Faith Journey

Psalm 50 & Proverbs 19

Psalm 50 & Proverbs 19

Psalm 50 & Proverbs 19

Here are my thoughts on Psalm 50 & Proverbs 19.  Judgment, discipline, sin, foolishness.  Maybe I learned a thing or two.

Psalm 50

The Lord, the Mighty One, is God,
and he has spoken;
he has summoned all humanity
from where the sun rises to where it sets.
From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines in glorious radiance.
Our God approaches,
and he is not silent.
Fire devours everything in his way,
and a great storm rages around him.
He calls on the heavens above and earth below
to witness the judgment of his people.
“Bring my faithful people to me—
those who made a covenant with me by giving sacrifices.”
Then let the heavens proclaim his justice,
for God himself will be the judge. 

Thoughts

Why do these verses make my stomach hurt a little bit?  It speaks of His Awesomeness.  All the Earth yields to his “not silent” approach.  Fire devours everything in His way and then He calls His people.  For judgment.  Instantly, my heart sinks.

Judgment. Judgment means “the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion.”  As His child, my sins are thrown as far as the east is from the west.  That gives me comfort.  What doesn’t give me comfort is when I shut my eyes and see/hear myself living in a free-will moment.

Those moments pretty much suck.

Section 2

“O my people, listen as I speak.
    Here are my charges against you, O Israel:
    I am God, your God!
I have no complaint about your sacrifices
    or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.
But I do not need the bulls from your barns
    or the goats from your pens.
10 For all the animals of the forest are mine,
    and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird on the mountains,
    and all the animals of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for all the world is mine and everything in it.
13 Do I eat the meat of bulls?
    Do I drink the blood of goats?

Section 3

14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
    and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
15 Then call on me when you are in trouble,
    and I will rescue you,
    and you will give me glory.”

16 But God says to the wicked:
“Why bother reciting my decrees
    and pretending to obey my covenant?
17 For you refuse my discipline
    and treat my words like trash.
18 When you see thieves, you approve of them,
    and you spend your time with adulterers.
19 Your mouth is filled with wickedness,
    and your tongue is full of lies.
20 You sit around and slander your brother—
    your own mother’s son.
21 While you did all this, I remained silent,
    and you thought I didn’t care.
But now I will rebuke you,
    listing all my charges against you.
22 Repent, all of you who forget me,
    or I will tear you apart,
    and no one will help you.
23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.
    If you keep to my path,
    I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

Thoughts

Thankfulness is all He wants.  Just be thankful for all that He has provided for you.  We don’t have to make these grand gestures of sacrifices or deals.  I cannot say that I haven’t done that in the past because, well, I don’t know why.  Yet, He never wanted that or wants that now.  He just wants a relationship with us where we talk to Him and thank Him for what He has done for us.

Proverbs 19

1Better to be poor and honest
    than to be dishonest and a fool.

Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good;
    haste makes mistakes.

People ruin their lives by their own foolishness
    and then are angry at the Lord.

Wealth makes many “friends”;
    poverty drives them all away.

A false witness will not go unpunished,
    nor will a liar escape.

Many seek favors from a ruler;
    everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!

The relatives of the poor despise them;
how much more will their friends avoid them!
Though the poor plead with them,
their friends are gone.

Section 2

To acquire wisdom is to love yourself;
    people who cherish understanding will prosper.

A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and a liar will be destroyed.

10 It isn’t right for a fool to live in luxury
    or for a slave to rule over princes!

11 Sensible people control their temper;
    they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

12 The king’s anger is like a lion’s roar,
    but his favor is like dew on the grass.

13 A foolish child is a calamity to a father;
    a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.

14 Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth,
    but only the Lord can give an understanding wife.

15 Lazy people sleep soundly,
but idleness leaves them hungry.

Section 3

16 Keep the commandments and keep your life;
    despising them leads to death.

17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord
    and he will repay you!

18 Discipline your children while there is hope.
    Otherwise you will ruin their lives.

19 Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty.
    If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again.

20 Get all the advice and instruction you can,
    so you will be wise the rest of your life.

21 You can make many plans,
    but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

22 Loyalty makes a person attractive.
    It is better to be poor than dishonest.

23 Fear of the Lord leads to life,
    bringing security and protection from harm.

24 Lazy people take food in their hand
    but don’t even lift it to their mouth.

25 If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded will learn a lesson;
    if you correct the wise, they will be all the wiser.

26 Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother
    are an embarrassment and a public disgrace.

27 If you stop listening to instruction, my child,
    you will turn your back on knowledge.

28 A corrupt witness makes a mockery of justice;
    the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.

29 Punishment is made for mockers,
    and the backs of fools are made to be beaten.

Thoughts

Discipline your children while there is still hope.  I have never been one to shy away from disciplining a child.  That is not a very popular statement, I know.  My poor first child was my guinea pig and we learned a lot about parenting through her.  Bless, she is a good girl.  That first kid thing is a real thing.  You are both learning as you go.  Each kid after that gets the benefit of more wisdom LOL.

For those of you with younger kids, we LIVED by the If/Then Chart and the Blessings Chart.  Do not spank out of anger.  Also, be mindful of not taking their actions personally.  You have got to handle kids with the knowledge that they are tiny people with BIG emotions that they do not know what to do with.

Godspeed 🙂

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Psalm 44 & Proverbs 13

Psalm 44 & Proverbs 13

Psalm 44 & Proverbs 13

Psalm 44

O God, we have heard it with our own ears—
    our ancestors have told us
of all you did in their day,
    in days long ago:
You drove out the pagan nations by your power
    and gave all the land to our ancestors.
You crushed their enemies
    and set our ancestors free.
They did not conquer the land with their swords;
    it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory.
It was your right hand and strong arm
    and the blinding light from your face that helped them,
    for you loved them.

You are my King and my God.
    You command victories for Israel.
Only by your power can we push back our enemies;
    only in your name can we trample our foes.

Thoughts

When faced with unsavory people, it is easy to get up all in your thoughts and work out the solution.  Well, I should have said XYZ and then they would have said ABC. Then, I could have counted with this.  Next, I will ruin their image.  Your mind never stops.  It does not cease to work it out.  Which, in reality, you are just controlling the situation.

By predetermining what you will say versus what they will say, you are trying to play God.  It is SO easy to get sucked down that wide road thinking.  I do it.  In fact, I just did it not too long ago.  There is a situation that I felt needed to be addressed.

Not in God’s time, but my own.  I used non-threatening words and I made a promise that this human would shake my hand and see my eyeballs.  Then, that person would know that I’m not playing.

The Opportunity Arose

I had given myself enough time to collect my thoughts and rein in my emotions.  Enough time to do some background work and lay some future road for me to travel with this person.  We did meet.  He did shake my hand.  Terror filled his eyes.  I’m a fluffy chick but he could have flattened me out…until the adrenaline kicked in.  I was ready.

My point was made, my feelings made very clear by my tight handshake and narrowing eyes.  I could literally see the blood leaving his face and he could not get away quick enough.  Honestly, I reveled in that.

Until I read these verses.  Then, I realized that it was not my place.  It is God’s.  He knew what had happened was wrong and He will take care of it.  Sadly, I didn’t want to wait for Him.  I wanted to handle it myself.

Admitting I was Wrong

This situation was handled according to my flesh.  I was in mama bear mode and I was not going to stop.  Honestly, I was prepared to ruin his life, family, and make him lose his job.  Had I pursued, I would have succeeded.

What I didn’t see where the innocent people behind the man.  He made a horrific choice and when he threw that stone…the ripple effect is wide.  I know that he will not make this same mistake with this same human again.  Not because of him but because of the other person.

God will continue to fight this battle.  I will forever be a negative chapter in the story of his life.  That wide road…it is enticing when you feel powerful, isn’t it?

Section 2

I do not trust in my bow;
    I do not count on my sword to save me.
You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
    you disgrace those who hate us.
O God, we give glory to you all day long
    and constantly praise your name. 

But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor.
    You no longer lead our armies to battle.
10 You make us retreat from our enemies
    and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.
11 You have butchered us like sheep
    and scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your precious people for a pittance,
    making nothing on the sale.
13 You let our neighbors mock us.
    We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
14 You have made us the butt of their jokes;
    they shake their heads at us in scorn.
15 We can’t escape the constant humiliation;
    shame is written across our faces.
16 All we hear are the taunts of our mockers.
    All we see are our vengeful enemies.

17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
    We have not violated your covenant.

Section 3

18 Our hearts have not deserted you.
    We have not strayed from your path.
19 Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home.
    You have covered us with darkness and death.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods,
21 God would surely have known it,
    for he knows the secrets of every heart.
22 But for your sake we are killed every day;
    we are being slaughtered like sheep.

23 Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
    Get up! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you look the other way?
    Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
25 We collapse in the dust,
    lying face down in the dirt.
26 Rise up! Help us!
    Ransom us because of your unfailing love.

Thoughts

How humbling is verse 21?  I mean, for real…how humbling?  He knows EVERYTHING in our hearts.  Like everything.  All those places that no one knows about, He does.  Soon, Light will be shone on all those little hidden compartments.  Are you (or me) ready for that revelation?

Uhm, no.

Proverbs 13

A wise child accepts a parent’s discipline;
    a mocker refuses to listen to correction.

Wise words will win you a good meal,
    but treacherous people have an appetite for violence.

Those who control their tongue will have a long life;
    opening your mouth can ruin everything.

Lazy people want much but get little,
    but those who work hard will prosper.

The godly hate lies;
    the wicked cause shame and disgrace.

Godliness guards the path of the blameless,
    but the evil are misled by sin.

Thoughts

I read these verses and my heartaches.  We are faced, right now, with a decision that no parent sets out to make.  I see what the Lord says about a parent’s discipline.  Yet, what if you are parenting a kid from a hard place and no amount of discipline changes anything?  No amount of corpal punishment, physical labor, removal of privileges, threats, police involvement, grace, reasoning…nothing works?  What then?

Honestly.  What then?  When the lies continue, the stealing continues, the lack of cause and effect doesn’t register.  What then?  I can’t fix brain damage.  The Great Physician can, but I can’t.  So now, we face one of the biggest things we’ve had to face and make decisions that I don’t want to make.

Section 2

Some who are poor pretend to be rich;
    others who are rich pretend to be poor.

The rich can pay a ransom for their lives,
    but the poor won’t even get threatened.

The life of the godly is full of light and joy,
    but the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.

10 Pride leads to conflict;
    those who take advice are wise.

11 Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears;
    wealth from hard work grows over time.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

13 People who despise advice are asking for trouble;
    those who respect a command will succeed.

Section 3

14 The instruction of the wise is like a life-giving fountain;
    those who accept it avoid the snares of death.

15 A person with good sense is respected;
    a treacherous person is headed for destruction.

16 Wise people think before they act;
    fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.

17 An unreliable messenger stumbles into trouble,
    but a reliable messenger brings healing.

18 If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace;
    if you accept correction, you will be honored.

19 It is pleasant to see dreams come true,
    but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them.

20 Walk with the wise and become wise;
    associate with fools and get in trouble.

Section 4

21 Trouble chases sinners,
    while blessings reward the righteous.

22 Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren,
    but the sinner’s wealth passes to the godly.

23 A poor person’s farm may produce much food,
    but injustice sweeps it all away.

24 Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.
    Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

25 The godly eat to their hearts’ content,
    but the belly of the wicked goes hungry.

Thoughts

There it is…in His Word.  “Trouble chases sinners…”  “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children.  Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”  Again, I get that.  I have lived by that.  Discipline, for our family, may look different from a discipline with other families.

Yet when traditional types of discipline don’t work…what then?

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Psalm 43 & Proverbs 12

Psalm 43 & Proverbs 12

Psalm 43 & Proverbs 12

Psalm 43

Declare me innocent, O God!
    Defend me against these ungodly people.
    Rescue me from these unjust liars.
For you are God, my only safe haven.
    Why have you tossed me aside?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?
Send out your light and your truth;
    let them guide me.
Let them lead me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you live.
There I will go to the altar of God,
    to God—the source of all my joy.
I will praise you with my harp,
    O God, my God!

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

Thoughts

In verse 4, the memory that instantly strikes in my head is a comment made by a man in our Sunday School class.  Bart and I had just moved classes…just to kind of get to know other people.  I mean, we *knew* them but we didn’t *know* them.  As we were sitting there, chatting about whatever the lessen was, Mr. Benny made a profound statement.

He said “happiness is based on circumstances but joy comes from the Lord.  Your circumstances may be horrible but you can still have joy even when you are not happy.”  I just sat there.  The teacher went on to talk and I sat there, with my mouth open.

In the middle of our teacher’s sentence, I asked Mr. Benny to repeat himself.  All eyes were staring at me like I had a third eyeball.  He repeated himself.  Again, I just sat there.  That phrase has stuck with me.

Depression

For a chick that has dealt with depression, most of her life…that phrase just held on like super glue.  I have been told, “if you love Jesus more, you wouldn’t be depressed.”  “If you depended on Him, you would be happier.”  “Oh, if you pray more, you will not be sad.”  None of that is true.

None of it.

I love Jesus.  He is mine and I am His.  Yet, I still get sad.  Sometimes, really really sad.  There are times when I’ve had to rely on medicine to even out my brain chemicals.  Also, there are times when I sleep entirely too much.

Some depression is chemical (most) and some is situational (based on circumstances).  I can still struggle with depression and love Jesus.  That does not dictate my salvation.  JOY comes from the Lord.  HAPPINESS is based on circumstances.

Proverbs 12

To learn, you must love discipline;
it is stupid to hate correction.

 

Thoughts

To love discipline is not something that I have learned.  It is a time-honored attempt at learning this art.  My kids do not love it, either.  They are at that age where nothing we do tends to help.  I would say I’m learning but my kids hate correction.  Maybe I should have them read this verse.

Section 2

The Lord approves of those who are good,
but he condemns those who plan wickedness.

Wickedness never brings stability,
but the godly have deep roots.

A worthy wife is a crown for her husband,
but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.

The plans of the godly are just;
the advice of the wicked is treacherous.

The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush,
but the words of the godly save lives.

The wicked die and disappear,
but the family of the godly stands firm.

A sensible person wins admiration,
but a warped mind is despised.

Better to be an ordinary person with a servant
than to be self-important but have no food.

10 The godly care for their animals,
but the wicked are always cruel.

11 A hard worker has plenty of food,
but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.

12 Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot,
but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.

13 The wicked are trapped by their own words,
but the godly escape such trouble.

14 Wise words bring many benefits,
and hard work brings rewards.

15 Fools think their own way is right,
but the wise listen to others.

16 A fool is quick-tempered,
but a wise person stays calm when insulted.

 

Section 3

17 An honest witness tells the truth;
a false witness tells lies.

18 Some people make cutting remarks,
but the words of the wise bring healing.

19 Truthful words stand the test of time,
but lies are soon exposed.

20 Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil;
joy fills hearts that are planning peace!

Thoughts

Honest witness = truth.  False witness = lies.  Cutting remarks.  Wisdom = healing.  Truthful words = test of time.  Lies = exposed.  Deceit in hearts = plots evil.  Joy fills hearts = planning peace.

How simple is that?

Section 4

21 No harm comes to the godly,
but the wicked have their fill of trouble.

22 The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in those who tell the truth.

23 The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge,
but fools broadcast their foolishness.

24 Work hard and become a leader;
be lazy and become a slave.

25 Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.

26 The godly give good advice to their friends;
the wicked lead them astray.

27 Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch,
but the diligent make use of everything they find.

28 The way of the godly leads to life;
that path does not lead to death.

Thoughts

Let’s hammer the liar again!  The Lord DETESTS lying lips.  Yet, He delights in those who tell the truth!  He detests!  To detest means to dislike intensely.  Notice that doesn’t say *hate* because that is a sin.  When will we all learn this!

Verse 28, goes back to Deuteronomy for me.  Back to Robert Frost’s poem.  Wide road = bad.  Narrow road = good.

 

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