Saturday, November 16, 2013

Proverbs 24

19. Don't envy bad or wicked people; don't even try making friends with them - causing trouble is all they think about.

20. Homes are built upon the foundation of wisdom and understanding. Knowledge helps to furnish the rooms of the house.

21. It is better to be wise than strong; strategic planning is the key to warfare - a well planned out battle will bring positive results.

22. Wise conversations are way over the head of fools; they have nothing to add when important matters are discussed.

23. A person who is always planning evil schemes soon gets a reputation as "Prince of rogues."

24. If you fall to pieces during a time of crisis, there wasn't much to you in the first place.

25. Do not hesitate to rescue someone who is being persecuted unjustly. You may think, "It is none of my business." The LORD judges your motives - step in and help.

26. Eat honey, it's good for your tongue and body. Likewise, wisdom is good for your soul - get wisdom and you'll have a bright future.

27. Do not interfere with good people's lives; don't even think about scheming to rob an honest man. No matter how many times a honest man falls, he will always get up.

28. Don't laugh when your enemy falls; don't crow over his collapse. The LORD will weigh your heart to check if you are gloating and may stop punishing him.

29. Do not envy those evil or wicked people. Do not wish you could succeed like the wicked - they have no future.

30. Fear the LORD and respect your leaders. Do not join those rebellious officials who are defiant or mutinous. Realize the power LORD and those leaders have, who can cause you damage.

Further Sayings of the Wise. 

Do not show partiality in judging - neither to the guilty nor the innocent. 

Rich blessings will come upon those who convict the guilty. 

Be truthful: 
Proverbs 24:26 An honest answer
    is like a kiss on the lips.
Just as the kiss is best enjoyed when given/received on the lips, one will express appropriate appreciation when a person gives an honest and straightforward answer. 

We are told not to begin building a house without first making proper and adequate preparation for all involved. 

We are not to testify against our neighbor without cause. 

Vengeance is LORD's. 
Proverbs 24:29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me;
    I’ll pay them back for what they did.”
LORD is dealing with us in grace, and we are supposed to manifest similar grace to our fellow beings. 

The chapter closes with a graphical rebuke towards those who are slothful, and being led to poverty. 

My Thoughts
We encounter the "wicked" through out our journey. Let me clarify something - wicked are not necessarily those who commit gross sin. Anyone who does not follow the LORD's commands can be classified wicked - as they have no moral or godly standards. 

This is when choosing good friends becomes important. Merely being in the company of people does not make us friends with them - it just looks trendy in photos. It takes those "soul level conversations" to get to know someone.

LORD can lead us towards those right friends, if we request Him. If any friend has been taken away from us, LORD has a valid reason for it too - ask, and He will tell why. 

Proverbs 23

Continuing on those 30 Sayings of the Wise:

6. When you go to dinner with an influential person, mind your manners - don't show your greediness for food, as he may be tricking you.

7. Refrain yourself from trying to get rich; money can be gone in a flash, as if it had grown wings and flown away.

8. Don't accept a meal from a tightwad - he does not mean what he says. You will vomit his meal and all your flattery will be a waste.

9. Don't bother talking sense to fools - he cannot appreciate it.

10. Don't cheat orphans out of their property; LORD is their powerful offender and He will argue against you.

11. Give yourselves to disciplined instruction and learn everything you can from your teacher.

12. Don't be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won't kill them - you will be saving his life.

13. Children, when you speak words of wisdom, your parents will be happy.

14. Don't envy sinful people; be zealous towards the fear of LORD - that's where your future lies.

15. Do not associate yourself with those who with those drink too much wine, get drunk, and eat too much. They are on their way towards rags.

16. Listen to the father who raised you, and when your mother grows old, don't neglect her. Let your father and mother be proud of you.

17. A loose woman can soon get you in deep trouble - she lies in wait and multiplies unfaithful men.

18. Don't judge wine by its label, or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor. Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with, the splitting headache, and the queasy stomach.

My Thoughts
This chapter closes with a satire and sermon on alcohol. It is the Bible's longest and most eloquent argument against drinking. It portrays a man who has gone beyond the occasional social drinking.
Proverbs 23:29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaints?
    Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
    who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup,
    when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
    and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights,
    and your mind will imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
    lying on top of the rigging.
35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
    They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
    so I can find another drink?”
Majority of our society is cursed, as it encourages social drinking. Almost every house pours out alcohol and wine at every possible occasion including weekends and family gatherings. It is no longer that sincere friendship which attracts people towards us, rather it is alcohol which does the trick. Have you noticed them waiting impatiently to head straight towards the bar?

Ironically, people will not invite you to their gatherings if you are unwilling to get drunk with them and participate in being intoxicated.

I am not a big proponent of serving alcohol at home. Long ago, we decided not to entertain anyone by virtue of pouring a drink. We do not want friends who are tied to us by means of alcohol. I want to preserve the sanctity of my house and do not wish the "roof above my head" to be a place to promote drunkards.

My conviction and goal is total abstinence - not to let alcoholic beverages enter my body. By doing so, I am trying to set an example for those who want to stay sober. Just as these proverbs teach, there is a blessing in this path - far worthier than being in the company of drunk men & women, and alcoholic pleasures.

May LORD help me.

Proverbs 22

King Solomon had great riches and large quantities of "silver and gold." He states that a good name is desirable than great riches. We are told that the LORD is the creator of everyone including rich and poor - we individuals contain hardly any merits to find favors in the eyes of the LORD. Whatever He gives us is a blessing - and we need to glorify Him. Nobody can question the LORD why He did not give us certain things in life.

We notice the prudent taking refuge, LORD blessing those with humility and ones staying away from the wicked preserving their life. We then come across one of the most popular proverbs:
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Next we encounter injustice and it's effects, the providence of the LORD,
Proverbs 22:9 The generous will themselves be blessed,
    for they share their food with the poor.
It is amazing how capable we are, of cooking up excuses to stay away from what we do not want to do. On the contrary, we will also find hundreds of ways to do something we desire.

We then meet the adulterous woman and the necessity of timely correction of children.

Thirty Sayings of the Wise
This is the final section of the proverbs titled "Proverbs of King Solomon."  We then see a new section called "Thirty Sayings of the Wise" written presumably by King Solomon with an urgent plea containing "excellent things" inspired by LORD. King Solomon probably did not name himself here because he realized that LORD was the only One fully Wise, and hence the title. These proverbs were written to a particular individual - mostly to his won, who was taking over the kingdom.
Proverbs 22:17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
    apply your heart to what I teach,
18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
    and have all of them ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
    I teach you today, even you.
20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you,
    sayings of counsel and knowledge,
21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth,
    so that you bring back truthful reports
    to those you serve?
1. Never walk upon the poor just because they're poor and you can. Never use your power and position to crush the weak when they are in the court. The LORD will argue their case and threaten the life of anyone who threaten the life of the poor.

2. Never make friends with angry people; don't keep company with hotheads - you may learn their habits and never be able to change.

3. Never promise to be responsible for someone else's debts. In case you are unable to repay, they may even take up your own bed.

4. Don't move back the boundary lines staked out by your ancestors.

5. Observe people who are good at their work - they will stand in the presence of leaders.

Proverbs 21

We see the power of LORD - The King of Kings, who has the capacity to control the hearts and minds of Kings as easily as He can direct the flow of water in a river. He can do this as response to our prayers. But remember - our way may not be LORD's way.

We read about those fortunes made by means of a lying tongues, followed by violence of the wicked, and the way of the guilty.
Proverbs 21:6 A fortune made by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.
Then we meet the quarrelsome wife, and the wicked. We see how the simple gain wisdom and how the wise get their knowledge. We see the righteous person tearing down the house of the wicked. We are then told about the necessity of being charitable.
Proverbs 21:13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor    will also cry out and not be answered.
The reader is taken towards those gifts given in private and bribes offered. Those who say goodbye to prudence are essentially embracing death. Those who love pleasures and wine will always be busy hosting lavish feasts and will never become rich. The term 'rich' here does not refer just to wealth, but applies to quality of life - as ones encountering several losses as a result of their lifestyle.

Then King Solomon shares his sentiment about having to put up with a quarrelsome wife - this should be a no-brainer for any man, who has come out of his honeymoon period.
Proverbs 21:19 Better to live in a desert
    than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.
We can see the benefits of the righteous, the treasures of the wise, the advantages of guarding one's tongue, the desire of the sluggard and the false witness.

The magnanimity of the LORD is explained as the LORD is untouchable by anyone, and the ONE who determines the outcome of every battle.
Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
    that can succeed against the LORD.
Now, doesn't that make us proud and feel safe?

Proverbs 20

This chapter opens with the verse about wine and beer being mocker and brawler. When we examine proverbs, we see drunkenness not receiving any accolades from the author. In fact, five most popular sins are drunkenness, disrespect, illusion, greed and pride, listed in the order of ranking. According to proverbial wisdom, anyone who is in the capacity of making decisions should not consume alcohol.

We then see why we should avoid contentions. Later we meet the sluggard who does not plow in seasons.

The reader is taken to a precious and rare jewel called faithfulness.
Proverbs 20:6 Many claim to have unfailing love,
    but a faithful person who can find?
Faithfulness is a remarkable quality a man can possess. We then meet the righteous man who leads a blameless life whose children are blessed. We are then told that even a young child can understand and differentiate what is right and wrong - an intelligent design of humans, at the hands of wisdom.

Solomon speaks about finding those people who have wisdom:
Proverbs 20:15 Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
    but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.
Next we see the human nature that has seldom changed in thousand years, and applicable in our everyday lives, especially in the world of business:
Proverbs 20:17 Food gained by fraud tastes sweet,
    but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
We also read about differing weights and measures, tale-bearers, the wicked son, the wise king, the glory of young men and the beauty of old men. The final verse refers to the benefit of correction.

My Thoughts
Alcohol mocks people and creates in them a thirst for more, while not satisfying that thirst. It gives people a false sense of strength and happiness. Have you noticed people who normally tend to be shy, being courageous and talkative, once alcohol gets into their bloodstream? At that point, alcohol makes them think they are the wisest person around. A popular Japanese proverb talks about the charm of a drink:
First, the man takes a drink;
Then the drink takes a drink;
Then the drink takes the man. 
Many of you in the medical profession may have read this article published in Journal of Hepatology, titled, "Wine Hath Drowned More Men Than the Sea."

Verse 15 is an eyeopener.
We know numerous people - some of you have hundreds and even thousands of friends. Let me ask, "Who is the wisest person that you've ever met in your life?" I often wonder, who is the wisest person alive today? Am always on the lookout and eagerly seeking to meet and learn from wise men - and they are so rare to find.

In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus, king of Ithaca, sets sail to lay siege to Troy, leaving behind a young wife and an infant son, Telemachus. He also leaves behind his trusted friend to instruct, train and guide his son to be the future king.

Odysseus says, "I leave with you this son, whom I so tenderly love; watch over his infancy if you have love of me, keep flattery far from him; teach him to vanquish his passions."

This man's name is Mentes (Greek) or Mentor (Latin). Thus the word "mentor" entered the English language.

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a mentor is a trusted counselor or guide. A person who is being mentored is called a protégé.

Say, with great difficulty I found someone whom I admire. The next challenge is to convince that person to be the mentor. Even though I maybe willing to learn, that person should be open and willing to take up the role of being a mentor.

The idea is simple - to find some wise mentor and be his protege. It may not be a single person - it could be various wise men in different fields. It could also vary according to my seasons of life - those mentors I need when I am in my 40's will differ from whom I need in my 50's. Would it make sense for me to train some youngsters and lead them in the path of LORD - not just inside a classroom, but in the real world.

My solution - submit it into the hands of LORD Almighty saying, "Thy will be done."

Friday, November 15, 2013

Proverbs 19

Here we see the worth of a poor upright man who walks blamelessly. Then we are told the universal truth about how riches preserve friends.
Proverbs 19:4 Wealth attracts many friends,
    but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.
We see the fate of false witnesses, one who gains wisdom, a foolish child, quarrelsome wife etc. We also see how to get one of the most valuable gift during a lifetime - a prudent wife.
Proverbs 19:14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
    but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Spending time with a prudent wife is any husband's dream. While training up young girls, it is imperative to teach them to be prudent in their deeds. A sensible husband will do everything in his capacity to retain such prudent wife by showering love and care. He will spend time with her to discuss matters that belong to their household, where the prudent wife will provide counsel.

We then see that only LORD's plans work in this world. We also see about fearing Him.
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life;
    then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
Here fear refers to that fear out of reverence and love. Such fear will keep us from sinning or even hurting the LORD.

We meet the spendthrift son and learn about the importance of being obedient to parents

My Thoughts
About verse 4 - those who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, it may be hard to digest this proverb. Others who have gone financially broke in life, know how it feels to be both broke and deserted by closest friend - both are fatal. This verse goes hand in hand with verse 7
7 The poor are shunned by all their relatives—
    how much more do their friends avoid them!
Though the poor pursue them with pleading,
    they are nowhere to be found.
Let's meditating over verse 17:
17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
    and He will reward them for what they have done.
Several of us, we travel to various cities all by our-self on business trips and so forth. We are alone in that city, in the airport, restaurant, hotel, and various other places, free to do anything we wish, as nobody is watching us. Majority of us tend to think that I am talking about engaging in sinful activities in the absence of others watching us. They can imagine about getting that "tug of sin" to engage in sinful activities. No - I do not blame anyone for thinking so, as that is the common nature of mankind.

Let me draw you to the other side of the coin - Isn't such lonely situation a wonderful opportunity where only the LORD is watching us, so that we can perform numerous good things representing Him? During such occasions, if we help the poor, won't they be able to witness a stranger in the role of an Angel? Isn't that a perfect opportunity for us to glorify LORD's name among those who do not know even our name?  What if there are job openings for such roles in the Kingdom of LORD? Yes, there are such openings where LORD will rewards us - because in such circumstances, LORD considers we "lending" Him help.

Now read verse 17 once again - does it make sense?

Proverbs 18

A brief chapter which is self explanatory.

Here we meet a man who separates himself, the fool and the wicked man. We meet the gossiper here who finds pleasure, but hurts himself in the process. Here the wounds are self wounds.
Proverbs 18:8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
    they go down to the inmost parts.
We then see the most fortified tower where the righteous can run into, and be safe at times of trouble - the LORD.
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a fortified tower;
    the righteous run to it and are safe.
We see pride leading to destruction, and the poignant truth that bodily pain is tolerable to soul level pain. In later verses we see that we ought to watch out our tongue.

The wife is portrayed as a favor from the LORD.
Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
    and receives favor from the LORD.
Isn't it true - what else on earth can take the place of a wonderful wife? She can bear the roles of a trusted partner, helper, friend and lover.

The chapter closes with mention of having numerous unreliable friends - where relationships are just skin deep. Those who have explored friendships will know that a single friend can fill in the shoes of one's own brother - such thick friendships are possible. Pay attention to the verse - it talks about 'a friend' not tons of friends.

My Thoughts
How can good women help us?
Not only is she balancing his life, but also journeying with him.

A word about Gossip

Proverbs 17

Proverbs in this chapter are quite straight forward, and profoundly true and worth a thought, whether to apply to one's life or not.

Verse 1 sets the stage for a peaceful home. It then goes on to explain a wise servant, who can purify hearts, the mockery of wicked, bribe and success, how good friends are separated, and the reason to stop quarreling before a dispute becomes too large.
Proverbs 17:14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
    so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
In those closing verses, it tells us the benefit of being careful and sparing in our words.

My Thoughts
Whenever there is a dispute between two individuals, there are people waiting to take advantage of such situations. They work towards deepening the wound and increasing the rift, rather than pacify and heal it. Go no further, we can witness such individuals in our own community. In my opinion, these are not godly qualities, and certainly not what the LORD expects us to do.

How shameful it is, to witness quarrel taking places in the place of worship.

Proverbs 16

We encounter many insightful and familiar maxims here. LORD is the ultimate Judge and provider. We all are accountable to Him.

The perennial question of why LORD created us is partially answered in the verse:
Proverbs 16:4 The LORD works out everything to its proper end—
    even the wicked for a day of disaster.

The King James version has translated it as:
The LORD hath made all things for Himself,
yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Yes, LORD created us to fulfill His plans. It was His will and He will show His true children those exceeding riches and at the same time He will drive out those wicked.

King Solomon speaks in few verses what pleases a King - here he himself is the King, who takes pleasure in honest lips and provides life to those who deserve it.

While he has an abundance of gold and silver, he still stresses the importance of gaining wisdom over other riches.
Proverbs 16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold,
    to get insight rather than silver!
King Solomon echo's his father's testimony about true happiness and true blessedness. In the end, we are reminded that LORD is in control of everything.
Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap,
    but its every decision is from the LORD. 

Additional Info:
An interesting observation is about a particular style in which these proverbs are presented. Starting with Proverbs 16, till 22:16, the second thought supports the first one. In chapters 10 - 15, two opposing concepts were paired together.

Proverbs 15

The reader is taken towards the importance of a soft answer, useful correction, stability, righteousness, and counsel. In this chapter, the ways of the wicked are listed as detestable to LORD.

We hear about the exhortations about our divine gift of speech. It speaks about the tender responses used to win a soul rather than winning an argument. We are then reminded about the omnipresence of our LORD.
Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere,
    keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
The ways and sacrifices of wicked are detestable in the sight of the LORD. The prayers of upright pleases Him and He loves the righteous.
Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,
    but with many advisers they succeed.
This chapter closes with a final reference to fear the LORD. Note that here it is not King Solomon who is instructing us - but Wisdom herself is instructing us.
Proverbs 15:33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD,
    and humility comes before honor.
When she tells us to fear the LORD, she is meaning not just as the beginning of wisdom, but in this context, she is instructing us what is that right thing to do. Did you also pay attention to the word humility? 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Proverbs 14

We read about those numerous moral values. There is a contrast between the wise and foolish woman. This chapter follows the consequences of men's actions. It explains what is prudent for man.

We read about the importance of walking uprightly in the view of LORD, without pride, with honesty. It tells us clearly to stay away from fools - which may sound good, but is not as easy as it seems.
Proverbs 14:7 Stay away from a fool,
    for you will not find knowledge on their lips.
Human heart is showcased with it's bitterness, we hear about the house of the wicked, and how the wise behave.
Proverbs 14:16 The wise fear the LORD and shun evil,
    but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure. 
Emphasis is placed on righteousness, love and faithfulness. Fear of the LORD is repeated couple of times, and how it saves them and their children.

My Thoughts
Men build house with brick and mortar. It is the women who make the house happy. Women built it further with wisdom and love. A wise woman cultivates her heart and promotes goodness at home for her husband and children. A happy home is made by a good wife. It is indeed a blessing from the LORD, to have such a dedicated wife.

Proverbs 13

There are numerous instructions and moral sentences for the wise in this chapter. It starts off with how to be a wise child - it is never too late for even adults to be be a wise child.

We then read about continence of speech.
Proverbs 13:3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
    but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
Fate of wealth that is ill gotten, about those who pretend to be rich, yet are poor. How the poor are never held for ransom.

Consequences of refusing instructions and those who pay attention are rewarded.
Proverbs 13:14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    turning a person from the snares of death.
It tells us to walk with the wise, instructs us how to bring up children, and to be righteous.
Proverbs 13:21 Trouble pursues the sinner,
    but the righteous are rewarded with good things. 

Proverbs 12

We are told the benefits of instruction and the cultivation of piety.
Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but whoever hates correction is stupid.
Then we see a glimpse of the virtuous woman, which we will see more in chapter 31.
Proverbs 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,
    but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
The just and the unjust are portrayed, followed by the humane man and the industrious man. A contrast is drawn between a wise and foolish man. We can see those uncharitable and the ones who suppress their annoyance.
Proverbs 12:16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
    but the prudent overlook an insult.
We can read about the excellence of righteousness, which leads to abundant life.

Proverbs 11

This chapter lists those advantages of being righteous and wise. It opens with the verse of what LORD hates.
Proverbs 11:1 The LORD detests dishonest scales,
    but accurate weights find favor with Him.
Then it demonstrates how the wicked and foolish deal with miseries, and goes on to explain those true and false riches.

Couple of verses that talks about women:
Proverbs 11:16 A kindhearted woman gains honor,
    but ruthless men gain only wealth.
Proverbs 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

My Thoughts
While training young girls to become women, teach the,, to be kindhearted and show them the value of discretion.

Proverbs 10

This chapter lists those sundry proverbs and gives a narrative of those differences between the wise and the foolish, the righteous and the wicked, the diligent and the idle.

The difference is often couched in terms of what the wise and foolish say: there is a contrast between the good and the evil tongue, and between the slanderer and the peacemaker.

We can learn some valuable life lessons in here. For instance, there are two proverbs that talk about wealth. One says we need to work diligently. Wisdom tells us that the LORD can make someone wealthy at His discretion.
Proverbs 10:4 Lazy hands make for poverty,
    but diligent hands bring wealth.
Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD brings wealth,
    without painful toil for it.
Both are true in their own case - in the latter case, He makes sure there is no sorrow along with those blessings. LORD, being THE BOSS of the universe can do as He wishes.

Proverbs 9

Wisdom built her house and made seven columns for it. She then prepared a feast, mixed spices in the wine, and set the table. She then sent her servant women to call out from the highest place in town, “Come in, ignorant people!” And to the foolish she says, “Come, eat my food and drink the wine that I have mixed. Leave the company of ignorant people, and live. Follow the way of knowledge.”

Never correct conceited people; they will hate you for it, and you will be insulted and hurt. Instead, correct the wise, and they will respect you. Anything you say to the wise will make them wiser. Whatever you tell the righteous will add to their knowledge.

To be wise we must first have reverence for the LORD.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
    and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Wisdom has the power to add years to your life. By having wisdom on your side, you are the one who will benefit by her presence, and if you reject her, you are the one who will suffer, due to her absence.

Stupidity is like a loud, ignorant, shameless woman. She sits at the door of her house or on a seat in the highest part of town, and calls out to people passing by, who are minding their own business, “Come in, ignorant people!” To the foolish she says, “Stolen water is sweeter. Stolen bread tastes better.” Her victims who go to her house do not know they are about to die. Those who have already entered are already deep in the world of the dead.

My Thoughts
Mixing spices in wine is supposed to makes it a stronger drink!
A sharp distinction is drawn between the wise, who grow wiser by instruction and who listen to rebukes, and the scorners, who do not. Wisdom’s house is contrasted with that of a foolish clamorous woman.

I wanted to add few more things about Wisdom. I know King Solomon talked a lot about her in those earlier chapters. There are numerous things I can speak about wisdom too - let me take a shot.

Wisdom stays young forever. Anyone embracing her will never know old age.
Wisdom was LORD's first creation. Wisdom told LORD to create man as last.
Seek for beauty in wisdom, and she will never disappoint you.
When wisdom smiles, pearls rain on our rooftop.
Embracing wisdom means embracing LORD's partner.
Wisdom adds clarity to our eyes and insight to our minds.

Going through the treasure

Imagine walking into a jewelry store filled with precious chest of stones and valuables that stretches miles and miles. Where do we start and which ones do we skip? That is my current state of mind. I am so excited that I want to explain about everything.

Every jewel has it's own story to tell, and each of them are valuable life lessons. As the saying goes:

“A proverb is the wit of one, and the wisdom of many.”

Most of these proverbs are metaphorical and majority of them describe the basic rule of conduct. In the end, every proverb is better - one is better than the other.

Ok, let me hope that you will visit and meditate these proverbs one chapter a day, for one year. Therefore I will not elaborate starting with chapter 10. Mark your calendar - let's have a follow up the next year - say, on 12/13/14.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Proverbs 8

Wisdom cries out aloud at the gates of the city. She speaks to those foolish people out there and proclaims trustworthy words.
Proverbs 8:8 All the words of my mouth are just;
    none of them is crooked or perverse.
She then tells about her own worth, which is precious than rubies. She introduces her friend - prudence. She has insight and power, which rulers use. She has riches and honor, and walks in the path of righteousness and justice. She also said who could find her.
Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me find me.
Wisdom said that she was LORD's first work, who was constantly besides Him during the process of creation, and she emphasizes it.

Her advice to us:
Proverbs 8:32 “Now then, my children, listen to me;
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
    and receive favor from the LORD.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
    all who hate me love death.”

My Thoughts
Pay attention to how she intimately she speaks about LORD. 

Proverbs 7

The warnings continue against an adulterous woman.

One has to embrace wisdom and insight to stay away from the those adulterous and wayward women.
Proverbs 7:4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
    and to insight, “You are my relative.”
5 They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
    from the wayward woman with her seductive words.
A foolish man is seen, who is seduced into committing adultery with a woman with a crafty intent. He does not know that it will cost him his life.

The advice for such situations:
Proverbs 7:25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
    or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
    her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
    leading down to the chambers of death.

Proverbs 6

The advice here is not to a stay security for a neighbor or pledge on behalf of a stranger. If somehow we have committed to it, we are supposed to give no sleep to our eyes and free our self from it at the earliest.

We should look at the ant and learn it's ways to be wise.

Troublemakers and villains will be destroyed soon. LORD hates few things:
Proverbs 6:16 There are six things the LORD hates,
    seven that are detestable to Him:
17         haughty eyes,
        a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19         a false witness who pours out lies
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Then the warning against adultery continues. One should always keep his father's commands and mother's teachings close to him. They will guide him in his daily walk, and keep him away from the neighbor's wife and wayward woman.

A man who commits adultery destroys his own soul.
Proverbs 6:32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
    whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot,
    and his shame will never be wiped away.
Such jealousy will kindle a husband's wrath to take revenge without mercy. No amount of bribe can pacify a jealous husband.

Proverbs 5

This chapter warns about adultery.

It teaches us that the lips of an adulterous woman drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil. In the end, she turns out to be bitter as wormwood, sharp as a double edged sword. The advice is not to go to her house.
Proverbs 5:5 Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 She gives no thought to the way of life;
    her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.
We are supposed to be happy with our own spouse. In marriage, a wife gives her true to her husband alone. Solomon advises going towards one's own wife for refreshment and sexual pleasures. We are never to share our bodies with strangers.

The LORD is watching everything we do.
Proverbs 5:21 For your ways are in full view of the LORD,
    and He examines all your paths.
The chords of sin keep us tied to evil deeds, and due to lack of disciple we will die.

Proverbs 4

King Solomon, shares his pedigree of wisdom in this chapter. He advises us to get wisdom at any cost. Yes - he mean at the cost of anything, because she is so worthy. If you pay attention to King Solomon's words, he shares the insight he received from King David, and pumps up the reader as he himself is excited at her worth.
Proverbs 4:4 Then he taught me, and he said to me,
    “Take hold of my words with all your heart;
    keep my commands, and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
    Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.”
In those next verses, King Solomon emphasizes the value she brings and tells us not to let her go. We are not supposed to set foot on the path of the wicked. We are not supposed to eat their food and drink their wine.

Righteousness is the path King Solomon recommends.
Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
He further narrates how to walk in our path. One thing sticks out in his advice - to guard our heart, as everything we do flows from it.

My Thoughts:
King Solomon cannot be clearer than this. He is stressing the importance of getting the most valuable treasure in the universe. He reveals to us, the secret of obtaining her. Once we get her, we are supposed to love her like a lover and embrace her.

I liked the verse:
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.

Proverbs 3

We see how wisdom bestows well being. King Solomon gives us further advice on how to seek wisdom, obtain peace, prosperity, and good name in the sight of LORD and men.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
To be healthy, shun evil and, fear the LORD and do not trust in your own wisdom.

The blessings of wisdom are numerous. The beauty of wisdom is that she brings a plethora of supreme and wonderfully rich qualities along with her. Our LORD laid the foundations of earth and set the heavens in place using wisdom.

We should never let wisdom out of our sight. She will preserve sound judgement, keep us safe, enable us to sleep well, have no fear of disaster, and above all, if we keep wisdom along with us, the LORD also will be with us.
Proverbs 3:26 for the LORD will be at your side
    and will keep your foot from being snared.
We are supposed to be responsible and do good deeds to others, when LORD puts us in such positions.

We should not envy those oppressors or choose their ways. Ultimately, the wise will inherit glory, and fools will get only shame.

My Thoughts
This chapter lists too many qualities of wisdom, that will make a reader so happy.

Keeping wisdom at our side will enable LORD to be with us - what other motivation do we need? 

Proverbs 2

This chapter advises a son on how to seek wisdom.
Proverbs 2:4 and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
    and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
You remember Psalm 1 which explained how to walk blamelessly? The LORD protects the path of of those who walk in the path of wisdom. When we walk on that path,
Proverbs 2:10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Wisdom has the capacity to protect us from wicked men. It will also save us from the adulterous woman and her seductive words, whose house leads us towards death.

Those who walk in the path of righteousness will walk upright, and other will cut off from the land.

My Thoughts
Wisdom is truly a special gift from the LORD. If we ask Him for wisdom, He will grant it to us - 100%. Also faster than anything we ask.

Proverbs 1

This proverb explains the purpose of this book, and how to embrace wisdom, justice, judgment and equity.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
A son is advised against the influence and invitation of sinners.
Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
    do not give in to them.
A personified Wisdom is imagined in the streets, crying out against fools and scorners. She (wisdom) has called out, but been rejected.
Proverbs 1:20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
    she raises her voice in the public square;
They will eventually laugh at the inevitable calamities that befall. Those who reject her counsel will eat the fruit of their own way. On the other hand, whoever pays attention to her (wisdom) will be safe.
Proverbs 1:33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
    and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

Additional Info
Wisdom is personified as "She"

"Simple" in this chapter refer to fools.

My Thoughts
I can feel myself getting excited - this is my favorite topic, and I could go on and on for a long time. But I am holding my horses, and my chain of thoughts - which is (bit) difficult. I will make a conscious effort to slow down.

If I had to summarize this entire book of proverbs into one verse, that would be a complex task. King Solomon shared his secret formula of acquiring wisdom in Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs - An Executive Summary

The Book of Proverbs is a collection of short sayings gathered from different places and produced over long periods of time. These sayings represent wisdom derived from practical experience. They constitute wholesome advice about the way a person should live in order to attain the most happy and satisfactory life.

Majority of this book is written by the wisest man who ever lived - King Solomon, and hence attributed to him. We read that King Solomon knew how to please LORD by asking for a "wise and discerning heart."

Types of Wisdom
At a high level there are two types of wisdom.

1. Godly wisdom
- the capacity to see things from the LORD's viewpoint and to respond according to the Holy Scripture.

2. Worldly wisdom 
- is the use of everyday knowledge and information based on human understanding and reasoning. According to the Holy Scripture*, worldly wisdom is foolishness in the eyes of the LORD.

*"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness” - 1 Corinthians 3:19

The formula for Wisdom is:

Wisdom = Knowledge + Obedience. 

Knowledge is knowing the right thing to do. Wisdom is applying that knowledge in an obedient fashion, pleasing to LORD.

My Recommendation
The way the Holy Spirit wrote this book, we need to continuously meditate and read these proverbs, in order to grasp the inner meaning. A certain meaning will first appear on the surface during the initial reading. As the reader meditates and reads the same verse over an over, a deeper and inner spiritual meaning takes shape. To accomplish that visibility, a reading regiment consisting of one chapter a day is best recommended. Continue this regiment for just one a year, and you'll certainly feel the difference.

Sample Reading Plan
Yesterday was 11/12/13 - a good date to remember. Today is Nov 13th - let's start with reading Proverbs 13. Tomorrow, Nov 14th, let's read Proverbs 14th and so on. When December rolls in, we'll start with Proverbs 1 on Dec 1. Certain months we may miss chapter 31 - it's okay as Proverbs 31 has a special meaning which if you understand once, will never forget. I highly recommend all my dear friends to follow this reading regiment religiously for one year, and the Holy Spirit will change your life for good - I guarantee it.

Wisdom, a true chest of treasure, is a vast topic which can consume an entire lifetime learning it. We will examine wisdom from a Godly perspective in the Book of Proverbs.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Psalm 150

The final great Hallelujah.

Praise the LORD in the sanctuary or heaven, where He is enthroned and reigns over the universe. Let us praise Him for those miracles and wonders He has performed among our people as a testimony of His existence, which are to be remembered from generation to generation.

Let us use all kinds of musical instruments to praise the LORD, including trumpet, harp, lyre, tambourine, dancing, strings, flute, and cymbals.

May every creation of LORD that has the breath of life praise Him.
Psalm 150:1 Praise the LORD
Praise God in His sanctuary;
    praise Him in His mighty heavens.
2 Praise Him for His acts of power;
    praise Him for His surpassing greatness.
3 Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise Him with the harp and lyre,
4 Praise Him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise Him with the strings and pipe,
5 Praise Him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise Him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.


Psalm 149

Praise of LORD for the high honor bestowed upon Israel.

The author calls to sing a new song in the assembly of His faithful people. He wants Israel rejoice in the LORD.

He calls everyone to praise Him with dancing, tambourine, and harp.
Psalm 149:4 For the LORD takes delight in his people;
    He crowns the humble with victory.
May the LORD take vengeance upon the enemies of the Israelites. May the praise of LORD be like a double-edged sword to inflict vengeance and punishment upon the wicked.

My Thoughts
Those who humble themselves to the LORD will inherit eternal life.

The double edged sword here refers to LORD's words. One side is the LORD's law and on the other side is His Gospel. LORD's law cuts into men's hearts, and their conscience. The Gospel teaches men to be holy and righteous. 

Psalm 148

A call to all things in all creations to praise the LORD.

The psalmist calls every creation including heavenly, angels, heavenly hosts, stars, waters above the skies, and other creatures on earth.

All those sea creatures, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds, mountains, hills, fruit trees, cedars, wild animals, cattle, small creatures, flying birds, kings, nations, princes, rulers, young men, maidens, old men and children.
Psalm 148:13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
    for His name alone is exalted;
    His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
Praise the LORD.

Psalm 147

Praise of LORD, the creator and LORD over all, for His special mercies over Israel.

It is pleasing and fitting to praise the LORD.

The LORD brought back the people from exile and restored them in Jerusalem once they were heartbroken. He knows everything including the names of every star in the sky. He is great and His power has no limit. He helps the humble and casts the wicked.

Let's sing and make music to our LORD with harp. He is the provider for everything including rain, grass, cattle and ravens.
Psalm 147:11 The LORD delights in those who fear Him,
    who put their hope in His unfailing love.
LORD is the protector and the one who grants peace and rich harvest. He is the one who sends snow, frost, hail and wind. His words can melt them.

His words will be revealed to those who seek Him.

Praise the LORD.

Psalm 146

A praise to Zion's Heavenly King due to His Powerful and Trustworthy Care.

The author will sing praises to LORD as long as he lives. He advises not to put our trust in mortal men who will eventually die. He speaks about the spirits or mortal men at death:
Psalm 146:4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
    on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the LORD their God.
LORD, the creator or heaven and earth remains faithful forever.

LORD watches over the oppressed and hungry,
LORD sets prisoners free,
LORD gives sight to the blind,
LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
LORD loves the righteous,
LORD watches the foreigner,
LORD sustains fatherless and widow,
and LORD frustrates the wicked.

The LORD reigns forever and let us praise Him.

Psalm 145

David's magnificent hymn to the LORD for His mighty acts and benevolent virtues.

David has found out that LORD the King deserves to be praised forever and ever.
Psalm 145:2 Every day I will praise You
    and extol Your name for ever and ever.
LORD is the most worthy of praise, as nobody can fathom His greatness. His mighty deeds, glorious splendor, majesty, awesome works, and miracles are retold from generations to generations.

Our LORD is the best when it comes to love and compassion.
Psalm 145:8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.
He shows compassion towards all His creatures. Ask anyone, and all of them praise Him and they all speak about His might and glorious splendor. He has that kingdom which lasts forever.
Psalm 145:13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and Your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is trustworthy in all He promises
    and faithful in all He does.
He lifts up all those who fall down. He feeds everyone in the world at the proper time. He satisfies the needs of everyone when they open their hands.

All of LORD's ways are righteous. Here is a good news - He is so near us, and fulfills the desires of those who fear Him.
Psalm 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call on Him,
    to all who call on Him in truth.
He will destroy the wicked.

David has decided to praise the LORD forever. Let every creature offer praise to the LORD forever and ever.

My Thoughts
In this Psalm of praise, David mentions several attributes of the LORD. Few among them:
- His Greatness,
- His Grace, Goodness, & Compassion,
- His Glory and Might,
- His Righteousness and Kindness,
- His Providential Care, etc.

David also tells us when we should praise the LORD.
- From generation to generation,
- From nation to nation,
- From need to need,
- From prayer to prayer,
- Forever and ever.

When it comes to love and compassion, there is no equal. Anyone who has tasted a drop of His love, care and compassion will hunger for more. No other food/drink can equal the taste of His love.

One cannot find anyone so truthful and faithful as the LORD. He is the epitome of those characters, and hence Holy.

This is an awesome Psalm wherein David pens down those magnificent traits of the LORD. It is better to quote the psalm verbatim.

Psalm 144

David's prayer of deliverance from a treacherous enemies.

David praises the LORD for his Rock and shield in whom he takes refuge. Human beings are nothing compared to the LORD.
Psalm 144:4 They are like a breath;
    their days are like a fleeting shadow.
He asks LORD to come down and reveal His magnanimity by sending lightening and shooting arrows. He prays for deliverance and rescue from mighty waters and foreigners, whose mouths are filled with lies and deceit.

When LORD has delivered him, he will sing a new song for the LORD. He prays for deliverance from these people.

With LORD's help, our sons and daughters will adorn the place. Our provisions will increase with His blessings, and those people on the streets will be happy.
Psalm 144:15 Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
    blessed is the people whose God is the LORD.

Psalm 143

David's prayer for deliverance and divine leading.

The prayer is for LORD's mercy, to come in His faithfulness and righteousness. He begged not to bring him into judgement as nobody is righteous in front of LORD.

His enemies are pursuing him and he was tired of them. His spirit was growing weak and heart dismayed. He sought LORD's help as thirsty as a parched land.

He asked LORD to answer him quickly and to save him from his enemies. He had full trust in the LORD and asked for His directions.
Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do Your will,
    for you are my God;
may Your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.
As a servant of LORD, he prayed to preserve his life and to bring him out of trouble. He requested LORD to silence his enemies.

Psalm 142

David's prayer for deliverance from powerful enemies, while he was inside a cave.

David came in front of the LORD, for mercy, when he was in serious trouble. In the past, LORD has delivered him. Nobody else seems to care for him. He has no refuge and cannot run towards anyone other than the LORD.
Psalm 142:5 I cry to you, LORD;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”
David prayed that the LORD rescued him from those who are pursuing him, as they are too strong. He wants to praise the name of the LORD so that the righteous will hear his testimony and praise the LORD.

Psalm 141

David's prayer for deliverance from the wicked and their evil ways.

This time, David prays to come fast towards Him, and may his prayers be like an incense and his lifting of eyes be like evening prayers.

Two things David asks LORD are to set a guard for his mouth so that he does not speak any evil and not to let heart draw towards evil.
Psalm 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
    keep watch over the door of my lips.
4 Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil
    so that I take part in wicked deeds
along with those who are evildoers;
    do not let me eat their delicacies.
David prefers a righteous man to strike him or rebuke him, rather than sinning against LORD. He did not want to hate his enemies, but requested LORD to take vengeance against their evil deeds.

His eyes are focused on the LORD. He prayed for protection, while those evil men fall into their own traps.

My Thoughts
I wish I was surrounded by righteous men who were rebuking and correcting me every now and then. Sadly, it is so hard to find such honest and sincere people in our circles. Hardly anyone dares to say, "You are wrong in doing so, and instead, this is what you should be doing." Everyone wants to be in the "good books" of others, by being polite and sounding sweet.

What most people desire is to hear whether they have supporters, even while they are doing the wrong thing.

Life will be fabulous if we have just one such righteous friend, who is willing to correct us, regardless of fear of rejection. Look at David - he is even willing to receive strikes at the hands of a righteous man.

Psalm 140

David's prayer for deliverance from slander and unscrupulous enemies.

David cried out to the LORD to rescue him from those violent evildoers who devise evil plans all the time. Their tongues appear to David as that of serpents and their lips contain viper's poison

The prayer is to keep him safe from those enemies trying to trap him. He cries out for LORD's mercy and not to grant the desires of those wicked. He asked LORD to strike his enemies with troubles they planned. Those slanderers should not be established in the land.

He has great hope and trust in the LORD.
Psalm 140:12 I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor
    and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise Your name,
    and the upright will live in Your presence.

My Thoughts
Notice David speaking about the LORD in the last two verses - 12 and 13. He has tremendous faith in the LORD. He has seen LORD act in the past and is able to predict how LORD will behave. David knows what the LORD loves to see.

Psalm 139

David's beautiful prayer to LORD to examine his heart and see it's true devotion.

David knew about the LORD. He knew LORD was searching his heart.
Psalm 139:1 You have searched me, LORD,
    and You know me.
Also, David knew that the LORD knew everything about him - when he sits, when he rises, his thoughts, and even the words he is about to utter.
Psalm 139:4 Before a word is on my tongue
    You, LORD, know it completely.
LORD has been beside David - all around him. Due to LORD's omnipresence, He is everywhere, and He can see even in darkness. The LORD knew David even before his birth and knit him in his mother's womb.
Psalm 139:14 I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    Your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
LORD's eyes have seen David's unformed body. David cannot count how precious LORD is to him.
Psalm 139:17 How precious to me are Your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
He then prayed to punish his enemies after examining his heart.

My Thoughts
When I look at verse 1 of this chapter, it reminds me of the great friendship between two wonderful friends. Ones who love each other search for the other. Further the ones who love each other know each other. David knew the LORD's mind. He knew the LORD was searching his heart to see it He was inside.

When lovers look at each other, they see their own reflection in the other's eye.

David is courage enough to invite LORD to come inspect his heart. How many of us have that level of courage to ask LORD to come examine our hearts. Suppose the LORD comes for an inspection, will He find Himself, or something/someone else instead?

If we know our friend too well, we can predict what he/she will say in a particular situation. As we know their thoughts, it becomes easy to step into their shoes and predict their words. Verse 4 essentially indicates that. 

Psalm 138

A song of praise for LORD's help against threatening foes.

Due to LORD's unfailing love and faithfulness, David says he will bow down towards LORD's temple and praise His name. At times of distress, LORD heard and answered his prayers.
Psalm 138:3 When I called, You answered me;
    You greatly emboldened me.
Let all those kings of earth offer praise to the LORD. May they sing glory to the LORD.

An observation David made is that even thought LORD is exalted, He looks with favor towards those who are humble. He recognizes such humble people from a distance.

He thanked LORD for answering his prayers while he was facing trouble. LORD's love endures forever and He did not abandon His creation.

Psalm 137

The Levites were very sad that they had to sing a song to their captor in Babylon. Their tormentors asked them to sing a song of joy and they were unable to do so. It was as if it was insulting them.

Psalm 137:4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD
    while in a foreign land?

They asked LORD to remember Edomites crying out loud to tear down the walls of Jerusalem. The author prayed to take vengeance against the Babylonians.

The author expresses his emotions of war which was cruel where women and children were not spared.
Psalm 137:9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
    and dashes them against the rocks.

My Thoughts
Back in the 80's Boney M used to be one of our favorite singers. The song "Rivers of Babylon" just brought me memories from childhood. Little did I know at that time that this song is based on Psalm 137, and it expressed yearnings of the Jewish people in exile, following the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BC.

Psalm 137:1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
    when we remembered Zion.
Rivers of Babylon
By the rivers of Babylon
Where he sat down
And there he wept when he remembered Zion.

Oh from wicked, carry us away from captivity
Required from us a song
How can we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?

So let the words of our mouth
And the meditations of our hearts
Be acceptable in thy sight
Here to-night. 

By the rivers of Babylon
Where he sat down
And there he wept when he remembered Zion.

Oh from wicked, carry us away from captivity
Required from us a song
How can we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?
How can we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?

Final stretch of Psalms

Dear Readers,

We are in our final stretch of psalms. Don't you think we've been spending some time in this area of Psalms - and let's wrap it up soon. Though there are lots of things to learn and understand, we ought to keep time in mind as well. For those interested, let us come back another round (later). For now, let us get through this material first.

I sincerely want to say a word of thanks to those of you who reached out, sent me emails, and comforted me by means of inspiring scripture verses and praying on behalf of me. Certain days are hard to write - very hard, with physical and mental challenges. Your prayers and blessings have helped me stand up and gather myself. I am conscious about my limited capabilities and look up for strength. Though we are bit behind schedule, I have faith in the Holy Spirit who will guide us through, towards our final destination.

Blessings to you.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Psalm 136

A psalm of thanksgiving.

Every verse in this psalm ends with, "His love endures forever."

The author calls out to give thanks to the LORD because He is good.

LORD has done great wonders by making heaven, earth, light, sky and stars.

With His mighty outstretched arm, He released the Israelites from Egypt and struck down the firstborn of Egypt.

He divided the Red Sea and led Israel through wilderness.

LORD struck down mighty kings and gave their inheritance to Israel.

He feeds every creature on earth.
Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Psalm 135

A call to praise the One True LORD.

Let all those who are servants of the LORD praise Him.

The LORD's name is good, therefore praise Him.

Our LORD is great and greater than all gods and He does whatever pleases Him in the heavens and earth. He is the most powerful.

He helped those Israelites out of Egypt and were given the land of Canaan as their inheritance. His name endures forever throughout all generations.

Others serve man made lifeless idols and the ones who make them are like them - lifeless.

All those who fear Him, praise the LORD.

Psalm 134

All those people who are doing good deeds are servants of the LORD. They are praising LORD and giving Him the glory.

Psalm 134:3 May the LORD bless you from Zion,
    He who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

My Thoughts
All those true servants of the LORD will do good deeds. 
Some call them "Angels." 

Psalm 133

The psalm describes the blessings of people living together in peace and unity.
Psalm 133:1 How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!
The LORD bestows His blessings at such places.
Psalm 133:3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore. 

My Thoughts
Being together in peace and unity is a communal blessing.

Those who love LORD work hard towards preserving this unity, as they want everyone to receive LORD's blessings.