“As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.”
Water often produces a reflection of the objects above and around it. If we stand on the edge of a pond and lean in so our face is above the water, we will see ourselves on the surface of the water.
God has given us a Mirror for us to examine ourselves.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
The difference is that instead of our faces the Mirror of the Scriptures shows us the reflection of our hearts. Rather than compare ourselves against one another, we must examine our hearts by the Truth of the Word of God.
“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.”
We can only truly evaluate something by comparing it to the Truth.
Let us look into the Scriptures and allow the Wisdom of the Word to reflect upon us.
1 Chronicles 3-4 | Ephesians 3 | Proverbs 20
“Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.”
It takes diligence to reap fruit from a tree or garden.
There is work that must be done before we receive a reward.
2 Corinthians 9:6
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
God has given each of us a field to keep.
How diligent are we to His cause?
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”
As we wait for the Lord’s return, we must tend to the harvest fields.
They are white already, just waiting for labourers.
“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
When He comes, will He find us working?
Our rewards depend on our faithfulness to harvest fruit for Him.
“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
1 Chronicles 1-2 | Ephesians 2 | Proverbs 19
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
The blade of a sword is only sharpened by another blade. When the blade is used against anything else it begins to become dull.
The Sword of the Spirit is our only means of offense against the wiles of the devil and the world around us. The only way to sharpen our spirits is by spending time with other believers who point us to the Word of God.
1 Samuel 23:16
“And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.”
“Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.”
If we attempt to remain sharp on our own we will surely fail.
God has given us people to sharpen our spirits and point us to Him.
“Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.”
If our friends are not pointing us to Christ through His Word, our friendships and our spirits are sure to become dull in walk with Him.
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,”
2 Kings 23-25 | Ephesians 1 | Proverbs 18
“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.”
A continual dropping in a very rainy day describes a great annoyance that is very uncomfortable and troublesome. It is impossible to hide or cover up.
Solomon equates this with a woman that is contentious.
“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”
Contentious can also be referred to as argumentative, combative, quarrelsome, confrontational and belligerent.
Are we contentious?
Our demeanor does not only affect us. If we are contentious it will disturb those around us – our children, friends, family, and especially our spouse.
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.”
“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”
Contentious is not a quality of a Proverbs 31 woman.
If we desire to be a crown unto our husband, we must put off any contention.
Our conduct is also a testimony of our spouse and family.
Are they ashamed?
“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.”
May we seek to live wisely and avoid becoming a continual dropping to those around us.
2 Kings 21-22 | Galatians 6 | Proverbs 17
“He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.”
Beware of those who only offer praise in front of others.
“They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?”
Excessive flattery should be considered both suspicious and dangerous.
Praise that is loud and obnoxious should alert us to be skeptical of the genuineness of it.
“He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail.”
“Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.”
Those who continually praise us often have an ulterior motive. They seek something from us. We must choose to remain balanced instead of allowing their praises to affect our behavior. If we become fond of being praised, we will find ourselves consumed by pride.
“It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.”
We would be wise to ask the Lord to help us discern the praise we receive.
2 Kings 19-20 | Galatians 5 | Proverbs 16
“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.”
The Word of God warns us against wickedness.
In order for us to foresee the evil around us, we must read, study, and apply the Truths of Wisdom to our lives.
1 Thessalonians 5:22
“Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
When we are confronted with evil we have two choices – to fight against it ourselves or hide away in the safety of God’s protection.
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”
It is wise to seek safety in Him rather than fight on our own.
David must have told Solomon about the safety that he found within the cave of Adullam as he fled from his enemies. He was not alone in that cave. God placed him there for his protection, and it was in that cave that He inspired the Words that David pinned as God breathed through him.
“Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.”
We would never know the safety that is available to us in the shadow of His wings if it were not for the need to seek shelter from evil.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
Run to Him today.
Put down your weapons and allow Him to fight for you.
“The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
2 Kings 17-18 | Galatians 4 | Proverbs 15
“My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.”
A direct request and command, Solomon advises his son to simply be wise.
A wise child makes the heart of their parents glad.
Throughout the Canon of Scriptures, the phrase “be wise” appears 20 times in 18 verses. Half of those verses are found in Proverbs, showing us the importance of obtaining Wisdom.
“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:”
“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.”
“If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.”
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.”
“My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.”
“Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.”
“Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.”
After the Lord uses Solomon to write the importance of being wise in Proverbs, we see his failure to remain wise.
“All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.”
There is a danger of neglecting the Wisdom we receive by refusing to apply the Truths of the Word of God to our lives. Solomon lost his perspective of using his God given Wisdom for good. He ended up admitting this all throughout the Book of Ecclesiastes.
May we learn from Solomon’s example, and seek to not only be wise, but also remain wise through the Wisdom of the Word.
2 Kings 15-16 | Galatians 3 | Proverbs 14
“Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.”
In the day of our calamity, we have only one place, or rather a Person, to turn to in order to get the help that we need.
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
If we run to our friends and family, we may receive a temporary comfort, but not a permanent solution. There is only One Friend Who can give us the answer to our problem, because He alone is the Answer.
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
He has chosen us and called us.
He directs us and protects us.
He strengthens us and helps us.
“But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
He calls us His friends.
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
There is no better Friend than the Lord Jesus Christ.
How friendly are you with Jesus?
Do not forsake Him today.
2 Kings 13-14 | Galatians 2 | Proverbs 13
“Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.”
A sweet fragrance brings delight to a weary heart.
Likewise, a friend can bring sweetness to our lives unlike any thing we have in ourselves alone.
Rejoicing in friendship.
David & Jonathan
1 Samuel 23:16-18
“And Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth. And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.”
We need friends who will strengthen us when we are weak, and rejoice with us over what God is doing in our lives. There is no room for jealousy within true friendship. We are to bear one another’s burdens as well as celebrate the work of the Lord in us and through us.
Rejoicing in friendly counsel.
David & Nathan
2 Samuel 12:7
“And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;”
We need friends who will counsel us according to the Word of God. Whether we need direction or correction, any advice or rebuke given to us by a friend must be founded upon Biblical principles. A friend expresses concern for our situation or behavior out of love. Their compassionate guidance can make a difference in our lives if we will take heed to their friendly counsel.
Who is bringing a sweet aroma in your life today?
Thank the Lord for the friends you have, and ask Him to help you be the best friend you can be to them.
2 Kings 11-12 | Galatians 1 | Proverbs 12
“As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.”
Wandering can be dangerous.
Cain wandered out of the presence of the Lord, and ended up killing his brother.
Jonah wandered from the will of the Lord, and found himself in the belly of a great fish.
What are you wandering from?
There are consequences for drifting away from what God has for us.
“And the LORD'S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.”
“The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.”
Wandering from the Word exposes us to the elements of the world.
“With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
May we seek to keep ourselves faithfully within the pages of the Word of God to avoid wandering from Wisdom.
2 Kings 9-10 | 2 Corinthians 13 | Proverbs 11
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