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Jun 21, 2016
In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.
כָּל־ע֭֭רוּם יַעֲשֶׂ֣ה בְדָ֑עַת ו֝֝כְסִ֗יל יִפְרֹ֥שׂ אִוֶּֽלֶת׃
In a San Francisco Examiner (7/7/93) report the California State Automobile Association claims office received a package by Federal Express. The unknown contents were bundled in a Fruit Loops cereal box.
Workers quickly became suspicious. Security guards called the police, and about 400 office workers were evacuated from the building. The bomb squad soon arrived on the scene.
The Fruit Loops cereal box was “neutralized” with a small cannon, and its contents were blasted into the air. The bomb squad, however, found no explosives. Inside the suspicious package was $24,000 in cash. The box contained bundles of $20 bills, $1,000 of which were destroyed in the blast.
The response of the SF police was understandable. A suspicious package arrived that had to be dealt with. Only after the cereal box was neutralized was the identity of the contents determined.
In our world it is necessary to use caution, but acting without more thorough investigation can destroy things more valuable than money.
In Proverbs 13:16 Solomon contrasts the wisdom of taking time to think before one takes action with the foolishness of taking active steps without thinking through one’s options. (more…)
Jun 20, 2016
Automaker Henry Ford hired electrical genius Charlie Steinmetz to build the generators for his factory. One day the generators came grinding to a halt, and the technicians couldn’t find the problem. Ford called Steinmetz, who tinkered with the machines for a few hours and then threw the switch. The generators whirred to life–but Ford got a bill for $10,000 from Steinmetz. Flabbergasted, the rather tightfisted car maker inquired why the bill was so high.
Steinmetz’s reply: For tinkering with the generators, $10. For knowing where to tinker, $9,990. Ford paid the bill (Today in the Word, MBI, April 1990, p. 27.).
Today we place more value on our unproductive, frantic efforts than the wisdom involved in “knowing where to tinker.” After all, “knowing where to tinker” is more than a mere indicator of knowledge, but a sign of wisdom. Anyone can offer a reasonable guess regarding the nature of a problem we are facing. However, it takes wisdom to know how to apply that speculation and make a wise choice that leads to a resolve.
Nested in the midst of the books of Wisdom (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes) is a goldmine of biblical counsel for learning how to live skillfully. King Solomon’s Book of Proverbs is a much neglected biblical work that contains timeless truths that show us “where to tinker” in the major issues we face everyday.
One of the areas where followers of Jesus are forever tinkering in trying to determine God’s will. Christians spend precious time in this endless and often fruitless pursuit. Good news! The Book of Proverbs is God’s guidebook for finding His will. This is the major source in the Scriptures that reveals not merely the information about God’s will, but discloses “where to tinker.”
Once we have read and understood this work of wisdom, we will no longer need to speak of “discovering God’s will.” His plan for our lives becomes more apparent the deeper we dig within Solomon’s volume of wisdom.
Besides being a manual that enables us to understand the ways of God, the Book of Proverbs describes the qualities of spiritual character. As we will discover in Solomon’s sayings, possessing spiritual character goes hand-in-hand with grasping the will of God. (more…)
Nov 7, 2014
The question of forgiving one another has plagued me ever since I became a follower of Jesus. I heard many pastors and Bible teachers comment on this subject, but I did not feel they were teaching the message of the biblical text. Instead, what I was hearing was helpful common sense advice and psychological healthy ways to look at the way we should forgive one another.
Recently a good friend of mine whom I deeply respect, challenged me on my beliefs regarding the need for repentance as a condition for forgiveness.
Where I agree on this issue with my friend is that we both are in harmony that for a person to be reconciled with God, there must be a display of contriteness or repentance to experience the eternal forgiveness of God. This is designated “vertical forgiveness” because it takes place between man and God.
Forgive One Another
Where my friend and I disagree is whether or not repentance is necessary when we as humans forgive one another. If I offend another person, do I need to go to that person or have that person come to me so that I can confess my sin, state my intention to repent and ask for that person’s forgiveness?
My friend’s viewpoint is that we can forgive the other person through the forgiveness Jesus obtained for us through His death on the cross. The grace of God shown in the sacrificial death of Yeshua on the cross should so overwhelm us, that the natural outflow of our awe towards God’s love is to forgive others because God has shown His merciful forgiveness to us through His Son.
There is not always the need for repentance when there is “vertical forgiveness.” On the basis of the atonement we have in the Messiah, we forgive one another. with or without any display of repentance. In the Sermon on the Mount, in the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:12, we read, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (NIV). (more…)
Aug 1, 2014
Normally, Scripture Solutions focuses on biblically related topics. But since Christian denominations like the Presbyterian Church of the USA has delved into the Israel bashing business, this website must respond to these Christian attacks on Israel’s legitimacy.
Zionism Unsettled Booklet Cover
In the booklet Zionism Unsettled published formerly available in the store on the PCUSA website, we find a map of Israel/Palestine that has been used by Israel’s critics to demonstrate how Israel has slowly taken over the territories allotted to the Palestinians. Consequently, the resulting map shows a disappearing Palestine from 1946 to the present. But this map is a distorted representation of the history of the land of Israel especially as it relates to Arab inhabitants within the land.
On page eight of Zionism Unsettled, the composers of this booklet, the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the PC, includes the disappearing Israel map with a caption of which I will quote in part,
The inexorable expansion of Israel control over former Mandate Palestine is, by now virtually complete. Fully half the population within this land area is not Jewish. For Israelis committed to the principle of the Jewish state, the ovulation issues poses a demographic threat to the ethno-religious character of the state. Palestinians are faced with the prospect of, at best, second class status in a state that classifies them as outsiders, and, at worst, deprivation in isolated enclaves without autonomy or self-determination.
Jun 25, 2014
The Entrance to Auschwitz
By now the controversy surrounding the Jews for Jesus video “That Jew Died for You” has simmered down. Still the strong negative reaction by the Jewish community to the JFJ evangelistic effort remains a stain on Jewish-Christian relations.
At the release of the video prior to Holocaust Remembrance Day, a Jews for Jesus press release, explained the video seeks “to help redefine the conversation and reshape views of Jesus and His relationship to the Holocaust.”
The intentions of JFJ in the production of this video were honorable and aimed to initiate conversation among Jewish people regarding Christianity’s relationship to the murder of six million Jews under the evil Nazi regime.
David Brickner, Executive Director of JFJ offered his public commentary on the video, “The horrors of the Holocaust and the 6 million who died has gnawed at the consciousness of Jews for over 60 years. We want Jewish people to understand that the sufferings inflicted at the hands of the Nazi’s were in no way based on the teachings of Jesus (underlining mine). In fact, he suffered and died on our behalf to show us the love of God.”
Oddly, the majority of Jewish people do not think the teachings of Jesus are responsible for the horrors of the Holocaust. Rather, the Jewish community is more concerned with the antisemitic attitudes of Eastern European Christians prior to and during World War II that helped fuel the racist ideology behind the Holocaust. (more…)