“Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.”
Acting with haste is often a sign of a lack of wisdom.
Here we find the Truth that we must not hastily strive with others. In the context of this particular verse, it specifically means not to rush to court in order to sue someone from their actions. Strife is to be avoided at all cost, so that we may live peaceably with all men.
“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.”
“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
If we would choose to hastily begin a legal battle, we do not know what the outcome of the proceedings will be. There is no guarantee of victory, and if we were to accuse someone and the evidence show their innocence, we may feel shameful for our actions.
It is wise to consider all the evidence before we jump to conclusions.
As the old saying goes, there are two sides to every story.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
The Truth of this Wisdom applies to more than just court proceedings.
It would be wise for us to refrain from hastily doing anything outside of what God has instructed us to do.
“I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:”
We must think before we speak.
We must see counsel before we act.
We must consider before we go.
We must pray before we decide.
1 Peter 3:8-11
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.”
Refrain from the desire to react hastily today.
Consider what the Word of God says about your situation before responding in any way that would be unpleasing to Him.
1 Samuel 1-2 | Romans 3 | Proverbs 30-31
“Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.”
There is Wisdom in waiting to be called upon and invited rather than placing ourselves in the spotlight.
“Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
Humility is a rare quality today.
We are taught by society to bask ourselves with pride of who we are and what we can do. However, the Bible teaches us the exact opposite of what the world desires.
Jesus spoke clearly of the effects that pride and humility will have on us.
“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”
When we try to exalt ourselves to higher ground, we only sink lower.
Yet, when we choose to wait with a humble spirit and allow the Lord to work for us, He will give us grace to lift us up.
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble…Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
Choose humility today.
God will reward your efforts and exalt you in His timing.
1 Peter 5:6
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”
Ruth 4 | Romans 2 | Proverbs 29
“Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.”
In order to see the beauty of silver shining, the impurities, or the dross, must be removed. Unrefined metal is contaminated with things that prevent it to be used to its full potential. The fining pot serves a purpose in the metal fulfilling its purpose – it houses the fire that reveals the dross from the silver.
“The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”
The Lord sees the sin that we refuse to repent of and knows our motives for our acts of service. We cannot hide from Him; He sees it all.
“For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.”
The dross from the silver represents the sin that pollutes our fellowship with the Lord. The fire reveals it to us, but God sees our sinful hearts before we even step foot in the flames. The fire allows us to see what changes we need to make to be fit for His use.
2 Timothy 2:20-21
“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.”
The purging of our dross sometimes requires that people be removed from our lives. If we ask the Lord to remove our dross, we may find ourselves lonely for a season. This is part of the process of making us more like Christ. Many times throughout the Scriptures we find Him set apart and alone; yet each time, God used those times to prepare Jesus for what was next in fulfilling His purpose.
1 Peter 1:7
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
Whatever your situation today, allow the Lord to remove the dross from your life in order for you to fulfill the purpose that He has for you – for His glory.
Ruth 3 | Romans 1 | Proverbs 28
“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.”
In all His unending glory, God chooses what He reveals or conceals to us until we reach our eternal home.
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”
His has no need for searching out the Truth, for He is the Truth.
He already knows. Nothing is hidden from Him and nothing surprises Him.
Our finite minds are literally unable to comprehend all that He is and does. We cannot understand why He does things, simply because His thoughts and ways are much higher than ours.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
There is no comparison.
When we try to understand His ways, we have nowhere to even begin; for He has no beginning. When He chooses to conceal His reasoning from us, we have only one option – to trust Him.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Ruth 2 | Acts 28 | Proverbs 27
“These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.”
The Lord used many ways and people to preserve the Scriptures down through the ages so that we could have the privilege of having His Word today.
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”
They copied Word for Word.
These servants of Hezekiah copied the Word of God which He gave Solomon Word for Word. The men are not named, showing us that God can use anyone to fulfill His purpose and also that no recognition was needed. They simply followed God’s will for their life while obeying His direction.
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”
They copied the Pure Word.
The Words they copied were not their own. Although they are called the proverbs of Solomon, they did not originate with him either. The Words that these men copied down were Pure Words inspired by God alone. Throughout the ages they have been tried by fire, always revealing their Truth to each generation that has followed.
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
They copied the Magnified Word.
As much greatness as the Lord attributes to His Names, there is more power in His Word. He chooses to magnify His Word above everything, even His Name.
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”
This reminds us of the importance of making the Word of God a priority within our lives. Where would we be without His Word?
Just as the men of Hezekiah copied the Word as a means of preservation, we must choose to copy the Word of God within us. When we hide the Word in our hearts, we can then apply the Truth to our lives.
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Ruth 1 | Acts 27 | Proverbs 26y
“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”
The sluggard sleeps when there is work to do.
“How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?”
When we find ourselves sleeping when we should be working, it must cause us to be alarmed. We have the Great Commission to carry out. If we choose to sleep instead of share, we will one day regret our sluggishness.
“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
There is much work to do in the fields and little time left to waste.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
That Armour of Light is available from the Light Himself.
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
He gives Light to all who will believe in Him, but how can they believe if we do not tell them?
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Our sluggishness is effecting someone’s eternity.
There is no time to sleep.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Share the Gospel & shine the Light today.
Judges 19-21 | Acts 26 | Proverbs 25
“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.”
We see within the barren field the effects of the curse.
Thorns and nettles covered the ground as a picture of the results of sin.
“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;”
When we neglect to tend to our spiritual field, sin begins to creep in. The longer we go without tilling the ground of our hearts, the more grown over with thorns and nettles we become.
“For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.”
Some would look on the field as a disaster with no hope of return; while the wise could see the outcome and learn of the need to prevent a reoccurrence.
“Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.”
We can wisely choose learn from the mistakes and neglect of others, and apply whatever means necessary not to repeat them.
“Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.”
Apply the Wisdom of the Word to your field of thorns today.
Judges 17-18 | Acts 25 | Proverbs 24
“Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.”
When are hurt or attacked, our flesh only knows one reaction…revenge.
The desire of get even is planted and influenced by the devil.
God desires us to live peaceably with everyone.
“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
There is only One who has the privilege of getting vengeance on those who have wronged us.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
How can we take something that belongs to the Lord?
“For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
When we seek revenge it is not wise.
We are given many examples in the Scriptures of how to wisely react when we are wronged.
Request that the Lord intervene for you.
“O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?”
Refuse to retaliate.
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
Respond by doing good unto them.
“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Revenge cannot be an option.
Judges 15-16 | Acts 24 | Proverbs 23
“Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.”
A witness without cause is in danger of being a false witness.
If we do not have hard evidence, it is best if we refuse to speak against our neighbors. For in doing so, we risk telling a lie.
“Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.”
No strife is warranted if we do not have a Biblical reason for it.
If we choose to speak against them, we are risking more than our relationship with the person. Contention and strife are to be avoided unless there is a need to take a stand for the Truth.
“Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.”
When we choose to accuse someone without cause we partake in the same actions that Satan himself did when he tempted Job.
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
May we be careful not to accuse or speak against our neighbors without cause to do so.
Judges 13-14 | Acts 23 | Proverbs 22
“Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.”
What is necessary is vastly more important than what is convenient.
Sometimes we must do more and work harder in order to do what is right. It is easy to settle for second best, but that is not what God has intended for His children.
When we choose to follow the Lord, we must exchange our will for His.
If we decide to follow while harboring our own plans, our partial surrender will only lead to confusion and chaos.
Nehemiah had a burden for what God had called him to do. Had he not prayed and followed the Lord in order to prepare for what He had planned, the wall would not have been built with such leadership.
“Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.”
Solomon prepared for the work of building the temple before construction began. Had he started to build without a plan or preparing the materials needed, the work would not have been productive or effective.
1 Kings 6:7
“And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.”
When God directs us to do something for Him, our initial obedience is only the beginning. He then begins preparing us to accomplish the task that He has given, all the while providing the means and ability to allow it to come to pass for His glory.
“Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice: But that it may be a witness between us, and you, and our generations after us, that we might do the service of the LORD…”
Where God guides, He provides.
Prepare before you build.
Judges 11-12 | Acts 22 | Proverbs 21
NEW ONLINE DEVOTIONAL SERIES
Copyright © 2018
Delight Thyself Design Ministries, Inc.
All rights reserved.