<![CDATA[Valley Forge Baptist Church - Blog]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 16:59:40 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[David’s Great Confidence in God]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 22:32:03 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/davids-great-confidence-in-godPsalm 27:1-3
Pastor Bill Farrow
1      The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
2      When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.

3      Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident. 
     One of the things that believers both trust in as believers and which we need to be urged to pursue and build into our lives.  Just to give us something to give form to our thinking, Psalms tell us of quite a number or things true that David gives to us as examples to follow.  This is true in Psalm 27 where we see him speaking of the things upon which he rests his confidence upon as he walks through his experience in life.  He tells us of 10 resting places that he relied upon to see to it that the affairs and matters of life didn’t overwhelm him.
1.     The Lord is my Light (27:1a)      

                              The Lord is my light and my salvation;
                                             Whom shall I fear?
                                  The Lord is the strength of my life;
                                        Of whom shall I be afraid? 

     The first of these is to trust in and “use” the Lord as his light for discerning his path and give direction as he moves where God has directed him to go.  The word speaks of anything that enables proper sight and the gathering of needed information to inform and guide.  The word is used to speak of any kind of light, from daylight, to moonlight, to stars, even candles and lamps.  The point is what it makes possible and able to be accomplished.  It is used in a general way here and so we ought to see that David intends for us to see it as speaking in  a general way and as applicable to whatever in our experience needs or uses light.  He tells us, as he says in many other places and as King Solomon says often in the Book of Proverbs that it is the Lord and the wisdom we can take in and consequently apply to our living that acts as “light” to aid us in discerning what and/or where we ought to go.
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<![CDATA[Whoever Digs or Rolls - Falls In!]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:58:01 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/whoever-digs-or-rolls-falls-inby Pastor Bill Farrow
“Whoso digs a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolls a stone, it will return upon him.” – Proverbs 26:27 (Cf. 28:10).
     As we have said before, Solomon is one for calling on his readers to think carefully about what the result and/or the consequences of our actions are.  This is another verse in which he touches on that idea.  His point in these things is for us to ponder a bit on what the reasonable and obvious following things will be when we do things that are, perhaps, foolish.  We do need to note that his point here is not to speak of just any hole or just any stone.  Naturally, especially in the say in which he was speaking, such work was a normal part of the process of, for instance, a farmer working on his land, or of one who tended cows and horses of making their fields ready in which for them to live productively and safely.  One simply HAD to dig the holes for water or feed; and he had to move the stones out of the way for those fields to be productive.  His point is not so much for this normal and necessary activity, but rather for other such doings that produced a more dangerous and threatening kind of hole or stone. 
     The words used here are interesting.  In the first phrase, “digs” is actually a negative word that can speak of hallowing out, destructing or corrupting and can imply a failure to exercise care or even not taking the proper or needed care that results in this corruption.  We should also note that it is in the form of a participle which directs us to think of the verb as it is in its action.  We should think of it in process. 
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<![CDATA[Rewarding Fools and Transgressors]]>Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:34:45 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/rewarding-fools-and-transgressorsPastor Bill Farrow
The great God that formed all things both rewards the fool, and rewards transgressors.” – Proverbs 26:10.
     The Scripture is very, very clear about the truth that God watches over all men and will hold all men accountable for their actions when the disobey and/or follow after their own minds and hearts in disobedience to what they know is His desires.  This chapter, in particular, speaks of the various “kinds” of those who pursue after disobedience to God’s desires and ord.  Singled out are
  • the fool, 1–12;
  • the sluggard, 13–16;
  • the meddler, the tale-bearer, 17–20, 22–23;
  • the contentious, 21;
  • the hater, 24–26; and
  • the liar, 28.
     Just a verse before Solomon had made an instructive analogy for us to consider: “A proverb in the mouth of fools is like a thorn in the hand of the drunkard” because when a fool uses a proverb, he is insensitive to the fact that it applies principally to himself.  The idea present in this verse is much the same but Solomon wants us to be sure that we understand that it is God Himself that meets out the results of the actions of those who do not handle issues that come to them wisely. 
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<![CDATA[Slow to Anger Is Better]]>Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:35:56 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/slow-to-anger-is-betterPastor Bill Farrow
“He that is than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” –
​Proverbs 16:32 (Cf. 14:17, 29; 15:18; 25:15).
     As is the case many, many times throughout the Book, Solomon groups his comments together basically by theme.  Here in chapter 16 he has grouped his teaching along the theme of “The better way of life through glorifying and serving the Lord”.  His basic idea at this point is that contrary to the many, in our day and age (ass well as back in Solomons’) who would say it is good to vent one’s anger, Proverbs advocates being slow to anger. Only a mighty person, likened to the person who is strong enough to take a city, is capable of controlling his anger (referred to as “rules his spirit”).
     The Bible has a great deal to say about anger and how we must think of it:
Eccl 7:9 Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.
Matt 5:22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
Rom 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
     We are exhorted to be those who control our tempers and not to allow ourselves to be moved by circumstances to displays of emotions given what goes on around us.  It is either godly or glorifying to God.
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<![CDATA[A Crown of Glory]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:28:58 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/a-crown-of-gloryPastor Bill Farrow 
“The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”
​(Proverbs 16:31 (Cf. 4:9, 10; 3:2; 20:29).
     There are numerous times when, not only Solomon, but virtually all of the OT writers use terms that when first translated into English seem to use outdated terms in their writing; and that, not at all surprisingly!  This is one of those times!  He uses the word “hoary” which is actually NOT a term from the Solomonic era but one that is more from the time when the KJV was written.  The newer versions, even the New KJV (NKJV) use a term more understandable to those around in the 16th and/or 17th centuries.  The King James refers to it as the “Hoary” head. The newer versions speak of it as “silver haired” head.  Comparing the two one has to look back to the King James era to get hold of just what is in mind.  The term actually arose from the old English term that came from Botany and spoke that which was moldy and spoke of that which demonstrated or was the result an old growth. 
     The Hebrew word was used to refer to anything that demonstrated age in a visible fashion.  It is used only 19 times in the OT.  19 occurrences…the KJV translates it as “old age” six times, “gray hairs” six times, “hoar head” three times, “hoary head” twice, “gray headed” once, and “hoary” once.  You and I need not consider “hoary” a term that we need to incorporate into our vocabulary; but we do need to recognize it (when it appears) for that of which it speaks. 
31     The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness. (Proverbs 16:31)
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<![CDATA[The Preparations of the Heart in Man]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 17:12:09 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/the-preparations-of-the-heart-in-manPastor Bill Farrow
 “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.”
​– Proverbs 16:1 (ver. 9).

     We’ve already looked a bit at the comparison between the plans of a man’s heart (vv. 1a, 9a) and the sovereign direction of the Lord (vv. 1b, 9b). We’ve seen that it unifies this entire section. In this particular chapter Verses 2–8 focus on the importance of the heart-behavior connection.  This truth is one put forth through a goodly portion of both the Old and New Testaments.  The entire Bible is not merely a collection of Doctrine and Theology.  It is actually more concerned with how a person sees what God tells us is true and how that truth works itself out in behavior and actions. 
     This is just what Solomon is seeking to make clear in this verse.  He tells us that it is much more than a “doing” matter.  In order to be  the kind of servant of God that we ought to be, we MUST see to it that our hearts is “prepared” in the proper fashion.
     The “Heart”, as we have seen before, speaks of the inner person, not the physical organ that pumps blood (though, in a given context it CAN speak of that organ).  However, it more often than not speaks, in a more general sense, about the inner man, desires, emotions and even that “manner” in which a person thinks. 
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<![CDATA[The Spirit & Restoration (According to David)]]>Sat, 07 Oct 2017 14:26:09 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/the-spirit-restoration-according-to-davidI.          BACKGROUND - If you didn’t know already, here’s the background of Psalm 51:
  • “This is the classic passage in the OT on man’s repentance and God’s forgiveness of sin.
  • Along with Ps. 32, it was written by David after his affair with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah, her husband (2 Sam. 11–12).
  • It is one of seven poems called penitential psalms (Ps. 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143).
  • To David’s credit, he recognized fully how horrendous his sin was against God, blamed no one but himself, and begged for divine forgiveness.
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<![CDATA[Buy The Truth, And Sell It Not]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:19:02 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/buy-the-truth-and-sell-it-not3056043“Buy the truth, and sell it not;
also wisdom, instruction, and understanding.”
​– Proverbs 23:23.
     These topics are ones that seem to be particularly dear to Solomon as he moves through the Book of Proverbs for us:

I.  Truth bought
     Though I doubt that Solomon would argue that truth is a commodity that can be obtained in the corner market it seems very clear that he views truth as something that indeed can and must be obtained from outside of ourselves.  We need, above all, to recognize that Truth DOES indeed exist, it is not a manufactured thing.  It does not change from person to person (as so many in our modern world seem to insist.  In this modern day there are a disturbingly large number of teachers who want us to believe that even those who “believe” contradictory things can both be “right” because no one has a handle on truth.
     The Scripture is very clear, however, that Truth DOES exist and it MUST be pursued and grasped.  We’re told, for instance, that God is a God of Truth with the idea that He and what He has put forth stands as true for all people in all situations.  Moses told Israel that God was a God of Truth
Deut 32:4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
     What Moses’ intention there is to tell us that all that God says and does can be held to be truth, without any falsehood. 
Ps 31:15 My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me.
     David knew that his God could be depended upon to deliver and take care of him when he needed it.  He could leave the matters of his life in God’s “hands” and truth that there was safety there!  One might even think a bit about just where it is that ones’ concept that truth even exists in our world.  It seems to me that this is one of the great problems and/or causes of modernism in these days.  People have cast aside the concept of a God to Whom they are accountable and thus they perceive themselves as the source of what is true; or even that Truth has no meaning apart from God. 
     But the fact of the matter is that Truth cannot be adequately explained, recognized, understood, or defined without God as its’ source.  Since He alone is eternal and self-existent and He alone is the creator of all else, He must be seen and even asserted to be the fountain of all truth.  If you don’t believe that, try defining truth without reference to God, and see how quickly all such definitions fail.  The moment you begin to ponder the essence of truth, you are brought face-to-face with the requirement of a universal absolute - the eternal reality of God.  
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<![CDATA[Commit Thy Works unto The Lord]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 18:45:09 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/commit-thy-works-unto-the-lordPastor Bill Farrowa
“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” – Proverbs 16:3 (Cf. 3:5, 6).
     Solomon is always very, very concerned with just where our hearts, and so our concentration and priorities will lay.  This is one of very famous verses in Proverbs that people call to mind when they are thinking along the matter of being what God wants for them to be.  He tells us, basically three ideas for us to grab hold of here:
  1. Believe that what we DO is very important both to honoring the Lord and to ordering and defining what Solomon defines as our “thoughts”.
  2. Believe that our “works”, as defined here, need to be committed to the Lord, as the Bible speaks of ordering them, in order for them to be of any profit to either He and/or us.
  3. It IS possible to control and establish our thought life.
  4. Along that line, we need to take real and definite care that our “works” are “aimed” in serving the Lord and not self.
     With that in mind, let’s seek to think our way through this powerful verse that Solomon lays before us…
“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” – Proverbs 16:3 (Cf. 3:5, 6).
     Interestingly, the word translated “Commit” speaks of setting an object in a rolling motion, rolling away from the point of view.  Due to the grammatical form of the verb, there no definite time statement that is a part of the verb.  Related to how you and I think of the application of the verb to us, it is in the second person singular and is in the imperative voice, meaning we should take it as a command.  What we draw from this is that in order to see to it that our thoughts are established in a way that pleases the Lord, we must COMMIT our works to Him.  This is a very useful way of thinking of things as it establishes a mechanism that can be used to head us in that direction. 
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<![CDATA[The Lord Is Far from The Wicked]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 18:30:57 GMThttp://vfbaptist.org/blog/the-lord-is-far-from-the-wickedPastor Bill Farrow
“The Lord is far from the wicked: but He hears the prayer of the righteous” – Proverbs 15:29.
     One of the most popular ideas in modern Churches today is that God is OK with everyone and He just wants everyone to feel good and be happy.  For anyone who actually reads the Bible, it is easy to see that having an understanding of what the Word of God truly teaches is absolutely NOT that easy or simple.  We need to think the matter through a bit more thoroughly and see what it is that God really has to say about those who are redeemed versus those who are “wicked” as this verse puts it.  There are two basic ideas in this verse that set what God “closeness” from His being “far from”.
     One thing that is very clear throughout the Bible is that Salvation is by means of Grace through Faith and NOT by human works (seeking to earn favor from God) in any fashion:
Paul is very clear about this over in Romans about this truth:
Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work
     It is clear here (and elsewhere in the NT especially) that grace and faith are antithetical…they both cannot be true.  We are redeemed by grace through faith and NOT by our own works.  The “no longer” part is a reference to the Law in the OT when God’s people were required to observe certain rituals if they were to partake of the blessings of the Tabernacle.  He goes on just a few books after and tells the Galatians:
Eph 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
     Again, he repeated what he told the Romans (and will tell others).  Salvation is not something we do by means of a bunch of stuff to earn.  He then adds, to the Galatians.  He later says to Timothy…speaking of what Jesus has done for us…​
2 Tim 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
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