Proverbs 4:25–27
Pastor Bill Farrow
25     Let your eyes look straight ahead, 
And your eyelids look right before you.


26     Ponder the path of your feet, 
And let all your ways be established.


27     Do not turn to the right or the left; 
Remove your foot from evil.

          Verses 20-27 of this chapter  speak (and not for the first time) about the matter of wisdom practiced and tells us that this, in our experience is that which is productive of life, health and personal integrity.  4:25, as we see it here, advances the idea that the eyes should look directly forward and in doing so, suggests resolution about remaining in the right way (as if we are, in the process of looking, taking in a path in which we are walking. Metaphorically, it suggests that when a person turns his eyes away from the path, he is apt to stumble.
         This would seem to upheld when we consider what went immediately before this.  In verses 21-23 see reference to the “heart”, which, as we have seen in other studies, commonly refers to the mind as the center of thinking and reason (3:3; 6:21; 7:3), but also includes the emotions (15:15, 30), the will (11:20; 14:14), and thus, the whole inner being (3:5). The heart is the depository of all wisdom and the source of whatever affects speech (v. 24), sight (v. 25), and conduct (vv. 26, 27).
         It would seem clear that, here in verse 25, Solomon’s intention is to direct our thinking toward the natural way that people make their way down a pathway or street, while seeing to it that there is nothing there for them to stumble over or to cause them to fall and injure themselves.  This seems to be a perfectly natural and even normal habit for someone to undertake.  We might suggest that this is the clear way to understand at least this first phrase because of the use of “let” meaning “allow” and seeing that it suggests that we are talking about something normal.  How many people walk a path, even what they might know is a clear and straight path without “letting” their eyes scope out the path in which they are walking - I suspect that the answer here is virtually none!!


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Proverbs 11:3
Pastor Bill Farrow
The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” - Proverbs 11:3.
          The verse here is divided in to two sections, each addressing a different “kind” of individual.  The first uses the Hebrew word “tummȃ” (toom maw) which is a relatively uncommon word in the OT, being used but 5 times.  It carries the idea of purity, innocence, respectability and the like.  It is what is known as a “construct” form of the noun.  The idea is that the form given of the noun is tied in a definite way to  the verb hat follows (shall guide).  There is, in this statement, a definite and sure relationship between the “integrity” of the one in view and guidance that this “integrity” yields or provides to him/her.  There is also the implication here that (or shall) guide them as they walk through life and face life’s issues and trials.
         I think that we all have at least a bit of a grasp on the idea of integrity and the way that this character trait has the profound effect on a person.  For many, this concept of human integrity and the effect that it can have (and hopefully DOES have) on our behavior is fairly common.  It is commonly thought of as a positive and valuable quality, to be seem with esteem and developed with some real zeal.  The word is one rarely used in the Hebrew OT.  “Toom-maw” being used only 5 time in the OT.  It could be rendered as purity or innocence and so, in the context of one’s character carries the idea of innocence or respectability, speaking of a spotless character.  

          Solomon, in this particular place, has this spotlessness in character in his view in this first part of our verse.  He does not seem to be speaking of the idea of innocence so much as the idea of that moral capacity which has led to the innocence in the first place!  As we have seen as we have considered other, nearby passages, King Solomon has been making clear a contrast in life and conduct in matters of work, diligence, ambition, speech, truth, stability, honesty, integrity, fidelity, guidance, graciousness, kindness, and so on that he began back at the beginning of chapter 10 and will continue through to the end of chapter 11.  
         Many commentators to note (here and many other places in Proverbs) that what Solomon describes in terms like he uses here speak in numerous fashions of the path of righteousness and, Solomon being a Prophet of God, is ultimately descriptive and prophetic of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the perfectly Righteous One (John 14:6). Here and in other places in the Book, we can clearly see that all other ways lead to destruction (cp. Matt. 7:13–14; Acts 4:12).
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What Is Love... Biblically?
          We've looked for a week or two at what the Bible has to say about the matter "Love" as to how it relates to Christians and how we are to relate:

  • To the Father
  • To the Lord Jesus Christ
  • To each other as one believer to another
          We've already looked at the first part of this study and now want to pick up where we left off and take things onward.

Click below to hear this sermon as given in our Sunday morning Service:
 
 
     Over the past few months (from late fall on, we have begun to take a look at what the Bible says about the Glory of the Lord nd how we as believes are to serve that great and consuming purpose that He has for all of His creation, including His children!  The first two sermons are available via email - just use the site links to request them and we'll get them to you ASAP.  Here is part 3:
 
 
Proverbs 1:28
Pastor Bill Farrow
 “Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me.” - Proverbs 1:28.
          This verse is a part of a section that has been referred to as “The Call of Wisdom”.  We’ve mentioned before that the chapter can, for convenience sack, be thought of in three sections:
  • v1–7. To promote wisdom and godly living. Verse 7 strikes the theme of the entire book. Reverence toward God is the essential prelude to all wisdom and successful living.
  • v8–19. Home discipline is a moral safeguard against a life of crime.
  • v20–33. Wisdom personified as a prophetess and teacher. She shows the folly of those who reject moral instruction and discipline.
           Wisdom declares that when calamity falls upon the scoffers, they will call upon me, but I will not answer. Although the language is similar to texts such as 1 Sam. 8:18, we ought to note that actual prayer is probably not in view here. “Lady Wisdom” in this place (and remember that this is personification and NOT a reference to any gender in particular) is not God but simply a personification, it is describing a non-human thing/quality in human terms so as to make it more easy to perceive and/or understand on the part of the reader.  The meaning is that what Solomon has described as fools and scoffers, when disaster overtakes them, will frantically seek the wisdom to get out of trouble. This is a completely understandable and perceivable thing.  I don’t think that many will argue but it will be too late for them.          
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 Selected Passages
Pastor Bill Farrow
I.   Introduction
          In our society, love is usually spoken of in passive terms.  That is, love is something that happens to us over which we have little or no control.   We “fall” in love.   We speak this way chiefly because we associate love with a particular feeling or emotion.   Such emotion cannot be produced by pushing a button or by a conscious act of the will.   We do not “decide” to fall in love with someone.  
         The Bible, however, speaks of love in far more active terms.   The concept of love functions more as a verb than as a noun.  Love is a duty—an action we are obliged to perform.   God commands us to love our neighbor, to love our spouse, and even to love our enemies.  It is one thing to conjure up feelings of love and affection for one’s enemies; it is another thing to act in a loving manner toward them.  The Bible has a complex concept of love that is expressed in relatively few words.  The Old Testament predominantly used one Hebrew word, aheb, to express love. 
          The New Testament primarily used two Greek words for love--
phileo and agape.  Phileo, from which the city Philadelphia derives its name (meaning the “city of brotherly love”), is the Greek word that is used to denote the affection shared by friends.  By contrast, the term eros, which is not used in the Bible, refers more to sexual or erotic love.  It is the kind of love we often associate with romance.  These two types of love are common to all human beings.  These types of love have a tendency to be motivated by self-interest, self-gratification, and self-protection.
          The New Testament, however, describes a third kind of love.  
Agape stands in contrast to the more basic affections. Its most distinguishing feature is a lack of self-interest. It proceeds out of a heart of care and concern for others. Its characteristics are enumerated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13. Agape love is patient and kind. It neither boasts nor envies. It is not proud, rude, self-seeking, or easily angered. It is quick to forgive; it seeks the good and the true. It protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres always. It never fails.
          Biblical love is therefore more than a mere emotion.  It is active.  The calling of the Christian is not primarily to develop feelings of love for others.  In many instances that is outside the Christian’s control.  However, we can control how we respond and act toward a given person.  The Christian is to
be loving, to mirror the selfless love of God.  Agape love, then, is the ultimate fruit of the Spirit. As Paul wrote, 
                    
“…now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love”
                   (1 Corinthians 13:13).

         Insofar as agape love mirrors and reflects the character of God’s love for us, it may be called a steadfast love, a love that endures with loyalty.  It is characterized by fidelity—the faithfulness that is built upon trust.  Such love is incapable of being fickle; it is the love of permanent commitment.  The steadfast love of God and is oriented toward others.
          Let’s think a bit about just what the Bible teaches about love and how we ought to approach At least three things:
  • Love FOR God
  • Love TO Christ
  • Love FOR Man
    Let’s take a more in-depth look:
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Selected Passages
Thomas Watson
          Thomas Watson’s timeless advice for making much of God in your life.  This list was first printed by Puritan Thomas Watson in 1692 in his bestselling classic, A Body of Practical Divinity.

1.    Introduction - The Glory Of God
          A.   The supreme purpose of redemption. Eph 1:12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
          B.   Every tongue should confess Christ as Lord, to. Phil 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
          C.   Exhibited in Christ. John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
2 Cor 4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Heb 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
A.   His Glory Is Exhibited in
          1.    His name. Deut 28:58 “If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE Lord YOUR GOD,

Neh 9:5 And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said: “Stand up and bless the Lord your God Forever and ever! “Blessed be Your glorious name, Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!

         
2.    His majesty. Job 37:22 He comes from the north as golden splendor; With God is awesome majesty.
Ps 93:1 The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.
Ps 104:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty,
Ps 145:5 I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works.
Ps 145:12 To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
Is 2:10 Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, From the terror of the Lord And the glory of His majesty.

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by Pastor Bill Farrow
20  Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
 (Proverbs 1:20 )
          One of the very interesting things is the Book of Proverbs is how Solomon takes the concept of wisdom and personifies it as a human being, either male or female depending on the particular concept involved.  Here, the “human” wisdom is said to be “calling aloud” and that calling is said to “outside”.  Obviously, this is something that people do, not some mental capacity.  In order to help us understand what is being said, Solomon, as he does often, uses a picture of a human being to clarify his point.  Here, the non-human capacity or quality of wisdom is portrayed as a “She”.  Actually, the word that is portrayed here, “wisdom” is not a common form of this word.  This one occurs but five times and is translated as it is here 4 of those times and as “every wise” the other single time.  It seems that implication of this particular word is the knowing all that is needed to be known.  It is saying that the one in consideration is one who knows everything.  Rather it speaks to the fact that, due to the pursuit of God and of Godly knowledge, the one in view knows all that is necessary to know in order to be what God desires one to be. 
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by Pastor Bill Farrow
    concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, (Romans 1:3–5 )
          Paul has already mentioned that his topic as a separated and Apostolic bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ given over to the service of the Gospel that was promised beforehand by means of the OT Prophets and writers of the Holy Scriptures which spoke concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus, born of the seed of David as far as the flesh is concerned.  We should  note that Paul notes that Jesus was born as the seed of David “according to the flesh”.  The suggestion here is that, as we know from quite a number of other passages that Jesus was the King of Israel from eternity past, that he took up the flesh to accomplish the task that God desired for our Savior to accomplish; preaching the Gospel to men, confronting Israel with their need to submit themselves to God, to fulfill the Law of God to make Himself the perfect Lamb of Who was able to be the perfect sacrifice for sin and His redemptive death on Calvary to make atonement for the sins of all who had already and would believe; to raise up from that death to demonstrate God’s acceptance of the sacrifice He had offered.  And this is not the sum of what Jesus accomplished while here on earth.
         Paul tells us that Jesus was
declared by God the Father to be the Son of God in power when he was raised from the dead (see Matt. 28:6) and installed at God’s right hand as the messianic King. As the eternal Son of God, he has reigned forever with the Father and the Holy Spirit. But this verse refers to Jesus as the God-man reigning in messianic power (“Son of God” was a Jewish title for the Messiah), and this reign began (i.e., was declared or initiated) at a certain point in salvation history, i.e., when Jesus was raised from the dead through the Holy Spirit. according to the Spirit of holiness. Christ’s great power is always connected to the holiness of the Holy Spirit as he works in the new covenant age.
         As a matter of full statement and eloquent declaration, he tells us that Jesus was conceived in a virgin’s womb by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35; cf. Is. 7:14), and was delivered normally. The word “born” emphasizes that He is an actual historical figure. Many well known ancient writers, including the Roman historian Tacitus (Annals 15.44), the familiar Jewish historian Josephus (Antiquities, 2.18.3), and a scholar named Pliny the Younger (Letters 10.96, 97) verify Jesus’ historicity. In addition to this, there are many, many writers, historians and writers who assert that there was such an one.  Contrary to what so many declare today, Jesus was an actual individual who, thus, did the actual things that the Bible declares that He did.  We need not scratch our heads, wondering it is so.  And just as a note, God Himself bears witness, in an admittedly subjective fashion that this is so but giving testimony to those who seek the truth that what the Word of God tells us can be trusted and ought be heeded by all men.

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