I post papers I have written, some during my graduate and post-graduate studies, some in response to other papers, and some written for other purposes like Sunday school classes or Bible studies. I also post observations on whatever comes to my mind and videos from teaching sessions.
Proverbs 6:23 (NKJV) — 23 For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,
Lamp and light. The commandment, given by the father, is like a lamp. It is the source of illumination. The law, given by the mother, is like the light that issues forth from the lamp. A lamp without light is useless, and there will never be light without a source. The lamp and the light together give reproof. Instruction will almost always involve reproof, and wise teachers know how to reprove in a non offensive manner (Proverbs 16:21, 24).
Proverbs 6:22 (NKJV) — 22 When you roam, they will lead you; When you sleep, they will keep you; And when you awake, they will speak with you.
Three blessings of obedience to parents. The commandment to honor and obey one’s parents is not given to cramp one’s lifestyle or to rob a person of legitimate pleasure. Obedience to one’s parents provides: (1) direction in life; (2) safety; (3) instruction, which includes a sense of belonging and freedom from loneliness and purposelessness.
Proverbs 6:21 (NKJV) — 21 Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck.
Keep them constantly in mind. These instructions are obviously symbolic terms to describe the constant attention that should be given to the father’s commandment and the mother’s law. The Pharisees, by their strict literalism, attempted to fulfill similar commands in the law of Moses by physically attaching phylacteries to their forearms and foreheads when praying. But it is possible to have copies of the Scriptures attached to one’s person and still not have the Word hidden in one’s heart.
Proverbs 6:19 (NKJV) — 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
False witnesses and sowing discord. The ninth commandment specifically prohibits the bearing of false witness against one’s neighbor (Exodus 20:16). A false witness can be instrumental in convicting an innocent party, which can ultimately result in the death penalty. To protect the innocent, under the law one witness was never sufficient to condemn someone to death. Two, and preferably three, were required. (See Deuteronomy 17:6.) To further protect the innocent, even after guilt was declared, the accusers had to place their hands on the accused and declare in the presence of all the people that he was indeed the guilty party. Then the accusers had to be the first to cast the stones to put the accused to death. (See Deuteronomy 13:9.) All of these protections gave a false witness maximum opportunity to reverse his testimony. Only the most callous and hardened person could maintain a false witness through all the required developments in the trial.
To this day it is a dangerous sin to bear false witness against an innocent party. Even the secular court system demands that the witness pledge to tell the absolute truth. The person who prevaricates is himself guilty of perjury with its attendant penalties.
It is better to err on the side of mercy than on the side of judgment. Even those who have seen or heard something that seems to affix blame should be cautious, for things are not always what they seem. It is very possible to misinterpret what we see or hear.
The seventh thing God hates and the one which, by implication, He hates most of all is sowing discord among brethren. The New Testament also addresses this sin. (See Galatians 5:20; II Thessalonians 3:11; I Timothy 5:13; I Peter 4:15.) It is God’s desire that people walk in harmony and unity; the person who sows discord works directly against God’s plan. The most common way discord is sown is when one person tells something harmful to the reputation of another person—whether true or false—to someone who has no need or authority to hear it.
Proverbs 6:18 (NKJV): “A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil.”
Wicked thoughts and plans. God gave us the marvelous ability to imagine, to visualize, to be creative. He hates for us to prostitute this God-given ability by devising wicked plans. The people of Noah’s day did so (Genesis 6:5), and because of this intense misuse of the power of imagination, God destroyed most of the human race at that time. God has given humans the power to invent, but He hates the practice of using His gift to invent evil (Romans 1:30).
God gave people feet to be able to run to the aid of those in need and to be yielded to Him as an instrument of righteousness. (See Romans 6:13.) He hates for His gift to be perverted so that the feet carry people swiftly to do wrong.
Proverbs 6:17 (NKJV) — 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,
Pride, lying, and violence. Pride was the original sin of Lucifer. (See Isaiah 14:12-16; Ezekiel 28:11-19.) Pride is the root of all sin, for it exalts self above the will of God. Pride is the first step to shame (Proverbs 11:2). It is the cause of contention (Proverbs 13:10). It is the prelude to destruction (Proverbs 16:18). It is, in itself, sin (Proverbs 21:4).
Lying is also a sin. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). All liars will share a common destiny with him in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). Those who love and make lies will share the destiny of being barred from heaven (Revelation 22:15).
The third warning is against violence, particularly against hands that shed innocent blood. God abhors murder. In the Old Testament God gave instructions concerning capital punishment (Genesis 9:5-6) and commanded Israel to war against the enemies of God on many occasions, but these were people whom He had judged guilty of violating His law and fighting against His chosen nation and plan. The warning here is against shedding innocent blood.
Proverbs 6:16–19 (NKJV) — 16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
Seven things God hates. The wording of Proverbs 6:16 indicates there are fully seven things God hates, but He particularly despises the seventh. The word translated “abomination” means detestable.
Seven years ago today, Susan and I were not yet married. Our wedding was scheduled for September 28, 2013. We owned separate homes, and we had decided to sell them and build a new home.
We were leaving town for a trip to Memphis, Tennessee to visit Susan’s son and his family. We had been looking for a new home, and we were in the car to begin this trip when we decided to stop first to check out some display homes near where both of us lived. We loved one of the models, wrote a check for $1,000 down payment to reserve the spot where we wanted our new home built, grabbed the sold sign and drove it into the ground.
We then continued our trip! Payne Family Homes broke ground for our new home the week before Christmas 2013. We were married, both of our homes had sold, and we were living in a local Marriott Resident Inn, where we would stay for six months while our home was being built.
Our home was finished in April 2014, and it has been perfect for us! We are so grateful to God for providing this lovely place for us to enjoy our new life together, and we are thankful that Terry and Julia Gunn provided their expertise as our realtors to sell our previous houses and help us purchase the home pictured below.
Our Lord has been good to us in every way. He has seen us through some health challenges, provided all our needs, and given us lives filled with love and joy. After the loss of our first spouses, Robert Fuller and Judy Segraves, neither of us knew we would ever again experience such blessed marriages.
Proverbs 6:14–15 (NKJV) — 14 Perversity is in his heart, He devises evil continually, He sows discord. 15 Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.
The wicked person has a heart problem.Since his heart is lawless, he has no reservations about doing wrong. His full-time business is planning evil or trouble. He plants discord, which God hates. Calamity and brokenness come upon this person without warning or remedy unless, of course, he turns from his wickedness.