Verse 1: The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. I loved this verse because sometimes I feel like "fleeing" a problem or a difficult situation, but it reminded me that I can be bold in Christ and stand firm because I am not alone. I can be confident in Him.
Verse 6: Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich. God's Word teaches us that man looks at the outer appearance, and success, and wealth, but God looks straight at our heart. The place that really matters and embodies our soul. It's better to have character and integrity than a lot of wealth but be wicked.
Verse 7: Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons shames his father. I have been praying for Julia and Mark's friends since before they were born. I pray for companions that will uplift and edify them, friends that build them up in Christ and lead them to do great things for the Lord. I am a firm believer that you are who you hang out with and surround yourself with. So if you surround yourself with complainers, or gluttons, or gossips, guess what, you will soon pick up their ways. If you surround yourself with positive, encouraging, uplifting people, their characteristics are sure to rub off on you! I'm also going to start praying that Julia and Mark will be positive influences on their friends as well.
Verse 9: One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. I can remember having a third grade student who behaved so badly in class, but always showered me with a million compliments throughout the day. It got to the point that every time she opened her mouth to compliment me my heart sank. One day I pulled her aside and said, "You know what ____________, I'd much rather your good behavior and obedience than your words about what I'm wearing, how my shoes look, or how my hair is styled." I think this verse is basically saying the same thing, if we aren't willing to obey God's laws, then even our prayers will come across as "an abomination" because we haven't really submitted to God's commands.
Verse 10: Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, He himself will fall into his own pit; but the blameless will inherit good. I can't help to think of the verses in the New Testament that talk about how in the end times their will be many false prophets. I think of many cult leaders who have led people astray by telling lies about God and have gotten people to commit suicide in the name of God or to do horrible things. These leaders will be held accountable for their actions. We all need to be on guard for these false prophets and renew our own minds by carefully reading God's Word and not believing or accepting lies that we see on TV or hear on the radio or in the media. Sat*n is very tricky and crafty. He is a liar. Only Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Verse 13: He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. It wasn't until Graduate School when I renewed my walk with the Lord completely that I learned the true meaning of "keeping short accounts" with God. And even now I have to be reminded to constantly go to the cross with my faults, my sins, my bad attitudes, my un-forgiveness, my critical-ness, whatever it may be, we all need to constantly asking the Lord for forgiveness and confess our sins to him. He already knows them, but it is for our own sake that we confess them to the Lord so that we can be free from the guilt and move on in God's Grace. God will bless us and we will prosper when we live a life of openness and honesty with the Lord.
Verse 14: Happy is the man who is always reverent, but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity. The beauty of being humble is that you realize you have nothing to be proud of in and of yourself, but that all things come from the Lord. A prideful heart is a lonely heart because a prideful heart isn't giving honor and glory to the Lord. And when I think of being reverent I think of folded hands and a bowed head. It's when we are closest to God and realize how much we need Him that God gives us true happiness and joy no matter our circumstance.
Verse 18: Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved, but he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall. I couldn't help but think of the movie Left Behind, starring Kirk Cameron. The people who are taken in the rapture are those who are one with Christ who have accepted Him to be their Savior. They realized they are sinners and can't get to heaven on their own merit. And they believe that Christ came and lived and died and rose again in order to pay for their sins. Since Jesus is God He lived a perfect life and was able to pay for our sins. But the people who have chosen to reject Christ will one day stand before a holy God and will have to answer to Him. I'd much rather bend my knees now than suddenly be face to face with a Holy God that I never tried to get to know and have to come up with a reason why I never got around to having a relationship with Him.
Verse 20: A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. It's such a great promise to hear that as long as we are faithful to God he will bless us and provide for us. I've seen that first hand as John works hard at two jobs so that I can be a stay at home mom to our two children which are gifts to us. God is so faithful to provide for those that He loves.
Verse 23: He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue. Confrontation of sin is never fun to do, but as believers we are called to hold each other accountable. If some one takes the time to confront you because of something they see in your life that is not God's best for you, take the time to listen. Instead of being defensive see if what they are saying is from the Lord and pray about it. And if you see sin in a close friend's life or a family members life, pray for them and ask God to give you the right timing to talk to them about it instead of gossiping about it to someone else. When you really love someone sometimes you have to take the risk of them being upset with you for a bit. Like my mom always says, "They will get glad again."
Verse 25: He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered. Lord help us to trust you in all things no matter what.
Have a great week!