“Open and Shut Case”
OF COURSE the phrase “open and shut case” has reference to a situation where the detectives are investigating a matter. The book of the case is open, the evidence laid out, and the final conclusions are abundantly evident. There can be but one conclusion in any court in the land with such obvious facts. “It’s an open and shut case.” The case is closed. Shut!
But some people’s hearts and minds are the same way. Their minds MAY have been open at some point in their life, but they have such an high I. Q. and know SO much, that they now have all the answers. Just about any matter with them is “an open and shut case.” That is, the views of anyone else do not count. No one measures up to their expertise! There minds and hearts are SHUT!
Such people need to be on guard against pride and arrogance. Well, ALL of us as humans need to be on guard. But half-wits are in less danger!
“You Are What You Eat”
THIS IS TRUE in the natural, relative to the physical food one eats in building his body, and also it is true in speaking of the images and words and thoughts with which he feeds his brain. “You ARE what you eat!” The Bible puts it succinctly: “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
That is why, with the natural, sinful heart, bent and filled with evil and even rebellion against God, with no living relationship and fellowship with Him, it is impossible to please Him, for He is holy and will not countenance evil. So to love sin is to hate righteousness and means you are running away from God and not toward Him. No wonder, that the psalmist David, you know, the repenting King David, prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit in me.” (Psalm 51:10)
King David also prayed, Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
And then there is the BLESSED man seen in Psalm 1. (Who wants to be blessed?) “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But His delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.”
“A Friend in Need
Is a Friend Indeed”
DOES THIS MEAN that a friend is indeed a friend when he helps you when you are in need? Or does it mean that a friend shows himself a friend to you when he is in need? Or does it mean, A friend is one who helps you by his deed?
Historically the first meaning is the most common, in keeping with the origin of the phrase. A lot of people can appear to be your friend UNTIL you are in need. Then they scatter, or dodge you. That is not a friend indeed or in deed.
The Bible speaks of a friend “that sticketh closer than a brother.” That is supposed to be pretty close (indeed). David and Jonathan had this close relationship, even closer than a blood brother. And of course, Christ Jesus is the Supreme Friend that is closer than a brother. And He also is “the elder Brother” of Christian believers. None love as unconditionally as Christ loves His own people, the sheep of His pasture, of His fold.
Do we imitate Christ by being a friend through thick and thin? Giving and forgiving? Does our love “cover a multitude of sins”? Do we overlook evil and overcome evil with good? We all have need. Do we love one another.” Do we help others in need or not?
“Get a Word in Edgeways”
Join a conversation in which another is speaking continually and leaving little opportunity for others.
‘A word in edgeways’, or as it is sometimes written ‘a word in edgewise’, is a 19th century expression that was coined in the UK. ‘Edgeways/edgewise’ just means ‘proceeding edge first’. The allusion in the phrase is to edging sideways through a crowd, seeking small gaps in which to proceed through the throng.
The phrase ‘edging forward’ exactly describes this inch-by-inch progress. It was first used in the 17th century, typically in nautical contexts and referring to slow advance by means of repeated small tacking movements, as here in Captain John Smith’s The generall historie of Virginia, New-England and the Summer Isles 1624:
After many tempests and foule weather, about the foureteenth of March we were in thirteene degrees and an halfe of Northerly latitude, where we descried a ship at hull; it being but a faire gale of wind, we edged towards her to see what she was.
This practice of ‘edging’ was used with reference to the spoken word by David Abercromby, in Art of Converse, 1683:
Without giving them so much time as to edge in a word.
The above is taken from “The Phrase Finder.” Many people do not need help in this area. But with others, especially with “a gift of gab.” they need help in becoming “a good listener.” Give space for the other person to insert his thoughts without feeling he must work his way “in edgeways,” if he attempts it at all!
“Diamond in the Rough”
THIS IS A COMMON phrase. Like, “He is a diamond in the rough.” Of course this comes from reference to a raw, uncut, unpolished diamond, like you might see straight out of the mine. Naturally it refers to a person not yet developed in good social graces but who is seen to have potential of later being like “a polished cut diamond.” He or she is not much to look at now, but just wait. He (she) is a “diamond in the rough.” Later you may see what a jewel you have!
We like to see this in the natural. When we see our own clumsy and thoughtless ways, we would even hope someone would see us as at least “a diamond in the rough.” And we don’t want to ever be satisfied to remain in a rough, uncut, unpolished condition.
How God must view His own children with their idiosyncrasies and sins and weaknesses of the flesh. He sees all His people in their uncut, unperfected, unglorified state. Sure, He also sees us glorified in Christ, but before that glorification takes place in our experience, He sees us as we really are. And He loved us while we were yet sinners and enemies to Him, when we were “children of wrath, even as others.” He loves His own, even from before “the foundation of the world,” unconditionally. Such is the love of God.
“A Fly in the Ointment”
IN THE HOLY BOOK, in Ecclesiastes 10: 1 we find this: “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor.”
Some complain that the King James Version is so hard to understand. Well, what is hard about the above? I understood what “a fly in the ointment” meant, coming from Eccl. 10:1, when I was about 10 years old. Oh, sure, much of the Bible is hard to understand, but it is not so much that we need a “modern” translation as we need light and understanding from the Holy Spirit who wrote the Book. God is infinite; our minds are so very finite.
We often see great and good blessings in our life, only sooner or later to see “a fly in the ointment” that mars the good. Life is not perfect. It is God’s boot-camp for our training. It was not meant to be a tropical island with us always resting in the shade on a hammock, drinking lemonade. He always sets the day of adversity against the day of prosperity. “In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider. God also hath set the one over against the other. . . .” (Eccl. 7:14) “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” (Prov. 24:10) The Lord knows what His children need. But let US not be the dead fly!
“It’s the Little Foxes
That Spoil the Vines”
ANOTHER saying from that wise man Solomon is, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” (Song of Solomon 2:15)
Yes, besides Christ Jesus Himself, King Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived. He was even wise in asking God for wisdom instead of riches. God gave him even more of His wisdom. Yet, Solomon was but a man. He did UNWISE things also. And later in life he let some foxes spoil his vines by catering to the idolatry of his many, many wives. And again referring to the dead fly in the ointment, he himself said “sends forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor.”
I guess Solomon knew this by experience because the little foxes destroyed some of his own fruit and the flies in the ointment also caused a stench in his own life!
Yet we can learn so much from the sayings of Solomon. He learned much from experience and God did gift him with wisdom. All this was given for our instructions. Let us not let the little foxes spoil our fruit. Don’t overlook the book of Proverbs. Practice it in your life.
“A Chain Is Only as Strong
As Its Weakest Link”
IT IS VERY EASY to picture in your mind a chain. Imagine somewhere in the middle there is a worn link that is worn from wear or rust, where the metal link is so thin that it would not bear much of a load or strain. Then suppose a farmer or a logger should use that chain to move something heavy, like a log, or in pulling up an unwanted tree or stump. You can well imagine just where that chain would break—at its weakest link! So, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” If you are on a team, and you are a weak link, then the team is only as strong as its weakest link. That is why it is so important for the entire group, every member of the “team” be strong and dependable.
That is also why it is so vital for people to have STRONG CHARACTER. Bad character or weak character is like a weak link in a chain. You cannot depend on jobs getting done correctly; you can’t depend on truth always being told; you can’t depend on things not being stolen; you can’t depend on harmful shortcuts not being taken—in short, cheating, lying and stealing. It takes STRONG character to make a strong chain. “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” May the Lord be your Strength and your Wisdom.
“All That Glitters Is Not Gold”
THIS IS a very common saying, meaning, all that is shiny or looks good and valuable is not as it appears. It is easy to be deceived by appearances. Just beware, be cautious, be discerning. You cannot take everything at face-value. That old sly serpent known as the devil has been out to deceive and seduce mankind since the Garden of Eden. His tricks are old but his temptations seem ever-new.
What else is new? Well, take it seriously. Satan has been at his game for at least 6,000 years, but we are living in the last of the last days, and he knows his time is SHORT. So, within reason, we know his wrath is at its height and he will try every tactic in his arsenal to fool and deceive the children of men. Especially will he try to molest and trip up those who are the children of God—the others he already has captive to his will. But he WILL do his best—rather his WORST—to “wear out the saints,” for he hates their Master. The world, in his clutches, also hates the holy Lord Jesus and His children.
Seek the true riches from Heaven. They far excel even true gold, much less “fools gold” that also glitters. The ways of the world are NOT the ways of God and glory—true treasures. Seek things of lasting ETERNAL value.