Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.
We often wonder why God allows the existence of towns and cities where his name is despised. These towns and cities are populated by wicked people who have misbehaved for years and years, despite the many warnings against it. Towns and cities are known worldwide for using the questionable lifestyle of those who inhabit them as a trademark. Thus we have, for example, San Francisco, California where there is a large community of people who live according to the gay lifestyle. Las Vegas, Nevada, is known for gambling and prostitution. They even call it “Sin City”! Both the principality of Monaco and Macau, one of the Special Administrative Regions of China have been important centers for gambling for a long time. The mountain fortress of Alamut in Iran, now in ruins, used to represent the ultimate place where you could find a murderer for hire. Indeed, the English word assassin comes from the word hashashin, which means smoker of hashish in the Arabic language. But that’s another story.
Many times we complain about violence, poverty and other ills that prevail in the places where we live. We say that the fault lies with the civil authorities who have, by their gross inability, allowed crime to advance freely and without reins. But when was the last time you prayed for your city? Abraham interceded beyond reason with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah. After intense negotiations God accepted that if ten righteous people were found in Sodom he would cancel the sentence of destruction he had imposed on the two cities because of their collective sin of homosexuality. Unfortunately for the sodomites, only four people were found, so the punishment was carried out as it had been decreed. By contrast, the city of Nineveh was spared by the prompt intervention of the repentant king and the obedience of its people to his call for collective fasting. Intercede for your city, chances are that’s all that remains for God to begin to pour out his blessings on it. Only to God be the glory!
My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
you have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
It is common practice in the world of banking that when an individual or institution does not meet the minimum criteria required to be worthy of a loan, it is accepted that other person or institution with better credentials act as guarantor for the first one. This happens quite often during the early years of marriage, when parents sometimes must act as guarantors for their children because they still lack the necessary credit merits to receive a loan from a financial institution. One thing is to come out in support of a close relative and another is to commit to pay a debt of a third-party that fails in its obligations. The word of God is very clear about it. He who does this immediately becomes a victim trapped by the snares of the hunter. Maybe you decided to be a guarantor out of a good heart but be aware that we have a duty to God and to our family of wisely managing our family financial resources with which God has blessed us. Good credit is a powerful financial resource and to use it without a sound understanding of the consequences is simply poor financial stewardship.
Avoid, therefore, to commit yourself to respond for the debts that others cannot pay and if by chance you find yourself in that situation do everything necessary to break that foolish commitment because to do otherwise will lead you to ruin and financial bondage. Do not let time pass or it will be harder for you to get out of the problem. Act diligently and immediately get rid of that unnecessary responsibility. Pay attention to the advice that the word of God gives. You’ll be wiser and it will keep you out of trouble. Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, free, God, hand, mouth, neighbor, pledge, security, snare, stranger, trap
“If you play the fool and exalt yourself,
or if you plan evil,
clap your hand over your mouth!
For as churning cream produces butter,
and as twisting the nose produces blood,
so stirring up anger produces strife.”
There are people who get into trouble very easily without realizing what they are doing. All starts as a game, as a joke, a prank, but then they do not know where to stop and end up creating an argument from which they cannot get away easily. These are foolish and ignorant people who never stop to measure the consequences of their actions and to make matters worse, they are always blaming others for what happens to them. Everything begins as an “innocent” game that ends in disturbed relationships and even hatred that never heals. His actions are devoid of the slightest trace of love because they can care less of what others may feel.
Want to live in peace and free of misunderstandings? Restrain your tongue. Do you want to restore calm and keep your relationships free of disputes and discussions? Think about what you are going to say before opening your mouth. People are complex beings and very unpredictable, so you will never know with certainty how the other person will react to your jokes. Do not try to have the last word because it will lead to conflict and dissatisfaction. May there always be on your lips a word of encouragement and edification and may your life be peaceful and just at all times. That’s what I wish for you. To God alone be the glory!
Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
Therefore their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.
They say, “How would God know?
Does the Most High know anything?”
Power is one of the hardest things to handle for anyone. We’re not talking about the enjoyment of the privileges that power comes with but of the inseparable responsibility associated with it. Pride and arrogance, always present in corrupt human nature are fed by power at the expense of conscience and the necessary and important responsibility that must accompany power is violently overwhelmed. That is why we often see how many political leaders start their mandates as humble lambs and soon become intolerable egotistical maniacs whose arrogance makes them feel they are superior to God and therefore they do not need to seek his guidance and protection. In this process of metamorphosis from sweet sheep to ruthless wolf all those who only seek to profit get involved in a special way. They feed with flattery and insincere praise the indomitable and monstrous ego of their leaders.
We must be very careful when we have been commissioned to carry out activities for which we have been invested with power. Do not forget the famous Dictum of Lord Acton: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Let’s seek always to exercise the kind of leadership that Jesus taught us, leadership based on service to others. His words were: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” With this correct attitude we will be serving both God and our neighbor. Only to God be the glory!
My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
I will turn my ear to a proverb;
with the harp I will expound my riddle:
In times of misfortune and deception it is very easy to be controlled by fear. When the powerful people realize that we are easy prey of trials, they turn against us with much fury to seek our destruction. They feel confident that because of their great wealth and financial resources they will never be involved in a similar situation. Their reward will be to see their wealth disappear overnight and how all that for them represented a source of security and strength fades to make way for pain and insecurity. This is the main danger of riches. When we have much we feel a sense of security and power that makes us forget God and his protection and we seek refuge under the false shield of the abundance of material goods. When the shield is proven false, and its weaknesses are discovered we lose all confidence that we can keep ourselves alive.
Riches are uncertain. They come and go and are not guaranteed. So we must never put our trust in them or live with the hope that one day we will enjoy a really comfortable financial position that will allow us to live without problems or complications. This is just fooling ourselves. God gives us everything we truly need. And rightly so because if he would give us a lot and we do not know how to handle the abundance, we would soon forget about him, which is very serious danger for a child of God. And if God would give us very little we would fall into such despair that we might be inclined to act inappropriately, bringing sin into our lives and therefore we would be moving away from God. Do not trust in riches but in the owner and giver of them. Pray always according to the perfect will of our Father in the name of Jesus. That is the only real treasure. To God alone be the glory!
I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
like the mute, who cannot speak;
I have become like one who does not hear,
whose mouth can offer no reply.
Much has been discussed as to what should be the response of the son of God when dealing with an attack. The first thing that comes to mind is the model that the Lord Jesus Christ gave us when he said that the principle of “eye for eye, and tooth for tooth” was not fair and that turning the other cheek if someone strikes us is the right thing to do. The world did not appreciate this teaching and an eye for an eye is kept alive in many hearts because it is a fundamental part of human nature, treacherous and full of evil. More recently, it was Mahatma Gandhi who said the famous and witty phrase “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind,” but humanity has not paid much attention to him either.
The biblical model of response to aggression is to make ourselves deaf and not hear the insults that are thrown at us or pay attention to the insults that are hurled at us and make ourselves dumb so we do not respond to these insults with more offenses. Although this teaching is similar to the eastern representation called “The Three Wise Monkeys” it is not interpreted in the same way as the Japanese do who have established it as a kind of ethical principle and “Golden Rule.” While this latter idea is not the same to the biblical principle ─ though the word of God has many instructions from which the maximum can be inferred ─ the Japanese use of the three primates serves as a nice illustration of what should be our attitude toward the attacks of Satan and the world.
So when someone insults you, remember the three monkeys and keep silent and ignore the aggression. Remember that revenge and retribution belongs to God and that he will not ignore the affront to which you were subjected. Do not get carried away by emotions of anger and the desire to retaliate unworthily. Put your hope in God and he will answer for you. Let us follow the example that our Lord Jesus Christ left us. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Christianity, deaf, God, hear, Jesus, love, mouth, mute, Psalms, reply, speak, wisdom
Food gained by fraud tastes sweet,
but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
Many liars have apparently managed to get away with by the indiscriminate dissemination of falsehoods. Some do it out of necessity and others do it for pleasure, because their pride is to be “smarter” than others. In either case the results are the same. Deceit can not lead to anything good because it is something that goes totally against the essence of God because God is truth. The only being interested in the proliferation and advancement of lies is their own father and author, Satan. When someone cheats to achieve a goal or to get out of a problem he is falling into the oldest trap that has ever existed on earth. And do not try to split hairs by making a difference between regular lies and white lies. No matter what adjective one uses to disguise it, it remains a lie. A lie by any other name would stink as bad.
Deception, in addition to destroying our testimony and our relationship with God is something that is not pleasant to God. In fact, the Lord abhors falsehood and entanglement. Let us beware as to be transparent in everything we do and say because otherwise we would be giving in ground to the enemy and making it easy for him to advance his campaign to our destruction. The Lord Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.” Let us then go forward on the path of truth no matter if ocassionally it seems to be way too narrow and difficult to navigate. With the help of the Lord, later our paths will be widened so that our progress towards the Lord’s presence will be accomplished more readily. To God alone be the glory!