 


APPLICATION:

The fact is EVERY true Christian experiences Adversity. While most in the so called Prosperity Theology/Gospel realm deny this their false doctrinal beliefs do not stand the test of true biblical scholarship. 

So what is this Proverb really saying in plain English? I rarely if ever quote the “Message”, I find it one of the worst bible translations ever written, but occasionally it does have it’s uses and here is one example:

If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place.

As noted above God gives us all the tools for life and holiness, and He does not expect us to shun from adversity or fall to pieces, at the first sign of trouble. In others words when the time comes put your BIG BOY PANTS on and do battle.


 

¹ = Here are the Links to my series God’s Tool Box, I hope it is a Blessing:

God’s Tool Box

Adding To God’s Tool Box Part 1

Adding To God’s Tool Box Part II

God’s Tool Box Part III

Two Bibles?

How Many Bibles Do You Regularly Use? | The Puritan Board

In posing this question Two Bibles, I am not at all referring to the number of English Translations (estimated at around 900 according to American Bible Society). What I am referring to, is there really that much of a difference in interpretation of two bibles? 

This came about from a conversation yesterday with two women I met. One said she could not believe the state our country had recently come to (riots and the like), the other started playing the poor, poor troubled folks card; to which I quoted 2 Thessalonians 3:10, if a man work work he don’t eat!’ 

BOOM! she immediately accused me of the age old “that is just your opinion” and then “anyone can take one verse out of context and make it say what they want”  and of course tuned me out immediately when I tried to explain the biblical truth. 


CONTEXT:

Before we look at the text let us BRIEFLY look at HOW TO INTERPRET BIBLICAL TEXT:Be a Berean

Telling me, ‘my Pastor says’ does not mean you have a good understanding of the text, Pastor’s are human and makes mistakes to, you need to be a Berean (ACTS 17:11) and check EVERYTHING they say. 

Telling me ‘the Bible says’ does not mean you have a good understanding of the text, as we noted with 900 translations, yours might not agree with mine. 

God commands us in 2 Timothy 2:15 to study and properly handle His Holy word. If you can not do this BE QUITE!

Biblical Hermeneuticsis the Key to Proper Biblical Interpretation of Text, the bible is to be taken literally, historically, grammatically, and contextually. Finally Scripture will always interpret Scripture that is it will always support or back itself up.

Finally and one most lay people, those not in ministry, overlook is the original text languages. I am not a Hebrew or Greek scholar by any means but I daily use Hebrew and Greek Lexicons, Concordances and the like to assist me in proper biblical interpretation. It is key to know what the original meaning and intent was.  


BREAKDOWN: 

As many of you know I am a Chaplain with Mission M25 Ministries. The M25 comes from Matthew 25:40 “The least of these…”  If I were to take just that phrase and build a ministry from it who is to define “The least of these?” Everyone with their hand out? Is that what the bible really says? Or does it say something more along the lines of:

quotes on how people are freeloaders - Google Search (With images ...

Genesis 3:19, Proverbs 13:4, Proverbs 20:4, Proverbs 24:30-34

So my comment ‘if a man work work he don’t eat!’ was not really just my opinion, it was good Biblical Hermeneutics, backed up by God’s Holy Word. 

Should we help the least of these, YES!!! Who are the least of these? Those who are incapable of caring for themselves. Not those who are just used to hand-outs, and are to lazy to get a job.  Not those have can come up with every excuse known to man for why they can’t get a job or can’t do this or that; the bible calls sluggards and has no use for them. 

On the other hand those who the church is supposed to care for 1 Timothy 5 must be taken care of. Likewise in Paul’s instructions to the church at  Ephesus, Ephesians 4:11-16 he tells the body to look out for each other. 


APPLICATION:

There is only one Word of God! I didn’t write the book, I don’t interpret the book with my own opinion(s), I (and those who take God’s word seriously) only use good Biblical Hermeneutics to expound what the Holy Spirit had man write long before I was conceived. 

I take seriously ( I pray more would also ) the WARNING of the Apostle John in Rev 22:18-19 about messing with or misrepresenting God’s Holy Word.  What about you?