May 22, 2013

Their Ways.....

So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors. Proverbs 1:19

Over the past few months we have been reflecting on various topics: safe relationships, authentic character, fear of circumstances and discerning God's will. One of the reasons we fall prey to our emotions, we discussed, is that we do not actually remember or know all of God's character.

It is good to remind ourselves that we ARE created in His image; therefore much of our emotional experiences / feelings naturally respond in a like fashion. However, we are not capable of employing our emotions, giving them action, without sin.

As I was studying all this further, from past groups information, I studied Proverbs again in light of all this. While reading these next verses, I realized how I have reacted similarly, even verbalized something similar before. I bet many of you have as well. But ....we are not God and each of us have been on the receiving end of His reaction before.

I thank God for Christ and that now - we may read this and glean without guilt, condemnation or shame. So let's LIVE, LEARN and LOVE!

Notice what the verse we opened with states:

This verse is really intricate and means a great deal more than we perceive at first glance. Violence was translated from the Hebrew word Batsa; which means to cut off; to break; to get unrighteous gain; to overreach; to rob; to complete; to finish. The main thrust of this word is tearing something to pieces, ripping, breaking as stated in the NAS dictionary. In regard to threads of integrity and our garments, you will find this nugget of information interesting also: it was a technical term used by weavers to describe the action of cutting a piece of cloth free from the loom after it had been woven.

Let's look at this verse: Everyone....who gains by violence....

As I read this, in light of our definition, I immediately was reflecting on John 10:10 "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." Years ago, when I was studying this verse I came to really understand the safety of our sheepfold. Christ is depicted as the doorkeeper, our Shepard. It spoke of how we only hear His voice and we cannot be "snatched away". (we will not be studying this till next week) The above verse is speaking of a thief, they have taken something which was in the rightful posession of another. It was taken by force, not as a gift.

These proverbs were written to give prudence to the naive, knowledge and discretion to increase learning and aid in counsel. Solomon went on to tell his son: if sinners entice you - do not consent; do not go with them; do not walk in their ways! When I read this verse in the past I read it as though it were addressing how these criminal minds were stealing from people and abusing their control over individuals; victimizing them. Even though this is accurate, there is another thread holding it all together: The true possesor is God. He is the giver of all good and perfect gifts and no one receives anything which does not come from His hand.

What can really be stolen?
If you think yourself so cunning and clever, answer this - are you more powerful than God? As we studied last week from Acts: you might find that you are fighting God. As Isaiah states: Beware, lest the Lord hurl you away!

More on all this later, have a great evening.
Kisses,
Candace
©Candace Huffmaster 2013, All Rights Reserved
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