He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9So, how does God view the prayers of those of us who are actively disobeying His Word? That is what we learn today in the proverb of the day. This is going to be a proverb that confronts those who think God hears their prayers - when they are actively disboeying a command of the Word of God. It is
also going to be a time when we realize that God sees issues of obedience to His Word in stark black and white - not in a plethora of grey.
When we disobey the Word - we are in effect turning our ears away from listening to it. Here in Christian America, we think that having heard the word with the ear alone is akin to having obeyed it. The most rebellious places in America are not the bars or the strip joints. The most rebellious places in America are the parking lots of her churches. This is where far too many saints of God go after hearing the truth preached by their pastors - and justify letting it go into one ear and out the other. They hear the Word - but it never penetrates their hearts. Some will even justify their present disobedience - while praising what was said by the preacher. Thus the American practice of thinking we've obeyed, when we have only heard something - is continued weekly.
When we do not obey - we are turning our ear from listening to the truth. The term here for turn away means that we go away from the Word - we desert it - we quit the Word, meaning that we hear, but do not DO it. We turn aside from it and do not allow it to do a work in our hearts.
When we do not obey the Word - God considers our prayers and abomination. Whoa now! Did we read that right! God considers prayers uttered by the disobedient to be an abomination. We thought that word was just reserved for homosexuals - didn't we. But God is holy - not just anti-homosexual. He is pro-holiness all the way. Thus, when we are not pro-holiness (read here pro-obedience, pro-godly, pro-doing what God says when He says it) - we are in effect, anti-God. He is shocked and appalled by our lack of listening and obeying. He is horrified that we would actually turn a deaf ear to what He has said. He considers such things an abomination!
There were a group of people that Jesus was hardest upon in the gospel accounts. To the shock of most people, this group was not the classic sinners. He was not hardest on the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the scum of society, or the usually suspects we consider when we wonder who a "hell-fire-and-brimstone" preacher would single out in his preaching. Jesus was hardest on religious hypocrites. He reserved His most scathing comments for those who practiced religion outwardly, but inwardly ignored the Word. By the way - this is where the pray-er, but not obey-er would be put by our Lord. The one who turns his ear from listening to the Law, by not obeying it - IS the hypocrite. And contrary to our popular habit of thinking that the hypocrite is anyone other than us - it IS us. Whenever we engage in pious prayers - without having obeyed the Word that God has spoken to us recently - we are an abomination.
Wisdom tells us that we are to hear and heed the Word of God. This will give our prayers wings that will fly them to the very throne of God. May we always watch our hearts to make sure that we are hearing, obeying - then praying. This is the proper order of things.
Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, That I may reply to him who reproaches me. Proverbs 27:11When we have wise sons it is a joy to our hearts as fathers. That is why it is so vital that the current generation of fathers take on the task of rearing a generation of sons who reject this present evil world and its ways and choose instead to live according
to the wisdom God offers to us in the Scriptures.
What I think we have here is the frustrated cry of a father. He is frustrated because he desires for his son to be wise - yet, he is facing criticism and reproach because he is not. It may be the cry of a father who has seen men before him - godly men in their own right - and yet they were subject to reproach because of the character and choices of their sons after them. The father may have been a man of God - a man of great godly character and actions. He may have been a leader - an example himself. The problem is that his son does not walk in the same way.
Think about Samuel the prophet for a moment in this light. He was a man of God - unparalleled in how he served God with all his heart. Yet the one thing that caused the downfall of his ministry - was the way that his sons lived. At the close of his life the people of Israel asked for a king. They asked, not because Samuel was inadequate as a prophet. They asked because by their own admission, Samuel's sons did not walk in his ways. Samuel, as godly as he was - had not learned the lesson of Eli's lack of godly fathering of his sons. Eli's sons were ungodly - and their actions led to the people not being led by godly men. Now, Samuel, after seeing God bring Israel back to Himself - now watched as they rejected the Lord as king over them - because they would have to trust Samuel's sons to lead them after Samuel's death. This they did not want - because Samuel's sons were not men of God.
The cry of a godly father who is reproached when his sons do not walk in his ways - is that they would be wise and godly. But as we look back on much of biblical history - it is one littered with godly men whose very sons did not follow in their daddy's footsteps. So what are we to learn here from this passage about wisdom?
Fathers, please hear me for a few moments here. You may have a legacy in your own actions that blows everyone away - but it will mean little to you later in life if your sons do not walk in your ways. God calls us as fathers to love our children by rearing them to walk with Him. That is a task that we cannot ignore - no matter how successful we are. It will come to haunt us - as it did Samuel, as it did Solomon, as it did Hezekiah. These men were all godly in their own right - but their sons did not walk in their ways. In all three cases, the legacy of these men was not carried on through their sons. They turned from following the Lord and the result was pretty disastrous for them - and for the people whom they were supposed to lead.
Wisdom is found in a father who leads and teaches his son to walk wisely. He does so as one of the most important things he can possibly do in life. The detriment to our society and the church within it cannot be possibly be calculated because our sons often do not walk in our ways. Men leave carnage behind them when they do not walk with God. God wants men to lead in spiritual matters - but when they don't - or sadly can't - what they leave behind is much reason for us to reproach their fathers for not making as an ultimate priority the responsibility to bring up godly sons after them.
For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one
with rags. Proverbs 23:21 (NASB)
Here are the consequences of the sins of drunkenness and gluttony. The father of these sons has been seeking to aim for their hearts on these issues. Now he does so by letting them know where these sins will take them in the future.
This dad is not brow-beating his boys as he says this. If he was, this would not be three verses long - but 1003. That is the way of the lecture - and most of them are usually ignored. This wise father takes the time to give his sons a call to wise and a godly heart. Then he takes a moment to offer them a command of instruction - and follows that up with a warning about the consequences that are coming for those who live such lifestyles. Then he is quiet. Having an advanced degree in the art of "Father-Lecturing," I wish that I was wholly unlearned in this area. I've engaged in lectures that took far too long - and were usually tuned out the moment I began my second (of 53 points). This dad just puts out the facts - and lets them sit with his son.
This dad knows that if his sons ignore him - all the additional words in the world will make little to no difference. They will become the cautionary tale for others through the consequences that come upon them. As a result, this father wants to make sure his sons know the truth - but that they know it with brevity and a lack of wordiness. Their hearts will not be turned due to the length of his talks. They will be changed and turned due to the work of the Holy Spirit as He seeks to teach them and lead them in the truth.
The heavy drinker and glutton will come to poverty. This is the first warning and consequence that the dad tells his son. For a few years in seminary I had the honor of being able to work and preach at the Union Mission in Memphis, Tennessee. We would serve food to the men - and afterward would take turns bringing a message to them. After the preaching we would sit with whoever was interested and share with them personally. While doing this I met numerous men who were in bondage to alcohol. Many of these men were former executives - some who would still be wearing an expensive suit - as they slept on the streets of Memphis. Their drunkenness had destroyed their lives. I remember one man who had previously had an office in a downtown skyscraper. He told me that just two years ago he was pulling down a six-figure salary, had a beautiful family, and lived in a house worth nearly $350,000. Due to the sin of drunkenness and an addiction to alcohol - he had lost all of this. Every month that I read this passage - I usually remember him. Truly, his sin and brought him to poverty. The glutton will have the same problems as well. His poverty though may be an inability to play with his children - or a poverty of respect as others wonder why he has so little self-control. His poverty may be a lack of self-respect himself - as he struggles with his weight. I've personally experienced some of these things as I've struggled with gluttony.
The second thing that happens to those who indulge in these sins is that a drowsiness will come upon them. It is a drowsiness that will clothe them with rags. Both of these sins lead to a lack of awareness and also - honestly - a person who has to sleep more. The drunk has it because he has to sleep off the affects of his drinking. The glutton experiences it because he is too full - or too overweight to exercise. The result of that is that he is sleepy all the time. There are also problems that result from blood sugar levels and other medical conditions that rob the glutton from the alertness that he should have. These things, if left undealt with long enough, will clothe these men with rags. They will miss promotions - and some will even lose their jobs.
The wise father will warn his children of the real consequences of these sins. He does so - not to be melodramatic. He even avoids such things. But he does tell his sons the truth. His hope is that ultimately such warnings will open their eyes to the problems that lie ahead when these sins are ignored. The goal of all this is not just that his sons won't be drunks and gluttons. Too often young people in the church equate Christianity with phrases like, "A Christian doesn't drink, doesn't chew, and doesn't go with girls that do." This kind of training does more to harm our kids than help them. It gives them the false idea that if they just steer clear of these evil three sins that they are right with God. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the end we want to win our children's hearts - not just burn a three rule list into their minds. We want them to be wise - not just in these couple of areas - but in all of life. Dads - don't get caught in the trap of warning your kids about your list of deadly sins - but not giving them the gospel and good rounded biblical teaching. We want more than obedience to us in a couple of areas. We want obedience to God in all of life. This we will obtain when we aim straight for their hearts - and have as our aim - that they be wise, godly, and Christ-centered. When we see these things in their hearts - we will know that we've been truly successful!
Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or
with gluttonous eaters of meat; Proverbs 23:20Yesterday we looked at how a father can aim straight for the heart when warning his son against lifestyles that will cause him to be self-destructive. Today, we will look at how he warns his son.
The father makes it clear that those who drink wine heavily - and those who eat gluttonously, aree going to face some difficult times later in life. There are those who drink heavily. They consume a lot of beer, wine, or hard liquor. We are warned not to be among these people. Heavy drinking will eventually lead to alcoholism - which is a stronghold of sin that is very difficult to break. Over the years I've been a pastor
, I've worked with several men who suffered from a stronghold of alcoholism. They were drunks who drank until it became a very self-destructive habit. It was heart-breaking to see some of them struggle for years with this sin. Jesus is able to deliver us from anything - any habit - any addictive behavior. But we would be far better off if we never needed HIs deliverance from such things. That is why we should be warning our sons and daughters against drinking heavily. But the father also is warning his child against being a glutton as well. Here is a sin that is seldom if ever addressed - especially if there is a potluck after church that day.
Gluttony is a sin. That is clear from reading the Word of God. Just as a person can become addicted to alcohol - he can also become addicted to food as well. If you don't mind me being a little open here - this is a sin with which I struggle personally. I tend to eat too much - and at times I've been accused to being addicted to cookies (chocolate chip in particular) - but I can stop eating them whenever I want. All joking aside, overcoming gluttony has been a battle for me. As I've fought it - winning sometimes and losing others - I've seen where food has been an idol in my life. I will run to it to comfort me - instead of running to God. The excess in eating - also lends itself to excess in other areas as well. This is a sin we should warn our children about falling into in life. If it is not overcome - it will lead to very serious consequences. The reason that we do not see them - is because they are consequences that come over a much longer period of time. Yet they are coming to the glutton - just as the consequences of drunkenness and alcoholism are coming to the heavy drinker as well.
We are wise when we see these sins of heavy drinking and gluttony and warn our children against them. We need to warn them that there are very serious problems that develop because of them. If they continue in them - they can even become life-threatening. Tomorrow, we will take a look at the consequences of these choices - and - we will see how the wise father seeks to warn his children of them - while seeking to reach their hearts.
Listen, my son, and be wise, And direct your heart in the way. Proverbs 23:19
There are some very serious consequences for those who become heavy drinkers or gluttonous eaters. These are things that we don't like to deal with today - because they tend to get a little personal when we confront them. Nevertheless, these things are not good for us, and they will rob us of the blessings of a good and prosperous life.
Contrary to the nanny state that is trying to change people's behavior by legislation and shaming, God's Word takes a different approach. First of all, we see that the things that are being said are said from the mouth of a father. These are matters that the state are not to fix - they were meant to be addressed in the course of living within a godly home. The reason that these things are epidemic in our day is because of the rampant lack of godly homes. There are no longer fathers who take the time to regularly teach and train their sons to be godly men. There are also no longer those in our society that will know the Word in a way that will move them to impart wisdom to their children.
The father here speaks to his son and lets him know from the start that the motivation for his comments is that his son would be wise. He is saying to his boy, if you are wise, you will avoid these kinds of lifestyle choices. Then he lets his son know that if he rejects such wisdom - there will be consequences. He does not seek to deliver his son from the consequences except a warning of what is to come. He is not wanting to just modify his son's behavior. He is seeking to help his son on heart issues. He says, "Direct your heart in the way!"
Our current legislative overreach wants to modify behavior by taxing certain behaviors heavier - or trying to outlaw them altogether. They seek to stop smoking this way - or they try to so stigmatize smoking that people will stop out of shame. What this has led to is people who hold fast to their smoking - but not have to pay far more to do so. The sad thing is that in the end, the government (who is constantly in search of more money to spend) receives greater tax because of this behavior. This makes it to where they almost don't want to have smoking stop - because then their revenue stream will dry up and go away. Just addressing the outward behavior will do little or nothing to stop the problem.
This father addresses the heart. He wants his son to be wise - and a wise man takes the time to direct his own heart into a way that does not dishonor God. He will direct his heart into ways that are not destructive to himself. Instead he will direct his heart into "THE" way. What is "THE" way? It is the way of the Lord. It is a way that puts great value on bringing glory and honor and praise to Him. It is a way that values the Word of God - and values the lifestyle that comes from honoring and obeying the Word of God. This is what the father wants - and it is a wise thing that he is seeking!
Fathers, let's give us merely trying to change our son's behavior with poor motivators. Threats and harsh punishments will probably not turn the hearts of our sons to the right way. Let us speak the truth to our children, but at the same time aim for the heart. What we want is to see them choose wise paths - and heart-motivated change. May God give us the wisdom to speak to them this way - and then they will be blessed - not just with good behavior, but a good heart that motivates that behavior for a lifetime. Check tomorrow's post as we continue through the next several verses to see how the father uses wisdom - and an understanding of the biblical consequences that follow our actions.
Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease. Proverbs 22:10How do you get rid of strife and contention in a group? That is what God wants us to be instructed in today in Proverbs. He is about to tell us about the horrific fellow known as the "scoffer." Wherever this man is - there is trouble and strife about to break loose. When we learn how to identify and rid ourselves of him and his ilk, we will find that the dishonor and disunity will go away as well.
The word scoffer refers to someone who loves to mock, scorn, deride with great contempt to anyone but himself. The scoffer loves to express his utter contempt with someone with whom he disagrees. He knows nothing of positive criticism - he only knows of mocking and seeking to scorn his enemies. It is not enough for him to merely disagree - he must do it in the most disagreeable way possible! He knows only how to show complete and absolute contempt toward those he finds in his philosophical crosshairs.
A wise man knows that mocking his detractors will usually yield him some serious enemies. Very rarely does this tactic yield converts to his way of thinking. Heaping a mocking shame and disgrace on others is not a positive way to communicate a message which you desire to use to change someone's mind and thinking. But that is what the scoffer excells at in life. As a result when he comes around you will also find contention, strife, and dishonor. He will use his words to strike up fights among people. He loves to fight - and loves to accelerate an argument to the point of intense strife. He also loves to see dishonor come to his opponents. He cares little what happens to the organization in which he is wreaking his havoc. He only cares for his own ungodly thoughts and desires. The more damage he can render to his opponents - the better he sees the outcome of his actions.
There is one response to such a man - get him out! Scripture says that we are to "drive out" this kind of man. Too often we want to try to win him over to our way of thinking. That is NOT going to happen - because he is un-winnable while he is a scoffer. The New Testament tells us to reject a factious man after a warning. We are not to have a three strikes policy with such dangerous men. Get their contention-stimulating behavior and conversation thrown out of the assembly of God's people. This man knows nothing about how to walk in unity with others. He only airs his own opinions and contentious thoughts. He cares nothing for those of others. The best thing we can offer him - is the way out. This may sound hard - but when dealing with a scoffer, you are not dealing with someone who can be won over. Therefore the best thing to do is to follow the godly advice of Solomon - drive him out!
The way of a guilty man is crooked, But as for the pure, his conduct is upright. Proverbs 21:8How do you know whther you are dealing with someone who is criminal and crooked in his ways - or whether you are dealing with a man who is pure in his motives and ways? Here is an excellent question. I am sure that many a man who has been conned would love to know the answer to this question. That is what we will learn today as we open the book of Proverbs to verse 8 of chapter 21.First we see the "guilty man." What Solomon is describing to us though is the way of this man - the roads he takes and the lifestyle that is developed as a result. This man is described to us as the guilty man. The word used here for this designation is the Hebrew word, "vazar." This word means a man who lacks innocence. He is guilty because his behavior and choices reject God's law and ways. In this regard he is a criminal - because his consistent choice is to break the law. Solomon tells us that such a man is "crooked." Crooked here is "haphak" which refers to someone who is very perverse and
devious. This guy is constantly perverting this - being devious - and lacking in honesty. He is filled with a dishonesty that makes you wonder about his integrity.
Note this when trying to determine whether someone is godly or ungodly in their dealings. If you catch them making statements that are being twisted and fundamentally dishonest - most likely you are dealing with someone who is crooked and should be avoided at all costs. You are going to pay dearly if you continue to do business and allow this man into your life. The best thing you could do is cut and run.
The other man - the godly one - is pure. The word here means someone who is clean - like pure water or pure oil. This man is a godly man - and his godliness is verified by the honestly and integrity with which he speaks and acts. This man's conduct is described as "upright." This is the word "yashar" which means something that is straight, just, and right. This word usually refers to things in an ethical and emotional sense. These are men who are very concerned with being right in the eyes of the Lord. They want a godly integrity in their dealings with others. They do not want to deceive or to mislead.
Wisdom tells us to be mindful of the character of those with whom we deal in life. It is not enough that a good offer is on the table - or that someone is offering the best price. We need to know that a man is also placing good character on the table as well. Then we know whether we are dealing with a thief or not. See behind the offers and see into their lives or the "way" that they live. Do this and you will be much less likely to be caught in the schemes and the deception of the ungodly.
Who can say, "I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin"? Proverbs 20:9Wisdom manifests itself by realizing that man is
sinful. That premise is rejected in most of today's society - especially among the elites who rule over the educational establishment and the world of counselling and psychiatry. The fact that they reject that man is by nature a sinner and is selfish and self-centered - dooms much of their efforts to educate and to help people deal with problems in their lives. Now there is a very bold statement - but also very true. One of the problems with modern Christianity is that we no longer feel the need in our postmodern society to have our worldview based upon the clear teaching of the Scriptures. One of the places that this is seen the clearest is in the area of the sinfulness of man and the ramifications of it in government, in education, in counselling, and in how we deal with people in our world.
The proverb here asks the simple question, "Who can say, 'I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin?'" There are several assertions that are made here. First is that of the ability to cleanse ourselves from our sin. "I have cleansed my heart." This is the belief that by our own works we can change our own hearts. Unless we begin with the sinful, selfish natural tendencies of mankind, we will think that by our education and by our laws and codes, we can change a man's heart. Such an assertion is the height of foolishness. We cannot cleanse our own hearts from our sinfulness. But an educational system based upon humanistic assertions will think that we can change our hearts by being better educated. But honestly, that only provides for smarter sinners. The issues of the human heart will only be solved by the gospel of Jesus Christ whereby a heart can be redeemed and men can be regenerated.
The second question is whether a man can say he is pure from his sin. Religious around the globe seek to do this through a myriad of different plans. Some want to try to mortify their own evil desires - while others try to abolish the concept of evil and sin altogether. Purifying ourselves assumes impurity though - and thus religious efforts to do this may involve confession and absolution of some kind. Roman Catholicism tries to answer this question through their system of confession and penance which involves admitting your sin to a confessor/priest - who after offering forgiveness - then commands penance in the form of some kind of religious activity like saying a religious phrase like the Hail Mary or Rosary - or doing a good work of some kind to earn that forgiveness. In the end, whether it is through this system - or through a Hindu or Islamic system of obtaining forgiveness - it all boils down to a works mentality. We can earn our forgiveness through doing something for God.
Christianity paints a much different picture of the process of forgiveness. Any kind of law is given to restrict sin - but more importantly to show us how impossible it is to obey it - because we are rebellious sinners. The very fact that we cannot be made righteous or pure by the law - sends us running into the arms of Christ. We learn that it is only through what He did in his death, burial, and resurrection that we can be made pure in God's sight. He paid the price for our sin - and now offers to us His own righteousness - so that we can stand before God. The answer to these two questions is given by the gospel. First of all - none of us can say that we have cleansed our own hearts. The only cleansing that will matter is the one given when we receive it by faith. That cleansing comes when we look to Jesus Christ - and admit that only He can purify our hearts and change them to be godly. The second question is answered as well by the gospel. No one can say, "I am pure from my sin," without that purity coming as a gift from God as He makes us righteous with the righteousness and purity of His Son.
Wisdom rejects a man-centered, works-centered salvation. Only a fool would think that man can solve his own problems with God - without a direct interventioin by God Himself. Any education or counselling or governmental system that is based upon that wrong assertion will fail and be crushed under the weight of man's sinfulness. Without checks and balances designed to expose and correct the selfish and self-centered tendencies of the human heart, sin will run rampant in a society that hides its eyes and pretendes it does not exist. In such a world sin will be redefined again and again to cover-up the real problem - which is a wicked and sinful heart in men. In answer to the question posed by the writer of Proverbs, "No one can say that he has cleansed his own heart, or say that he is pure from his sin." That only happens by the grace and mercy of God as He works in us by the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Jesus said Himself, "No one comes to the Father, except through Me."
Luxury is not fitting for a fool; Much less for a slave to rule over princes. Proverbs 19:10
There are certain people who do not need to serve as a ruler over a people. We might think that it is a good thing for the "everyman" to rise to power, but if the "everyman" that does this is a fool - it will end badly.
The fool who begins to enjoy luxury - will wind up being very difficult to live with in the end. He will view his luxury as what is due him - rather than a blessing and a priviledge that has been given to him either by others or through hard work and application of himself to a task. That is why such
luxury is not fitting for him. It isn't right for him to have it - because he does not appreciate it. It does more harm to him than good in the end because he will begin to think he deserves it - everyone owes him what is necessary to live a life of luxury.
I'm going to take the risk of offending some at this point in this proverb. This passage illustrates why a welfare state is harmful to a populace. I know there are cries made at this statement that we do not provide a life of luxury to those on welfare. True - their standard of living is not that of kings - but we are fundamentally harming them by not having them work or do something to get it. In order for us to develop properly in a moral sense, we need to work - we need to DO something. When we don't, we do not appreciate what is given to us. Then we begin building a mindset that people owe us something - and that will become toxic in the end. In time we will think they owe us more and more - and gratefulness for what we do have will be all but extinct in our thinking. When that way of thinking grows in our minds - we are quickly descending in wisdom and in any kind of spiritual growth.
Just as luxury is not fitting for a fool - so also is it for a slave to rule over princes. We in America are not used to the whole idea of nobility. We fought an entire war to make sure that we did not have a king who could rule over us without the consent of the governed. But, there is a wisdom to having the wiser in society rule over us. To have a person rule who does not know wisdom - who does not know the matters of state - who does not understand the necessity for good economic policy - and most of all justice - is to invite serious problems in that land. It is also a historical reality that when a slave or a commoner comes into power - the problem is too often that they want revenge for the wrongs they suffered - rather than to govern all the people with wisdom and integrity. I do not support the ascendency of a king in our land - but I do fully support not electing fools to office. It is wisdom to elect the wise to rule over us.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18:10As we walk through this world there are times when we have to wonder about our safety. We are in a wicked and ungodly world - and in it there are those who would do us harm because we represent
Jesus Christ. This is true far more in countries where persecution is tolerated and encouraged by the government and by leaders of false religions. Are we safe in the Lord?
Solomon knew that indeed the godly man IS safe! He knew it not just because of a theory that he had heard - but because of true stories shared with him by His father, David. David knew personally that the name of Jehovah was a strong tower because he had faced extremely dangerous situations throughout his life. He had turned to the Lord again and again when things became very dangerous for him. He had faced enemies who laid in wait for him outside his home - planning to kill him. He had faced armies whose desire it was to destroy Israel and enslave its people. He faced personal threats from people - as well as threats that arose from spiritual realms. Yet in all this he knew that the name of the Lord is a strong tower - a place of safety into which the righteous can run.
God's name represents more than just something we call Him - it represents Who He is. He is Jehovah - the self-existant One who reveals Himself. But that name is attached to other names - ones that offer promises to us. He is Jehovah-Jireh, the One who sees and provides for us. He is Jeohvah-Nissi, the One who is our banner of victory when we face foes. He is Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the One who is our righteousness when our sins would separate us from God. He is Jeohvah-M'kaddesh, the One who will sanctify us and deliver us from our innermost battles with sin. He is Jehovah-Shammah, the One who is present with us - preparing a table for us in the presence of our enemies. He is Jehovah-Rohi, the One who will be our Shepherd and lead us through our lives. He is Jehovah-Rophe, the One who will heal us from all our diseases and bring us out of sickness and pain. He is finally Jehovah-Shalom, the One who will give us peace no matter what is happening in our lives. Truly His names are a strong tower to which we can run and find shelter in whatever situation we face. May we be wise and run to Him with all that we face in life - trusting Him to deliver us from all our fears and all our trials.