March Madness Proverbs Day 20

March 20, 2007

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Today’s chapter is Proverbs chapter 20. Read it now!

From the Life Application Bible:

Verse 3: A person who is truly confident of his or her strength does not need to parade it. A truly brave person does not look for chances to prove it. A resourceful woman can find a way out of a fight. A man of endurance will avoid retaliating. Foolish people find it impossible to avoid strife. Men and women of character can. What kind of person are you?

Verse 4: You’ve heard similiar warnings. If you don’t study, you’ll fail the test; if you don’t save, you won’t have money when you need it. God wants us to anticipate future needs and prepare for them. We can’t expect him to come to our rescue when we cause our own problems through lack of planning and action. He provides for us, but he also expects us to be responsible.

Verse 9: No one is without sin. As soon as we confess our sin and repent, sinful thoughts and actions begin to creep back into our life. We all need ongoing cleaning, moment by moment. Thank God he provides forgiveness by his mercy when we ask for it. Make confession and repentance a regular part of your talks with God. Rely on him moment by moment for the cleansing you need.

Verse 23: “Dishonest scales” refers to the loaded scales a merchant might use in order to cheat customers. Dishonesty is a difficult sin to avoid. It is easy to cheat if we think no one is looking. But dishonesty affects the very core of a person. It makes him untrustworthy and untrusting. It eventually makes him unable to know himself or relate to others. Don’t take dishonesty lightly. Even the smallest portoin of dishonesty contains enough of the poison of deceit to kill your spiritual life. If there is any dishonesty in your life, tell God about it now.

Verse 24: We are often confused by the events around us. Some things we will never understand until years later when we look back and see how God was working. This proverb counsels us to not worry if we don’t understand everything as it happens. Instead, we should trust that God knows what he’s doing, even if his timing or design is not clear to us. See Psalm 37:23 for a reassuring promise of God’s direction in your life.

Verse 25: This proverb points out the danger of making a vow rashly and then reconsidering it. God takes vows seriously and requires that they be carried out (Deuteronomy 23:21-23). We often have good intentions when making a vow because we want to show God that we are determined to please him. Jesus, however, says it is better not to make promises to God because he knows how difficult they are to keep (Matthew 5:33-37). If you still feel it is important to make a vow, make sure that you weigh the consequences of breaking that vow. (In Judges 11, Jephthah made a rash promise to sacrifice the first thing he saw on his return home. As it happened, he saw his daughter first.) It is better not to make promises than to make them and then later not keep them. It is best to count the cost beforehand and then to fulfill them.

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