Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2015 Proverbs 24:1

Proverbs 24:1. Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.

Ah Friends, once again the ever-turning wheel of life has turned, and it’s fallen on that beloved day we call Friday!

And the working people rose up with a great shout of joy. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and our woes of labour will soon be over for a couple of days! Thank God for Fridays yes!’

Yes my brethren, we have to thank our wonderful God for ALL things, both good and bad! As Job so wisely reminded his wife in the time of his tribulations. ‘What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)?’ (Job 2:10)

Oh Friends, whatever happens to us, happens with God’s full knowledge. He might not send a particular storm our way, but He allows it to test our mettle, our faith and trust in Him. And life becomes much easier when we acknowledge that everything comes through Him.

That way, if something untoward happens, then we can see it as a kind of test, which He is allowing, but at the same time will help us through it. That’s the wonder of our eternal God! He gives and he takes away, but He never causes harm. But nonetheless, as Cousin Sol reminds us in Proverbs: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10)

Yes my people, adversity is the true test of our endurance, and our reaction to it shows the strength or weakness of our faith. Note that though Job was obviously upset in his time of adversity, he didn’t curse God and die, as his wife suggested. (Job 2:9) Instead, he stood strong during his time of trial, even to the point of declaring: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him…’ (Job 13:15)

That, my Friends, is the kind of unquenchable faith those of us who live by faith and not by sight, need to handle the trials of our earthly journey. And to help us in that respect, let’s chant our Friday Chant with the enthusiasm it deserves, knowing that the weekend is nigh, and we’ll have a short break from our labour.

As one harmonious voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’

Hopefully Friends, those words will resonate in our spirits this weekend, and cause us to use that free time wisely. (smile) And today we have a rather appropriate Bit for these extremely wicked and ungodly times. It comes from the wisdom of Cousin Sol. ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.’

And that my people is gospel truth! But for those of you who wonder why cousin Sol made that statement, he answers it in the next verse. ‘For their heart studieth destruction (devises violence), and their lips talk of mischief (trouble).’ (Prov.24:2)

Ah mih breddren, wickedness, evil, ungodliness and all sorts of negativity are currently running rampant through our world, but as followers of Jesus we need to disassociate ourselves from it as much as possible, otherwise we’ll become evil and ungodly too.

Now it’s really impossible to completely disassociate ourselves from everyone and everything that’s evil and ungodly since its tentacles are spread far and wide, high and low. However, when we do need to come into contact with that kind, we must ensure that it’s our godly and wholesome influence that’s ruling the day, not their ungodly and evil traits. We should always attempt to influence the evildoers, rather than let them influence us.

And there are indeed a whole lot of scriptures that advise us against hanging out with evildoers. Let’s look at a couple of them. And the first one comes rather appropriately from the first Psalm in the Psalter.

‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:1-6)

Oh my people, it’s laid out plain as day, there for us. We have no excuses now for being ungodly and evil.

Now the scholars have some explanations that we should hear. ‘Psalm 1.  The key word in the psalm is the word blessed. It serves here as a pronouncement upon a man – but a certain kind of man. In essence, the psalm is teaching that the blessed or happy man is the righteous man.

The happy man avoids evil influences, deeds, and attitudes (v.1); he delights in God’s Word (v.2); therefore, God causes him to prosper (v.3). On the other hand, the ungodly is worth no more than chaff (v.4), and his destiny is judgement (v.5). Finally, the evaluation by the Lord himself is described (v.6).

There is an ellipsis (omission from sentence of words needed to complete construction or sense) which is understood with both clauses in verse 6: For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous (and it will be blessed), but (He also knows) the way of the ungodly (and it) shall perish.

The psalm forms an appropriate introduction to the Psalter since it sets before the readers the three characters who will figure mostly in the psalms: the righteous, the ungodly, and God.’

That says it all Friends! And since we certainly have plenty food for thought, let’s end here, then go and ponder it all. Let’s write the important things in our hearts, minds and souls, then put them into practice, into action in our lives, so that we’ll become stronger in faith and understanding. That’s heavenly wisdom, my people! Much LOVE!

…to not succumb to evil…we have to build our faith in God…to grow in righteousness…

 

 

 

 

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