Tag Archives: on life and conduct

Put a knife to your throat

On Life and Conduct

Proverbs 23; I die daily devotional.

1 When you sit down to dine with a ruler, Consider carefully what is before you, 2 And put a knife to your throat If you are a man of great appetite.

I remember reading when Jesus was presented with the delicacies of a ruler, those temptations of the devil in the wilderness; what that ruler underestimated was the God in front of him in human flesh. Satan, without realizing it, had put a knife to his own throat when using the delicacies of God to persuade God’s Son—the Lamb of God—for worship. Those delicacies never belonged to the ruler of this world. So when we are presented with an opportunity that amounts to great power, we need to consider the “who” that influences such an opportunity. If we don’t, and our appetite is ambitious for wealth … we’re in danger of slitting our own throats as truth reveals the nature of our hearts. Don’t buy into the ruler of this worlds’ wealth because it’s fleeting and foolish. Purchase truth, and do not sell it, get wisdom and instruction and understanding!

Knife to throat

“It is within my capacity—and come to think of it, opportunity in my current industry—to advance to the highest positions of entrepreneurship, but to what gain?”

“Who influences these desires?”

“How great is my appetite, and for what?”

Those questions shift and shape the world around me into what I desire. The ruler raises his eyebrows in haste, “Well! What will it be?” Knowing my self-conscious issues; my heart begins to race as my mind considers, but my palm is sweating, the knife is slipping. I can feel the sweat dribbling down my neck or, “is it blood” I wonder. The ruler slides the plate over, “Eat!”, he says. But I know … there’ll be no turning back. To eat this food would mean my sacrifice and allegiance to … myself. The ruler is me, and the offer on the table is not my escape from hell, but the opportunity to cure death for all to live. Thoughts are racing; “no more cancer, no more oppression, no more diversity, no more debt, etc.”. The ruler’s eyes are my eyes, and their gleaming; the words … compelling; my mouth … watering. The deal sounds a lot like scripture, how could it be wrong?

Some questions to think about:

  • What is the deal of my life and at what cost?
  • Who and where is my allegiance?
  • What does my heart reveal?
  • Who is my ruler and why?

Resources

Proverbs 23 (NASB)—blueletterbible.com

1 When you sit down to dine with a ruler, Consider carefully what is before you, 2 And put a knife to your throat If you are a man of great appetite. 3 Do not desire his delicacies, For it is deceptive food. 4 Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. 5 When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens. 6 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man, Or desire his delicacies; 7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you. 8 You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten, And waste your compliments. 9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words. 10 Do not move the ancient boundary Or go into the fields of the fatherless, 11 For their Redeemer is strong; He will plead their case against you. 12 Apply your heart to discipline And your ears to words of knowledge. 13 Do not hold back discipline from the child, Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. 14 You shall strike him with the rod And rescue his soul from Sheol. 15 My son, if your heart is wise, My own heart also will be glad; 16 And my inmost being will rejoice When your lips speak what is right. 17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But live in the fear of the LORD always. 18 Surely there is a future, And your hope will not be cut off. 19 Listen, my son, and be wise, And direct your heart in the way. 20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; 21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one with rags. 22 Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old. 23 Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding. 24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him. 25 Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her rejoice who gave birth to you. 26 Give me your heart, my son, And let your eyes delight in my ways. 27 For a harlot is a deep pit And an adulterous woman is a narrow well. 28 Surely she lurks as a robber, And increases the faithless among men. 29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 Those who linger long over wine, Those who go to taste mixed wine. 31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent And stings like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange things And your mind will utter perverse things. 34 And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast. 35 “They struck me, but I did not become ill; They beat me, but I did not know it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink.”

  • Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’; and ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’” 8 Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’11 Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
  • John 12:31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
  • John 16:11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity

On Life and Conduct

Proverbs chapter 19; I die daily devotional.

1 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool.
2 Also it is not good for a person to be without
knowledge, And he who hurries his footsteps errs.
3 The foolishness of man ruins his way,
And his heart rages against the LORD.
4 Wealth adds many friends, But a poor

man is separated from his friend.

Don’t hurry

Don’t worry, don’t hurry, breathe …

The phone was on silent and the alarm didn’t go off! The vibration of the buzzing wasn’t heard until the third call. “Yo! You okay!?”, the boss answers with an undertone of disappointment, and naturally so. …

Sometimes our circumstances in life might cause us to hurry and compromise our integrity—not because we wanted it to of course, it just happens. And when we’re operating on someone else’s schedule the pressure is on, justifications and excuses might arise as temptation would have it, but we don’t have to compromise our integrity for the sake of appeasement. Walk, don’t run; consider a ‘parable of the wet floor sign’:

Two devoted workers awake from sleep late to their job. One is a financial advisor, and the other a lawyer. Each person works at the same high-rise building in the Big City, but on different floors. The advisor and lawyer arrive at their office building at the same time, but as the advisor hurriedly walks-in and notices the “wet floor” sign—slows his steps, and proceeds to the elevators with caution; whereas the lawyer who was initially travelling at the same pace didn’t realize the “wet floor” sign, and she slips!

What happen? Why did the lawyer slip?

It might be simple to conclude that the advisor just used his senses, which is true, but that doesn’t solve our mystery. What if the context is that the advisor owned his own company? The advisor might’ve been late to a meeting, but he owned his own time and paid for everyone else’s; so where would there be room for anxiety or insecurities that distract the senses resulting a potentially expensive mistake? It’s less likely there would be room for err.

So what happen with the attorney? Why is it that she would be the one to slip? Well … what if it were because the attorney is of a partnership firm, late to a meeting with a client in desperate need? Where is there time for her senses to function properly when her focus is, “Get there! Get there! Get there! (at all cost)”, because she’s too busy thinking about the delicacy of the client’s time and information needed to go over? Definitely room for err!

5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will not escape.
6 Many will seek the favor of a generous man,
And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.
7 All the brothers of a poor man hate him;
How much more do his friends abandon him!
He pursues them with words, but they are gone.
8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will perish.

Don’t lie

Don’t worry about the lawyer, look what happens…

Just as the lawyer slipped, the advisor nearby catches her before she hits the hard tile floor. He quickly puts her on her feet, “steady as she goes”, he says gently. That next weekend they get married, and years later a future full of grandkids reminiscing the supernatural event responsible for harm, but instead to be the byproduct of the product—their lives.

Little did the advisor and lawyer know that their kids would grew up being late to everything. … I mean, come on … wouldn’t you? That story is epic!

The ‘parable of the wet floor sign’ is about being faithful in what we do; don’t worry about the wet floor sign. Use caution of course, but you know what I mean … don’t slip on the wet floor of anxiety. The Lord knows what we’re up against in this life. And as we keep faithful to the task, He’ll handle the rest. Don’t worry.

What’s truly dangerous is lying to ourselves and everyone else. Lies generate at our preconceptions. They form into what we assume, or figure to know something that we don’t actually know … convincing ourselves of lies. And I think a lot of the times it’s because of our egotistical pride failing to ask the necessary questions like, “how can I help?” or “What can I do?”, to react at the appropriate moments for the right reasons.

If the advisor had an unhealthy preconceived notion about this lady attorney in a rush, that situation would have been completely different; he would not have cared in a way that reflects the sourness of his soul or worse, using that situation to somehow gratify his perverted heart.

If the lawyer spent her life hiding her hatred of men, and lying about that condition; any and every attempt at man’s rescue or conviction to hold the door open would be ruined. She would’ve slapped him across the face with the accusation of sexual harassment that was projected onto him by a sexually abusive stepfather.

Lies are of the devil designed by Satan intended to deceive the innocent, and motivated to manipulate the truth about God. Let’s be honest—don’t lie! 8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. Let’s not lie or be a false witness; be faithful and trust the Lord!

10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool;
Much less for a slave to rule over princes.
11 A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,
And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.
12 The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass.
13 A foolish son is destruction to his father,
And the contentions of a wife
are a constant dripping.
14 House and wealth are an inheritance from
fathers, But a prudent wife is from the LORD.

Prudent Wife

I can honestly say that I am blessed with a woman of wisdom, a prudent wife from the Lord—Laura Dooley. She holds me accountable to the Word of God which is of eternal value, we wash our robes together. The Wisdom of our Lord, the Lamb of God has provided our way. Come on… everyone is invited, join us in this faith… wash your robes… Revelation 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

15 Laziness casts into a deep sleep,
And an idle man will suffer hunger.
16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his
soul, But he who is careless of conduct will die.
17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to
the LORD, And He will repay
him for his good deed.
18 Discipline your son while there is hope,
And do not desire his death.
19 A man of great anger will bear the penalty,
For if you rescue him, you will
only have to do it again.

Don’t anger

Are you an angry person? Have you stopped being angry or am I in danger of—”…if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.“? Have you worked through that anger with the Lord? What are you angry about and why? Don’t carry that load by yourself, let’s get it worked out.

20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline,
That you may be wise the rest of your days.
21 Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the LORD will stand.
22 What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
23 The fear of the LORD leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, 
untouched by evil.
24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish,
But will not even bring it back to his mouth.
25 Strike a scoffer and the naive may become
shrewd, But reprove one who has
understanding and he will gain knowledge.

Untouched by evil

It is so very reassuring to read—23 The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.—because of the healing that is experienced in the soul of a believer. I know I personally get caught up in thoughts of despair and unworthiness accompanied with feelings of dread and depression. It brings healing to my bones to meditate on that verse.

26 He who assaults his father and drives 
his mother away Is a shameful
and disgraceful son.
27 Cease listening, my son, to discipline,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28 A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice,
And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity.
29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And blows for the back of fools.