See "Jan '19A" in Archives for Verses 1-15.
Unfortunately, I ran out of space in this month's file.

JANUARY 31

Proverbs 31:30: "Favour
[a charming personality, popularity] is deceitful [deceptive], and beauty [a beautiful outward appearance] is vain [only skin deep]: but a woman that feareth the LORD [i.e., a godly woman, who is beautiful on the inside as well as, or instead of, the outside], she shall be praised."

In other words, as the well-known saying goes, "You can't judge a book by its cover."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. In the section about beauty, it says, "… [W]hile outward beauty has its place-that is not what makes a woman truly beautiful … True beauty is on the inside… it is "hidden" in the heart. It is a meek and quiet spirit."

The commentary continues:

"4. The most important question is, 'Does she fear God?'

"a. If she truly fears God, then:
" She will be faithful to her husband.
" She will walk in humility before God.
" She will obey God's Word-and thus be a good wife and mother.
" She will be wise - for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
" She will honor her husband, who has been appointed by God as her head.
" She will do her best to BE the kind of woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31. She will be a virtuous woman.
" Fearing God is at the root of all the virtue in this woman."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-31-index/proverbs-31_30/.

JANUARY 30

Proverbs 30:15-16 - Greedy People Are Never Satisfied

Verse 15: "The horseleach
[i.e., the blood-sucking leech, representing greed] hath two daughters, crying, Give, give [or 'Gimme, gimme']."

[Note: According to Pastor Delany, the above sentence is the first part of verse 15, but it also could be an expansion of verse 14, which refers to greedy men taking advantage of poor and needy people.]

Verse 15 (continued): "There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:"

Verse 16:
[Similar to greedy people, the things that are never satisfied that are referred to in verse 15 include:] The grave [that wants more and more dead people]; and the barren womb [that wants to get pregnant and have babies]; the [parched] earth [or thirsty, dry land] that is not filled with [or that needs more] water; and the [raging, out-of-control] fire that [won't stop burning, and] saith not, It is enough."

In the opening portion of his commentary on these verses, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church describes what leeches are and tells how and why greedy men can be compared to them.

Farther down in the commentary, he says:

"3. The four examples Agur gives which 'never say enough.'

"a. Obviously, this is figurative language. Graves, wombs, fire, and water cannot actually speak.

"b. The point is that these things have one thing in common: they have insatiable desires and don't know how to be content.

"c. The greedy man is like that: he has an insatiable appetite for 'more' and never seems to have enough.

"4. The four insatiable things:

"a. The grave
" This is a personification of a grave-as if a grave had desires.
" One would think that the grave (sheol - the place of the dead) would be satisfied.
" How many people have died and been buried? Isn't that enough?
" The grave is never satisfied with the countless millions of occupants. It can never say 'I have enough.'
" The point: a desire is never satisfied by obtaining that which it desires.
" True contentment isn't found in getting what we desire.

"b. The barren womb
" The same truth is found in this example.
" How many women were there in the Old Testament who were barren and craved a child?
" How many are there today?
" The barren womb says, 'If only I could have just one child!'
" And if they finally bear a child, they cannot say, 'It is enough.' Instead they say, 'It would be so nice to have just one more.'
" The point is the same: a desire is never truly satisfied by obtaining that which it desires.

"c. The dry earth
" Agur was not writing from Washington State's rain forest. He was writing from a very dry and arid region.
" There the dry, parched sands craved for water. They baked in the hot sun and (figuratively speaking) lusted after rain.
" And no matter how hard it rains, the parched earth soaks up all the rain-like a bloodsucker sucking up the blood.
" And after the torrential downpour, the earth soaks up all the rain, the sun comes out, and the earth is craving for more rain.
" It can never say 'enough.'

"d. The fire
" The fire that rages through a dry forest does the same.
" It devours all the trees in the forest-and when it gets to the highway, the trees on one side are "not enough. It sends its sparks over the road and continues to devour dry trees and brush.
" The fires out West are often the size of Rhode Island… and even then, it's not enough. The flames seem to want to devour more and more.

"5. Heaping one illustration upon another, Agur drives home his point:

"a. A desire is never satisfied by obtaining that which it desires.

"b. True contentment isn't found in getting what we desire.

"c. True contentment is only found in LEARNING to appreciate what we DO have and LEARNING to be content therein."

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_15-16/.

JANUARY 29

Proverbs 29:3: "Whoso
[whoever] loveth wisdom [i.e., a wise son] rejoiceth his father [gives him joy, makes him happy]: but he that keepeth company with harlots [prostitutes] [i.e., a foolish son] spendeth his substance [all of his money] [because he enjoys a lifestyle of loose living and immorality]."

Salem Bible Church's title for this commentary is "Loving Wisdom vs. Loving Harlots," which is appropriate because the above verse "… is a contrast between a wise son who follows the counsel of wisdom and a foolish son who follows a sinful lifestyle."

In the section on the foolish son, Pastor Jim Delany says: "The sad part is that wisdom would have preserved him [the foolish son] from seeking harlots and loose living… and dealing with the aftermath and consequences of such a lifestyle." He goes on to say: "The good news is that, like the prodigal son, the foolish son can learn his lesson the hard way, repent and begin to love wisdom and seek it with all of his heart."

At the end of the commentary, regarding the phrase spendeth his substance, the pastor says, "Immorality is very expensive-in many ways… the drugs, the booze, the hotels, the prostitutes, the gambling, potential blackmail, divorce, etc." and "There's a hefty price to pay for loose living; it's not cheap."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-29-index/proverbs-29_3/.

JANUARY 28

Proverbs 28:4: "They that forsake
[reject, have little or no respect for, refuse to obey] the law [of the land, including laws of God (found in the Bible) and laws of mankind (regulated by the government)] [i.e., law breakers] praise the wicked [people, who do illegal, immoral, and other bad things]: but such as [or those who] keep [obey and preserve] the law [i.e., law keepers] contend with them [the 'wicked'--by vigorously opposing their sinful actions and attempting to defend the principles of law and order]."

The first half of this verse can be summed up as follows: "Wrongdoers encourage one another." (Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/28-4.html, "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible")

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse.

Here are some excerpts from paragraph A1 in the section about praising the wicked:

"d. The Law outlined the moral code that the nation of Israel was to live by… and it included penalties for violation of those laws.

"e. The Law of Moses was given for the good of the people of Israel.
" Prov. [Proverbs] 28:3 just mentioned oppressing the poor. The Law of Moses had provisions to protect the poor.
" It had provisions to assure that justice was conducted in their courts of law; 2 or 3 witnesses; no false witnesses.
" It had provisions to protect women - laws against rape, etc.
" It had provisions to assure a stable family unit: honor your parents.
" It had provisions to protect private property; laws against stealing.
" It had provisions to protect human life - thou shalt not kill.

"f. The law was made to protect good people from wicked people."

In paragraph B of the same section, we read:

"3. Most sensible people would think it quite abhorrent to actually PRAISE wicked men [such as serial killers, terrorists, bank robbers, muggers, street thugs, rapists, child abusers, and leaders of drug cartels]."

"5. Yet Solomon says that those who oppose law and order are doing that very thing-whether they want to acknowledge it or not.
"a. They 'praise the wicked' either by calling their wicked deeds good or by justifying them.
"b. While the person who cheats on his taxes would never praise a bank robber, in a sense, he is siding with him."

Near the end of the commentary, in paragraphs 4 and 5, it says (regarding government) "… there will always be a battle between law keepers and law breakers… between law abiding citizens and criminals," and that (regarding the church) "… those who honor God's Word and seek to obey it will always be engaged in a spiritual battle with those who don't honor God's Word."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-28-index/proverbs-28_4/.

JANUARY 27

Romans 14:12: "So then every one of us shall give account of himself
[or herself] to God [referring, in this case, to Jesus Christ, the Son of God (or God the Son)] [when we stand before him in heaven on judgment day]."

Unsaved people will stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment and give a report of, or relate in detail, everything that they thought, said, and did during their lives on earth. All born-again Christians (I am part of this group) will appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ and be rewarded for our faithfulness and obedience to God after we got saved.

For information concerning what will happen on judgment day (including punishment and rewards), read the following articles:

-- "What does the Bible say about when God will judge us?"
     https://www.gotquestions.org/judgment.html

-- "What happens at the final judgment?"
     https://www.gotquestions.org/final-judgment.html

-- "What is Judgment Day?"
     https://www.gotquestions.org/Judgment-Day.html

-- "What is the Great White Throne Judgment?"
     https://www.gotquestions.org/great-white-throne-judgment.html

-- "What is the Judgment Seat of Christ / Bema Seat of Christ?"
     https://www.gotquestions.org/judgment-seat-Christ.html

JANUARY 26

Proverbs 26:1: "As snow
[is an uncommon occurrence] in summer, and as rain [is not normal] in harvest [when crops are gathered from the fields], so honour is not seemly [fitting, appropriate] for a fool."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. In it, using many examples, Pastor Delany tells what can happen when fools are hired to teach children, run countries, preach in churches, manage businesses, and provide entertainment.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-26-index/proverbs-26_1/.

JANUARY 25

Proverbs 25:21-22 - Be Kind to Your Enemies
This especially applies to people who are suffering from hunger, thirst, injury, etc.

Verse 21: "If thine [your] enemy be hungry, give him [or her] bread [food] to eat; and if he [or she] be thirsty, give him [or her] water to drink:"

Verse 22: "For
[because by doing so] thou shalt heap [pile up] coals of fire [hot coals] upon his [or her, referring to the enemy's] head [this can have various meanings--see note below*], and the LORD shall reward thee [bless you] [for your kindness to your enemy and your obedience to God]."

We should always try to be kind to everyone, including our enemies. In my opinion, being mean to people who already hate us only makes them hate us more.
_________________________

*According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, the phrase thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head in verse 22 can have several meanings, both good and bad (as listed in paragraph 2 of the "hot coals" section of his commentary):

"a. It could be understood as the third expression of agape love and kindness shown to an enemy.

"b. Some have also interpreted this to mean that the deed of kindness may melt his heart and win over the heart of the enemy and make him a friend!

"c. It could also be understood as an expression of divine vengeance on an enemy."

In paragraph 3, Pastor Delany goes on to explain why heaping coals of fire upon someone's head could be considered "an expression of love and kindness":

"a. In the days before electric stoves, lights, and heaters, fires were used to heat a home and cook the food.

"b. Often the fires were kept going by preserving the hot coals.

"c. If a fire went out, it was considered a neighborly thing to give your neighbor some of your hot embers.

"d. Those hot embers would be put in a metal dish and carried on the head as most things were.

"e. Many believe that 'heaping coals of fire on your enemy's head' was the third expression of kindness-like giving him food and water… and hot coals to cook the food on or heat his home."

In the last section of the commentary, on rewards, the pastor explains a different meaning:

"B. Coals Upon the Head: As Divine Vengeance

"1. While it is possible that the coals of fire heaped upon the head of an enemy COULD refer to an act of kindness (as mentioned earlier), it is also possible that it refers to an act of divine wrath and vengeance upon this enemy.

"2. If this is the case, then the proverb is to be understood in this sense:

"a. Our responsibility is to give food and drink to a cruel and heartless enemy as an act of love.
" We are not to take vengeance into our own hands, but to leave that to the Lord.
" Prov. [Proverbs] 24:29 - We are not to "pay back" those who have harmed us. We are to leave it to the Lord.

"b. God's responsibility will be twofold:
" God will judge the enemy in His time and way. God will add heaps of burning coals to his head-perhaps a reference to more severe judgment in the Lake of Fire.
"» Rom. [Romans] 12:19-21 - Paul quotes this proverb and seems to link the heaping of coals to divine vengeance.
"» By showing an enemy deeds of kindness, you are actually increasing his judgment and adding coals of judgment to his head, for he is now sinning against greater light… sinning against expressions of God's love through you!
" And God will reward you for not taking vengeance into your own hands, but choosing to obey God and showing kindness even to an enemy!

"c. God will do all the 'paying back' for deeds done-both good deeds (He rewards you) and evil deeds (He judges the enemy).
" Thus, when we obey God and show kindness to our enemy, we can do so knowing that the enemy isn't getting away with anything. Justice will prevail eventually.
" It is not our job to do the judging. Our job is to do good to all men and leave the judgment and vengeance to the Lord.
" Of course we should not do good to others HOPING that our deeds will cause them more pain and suffering in the afterlife. A vengeful spirit displeases the Lord.
" We receive no reward for deeds done with the wrong attitude or evil motive."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-25-index/proverbs-25_21-22/.

JANUARY 24

Psalm 103:12: "As far as the east is from the west
[in the entire universe, not only on earth], so far [that far, or a similar distance, meaning as far as possible] hath he [God] removed our transgressions [all of our sins (intentional and unintentional)--past, present, and future] from us [born-again Christians]."

This verse concerns the forgiveness of sins. According to Albert Barnes, when we are born again (or saved), "…We are safe from all condemnation for our sins, as if they had not been committed at all." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-103.html, "Verse 12")

How to be saved the Bible way:
If you believe that Jesus Christ (Son of God and Messiah) died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he was buried and rose again, all you need to do is sincerely ask him (through prayer) to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die.

For detailed instructions on the plan of salvation, read one or more of the tracts in the "Printable Gospel Tracts" section of my website. Here's a direct link to that page:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

JANUARY 23

Hebrews 10:25
[This is what Christians should be doing, according to the apostle Paul]: "Not forsaking the assembling [gathering] of ourselves together [publicly, to worship God], as the manner [habit, custom] of some [people] is; but exhorting [encouraging] one another: and [doing it (i.e., 'assembling ourselves together')] so much the more [even more often], as ye see the day [referring to the destruction of Jerusalem (in Bible times), and/or the second coming of Jesus (a future event)] approaching [drawing near, arriving soon]."

It is important that Christians meet together on a regular basis to worship God.

JANUARY 22

Proverbs 22:9: "He
[or she] that hath a bountiful eye [i.e., a generous person--someone who is always watching out for the well being of others] shall be blessed [by God and people]; for he [or she--referring to the person with the 'bountiful eye'] giveth of his [or her] bread to [or shares his (or her) food and other necessities of life with] the poor."

Regarding this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church said, "The bountiful eye Solomon describes is the person who keeps his eyes OPEN for those in need… and tries to help."

In paragraphs 4 and 5 of his commentary on this verse, under the heading "Shall be blessed" (about halfway down the page), Pastor Delany explains how people sometimes make incorrect assumptions about the scriptures or twist them to their own advantage. Included are examples of what he calls "abuse by using Bible principles to GET physical blessings in this life" (i.e., having the wrong motive for giving, or "Giving in order to GET") from books by K.H. Caldwell, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, and Joel Osteen.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-22-index/proverbs-22_9/.

JANUARY 21

Proverbs 21:13: "Whoso
[whoever] stoppeth his [or her] ears at [meaning he (or she) refuses to listen to or ignores] the cry of the poor [for help, in the form of food, money, assistance, etc.] [see note below*], he [or she] also shall cry himself [or herself] [to others, and/or to God in prayer, when he or she has a need], but shall not be heard [or answered]."

Following the example of the Samaritan in the story below, we should show mercy, kindness, and compassion to others. If we don't, according to the above verse, there will be consequences for our actions.

Parable of the Good Samaritan
(Quoted from Luke 10:30-37)

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
_________________________

*According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, "the poor" in the above verse is referring to people who are poor, not because of laziness or some type of addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.), but through no fault of their own.

As usual, Pastor Delany has written an excellent commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-21-index/proverbs-21_13/.

JANUARY 19-20

Matthew 5:17-18 - God's Moral Law Remains in Effect
During the Sermon on the Mount (a mountain plateau near Capernaum), Jesus said to his disciples (followers):

Verse 17: "Think not [don't think] that I am come [to earth] to destroy [do away with] [the authority of] the law [of Moses, which includes the Ten Commandments], or the prophets [referring to the writings of the Old Testament prophets]: I am not come to destroy [the authority of the Old Testament], but to fulfil [the law, or bring it to completion]."

Verse 18: "For verily
[truly, certainly] I [Jesus] say unto you [people], Till [until] heaven and earth pass [away], one jot [the smallest Hebrew letter] or one tittle [a point of a letter of the Hebrew alphabet] shall in no wise [by no means] pass [away] from the law [of Moses--and of God], till all be fulfilled."

Note: Regarding verse 18, see below (*) for definitions and examples of jot and tittle plus an explanation of the three types of law: moral, ceremonial, and judicial.

According to Jesus, the moral law (contained in the Ten Commandments) still applies to us today, For your convenience, those commandments are listed below:

Exodus 20:2-17 - The Ten Commandments

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
[1] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
[2] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
[3] Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
[4] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
[5] Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
[6] Thou shalt not kill.
[7] Thou shalt not commit adultery.
[8] Thou shalt not steal.
[9] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
[10] Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."
_________________________

*In his commentary on verse 18, Albert Barnes gives the definitions of jot and tittle:

"One jot - The word 'jot,' or yod(
י y), is the name of the Hebrew letter I, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

"One tittle - The word used here, in the Greek, means literally a little horn, then a point, an extremity. Several of the Hebrew letters were written with small points or apices, as in the Hebrew letter, shin (
ש sh), or the Hebrew letter, sin (שׂ s), which serve to distinguish one letter from another. To change a small point of one letter, therefore, might vary the meaning of a word, and destroy the sense. The name 'little horn' was given to these points probably from the manner in which they were written, resembling a little horn. …"

He goes on to explain their importance:

"… [T]he Jews were exceedingly cautious in writing these letters [i.e., sin, shin, etc.], and considered the smallest change or omission a reason for destroying the whole manuscript when they were transcribing the Old Testament. The expression, 'one jot or tittle,' became proverbial, and means that the smallest part of the law should not be destroyed."

(Note: You can clearly see the difference in the Hebrew letters shin and sin by clicking on this link: https://www.akhlah.com/hebrew/aleph-bet/shin/.)

In addition to the above discussion of jot and tittle, Albert Barnes' commentary has an explanation of the three types of law (moral, ceremonial, and judicial). Here's what it says:

"The laws of the Jews are commonly divided into moral, ceremonial, and judicial. The moral laws are such as grow out of the nature of things, and which cannot, therefore, be changed - such as the duty of loving God and his creatures. These cannot be abolished, as it can never be made right to hate God, or to hate our fellow-men. Of this kind are the ten commandments, and these our Saviour has neither abolished nor superseded. The ceremonial laws are such as are appointed to meet certain states of society, or to regulate the religious rites and ceremonies of a people. These can be changed when circumstances are changed, and yet the moral law be untouched. A general in an army may command his soldiers to appear sometimes in a red coat and sometimes in blue or in yellow. This would be a ceremonial law, and might be changed as he pleased. The duty of obeying him, and of being faithful to his country, could not be changed.

"This is a moral law. A parent might permit his children to have 50 different dresses at different times, and love them equally in all. The dress is a mere matter of ceremony, and may be changed. The child, in all these garments, is bound to love and obey his father. This is a moral law, and cannot be changed. So the laws of the Jews. Those designed to regulate mere matters of ceremony and rites of worship might be changed. Those requiring love and obedience to God and love to people could not be changed, and Christ did not attempt it, … A third species of law was the judicial, or those laws regulating courts of justice which are contained in the Old Testament. These were of the nature of the ceremonial law, and might also be changed at pleasure. The judicial law of the Hebrews was adapted to their own civil society. When the form of their polity was changed this was of course no longer binding."

Mr. Barnes concludes his explanation with: "The ceremonial law was fulfilled by the coming of Christ: the shadow was lost in the substance, and ceased to be binding. The moral law was confirmed and unchanged."

(Source for above quotes: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-5.html, "Verse 18")

JANUARY 18

Exodus 34:14
[This was God's message to the world, delivered by Moses to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament]: "For thou shalt worship no other god [than Almighty God, the one true God--see note below*]: for [because] the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:"
_________________________

*For a detailed description of the only God we should be worshiping, read the article entitled "Who is the one true God?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/one-true-God.html.

JANUARY 17

Proverbs 17:5: "Whoso
[whoever] mocketh [ridicules (laughs at, makes fun of) or treats with contempt] the poor [people--who can't afford basic necessities (like food, clothes, and shelter) and/or can't pay their bills, through no fault of their own] reproacheth [insults] his [or her (the poor person's)] Maker [or Creator, referring to God]: and he [or she] that is glad at calamities [misfortunes, disasters--bad things that happen to other people] shall not be unpunished [by God]."

Instead of mocking people who fall on hard times (due to no income, bad health, natural disasters, war, etc.), we should be trying to help them.

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-17-index/proverbs-17_5/.

JANUARY 16

Proverbs 16:20: "He
[or she] that handleth a matter wisely [in thought, word, and deed] shall find good [things or results, such as good fortune and success, but not necessarily happiness]: and whoso [whoever] trusteth in the LORD [for salvation, help, guidance, etc.], happy is he [or she]."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, "Two things are needed to find good and happiness: wisdom PLUS faith."

In his commentary, he explains how wisdom and trust go together ("They are BOTH needed in handling any matter properly"), why "wisdom without faith is folly [foolishness]," and why "faith without wisdom is dangerous." Included are examples of people who misinterpret scripture or wrongly apply things that happened in Bible times to current events (e.g., Peter walking on water, and Joshua's military strategy for defeating the city of Jericho).

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_20/.

See "Jan 19A" in Archives for Verses 1-15.
Unfortunately, I ran out of space in this month's file.

Previous Verses
January 16-31, 2019
See "Jan '19A" in Archives for Verses 1-15.
Unfortunately, I ran out of space in this month's file.

JANUARY 31

Proverbs 31:30: "Favour
[a charming personality, popularity] is deceitful [deceptive], and beauty [a beautiful outward appearance] is vain [only skin deep]: but a woman that feareth the LORD [i.e., a godly woman, who is beautiful on the inside as well as, or instead of, the outside], she shall be praised."

In other words, as the well-known saying goes, "You can't judge a book by its cover."

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. In the section about beauty, it says, "… [W]hile outward beauty has its place-that is not what makes a woman truly beautiful … True beauty is on the inside… it is "hidden" in the heart. It is a meek and quiet spirit."

The commentary continues:

"4. The most important question is, 'Does she fear God?'

"a. If she truly fears God, then:
" She will be faithful to her husband.
" She will walk in humility before God.
" She will obey God's Word-and thus be a good wife and mother.
" She will be wise - for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
" She will honor her husband, who has been appointed by God as her head.
" She will do her best to BE the kind of woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31. She will be a virtuous woman.
" Fearing God is at the root of all the virtue in this woman."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-31-index/proverbs-31_30/.

JANUARY 30

Proverbs 30:15-16 - Greedy People Are Never Satisfied

Verse 15: "The horseleach
[i.e., the blood-sucking leech, representing greed] hath two daughters, crying, Give, give [or 'Gimme, gimme']."

[Note: According to Pastor Delany, the above sentence is the first part of verse 15, but it also could be an expansion of verse 14, which refers to greedy men taking advantage of poor and needy people.]

Verse 15 (continued): "There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:"

Verse 16:
[Similar to greedy people, the things that are never satisfied that are referred to in verse 15 include:] The grave [that wants more and more dead people]; and the barren womb [that wants to get pregnant and have babies]; the [parched] earth [or thirsty, dry land] that is not filled with [or that needs more] water; and the [raging, out-of-control] fire that [won't stop burning, and] saith not, It is enough."

In the opening portion of his commentary on these verses, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church describes what leeches are and tells how and why greedy men can be compared to them.

Farther down in the commentary, he says:

"3. The four examples Agur gives which 'never say enough.'

"a. Obviously, this is figurative language. Graves, wombs, fire, and water cannot actually speak.

"b. The point is that these things have one thing in common: they have insatiable desires and don't know how to be content.

"c. The greedy man is like that: he has an insatiable appetite for 'more' and never seems to have enough.

"4. The four insatiable things:

"a. The grave
" This is a personification of a grave-as if a grave had desires.
" One would think that the grave (sheol - the place of the dead) would be satisfied.
" How many people have died and been buried? Isn't that enough?
" The grave is never satisfied with the countless millions of occupants. It can never say 'I have enough.'
" The point: a desire is never satisfied by obtaining that which it desires.
" True contentment isn't found in getting what we desire.

"b. The barren womb
" The same truth is found in this example.
" How many women were there in the Old Testament who were barren and craved a child?
" How many are there today?
" The barren womb says, 'If only I could have just one child!'
" And if they finally bear a child, they cannot say, 'It is enough.' Instead they say, 'It would be so nice to have just one more.'
" The point is the same: a desire is never truly satisfied by obtaining that which it desires.

"c. The dry earth
" Agur was not writing from Washington State's rain forest. He was writing from a very dry and arid region.
" There the dry, parched sands craved for water. They baked in the hot sun and (figuratively speaking) lusted after rain.
" And no matter how hard it rains, the parched earth soaks up all the rain-like a bloodsucker sucking up the blood.
" And after the torrential downpour, the earth soaks up all the rain, the sun comes out, and the earth is craving for more rain.
" It can never say 'enough.'

"d. The fire
" The fire that rages through a dry forest does the same.
" It devours all the trees in the forest-and when it gets to the highway, the trees on one side are "not enough. It sends its sparks over the road and continues to devour dry trees and brush.
" The fires out West are often the size of Rhode Island… and even then, it's not enough. The flames seem to want to devour more and more.

"5. Heaping one illustration upon another, Agur drives home his point:

"a. A desire is never satisfied by obtaining that which it desires.

"b. True contentment isn't found in getting what we desire.

"c. True contentment is only found in LEARNING to appreciate what we DO have and LEARNING to be content therein."

If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_15-16/.

JANUARY 29

Proverbs 29:3: "Whoso
[whoever] loveth wisdom [i.e., a wise son] rejoiceth his father [gives him joy, makes him happy]: but he that keepeth company with harlots [prostitutes] [i.e., a foolish son] spendeth his substance [all of his money] [because he enjoys a lifestyle of loose living and immorality]."

Salem Bible Church's title for this commentary is "Loving Wisdom vs. Loving Harlots," which is appropriate because the above verse "… is a contrast between a wise son who follows the counsel of wisdom and a foolish son who follows a sinful lifestyle."

In the section on the foolish son, Pastor Jim Delany says: "The sad part is that wisdom would have preserved him [the foolish son] from seeking harlots and loose living… and dealing with the aftermath and consequences of such a lifestyle." He goes on to say: "The good news is that, like the prodigal son, the foolish son can learn his lesson the hard way, repent and begin to love wisdom and seek it with all of his heart."

At the end of the commentary, regarding the phrase spendeth his substance, the pastor says, "Immorality is very expensive-in many ways… the drugs, the booze, the hotels, the prostitutes, the gambling, potential blackmail, divorce, etc." and "There's a hefty price to pay for loose living; it's not cheap."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-29-index/proverbs-29_3/.

JANUARY 28

Proverbs 28:4: "They that forsake
[reject, have little or no respect for, refuse to obey] the law [of the land, including laws of God (found in the Bible) and laws of mankind (regulated by the government)] [i.e., law breakers] praise the wicked [people, who do illegal, immoral, and other bad things]: but such as [or those who] keep [obey and preserve] the law [i.e., law keepers] contend with them [the 'wicked'--by vigorously opposing their sinful actions and attempting to defend the principles of law and order]."

The first half of this verse can be summed up as follows: "Wrongdoers encourage one another." (Source for quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/28-4.html, "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible")

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse.

Here are some excerpts from paragraph A1 in the section about praising the wicked:

"d. The Law outlined the moral code that the nation of Israel was to live by… and it included penalties for violation of those laws.

"e. The Law of Moses was given for the good of the people of Israel.
" Prov. [Proverbs] 28:3 just mentioned oppressing the poor. The Law of Moses had provisions to protect the poor.
" It had provisions to assure that justice was conducted in their courts of law; 2 or 3 witnesses; no false witnesses.
" It had provisions to protect women - laws against rape, etc.
" It had provisions to assure a stable family unit: honor your parents.
" It had provisions to protect private property; laws against stealing.
" It had provisions to protect human life - thou shalt not kill.

"f. The law was made to protect good people from wicked people."

In paragraph B of the same section, we read:

"3. Most sensible people would think it quite abhorrent to actually PRAISE wicked men [such as serial killers, terrorists, bank robbers, muggers, street thugs, rapists, child abusers, and leaders of drug cartels]."

"5. Yet Solomon says that those who oppose law and order are doing that very thing-whether they want to acknowledge it or not.
"a. They 'praise the wicked' either by calling their wicked deeds good or by justifying them.
"b. While the person who cheats on his taxes would never praise a bank robber, in a sense, he is siding with him."

Near the end of the commentary, in paragraphs 4 and 5, it says (regarding government) "… there will always be a battle between law keepers and law breakers… between law abiding citizens and criminals," and that (regarding the church) "… those who honor God's Word and seek to obey it will always be engaged in a spiritual battle with those who don't honor God's Word."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-28-index/proverbs-28_4/.

JANUARY 27

Romans 14:12: "So then every one of us shall give account of himself
[or herself] to God [referring, in this case, to Jesus Christ, the Son of God (or God the Son)] [when we stand before him in heaven on judgment day]."

Unsaved people will stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment and give a report of, or relate in detail, everything that they thought, said, and did during their lives on earth. All born-again Christians (I am part of this group) will appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ and be rewarded for our faithfulness and obedience to God after we got saved.

For information concerning what will happen on judgment day (including punishment and rewards), read the following articles:

-- "What does the Bible say about when God will judge us?"
     https://www.gotquestions.org/judgment.html

-- "What happens at the final judgment?"
     https://www.gotquestions.org/final-judgment.html

-- "What is Judgment Day?"
     https://www.gotquestions.org/Judgment-Day.html

-- "What is the Great White Throne Judgment?"
     https://www.gotquestions.org/great-white-throne-judgment.html

-- "What is the Judgment Seat of Christ / Bema Seat of Christ?"
     https://www.gotquestions.org/judgment-seat-Christ.html

JANUARY 26

Proverbs 26:1: "As snow
[is an uncommon occurrence] in summer, and as rain [is not normal] in harvest [when crops are gathered from the fields], so honour is not seemly [fitting, appropriate] for a fool."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. In it, using many examples, Pastor Delany tells what can happen when fools are hired to teach children, run countries, preach in churches, manage businesses, and provide entertainment.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-26-index/proverbs-26_1/.

JANUARY 25

Proverbs 25:21-22 - Be Kind to Your Enemies
This especially applies to people who are suffering from hunger, thirst, injury, etc.

Verse 21: "If thine [your] enemy be hungry, give him [or her] bread [food] to eat; and if he [or she] be thirsty, give him [or her] water to drink:"

Verse 22: "For
[because by doing so] thou shalt heap [pile up] coals of fire [hot coals] upon his [or her, referring to the enemy's] head [this can have various meanings--see note below*], and the LORD shall reward thee [bless you] [for your kindness to your enemy and your obedience to God]."

We should always try to be kind to everyone, including our enemies. In my opinion, being mean to people who already hate us only makes them hate us more.
_________________________

*According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, the phrase thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head in verse 22 can have several meanings, both good and bad (as listed in paragraph 2 of the "hot coals" section of his commentary):

"a. It could be understood as the third expression of agape love and kindness shown to an enemy.

"b. Some have also interpreted this to mean that the deed of kindness may melt his heart and win over the heart of the enemy and make him a friend!

"c. It could also be understood as an expression of divine vengeance on an enemy."

In paragraph 3, Pastor Delany goes on to explain why heaping coals of fire upon someone's head could be considered "an expression of love and kindness":

"a. In the days before electric stoves, lights, and heaters, fires were used to heat a home and cook the food.

"b. Often the fires were kept going by preserving the hot coals.

"c. If a fire went out, it was considered a neighborly thing to give your neighbor some of your hot embers.

"d. Those hot embers would be put in a metal dish and carried on the head as most things were.

"e. Many believe that 'heaping coals of fire on your enemy's head' was the third expression of kindness-like giving him food and water… and hot coals to cook the food on or heat his home."

In the last section of the commentary, on rewards, the pastor explains a different meaning:

"B. Coals Upon the Head: As Divine Vengeance

"1. While it is possible that the coals of fire heaped upon the head of an enemy COULD refer to an act of kindness (as mentioned earlier), it is also possible that it refers to an act of divine wrath and vengeance upon this enemy.

"2. If this is the case, then the proverb is to be understood in this sense:

"a. Our responsibility is to give food and drink to a cruel and heartless enemy as an act of love.
" We are not to take vengeance into our own hands, but to leave that to the Lord.
" Prov. [Proverbs] 24:29 - We are not to "pay back" those who have harmed us. We are to leave it to the Lord.

"b. God's responsibility will be twofold:
" God will judge the enemy in His time and way. God will add heaps of burning coals to his head-perhaps a reference to more severe judgment in the Lake of Fire.
"» Rom. [Romans] 12:19-21 - Paul quotes this proverb and seems to link the heaping of coals to divine vengeance.
"» By showing an enemy deeds of kindness, you are actually increasing his judgment and adding coals of judgment to his head, for he is now sinning against greater light… sinning against expressions of God's love through you!
" And God will reward you for not taking vengeance into your own hands, but choosing to obey God and showing kindness even to an enemy!

"c. God will do all the 'paying back' for deeds done-both good deeds (He rewards you) and evil deeds (He judges the enemy).
" Thus, when we obey God and show kindness to our enemy, we can do so knowing that the enemy isn't getting away with anything. Justice will prevail eventually.
" It is not our job to do the judging. Our job is to do good to all men and leave the judgment and vengeance to the Lord.
" Of course we should not do good to others HOPING that our deeds will cause them more pain and suffering in the afterlife. A vengeful spirit displeases the Lord.
" We receive no reward for deeds done with the wrong attitude or evil motive."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-25-index/proverbs-25_21-22/.

JANUARY 24

Psalm 103:12: "As far as the east is from the west
[in the entire universe, not only on earth], so far [that far, or a similar distance, meaning as far as possible] hath he [God] removed our transgressions [all of our sins (intentional and unintentional)--past, present, and future] from us [born-again Christians]."

This verse concerns the forgiveness of sins. According to Albert Barnes, when we are born again (or saved), "…We are safe from all condemnation for our sins, as if they had not been committed at all." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-103.html, "Verse 12")

How to be saved the Bible way:
If you believe that Jesus Christ (Son of God and Messiah) died on the cross to pay for your sins and that he was buried and rose again, all you need to do is sincerely ask him (through prayer) to come into your heart and save you so you can go to heaven when you die.

For detailed instructions on the plan of salvation, read one or more of the tracts in the "Printable Gospel Tracts" section of my website. Here's a direct link to that page:
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

JANUARY 23

Hebrews 10:25
[This is what Christians should be doing, according to the apostle Paul]: "Not forsaking the assembling [gathering] of ourselves together [publicly, to worship God], as the manner [habit, custom] of some [people] is; but exhorting [encouraging] one another: and [doing it (i.e., 'assembling ourselves together')] so much the more [even more often], as ye see the day [referring to the destruction of Jerusalem (in Bible times), and/or the second coming of Jesus (a future event)] approaching [drawing near, arriving soon]."

It is important that Christians meet together on a regular basis to worship God.

JANUARY 22

Proverbs 22:9: "He
[or she] that hath a bountiful eye [i.e., a generous person--someone who is always watching out for the well being of others] shall be blessed [by God and people]; for he [or she--referring to the person with the 'bountiful eye'] giveth of his [or her] bread to [or shares his (or her) food and other necessities of life with] the poor."

Regarding this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church said, "The bountiful eye Solomon describes is the person who keeps his eyes OPEN for those in need… and tries to help."

In paragraphs 4 and 5 of his commentary on this verse, under the heading "Shall be blessed" (about halfway down the page), Pastor Delany explains how people sometimes make incorrect assumptions about the scriptures or twist them to their own advantage. Included are examples of what he calls "abuse by using Bible principles to GET physical blessings in this life" (i.e., having the wrong motive for giving, or "Giving in order to GET") from books by K.H. Caldwell, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, and Joel Osteen.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-22-index/proverbs-22_9/.

JANUARY 21

Proverbs 21:13: "Whoso
[whoever] stoppeth his [or her] ears at [meaning he (or she) refuses to listen to or ignores] the cry of the poor [for help, in the form of food, money, assistance, etc.] [see note below*], he [or she] also shall cry himself [or herself] [to others, and/or to God in prayer, when he or she has a need], but shall not be heard [or answered]."

Following the example of the Samaritan in the story below, we should show mercy, kindness, and compassion to others. If we don't, according to the above verse, there will be consequences for our actions.

Parable of the Good Samaritan
(Quoted from Luke 10:30-37)

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
_________________________

*According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, "the poor" in the above verse is referring to people who are poor, not because of laziness or some type of addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.), but through no fault of their own.

As usual, Pastor Delany has written an excellent commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-21-index/proverbs-21_13/.

JANUARY 19-20

Matthew 5:17-18 - God's Moral Law Remains in Effect
During the Sermon on the Mount (a mountain plateau near Capernaum), Jesus said to his disciples (followers):

Verse 17: "Think not [don't think] that I am come [to earth] to destroy [do away with] [the authority of] the law [of Moses, which includes the Ten Commandments], or the prophets [referring to the writings of the Old Testament prophets]: I am not come to destroy [the authority of the Old Testament], but to fulfil [the law, or bring it to completion]."

Verse 18: "For verily
[truly, certainly] I [Jesus] say unto you [people], Till [until] heaven and earth pass [away], one jot [the smallest Hebrew letter] or one tittle [a point of a letter of the Hebrew alphabet] shall in no wise [by no means] pass [away] from the law [of Moses--and of God], till all be fulfilled."

Note: Regarding verse 18, see below (*) for definitions and examples of jot and tittle plus an explanation of the three types of law: moral, ceremonial, and judicial.

According to Jesus, the moral law (contained in the Ten Commandments) still applies to us today, For your convenience, those commandments are listed below:

Exodus 20:2-17 - The Ten Commandments

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
[1] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
[2] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
[3] Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
[4] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
[5] Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
[6] Thou shalt not kill.
[7] Thou shalt not commit adultery.
[8] Thou shalt not steal.
[9] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
[10] Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."
_________________________

*In his commentary on verse 18, Albert Barnes gives the definitions of jot and tittle:

"One jot - The word 'jot,' or yod(
י y), is the name of the Hebrew letter I, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

"One tittle - The word used here, in the Greek, means literally a little horn, then a point, an extremity. Several of the Hebrew letters were written with small points or apices, as in the Hebrew letter, shin (
ש sh), or the Hebrew letter, sin (שׂ s), which serve to distinguish one letter from another. To change a small point of one letter, therefore, might vary the meaning of a word, and destroy the sense. The name 'little horn' was given to these points probably from the manner in which they were written, resembling a little horn. …"

He goes on to explain their importance:

"… [T]he Jews were exceedingly cautious in writing these letters [i.e., sin, shin, etc.], and considered the smallest change or omission a reason for destroying the whole manuscript when they were transcribing the Old Testament. The expression, 'one jot or tittle,' became proverbial, and means that the smallest part of the law should not be destroyed."

(Note: You can clearly see the difference in the Hebrew letters shin and sin by clicking on this link: https://www.akhlah.com/hebrew/aleph-bet/shin/.)

In addition to the above discussion of jot and tittle, Albert Barnes' commentary has an explanation of the three types of law (moral, ceremonial, and judicial). Here's what it says:

"The laws of the Jews are commonly divided into moral, ceremonial, and judicial. The moral laws are such as grow out of the nature of things, and which cannot, therefore, be changed - such as the duty of loving God and his creatures. These cannot be abolished, as it can never be made right to hate God, or to hate our fellow-men. Of this kind are the ten commandments, and these our Saviour has neither abolished nor superseded. The ceremonial laws are such as are appointed to meet certain states of society, or to regulate the religious rites and ceremonies of a people. These can be changed when circumstances are changed, and yet the moral law be untouched. A general in an army may command his soldiers to appear sometimes in a red coat and sometimes in blue or in yellow. This would be a ceremonial law, and might be changed as he pleased. The duty of obeying him, and of being faithful to his country, could not be changed.

"This is a moral law. A parent might permit his children to have 50 different dresses at different times, and love them equally in all. The dress is a mere matter of ceremony, and may be changed. The child, in all these garments, is bound to love and obey his father. This is a moral law, and cannot be changed. So the laws of the Jews. Those designed to regulate mere matters of ceremony and rites of worship might be changed. Those requiring love and obedience to God and love to people could not be changed, and Christ did not attempt it, … A third species of law was the judicial, or those laws regulating courts of justice which are contained in the Old Testament. These were of the nature of the ceremonial law, and might also be changed at pleasure. The judicial law of the Hebrews was adapted to their own civil society. When the form of their polity was changed this was of course no longer binding."

Mr. Barnes concludes his explanation with: "The ceremonial law was fulfilled by the coming of Christ: the shadow was lost in the substance, and ceased to be binding. The moral law was confirmed and unchanged."

(Source for above quotes: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-5.html, "Verse 18")

JANUARY 18

Exodus 34:14
[This was God's message to the world, delivered by Moses to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament]: "For thou shalt worship no other god [than Almighty God, the one true God--see note below*]: for [because] the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:"
_________________________

*For a detailed description of the only God we should be worshiping, read the article entitled "Who is the one true God?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/one-true-God.html.

JANUARY 17

Proverbs 17:5: "Whoso
[whoever] mocketh [ridicules (laughs at, makes fun of) or treats with contempt] the poor [people--who can't afford basic necessities (like food, clothes, and shelter) and/or can't pay their bills, through no fault of their own] reproacheth [insults] his [or her (the poor person's)] Maker [or Creator, referring to God]: and he [or she] that is glad at calamities [misfortunes, disasters--bad things that happen to other people] shall not be unpunished [by God]."

Instead of mocking people who fall on hard times (due to no income, bad health, natural disasters, war, etc.), we should be trying to help them.

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-17-index/proverbs-17_5/.

JANUARY 16

Proverbs 16:20: "He
[or she] that handleth a matter wisely [in thought, word, and deed] shall find good [things or results, such as good fortune and success, but not necessarily happiness]: and whoso [whoever] trusteth in the LORD [for salvation, help, guidance, etc.], happy is he [or she]."

According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, "Two things are needed to find good and happiness: wisdom PLUS faith."

In his commentary, he explains how wisdom and trust go together ("They are BOTH needed in handling any matter properly"), why "wisdom without faith is folly [foolishness]," and why "faith without wisdom is dangerous." Included are examples of people who misinterpret scripture or wrongly apply things that happened in Bible times to current events (e.g., Peter walking on water, and Joshua's military strategy for defeating the city of Jericho).

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_20/.

See "Jan '19A" in Archives for Verses 1-15.
Unfortunately, I ran out of space in this month's file.

Previous Verses: