<![CDATA[Valley Forge Baptist Church - Blog]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 05:43:04 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Drowsiness Shall Clothe a Man with Rags]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 15:52:43 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/drowsiness-shall-clothe-a-man-with-ragsPastor Bill Farrow
“Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” - Proverbs 23:20, 21.
      One of the “BIG” problems that Solomon emphasizes throughout the Book of Proverbs is the need and responsibility we have as men (not as males but as people) to be consistently and productively at work, doing those things which enables us to be providing both for ourselves and for the families which God has given us.  He speaks of many detriments to that task and we see one of them here - the matter of self-indulgence in the matters of what would, today, be called “partying”.  Over drinking and over eating, especially in the self-serving sense can be, and most often are (when indulged in habitually) are extremely damaging and hurtful to ones’ life and his ability be the “kind” of man/husband/family person God desires them to be.
      One of the interesting things about these couple verses is that the first few words in the verse are not only speaking about staying out of the local tavern.  The two are speaking of seeing to it that we do not mix ourselves with those around us who are of the character spoken of.  The form of the word is what is called in Hebrew the “Jussive” and speaks of becoming something, to allow to be a thing or a state.  Here we can see that it is commending us to be sure that we are NOT among the group mentioned.  “Be not among”.  Solomon is not just speaking of the undesirability of the ones mentioned.  He is telling us that we both can do so and ought to see to it that this quality shows itself in our lives. 
      Solomon then goes on and mentions a couple things that we can and should see to it that we are not “among”.  Biblically, a “winebibber” is seen as those who drink too much wine. The Bible warns not against BEING one, but also against even associating with such persons (as here in Prov. 23:20). It is interesting that Jesus’ enemies accused Him of being a winebibber (Matt. 11:19; Luke 7:34; the word is “drunkard” in the NIV). Unlike John the Baptist, who “came neither eating bread nor drinking wine” (Luke 7:33), Jesus is said to be one who “came eating and drinking” (Matt. 11:18). His association with those who ate and drank freely brought the rebuke of the religious leaders who had decided to get rid of Him.
      With this in mind, it is interesting that Solomon tells us: “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh”.  Given the larger context and that in which Jesus preached the Gospel, we need to be careful exactly how we both interpret and apply these words.  The matter is surely that, not merely of the larger associations, especially those in which we walk and share the Gospel as that is precisely the way Jesus lived His life and shared the Gospel. 
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<![CDATA[Continuing our Study on "Just What IS the Fear of the Lord?]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 22:24:40 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/continuing-our-study-on-just-what-is-the-fear-of-the-lord      We chose to take further the study we have been pursuing from Proverbs 1:7 (and a number of other passages) concerning "Just What IS the Fear of the Lord".  This is the third section of this good study!

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<![CDATA[Concealing or Proclaiming?]]>Wed, 17 May 2017 17:32:20 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/concealing-or-proclaiming​Pastor Bill Farrow
“A prudent man conceals knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.” - Proverbs 12:23 (13:16; 29:11).
      It is interesting to look around the world in which we live, and to observe what the people, either around us or in a position to be seen by the public, do with “what they know (or even suspect). In America today we are witnessing what I believe to be the very demonstration of this verse in the political realm.  It seems that, as soon as someone, some prominent political figure has what they consider to be “knowledge”, it comes out of their mouth, the more public or beneficial to the speaker, the announcement, the better!!
      Just to think our way through the basic message of this verse, let’s talk about the essential meaning of what Solomon is saying here.
“A prudent man conceals knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.”
      The word Solomon uses, a careful choice by him (as the vast majority of his word choices are) is a very specific word.  It is the Hebrew word ̔a̅rûm and is used 11 times in the OT.  It speaks in the sense of being subtle, shrewd, crafty, even sly or sensible. As such, when applied to the context we are in it is understood as being prudent in the manner that one deals with whatever is in view.  When speaking of the manner in which one “treats” the knowledge he/she has with regard to those around him/her, the one who is sensible or careful with regard to the effect or impact their words will have on hearers, they recognize that at times it is better to “conceal” what they know.
      ​A couple of things we need to mention here:
  • First, we are not talking about lying or withholding truth.
  • Second, we are not talking about the withholding of “knowledge” for a selfish reason or the serving of self-oriented reasons.
      It seems that the reasons that Solomon has in view here are more “others” oriented.  The adjective here is singular and points to a specific word - the next reference, which is the very common word used to reference to a general “man” and not to a particular person.  It is “ ̕a̅da̅m”, the noun which was, of course given to the first man created by God, Adam!  It is frequently used to speak of the general class of “men”.  The point is that what Solomon is saying has to do with all “men”, not merely a specific one or one that meets any particular characteristics.  And so we speak of one who views taking care to use his/her words carefully and rightly, or in a godly, God honoring fashion of the utmost importance. 
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<![CDATA[If You Cry After Knowledge]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 13:40:05 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/if-you-cry-after-knowledgePastor Bill Farrow
3      Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding, 
4      If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as
for hidden treasures; 
5      Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.  (
Proverbs 2:3-5.)
      Solomon speaks often concerning the matters of discernment and understanding and the like ideas.  He lays great emphasis of the importance of seeking them and emphasizing the acquiring of these qualities as a part of our lives and what they will bring to us as children of God.  
      In verse 3 and 4 here he uses some rather strong language to urge us to do whatever we can to make them ours and build them into our normal and regular character of life.  Interestingly, he starts verse 3 with the word “yes”.  Verses 1 & 2.  In those two verses he (Solomon), when beginning to speak of the overarching Value of Wisdom, had encouraged his “Son(s) to:
  • receive my words, 
  • treasure my commands within you,
  • incline your ear to wisdom,
  • and to apply your heart to understanding;
      In verses 3-5 he then goes on to further develop the idea.  He begins this second section with what we could call a “continuation” word - ‘Yes”.  The Hebrew word used here is a conjunction that is fairly frequently used in the OT.  It is basically the equivalent of our English word “Because” and the like and shows the “why” for whatever the previous context indicated.  Here, Solomon had told his readers to receive, treasure, etc.(as we pointed out just a bit ago).  We could actually read it as “And this is because…” and then go on to the follow items.  We should see, also, that the word carries with some sense of emphasis as well.  It could be set by itself with an exclamation point and lead with positive emotion (in this context) to the next section.
      Verses 3-4 are actually adding to what went before, then verse 5 sums the who beginning of the chapter up for us, telling us what Solomon has been leading us to. Verse 5 gives us the  conclusion that he wishes us to draw.
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<![CDATA[Covering Anger's Shame]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 15:59:03 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/covering-angers-shame Pastor Bill Farrow
"A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covers shame.” -
Proverbs 12:16 (Cp. 14:17, 29; 29:11).

      Solomon often addresses the contrast between the actions of the fool and the actions of the wise (or in this context, the prudent) who face either merely or overtly difficult circumstances.  He draws, again and again, the stark difference between how ungodly and godly people respond to negative circumstance.  However, there are times when the specifics of the matter, the stimulus, are not made known.  This verse is one of this kind of teaching.  There is not specific matter put forth that faces both what Solomon calls the “fool” and the “prudent” man.
       As always through the Book, the “fool”, from the Hebrew word “’ĕwîl” [pronounced ev-eel] which means to be perverse; and it has 26 occurrences in the OT.  It is translated as “fool(s)” 20x, and “foolish (man)” 6 times. 
       There are number of varieties that depend on the numerous contexts in which it is found:

  • Some places inn Scripture use it of one who despises wisdom.
  • Others use it of one who mocks when guilty.
  • Other use it of one who is quarrelsome. 
  • and still others use it of one who is licentious or promiscuous or who disregards accepted and given rules for conduct.
      Here it is not certain just which of these Solomon has in mind; but we might view it as if Solomon really meant us to be very general, thinking of a non-specific supplication!  It works no matter which one we are thinking of.
“A fool’s wrath is presently known:
but a prudent man covers shame.”

Proverbs 12:16 (Cp. 14:17, 29; 29:11).
      “Wrath” is used in the OT to speak of the idea of emotional anger, vexation, annoyance and the like.  Many times the idea of the word is that it is an emotional anger that is quickly expressed, perhaps without any thinking or attempt of restraint.  This thought of quickness or lack of restraint or thought seems to what Solomon means here.  We might also note that the wrath that is held forth here is not just felt privately but is made known to those around the angry one.  We should ponder the idea that it is not JUST the fact that there is this emotional anger, intense as it is that is in view in Solomon’s mind, but rather it is the expression of that anger, the way it affects the one angry as well as the way it shows itself to those around him that Solomon is setting over against what he says in the second phrase.
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<![CDATA[Mingled Bread and Wine]]>Sat, 06 May 2017 22:35:11 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/mingled-bread-and-winePastor Bill Farrow
   “Come, eat of My bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.” - Proverbs 9:5.
          The is one of the numerous places in the Book that Solomon uses a device that we might refer to as “Personified wisdom” that in a larger OT sense many have argued to be one of the many things that give and picture of the coming Messiah, that Lord Jesus Christ as the great One Who comes and issues an invitation over in the NT (Mt 11:28–29; cf. Lk 14:15–24).  Notice the phrasing that Solomon uses here… “Come, eat … drink”.  There is an interesting mechanism here that we see quite a number of other places in both the OT and in the NT - many have given it the title: “God’s banquet call”. 
          In Isaiah 55:1–3  we see Isaiah issue “An Invitation to Abundant Life”:  In very familiar language we read these words:
55  “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.

2  Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for
what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat
what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.

3  Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.

Similarly, in the NT, the Apostle Luke tells us over in his Gospel…
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<![CDATA[Turning Away, Complacent or Listening?]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 16:52:34 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/turning-away-complacent-or-listeningby Pastor William Farrow
32     For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them; 

33     But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.”  
(Proverbs 1:32-33)
          Solomon, here in the Book of Proverbs, seems like he felt it his duty to speak to several specifics about how men and women conduct themselves and/or misconduct themselves.  That is surely what he does and what he lays out for his readers to take in and consider.  
          He has just finished in vss. 28 and following putting forth the idea that there is the possibility that one’s spiritual condition may result in their calling out to God but receiving no response from Him.  For many this may be something that speaks of blasphemy and even heresy.  But nevertheless, there are numerous places where Scripture puts forward this ide as something we need to grapple with.  Obedience and seeking after God, actively and energetically is something that we, as God’s children, are responsible to concern ourselves with.  It seems clear that Solomon here (as he does in a number of other places in Proverbs) is emphasizing that, in regard to sinners, those who respond with indifference and mockery at God’s indictments increase their guilt (cf. Rom. 2:5) and bring upon themselves the wrath of God’s mockery and indifference (vv. 26, 27). Some wait to seek God until it is too late.  
          Certainly, especially in this modern age, there are those refuse to seek after, let alone embrace anything about the Lord God.  Solomon clearly tells us that there will come a time in their lives when they cry out to God, on their own terms, and God will refuse to answer them.  Many struggle with this idea.  They think that God will always answer anyone who cries out; but Solomon demonstrates that this is not so.
           However, there are many, an immense amount who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus, but whose manner of life and beliefs demonstrate that they are, in reality, unredeemed and those who have refused to submit themselves to the call of God and turn to Him for redemption. 
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<![CDATA[The Fear of the Lord - Continued]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 14:10:38 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/the-fear-of-the-lord-continuedPastor Bill Farrow
7  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction. (
Proverbs 1:7, et al)
          We began our study of Proverbs 1:7 and the idea of just what the Bible tells us it is to “Fear the Lord” as we see it introduced here in Prov. 1:7.  We first said that this “fear” is something that God desires for us to seek and nurture as we walk with Him.  We also discussed some basics about just what the Bible does to introduce the idea to us.  We then looked at the way it is expressed and said that God is the author of this godly “fear” and that it is a quality that is put forth throughout all of the Bible.  Also, we said that this godly fear is something that is not natural to men, but is something that must be cultivated and developed as one walks with the Father.
           This being said, we will note that there are many, many places in the Bible that give a description as to just what this “godly fear” is and how it can be known as such…

          There are at least 7 ways in which the Fear of the Lord is described in the Bible:
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<![CDATA[The Beginning of Knowledge - The Fear of the Lord]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 14:19:18 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/the-beginning-of-knowledge-part-1by Pastor Bill Farrow
 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” - Proverbs 1:7
I.   Introduction
  •       This verse is one of the more famous and well-known verses in the Book of Proverbs.  
  •       There are several purposes that Solomon has for the book outlined in the chapter as a whole. 
  •       But verses 1-7 tells what is surely the  more central and significant purpose, not to mention that it is perhaps the most important to you and I and enables believers to gain the knowledge that is badly needed to live in a godly fashion as they walk through the world. 
  •       One writer described this purpose as: “To promote wisdom and godly living”.
  •       Also, we might acknowledge our verse here as a theme of the entire book. 
  •       What it puts forth as this ventral purpose can be described in two sections:
A. First, God desires for us ·       
          First, God desires for us to have a working, functional understanding of what true wisdom is and where it comes from. 
          Solomon takes great pains throughout the Book to tell us what this knowledge and wisdom is and how we should view life, in all of it parts and degrees in order to be successful in all areas that God leads us into. 

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We'll continue our study of Proverbs 1:7
and the Fear of the Lord in a day or so...
<![CDATA[Life More Abundantly]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 20:32:46 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/life-more-abundantly          There are many around to day who stand unsatisfied with the quality of their lives.  They see no way, other than indulgence in sin, to live their lives in a way that satisfies.  The Bible makes clear that Satan is minded to accomplishes certain things in the lives of those who are here on earth, and particularly in the lives of those who belong to the Lord:
          1.      The Plan of Satan - to steal, to kill, and to destroy
           2.      The Plan of the Savior - that they might have life
           3.      The Provision of the Savior - life more abundantly
          Last Sunday, along with most of the Christian world, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is essential that we understand that if Jesus had not risen from the dead, we would be of all men most miserable.  It would have been impossible for us to have life, much less life more abundantly if Christ be not risen!  Paul said this plainly to the Corinthian church in 1 Cor. 15:17

                    And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
          Let's think a bit more about the life that Christ has for all of those who follow after Him.  Look over in John 10:10: