“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” – Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
Prohibition of Murder Includes Abortion Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; Psalm 139:15; Isaiah 44:2, 24; Jeremiah 1:5
Murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Early Church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Idleness Has No Place in Faith Proverbs 15:19; Romans 12:11; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:7–12; James 2:26
A true faith in Jesus Christ will not suffer us to be idle. No, it is an active, lively, restless principle; it fills the heart, so that it cannot be easy till it is doing something for Jesus Christ.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Modern church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
9:8 Correction or reproof is wasted upon a “scoffer” because the more shallow and foolish a man, the less willing he is to listen to wise and godly counsel. On the other hand, the wise are eager and glad to receive knowledge and understanding and to profit from correction or rebuke (see 1:7, note).
9:8 Here the parallel structure is antithetic (i.e., the two parts are contrasted opposites).
reprove a wise man. While a fool shuts out wisdom, a wise person is glad for the opportunity to shut out folly. Wisdom perceives the positive side of correction; wisdom is not defensive and easily offended, but humble and responsive.
9:8rebuke the wise In contrast to the scoffer, the wise person accepts rebuke. Throughout Proverbs, the wise person exhibits wisdom by humbly looking to increase in wisdom (12:15; 21:11).
Ver. 8.—Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee (see the last note, and comp. ch. 15:12, and note there). There are times when reproof only hardens and exasperates. “It is not proper,” says St. Gregory, “for the good man to fear lest the scorner should utter abuse at him when he is chidden, but lest, being drawn into hatred, he should be made worse” (‘Moral.,’ viii. 67). “Bad men sometimes we spare, and not ourselves, if from the love of those we cease from the rebuking of them. Whence it is needful that we sometimes endure keeping to ourselves what they are, in order that they may learn in us by our good living what they are not” (ibid., xx. 47, Oxford transl.). Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. So Ps. 141:5, “Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness; and let him reprove me, it shall be as oil upon the head; let not my head refuse it” (comp. ch. 19:25; 25:12; 27:6).
9:8. Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you, Reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
To ‘reprove’ someone is a powerful thing. The word has strong judicial and forensic connections. It can mean to decide, judge and prove. It is a word found often in courtroom contexts. This same word is then used to describe the action of reproving, rebuking or correcting one that has gone astray. Little wonder, then, that the ‘scoffer’ has no time for the person who takes this tack with him. In fact, the scoffer will ‘hate’ you for such righteous judgments. This ‘hate’ can have the sense of deep-seated negative emotions, but the idea is more clearly that of flat rejection of a person or thing. Note Proverbs 5:12, where hate is made synonymous with turning away reproof: ‘And you say, “How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof!” ’ A similar contrast is seen in Proverbs 1:29: ‘Because they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of the Lord.’ Here, hate is the opposite of choosing or embracing the fear of the Lord. Thus, a scoffer may say, ‘I don’t hate you’ (meaning they don’t hold a deep emotional dislike toward you) and mean it. But, their rejection of God’s reproof through you is ‘hate’ in this biblical sense (cf. 1 Kings 22:8).
On the other hand, the same action of reproof will draw a markedly different response from one who possesses some kernel of wisdom. When confronted, exposed and judged by your rebuke, the wise man will ‘love’ you. This, too, may not necessarily speak of overflowing positive emotion, but has more to do with accepting, embracing and learning from the truth as you have presented it. Indeed, a rebuke will likely unsettle the emotions and make one uncomfortable in your presence, but the wise one will hear the truth and recognize in it the gift of life from God. Frequently, this notion of ‘love’ and ‘hate’ as acceptance and rejection are set over against one another (Prov. 1:22; 8:36; 12:1; 13:24; 14:20).
What was a general principle in verse 7 has now become a clear prohibition in verse 8. It is not only a waste of time and an opportunity for personal heartache to reprove a scoffer, it is wrong. ‘Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces’ (Matt. 7:6).
8Do not correct (ʾal-tôkaḥ) a mocker (lēṣ) makes explicit the implied admonition of v. 7. The linking of ykḥ (“correct”) with both “mocker” and “wicked” (v. 7a) suggests that “mocker” and “wicked” are co-referential terms. The command to correct your neighbor frankly in Lev. 19:17 must be nuanced by this proverb. Lest he hate you (pen-yiśnāʾekā; see 1:22; 15:12) signifies to avoid the negative, passionate, emotional feeling that rejects a relationship. The wise aim to lead the potentially educable to repent and thereby to establish a true, spiritual friendship with them. If rebuke defeats this aim, as it will with those committed not to learn, then it is better not expressed (cf. 17:14). To save the impressionable simpleton, the mocker should be fined instead (21:11). By contrast, the sage admonishes the one in authority to correct (hôkaḥ) a wise person (leḥākām; see p. 94). Although the wise possesses wisdom (see 1:2), he is not perfect (cf. 4:18). Rather, he is the picture of educability itself (1:5; 12:1; 13:1; 14:6; 15:31; 19:25; 21:11; Matt. 13:12). The superior, detecting that a person has the essential ingredient for wisdom, the fear of the Lord, is admonished to correct him so that he will love you (weyeʾehābekā, i.e., be your committed spiritual friend; see 1:22). Because of their differing psyches, the arrogance of the wicked and the humility of the righteous, correction repulses the former and awakens in the latter the yearning to be with a superior who improves him (see 15:31; 18:15).
 Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Pr 9:8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Jeremiah 28:3 – Hananiah the son of Azur was a morale booster. Today we call his work PsyOps. And while it was lauded by the king, it would be worthy of death by God (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). But Hananiah’s prophecy was two years out. The prophecy of Jeremiah was time sensitive – how would the people know who was the right prophet?
Jeremiah 28:16 – Jeremiah prophesied that Hananiah would be dead within the year – while Hananiah’s prophecy was peace within two years.
Interestingly in recent times John Alexander Dowie, founder of Zion, IL entered into a prayer duel with the founder of Ahmadiyya.
A bizarre sidelight on Dowie’s later years is that he became embroiled in an acrimonious public dispute with a controversial Indian Muslim religious figure, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Ahmadiyya movement. In 1903 they engaged in a widely publicized prayer duel, each calling upon God to punish the other to expose him as a false prophet. Ahmad and his followers proclaimed Dowie’s rapidly ensuing illness, disgrace, and death as a vindication of their religious beliefs. Ahmad died in 1908, a year later than Dowie.
Jeremiah 29:2 – It is strange that we see the eunuchs mentioned here – this is another pagan practice that had been adopted by Israel. Deuteronomy 23:1 declared castration forbade a man from the assembly of the LORD. Why would a political leader in an attempt to be like the surrounding nations, cut off his advisers from the LORD? Then again the people offered their children to Baal as burnt offerings (Jeremiah 19:5), and castrated their advisers.
Jeremiah 29:5-7 – This is good advice for us today. We are away from our true home. Jeremiah 29:10 says they will be in captivity for 70 years. Interestingly Psalm 90:10 talks about our threescore and ten (70 years) on earth before we go to our New Jerusalem (Revelation 21)! The “United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing,” better known as Shakers, believed that Jesus was coming back so soon that they did not need to “bear sons and daughters” (Jeremiah 29:6). Even today many talk about how they can’t imagine bringing children into the world.
What are we to do ? Prepare to stay awhile thru:
personal comforts (build houses)
profits (plant gardens)
procreation (take wives, bear sons and daughters),
politics (seek the peace of the city)
Yes God is OK with you living in a nice house, having a 401k, bringing children into this world, and with you voting, volunteering on a campaign, donating to a candidate, or even running for office yourself! BUT –
Jeremiah 29:10 – There is something better coming (taking you to the New Jerusalem). That is the expected end. We can enjoy this present life, but remember to call upon the LORD (Jeremiah 29:12), and that someday we will be gathered in (Jeremiah 29:14).
Jeremiah 29:22 – That is a vivid image of the end of a false prophet.
1 Timothy 1:3 – Jeremiah battled false teachers in Hananiah (Jeremiah 28:15) in Jerusalem, and Ahab and Zedekiah (Jeremiah 29:21) in Babylon. Timothy is now battling false teachers in Ephesus.
1 Timothy 1:15 – The anointed Messiah, “Jehovah is Salvation” entered the world on purpose, to save people who admit they are horrible people. The good people (those still in Jerusalem (Jeremiah 29:16-19), won’t be saved. But the bad people – those who went into captivity (Jeremiah 27:12-13) can live if they surrender!
One of the main points of the reformation was the confession that we are saved by faith apart from works. Paul often mentions this in his letters. Yet James writes that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Being justified is being treated as if you did nothing wrong according to God’s judgment.
To understand what James is getting at we need to look at the two examples he gives: Abraham’s faith was demonstrated by his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. Rahab showed her faith by her actions in hiding the spies and sending them in a different direction. She was willing to give up her allegiance to the city of Jericho and put her trust in the God of Israel. To have a true saving faith, it must also change us so that we, in our trust and allegiance to God, are willing to sacrifice anything.
If Jesus is your Saviour, He must also be your Lord, the One to whom you listen, obey, and are willing to sacrifice for. Jesus said if we are not willing to give up possessions and people in our dedication to Him we are not really His disciples. In this way, James is not arguing against being saved by faith, but is challenging us to reflect on what type of faith we have.
Suggestions for prayer
That our faith in Jesus Christ would show itself in real actions of dedication and sacrifice to Jesus and His Kingdom and so prove to be real and saving faith.
Pastor Richard Bultje is a United Reformed missionary and pastor in the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.
And I will put a division between my people and thy people: tomorrow shall this sign be. (Exodus8:23)
Pharaoh has a people, and the Lord has a people. These may dwell together and seem to fare alike, but there is a division between them, and the Lord will make it apparent. Not forever shall one event happen alike to all, but there shall be great difference between the men of the world and the people of Jehovah’s choice.
This may happen in the time of judgments, when the Lord becomes the sanctuary of His saints. It is very conspicuous in the conversion of believers when their sin is put away, while unbelievers remain under condemnation. From that moment they become a distinct race, come under a new discipline, and enjoy new blessings. Their homes, henceforth, are free from the grievous swarms of evils which defile and torment the Egyptians. They are kept from the pollution of lust, the bite of care, the corruption of falsehood, and the cruel torment of hatred, which devour many families.
Rest assured, tried believer, that though you have your troubles you are saved from swarms of worse ones, which infest the homes and hearts of the servants of the world’s prince. The Lord has put a division; see to it that you keep up the division in Spirit, aim, character, and company.
Our lives are governed by time. That’s why we’re surrounded by clocks and calendars that dictate our activities. As the minutes tick by, we wonder where the day went. When responsibilities and pressures mount, we complain, “I just don’t have time to get it all done!” But the reality is that God has given us enough time to do exactly what He’s planned for our lives. Perhaps the bigger issue is whether we are using our time to do our will or the Lord’s.
Time is a gift from God, and He has allotted each of us a measure in which to live and accomplish His purposes. We have only two options—to spend it temporally on our own interests or invest it eternally. Since time can never be retrieved or reversed, it’s critical that we make the most of every opportunity the Lord provides.
The key to investing in eternity is following God’s plan for your life, not just filling your days with activities. Jesus was allocated just thirty-three years of life on earth, but only the last three were spent in fulfilling His Messianic ministry. To us that seems like a waste of time. Yet Christ accomplished everything His Father gave Him to do. That’s why on the cross He could say, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
Scripture compares earthly life to “a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14), but eternal life never ends. It’s foolish to spend your life on a vapor when you can reap everlasting benefits by following God’s will for your time here. Each day is an opportunity to choose.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Plans for the future, from college and career decisions to knowing when and where to retire, can be clouded with uncertainty. Life can be unpredictable. But your future can be secure right now! Find out more on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg. Listen…
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In this episode, Dinesh reveals how the clashes over identity politics are creating the recipe for an unworkable society. Dinesh exposes how the Biden administration is abusing the Patriot Act to go after critics and political dissenters, a tyrannical approach that Democrats have tried before. Dinesh spells out the implications of a federal judge imposing a contempt of court citation on D.C. authorities for violating the civil rights of a January 6 defendant. Historian Victor Davis Hanson joins Dinesh to talk about his new book, “The Dying Citizen.” Dinesh explains why John Adams considered virtue indispensable to the success of a republic, and how he thought it might be cultivated from generation to generation.
FNC’s ‘MediaBuzz’ host Howie Kurtz reacts to President Biden continually ignoring reporters’ questions.
“The Bully Pulpit has been muted under President Biden,” Kurtz said. “He doesn’t want to tangle much with the press… I think he has some concern about wandering off script or showing annoyance, which he has done several times.”
“The contrast with Donald Trump, who had a constant, codependent, and hostile relationship with the media is pretty stark.”