“A wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.”
~ Proverbs 21:22
Hi James and Ellen,
When you meet a bad guy, are you able to recognize the guy as being a bad guy? What do you envision a bad guy looking like and doing? When you meet a good guy, are you able to recognize the guy as being a good guy? What do you envision a good guy looking like and doing? What does a guy to you have to be like or do to be a bad guy? What does a guy to you have to be like or do to be a good guy? When you get as old as your dad, do you want to be thought of as being bad or good? Solomon wrote short vignettes explicating on the characteristics of bad and good guys. Solomon’s vignettes are called proverbs. Your grandpaa does not know how the proverbs or axioms, truisms or tenants that Solomon wrote were accumulated and then were collated into a book called Proverbs. When the Proverb Book was first printed and published – which may have been over 2900 years ago, Solomon’s proverbs or axioms, truisms or tenants ran together one right after another instead of being divided into verses and broken up by chapters. Proverbs 21 is a good chapter to find out how Solomon described a guy who was being a bad guy and a guy who was being a good guy. Solomon knew that his heart was always in God’s hands – that God was always directing his heart the same way that He directs the watercourses that He has created. God directs watercourses such as streams and rivers wherever He decided that He would have them go before He created planet Earth. Solomon knew that as God was directing his heart like a meandering watercourse that God is also directing the hearts – as personalized watercourses, of each guy, gal and kid who is living on planet Earth. Your grandpaa believes that God was in complete control of the hearts of every guy, gal and kid who has ever lived on planet Earth, is in complete control of the hearts of every guy, gal and kid who are now living on planet Earth and will be in complete control of the hearts of every guy, gal and kid who will one day live on planet Earth. Your grandpaa believes that there have been, are and will be an awfully lot of guys who have lived, are now living and will one day live on planet Earth who God has allowed, is allowing and will allow Satan – the ultimate unredeemed bad actor, to use to do bad things on planet Earth. Your grandpaa believes that the good guys who have lived, are living and will one day live on planet Earth are guys who God chose and elected before He created planet Earth to do good things on planet Earth.
Your grandpaa recently translated for guys who helped to build a cement block house for a family who was living in a house that had a dirt floor and walls made using corn stalks. The guys who your grandpaa translated for were on a short term ministry team from a Minneapolis area Christ-follower fellowship. Translating for short term ministry teams is something that both your grandmaa and grandpaa really enjoy doing. This was the sixth year that your grandmaa and grandpaa translated for a Wooddale short term ministry team that had come to Guatemala to be involved in a variety of outreach activities with their Guatemalan hosts. Your grandpaa would take the guys who he translated for back and forth to the worksite in his F-150 Ford pickup. Because the family’s house was not on a street, your grandpaa would leave his pickup parked several blocks away from the worksite. When your grandpaa one afternoon went back to his pickup after having spent most of the day on the worksite, your grandpaa found that some bad guys had opened up the back of his pickup and had stolen his spare tire. A bad guy will do bad things while a good guy will do good things. About five years after your grandpaa translated for a short term ministry team that built a cement block house for a needy family near Santiago, Guatemala, a landslide completely obliterated the house – probably . . . the massive landslide that night purportedly killed nearly one thousand guys, gals and kids.
Your grandmaa and grandpaa have become pretty good at telling the difference between what bad guys and good guys look and act like. A bad guy will tend to have haughty, stuck-up and snooty eyes and a proud, arrogant and egotistical heart. A bad guy will tend to enjoy being violent, brutal and sadistic, will tend to be tricky, devious and underhanded and will lie to get money – which to him he will never have enough. A bad guy lives to do bad things. A bad guy will do nothing for poor guys and gals, widows and orphans. A bad guy lets anger control his emotions, laziness dictate his time and bullishness to get the things that he thinks that he has to have. A guy’s wife who is bad gal will be ill-tempered, quarrelsome and moody and who will make her husband live in a small room on her house’s rooftop. A good guy tends to do what is right and just to do, makes diligent, conscientious and careful plans, does all that he can do to remain upright, decent and honest, wants knowledge, wants to know the truth and wants to be instructed and enjoys seeing justice leveled against bad guys. A good guy’s house will tend to be filled with food and oil. A good guy will tend to enjoy life, prosperity and honor. Do you think that God wants the good guys to fight the bad guys? What do you think would happen if the good guys did not fight the bad guys? If your dad and ma brought home a basket of apples that has one apple in it that is rotting, that single rotting apple will cause all the other apples in the basket to begin rotting. If your dad and ma do not want the apples that they bought to rot in the basket of apples that has a rotten apple in it, they will need to get rid of the bad apple. Solomon’s proverbs or vignettes are mini messages from God for all the guys, gals and kids who will live on planet Earth from the time that Solomon lived on planet Earth to . . . verse 22 clearly says, “A wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.” It is a wise thing to insure the destruction of the evil that is in your lives.
Proverbs 21 (355)