By Pastor Bill Farrow
“If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” - Proverbs 2:3, 4, 5.
          Interpretation.—To lift up the voice for Understanding is to call her to thee, invite her, not only to heed her when she calls thee. The search must be as diligent as the tireless search of the miner after the hid treasures of metals, etc., concealed in the earth, following up the vein discovered. Such real efforts will be rewarded by that knowledge of God, His nature, His ways, His revelations, which is of all treasures the most valuable.
          Illustrations.—Our Lord’s parable of the man who, finding a treasure hid in a field, went and sold all that he had and bought that field, illustrates the earnestness of purpose here recommended. Examples of it we meet with in the story of the Ethiopian (Acts 8:27, etc.), and of the Bereans (Acts 17:11, etc.), who, seeking diligently for the truth, found it and made it their own.
          Application.—How much of life is spent in the search after things which are of comparatively small value and very perishable! But the knowledge of God, the understanding of true religion,—these are treasures worth seeking for, they are satisfying and eternal. I may not hope to acquire them, however, without painstaking and self-sacrifice. But is not this true of any human service or any worldly emolument? How much more, then, is it reasonable in regard to “theology,” or the science of God, and to the possession of God Himself! Of that treasure-house God keepeth the key in His own hand! For this He will be inquired of, wouldst thou have Him open it unto thee. “Surely there is a vein for the silver” (Job 28:1). Yet what miner would be satisfied not to pursue it below the surface? Wouldst thou get the best treasures? Go down on thy knees, and dig for them. Pursue the vein, bring all skill and appliances to bear upon thy undertaking. Only by earnest prayer, only by patient meditation, only by diligent study, and not without self-sacrifice, is divine knowledge to be won. The heart, too, must be purified, examined by the candle of an enlightened conscience, and swept with the besom of reform. The life of Christian obedience is a life of continual progress in spiritual understanding. To follow on to know the Lord is the way to know Him now. To know Him now by faith prepares the way for revelations which shall never cease.
O God, incline my heart to seek after, that I may find, Thee!
 
 
We've been studying what we've called "Ways To Glorify God" and have spoken of a total of 17 ways that are found in the Bible.  We are currently in the 6th part of this series:
 
 
As many, many Preachers and Teachers of God's Word have been warning for decades, we are now beginning to see the Near Eastern Islamic world exercising their hatred of the One, True and Living God on those who profess to know to know Him...https://player.vimeo.com/video/150648792
 
 
 Proverbs 4:14-15
Pastor Bill Farrow
“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” - Proverbs 4:14, 15 (Cf. 13:20).
          The immediate section in which we find this verse speaks of what we cold speak of as “wisdom practiced” and tells us that wisdom is productive of life, health and personal integrity.  The entire section actually, and these two verses specifically warn against turning to the path or way of the wicked (vv. 14–15).  The following couple verses describe such a turning creates an insatiable and destructive hunger (v. 16). Solomon then goes on to tells that the hunger alluded to is perpetuated by what the path offers those who walk along it: the bread of wickedness and the wine of violence, v. 17.
         He starts with one of the general references to a “path” meaning the general way that one walks and conducts his life.  It is interesting that he seems clear that even for believers, the “path” of the wicked can be chosen and embarked up, perhaps temporarily or even in an ongoing fashion.  The first two phrases are really speak basically of the same idea, just described in subtly different fashions.  We might see the first phrase as suggesting individual behavior as the reference to the “wicked” can be taken as singular and suggests that we consider the particular things that can make their appeal to us as individual people.  
         The second phrase seems to be directing us to think in a more general and even group fashion.  “…and go not in the way of evil men” can be seen to encourage us to think in terms of the basic path that those around us have taken to following  The encouragement is for us to think our way through our individual behavior and tendencies and also take a close and analytical look at the society amongst whom we dwell with an aim toward seeing to it that wicked and evil ways are forsaken and, by implication, that the ways of holiness are embraced. 
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Over the past few weeks we have been looking at the topic of just how a child of God goes about seeing to it that their lord and Master gets the glory that He is so richly due!  We've gotten to the 4th installment of our study together...17 Ways to Glorify God (Part 4)
To hear the 4th sermon on this study - click below...
 
 
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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