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GOD RESPONDS TO GOOD AND EVIL

There are behaviors that God honors, and others that he corrects.  Those who ignore correction live on a hard road, while prosperity greets the diligent worker.  God is aware of all of our ways and provides the fruit of life or death accordingly.

Proverbs 27:14-27

14 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.

Oh I remember my drill sergeant in the Army yelling at us to get out of bed.  The happy “morning person” may turn into a person in mourning if he agitates the wrong “night person”!

15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.  16 Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.

Well here I am on a rainy day, but at least it was a fast summer shower.  When it turns into a week-long cold wet drizzle we really long for a break.  And a never ending list of complaints and strife are equally chilling.  But whoever tries to avoid or stop her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or to hold oil in your open hand.

17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

An iron file can sharpen a hardened knife blade, and so a good man can sharpen the person and character of his friend.

18 Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.

If you care for a food crop or fruit tree you can expect a harvest for your table.  Similarly if you serve your employer well you should expect to live well by your earnings.  What part of this has escaped the capitalist masters of our modern world who cannot pay a wage that will pay the rent?  God will give us an answer when we miss his message here.

19 As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

There is a reflection in the water that reveals our facial features.  In the same way there is an image of our heart that is reflected in what others see in us.

20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Well that is pretty clear, there is room for a lot of disaster in the unsatisfied desires of an evil heart.  Turn all that loose and you have your ticket, there is plenty of room for you in hell.

21 As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.

The refining of ore is to burn off the non-precious materials, leaving only the valuable metals behind.  A man should burn off the nonsense and sin in his life to give the world only that which is godly and valuable.

22 Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

If you grind a fool in the millstone you will not be able to grind the ignorance out of him.  Life usually does that, and it doesn’t work.

23 Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.  24 For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?

Be a hard worker and take care of your business because finances are fleeting and have to be well tended.  Not even kings are assured of eternal reign and their affairs too may turn in a moment.

25 The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.  26 The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.  27 And thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

We witness this every year here in Wyoming.  Springtime always delivers the grasses and the good crops spring up with the first warm weather.  There are sheep, cattle, goats and pigs being born and feeding well.  There is food and profits for families and for the businesses of the community.  the cities also see prosperity as much as we acknowledge God as our provider.  Give thanks for what you have, and for that which God will yet provide in the future.

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