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Proverbs 26:3-5 ~~~ Jeremiah 42:1-44:23

To the Chief Musician. [A Psalm] of David. THE [empty-headed] fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable deeds; there is none that does good or right. [Rom. 3:10.] (Psalms 14:1 AMP)

Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
(Psalms 107:17 KJV)

Mike—I believe the answer to your question regarding the text of today’s Proverb can be found in our reading of Jeremiah. A fool is someone who has not submitted themselves to the obedience of God and that submission is not based on what they say, what they appear to be doing but on what is in their heart. Jesus said, O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Matthew 12:34 KJV). What we speak and how we speak is never limited to what comes out of our mouths. We speak in three ways: words, body and deed; our actions speak louder than our words, our body language as we speak gives BIG hints to what we are saying.

The “leaders” who killed Gedaliah, the leaders who then killed and chased Gedaliah’s assassins, “Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah” were all “guerrillas,” rebels. They were not rebels who carried a righteous indignation against the appointed leadership, they were rebels against God and His Word. A fool by his/her very nature and character will not submit to God and that is why the writer of Proverbs states:

Don't answer a fool according to his foolishness, or you'll be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his foolishness, or he'll become wise in his own eyes. (Proverbs 26:4-5 HCSB)

No matter how you answer, a fool he/she will still be a fool and believers are in danger of falling into the same pot as the fool if they associate with him or her. A fool is angry that is why they are rebelling against God and established leadership.

Don't make friends with an angry man, and don't be a companion of a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. (Proverbs 22:24-25 HCSB)

Rebellious people, thus fools, can never be trusted. If they rebel against godly leadership, they will rebel against God and if they rebel against God they will rebel against godly leadership. This mode operand can be found in every area of life, in the man or woman who declares to the husband or wife that is not there’s that they will leave their respective spouses if only …, o the person whose change of behavior or lifestyle is predicated on someone or something else changing before they “get it together.”

Fools approached Jeremiah for a Word from God and God humored and tested them. They got their Word and they remained fools. Change is not change until it’s changed. If you are speaking to a “fool”, either you are trying to effect change in the fools life or you are trying to make yourself look good or wise in the eyes of others. Either way your words are wasted. KNOW your audience and know yourself well enough that you operate out of right motives.

Grace and peace,

We should follow God like we are soldiers and not get distracted. Everyone is good for something for the Lord because he made everyone with a purpose.

Paul tell us that we should be strong in grace, and be faithful in Christ. We should stand like a soldier, not be moved by hardships or temptations. We need to remember that Jesus died for us to save us. Then Paul goes on to tell us, we should be workmen, not ashamed for our beliefs.

In Jeremiah today, the insincerity of the Israelites while seeking the Lord's guidance is a solemn warning to me. It is a classic case that they already made up their mind to go to Egypt and simply asked God to bless their plan. Even when they seemed open to hear His guidance, their heart was set to do their own will. When the Lord came back with a different plan, they rebelled. Am I ready and humble to take in the 'different' plan when I pray? Do I have the right posture even before I approach the throne? God already knows our heart just like Jeremiah told the Israelites he knew they would disobey. Perhaps start examining our motives before we pray.

2 Timothy 2:11-13, one of the trustworthy sayings that Paul wrote, has a very direct message. If we die with Jesus (end old life, put on new self) then we will also live with him. If we suffer through persecution patiently, then we will reign with Christ. If we turn our back on Jesus, deciding not to follow him, then he will forsake us also.

But the part that stood out the most was the last verse. In the previous verses, it says that Jesus will do the same to us that we do to him. But here, the saying indicates if we stop being faithful to Jesus, God will still remain faithful! It caught me off guard, but then again, just because we stopped being faithful doesn't mean God will do that too. He is a loving, faithful God. It reminds me of part of a verse in the Old Testament: "he will never leave you nor forsake you."

We should be hardworking and God will reward us similar to a farmer and his crops. We should also be honest, and not cheat our way to success. Most importantly, we need to be soldiers to Christ, join his suffering and, not be distracted with random affairs but focus on pleasing God and his word. We should also entrust the words that Jesus has spoken with reliable people to spread to others. Finally, abstain from gossip and false statements as those words spread rapidly and become "ungodly." "The lord knows those who are his." 2 Timothy 2:19 meaning God knows who is loyal to him and who isn't so by committing ungodly acts you turn away from him and everyone who wishes to confess must turn away from these acts.

“Think about these things that I am saying. The Lord will give understandIng in every thing.” It reminds me that to understand God’s Word, I need to meditate, “ think about “ first. As we encourage our students to memorize verses, we should also encourage to think about the verses.

We must know God's Word in order not to be led astray. Taking daily bread as nourishment for the body, reading scripture daily as our spiritual food so that we can discern truth from falsehood.
May God lead us in a straight path of truth so we don't wander to the left or the right.

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Now this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Why bring such great disaster on yourselves by cutting off from Judah the men and women, the children and infants, and so leave yourselves without a remnant

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