Fearless

In nineteen eighty-nine, three enterprising young men created a clothing brand, billed as an ‘extreme sports brand with added attitude’. It now includes its own highly successful energy drink, and the brand has even been promoted by Hollywood through several of its ‘blockbuster’ movies.
The brand’s name?

No Fear

No Fear has been a global success story. So much so that the logo could often be seen on bumper-stickers, vehicle windows and, of course, on the clothing itself.

At one time, if you were to walk down almost any high street, you’d probably see the name – ‘No Fear’.

Fast forward to 2020 and what do we now see as we walk those same streets? We see fear. Despite faces half-hidden by masks, we see a population afraid. A demoralised people living in fear. But fear of what?

We’re warned of a dreadful ‘hidden enemy’ that stalks our land like a bacteriological Grim Reaper, striking down countless thousands as it cuts swathes through the nation. So goes the warning. But what do we actually see?

We see TV bulletins. We see headlines in newspapers. On the radio we hear an unrelenting chorus of pessimism and hopelessness every hour, on the hour. Of course people are afraid. Isn’t it inevitable?

But …

… what if that which people fear most is simply the bad news itself? They dread the next baffling bulletin, the next bizarre broadcast. What if it’s these things that are blighting their lives?

Like moths drawn to a flame, they can’t resist the urge to do that which causes their pain and they switch on, tune in and hang onto every word. Unbeknown to them, their greatest fears are being realised each and every day.

Fear.

Of course, there may be some whose desire is for us to be fearful; some who consider that fear renders us compliant, placid and helpless. After all, before 2020, were the headlines that much different? Were they, really?

Whatever the reasons may be, God doesn’t want us to be afraid.

“… do not fear for I am with you …”

Genesis 26:24

Any non-Christians reading the above verse may doubt the relevance of a phrase written fifteen hundred years before Christ. What validity does it have to those events occurring in the twenty-first century?

However, the bible teaches us that a fear-less life, living under the assurance of God’s love and protection was not something that was limited to Abraham’s generation all those years ago. The verse is a timeless one and applies to every single one of God’s children. I am one. As are you.

Despite the extraordinary and perverse events I see around me I don’t allow fear to dwell in me. I never allow it to gain purchase. That’s not to say that I’m a stranger to fear. I’m no more brave or resilient than the next man. Far from it. Fear has featured in my daily life for many years.

With God’s help, however, fear is now a temporary intruder, hastily evicted, rather than an unwelcome lodger permitted to squat in the basement of my psyche.

Such control over this unwelcome guest hasn’t always been the case. I’ll explain.

In 2017 I was invited by my medical specialist to give an account of living with uncontrolled epilepsy – a condition that goes hand-in-glove with stress and fear. This is what I wrote at that time:


Imagine if you will, driving your car down a busy road at night. It could be a narrow road such as those in North Yorkshire, flanked by dry stone walls. The walls have stood for over a century. They’re solid, rugged and unforgiving.

As you contemplate the stone-cold walls, you hit black ice and spin out of control. Please now focus on the nauseating fear you have in the pit of your stomach. Imagine removing your hands from the wheel—for you are no longer in control of your body’s motor function.

Now, remove all your lucidity, knowledge of the likely outcome; eliminate any memory you may have of previous such experiences. Disregard your earlier sense of logic— for at the onset of an epileptic seizure, logic no longer has a seat in the house.

You may fear crippling injury; you can’t influence the outcome. Anxiety piles on distress. You may die. Your fate is out of your hands.

Now, imagine how that feels. But let me tell you, you’re still not even close to experiencing the all-consuming fear of a seizure.

Consider the sickening sense of relief you experience as you regain control.

Your heart rate settles, the trembling in your limbs eases. Sweating ceases as your body and mind recovers.

Now, contemplate the dawning realisation that this will happen again later in the day. It will happen twice, three times maybe. And you have no idea of when they’ll hit you or where you’ll be when they do. Imagine the dread at facing a tomorrow loaded with the same constant threat— and every day of your life.

Now, put on a smile and carry on.

You see, the fear doesn’t come and go with the seizure activity. It remains a constant feature, albeit at a fluctuating level each day.


That was my life in 2017.

Two years later, almost crushed by the burden of responsibility in an increasingly hostile and dysfunctional world, whilst at the same time struggling to maintain control of body and mind, I cast my cares onto God, and declared:

‘Lord, I can’t do this on my own. I need Your help in my life.’

I waved the white flag. But mine was not a flag of surrender, but one of victory, for that’s when my life changed.

That’s when my unwelcome lodger was finally expelled from the basement.

Worry and anxiety not only drain the spirit, but deplete our physical strength and consume our joy for life. Worry and fear are unacceptable. Jesus told us not to worry. He knows it can break us physically, mentally and spiritually – and this is not what he wants for us.

‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’

Phillipians 4:6-7

To further illustrate the secure, unflinching confidence of a life filled with God’s gift of the Holy Spirit, what follows is a statement written by a Christian brother. Before proceeding, you may read his brief testimony here.

Here is his declaration:


Declaration

Fifty-three years ago as a hard-drinking foul-mouthed soldier who tried to kill his friend who had become a Christian, God used that same friend to bring me to the cross of salvation.
God took me from the barrack room and anointed me to preach His Word.

He took me to nineteen different countries on four continents, some of them up to eight times. I have traveled on every type of transport known to man, and some that should not be known to man. I have slept in high-class hotels and under the stars. I have lived in villages and shanty towns in Africa and India, have walked through war zones and deserts, and have climbed mountains and traversed forests.

I have faced wild animals, been chased by angry mobs, had guns pointed at me and been caught up in riots (not of my making).

I have been with kings and politicians and with street beggars. I once climbed a mountain to minister to two dear souls and have preached to vast crowds at open-air meetings. I have conducted seminars for hundreds and Bible studies for two seekers.

I have worked with some of the finest children of God in all of the countries I visited. I have been inspired by their devotion to the work of His Kingdom and have counted it a great honour to have been able to work alongside them.

Now I am nearing my seventy-sixth birthday. I am still on fire for God and His Word; I am fit and (as far as I have ever been) am of sound mind.

I will not be cowered by a virus or intimidated by immoral liars of any political party. Nor will I be kept down by weak church leaders.

I am an eagle and I will rise up and proclaim the Word of God.



A final word on ‘fear’.

In the words of a song by American artist, Zach Williams, fear is also a liar:

Fear he is a liar.
He will take your breath,
Stop you in your steps.
Fear he is a liar.
He will rob your rest,
Steal your happiness.
Cast your fear in the fire,
‘Cause fear he is a liar.

To hear the song, click here.


A Question of Obedience


If you’ve previously read my posts ‘…more than conquerors …’ and ‘A Proverbial Spider’, you will have already realised that I have long held doubts about the veracity of the whole ‘coronavirus pandemic’ story. A story that we have been fed ad nauseam for over eight tedious months.

My views of both aren’t necessarily important right now, and my own interpretations are not really relevant to the issues I’m about to cover. Whatever our understanding of 2020’s global phenomena may be, we have all been affected and our lives seriously disrupted.

Many people have lost their livelihoods as a consequence of the autocratic ‘pandemic’ precautions taken worldwide. Additionally, whilst many have lost their lives as a direct result of a virus – the source of which is not yet clear – a staggering number of lives have also been lost due directly to the draconian measures taken by governments around the world.

But, enough on that. Books may be written for decades to come, analysing and dissecting the minutiae of these events. My six-pennyworth is neither necessary nor useful here.

Instead, I simply wish to explain why I wasn’t among the small congregation earlier today when my church opened its doors for the first time in over five months.


I knew that when our church reopened, it was to be in full compliance with ‘Guidelines for the Safe Use of Places of Worship During the Pandemic’ issued by the UK government.

Some may consider that our church has no choice in the matter but to obey these parliamentary directives. But there lies the crux of the problem. When official, secular rulings conflict with God’s directives, who should we obey?

For me, the choice was simple, albeit painful. And that is why I have not attended church.

There are those in the church who direct my attention to the book of Romans:

‘Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.’

Romans 13:1

I can say, hand on heart, that I have been a law-abiding citizen for all of my sixty-two years. However, when rulings issued by our ‘governing authority’ contradict those of God, there can only be one outcome. This point is illustrated in the Book of Acts, chapter five, verses twenty-six to twenty-nine.

‘But Peter and the other apostles answered them and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men”’

Acts 5:29

So what are those problem areas that so prevented me from joining with fellow Christians in worship today?

For ease of explanation I will quote a sample of those instructions issued by the church, beginning with the obscene masks:

  • Face coverings are mandatory for places of worship – except for those who are leading services or events in a place of worship, and those who assist them, (or unless you are exempt) [sic].

When God breathed that initial breath of life into man – as described in the first book of the bible – it wasn’t through a cloth face covering. There was no intervening fabric reducing or befouling man’s first lungful of air. It was a breath of life, God-given – as each one should be.

In addition, the Book of Deuteronomy includes the following instruction:

‘You shall not muzzle an ox when he treads out the grain.’

Deuteronomy 24:4

Interestingly, and as a direct consequence of this law, this humane practice continues in parts of Syria, where oxen are permitted to tread the grain, unmuzzled. Furthermore, in his first letter to Timothy, apostle Paul applied this verse in reference to the fair treatment of:

‘… those who labour in the word and doctrine …’.

To continue, in full compliance with government, today’s church also forbids close contact between worshipers:

  • Do not shake hands, hug or lay hands on anyone.
  • Observe social distancing within the building.

There are two issues with this. The first is what has been shamefully termed ‘social distancing’. Such an instruction ought to be anathematic to all Christians. God, through Paul’s first letter to Peter, provides a clear instruction on how we must greet one another:

‘Greet one another with a kiss of holy love.’

1 Peter 5:14

How on earth are we to do this while six feet apart? Furthermore, in his first letter to Timothy, Paul also wrote:

‘Do not neglect the gift in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the body of elders.’

1 Timothy 4:14

Once again, how can we administer such aid to those in need whilst maintaining obedience to government? We can’t.

As if these ordinances weren’t enough, Christians are no longer permitted to express their joy in open worship:

  • There will be no singing by the congregation, or raised voices.

This appalling rule, given to appease authors of a political decree, flies in the face of numerous contrary edicts we’ve clearly been given by God in His Word. Such as:

‘Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.’

Psalm 100:2

‘… be filled with the spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.’

Ephesians 5:19

‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, reaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.’

Colossians 3:16

There are no ambiguities in the Word of God. His instructions are clear.

To contravene the ‘guidelines’ of a profane government may solicit an unfavourable response. Disobeying God, however, will have way more serious ramifications. This was something Adam and Eve discovered right at the start, to the detriment of all mankind.

As a footnote, I’ll add one further prompt that appears on my church’s ‘Covid-19 Guidelines’.

Whilst those directives shown above reflect church’s willingness to place government policy above scripture, there is one biblical component they do wish to uphold – tithes and offerings:

  • We have appreciated most people have been able to give their Tithes & Offerings online, and we would encourage this as much as possible. If this is difficult for you there will be a marked box that you can use as you exit the building.

I was sorry to miss today’s meeting, and my decision has caused me some considerable distress over recent days. However, as with the story of ‘The Emperors New Clothes’, I consider that vital truths have been laid bare here, and this church is one to which I will not return.



Treasure, More Valuable than Gold


Guest Post, submitted by Ray, a brother in Christ


A brief bio of my guest:

Following a difficult childhood, Ray had decided there was no God. While serving as a hard-hitting, heavy drinking young man in the British Army’s Corps of Transport, Ray’s best friend and fellow soldier, Mike, became a Christian. It was more than Ray could bear.

Ray’s friend became a target for his anger and was subjected to a series of pranks and beatings until one day, Ray’s rage was such that he tried to kill Mike during a barrack room brawl.

The two men parted, leaving Ray embittered, isolated and unhappy.

His isolation led him to consider how his friend’s life as a Christian starkly contrasted with his own. At this point, the two men met once more and Ray declared:

Mike, I want what you’ve got.

Mike then led Ray through the Bible, showed him that he was a sinner who needed the salvation offered by God through His son, Jesus Christ, who’d died on the cross for him.

Ray asked Jesus into his life and became a changed man.

He left the army, and in the ensuing forty years, God led him from the Barrack room and into ministry, during which Ray took the gospel message to nineteen countries on four continents.

Ray with friend, Pastor Lucas in Tanzania


One of the first things I was told when I became a child of God was that a half truth is worse than a lie. Sadly, the church in general is today full of half truths and many out and out lies.

Each year, how many churches have Father Christmas for the children? A nice little lie, I am told. Revelation 21:8 should be read and re-read by those who think God accepts any form of lying.

One of the reasons people are led astray is that they do not have the knowledge of God’s presence in either their own lives or in the church.

In referencing the church here I am not referring to the emotional excesses we have witnessed in many churches over recent years where both leadership and led have been trying to work up some sort of ‘spiritual experience’. 

If people really grasp what we are, where we are and what we have, many would stop trying to fill their lives with the things of this world, but would instead enjoy true fellowship with their heavenly Father.

First of all, we need to understand what we are. Romans 8:16 declares:

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

Those who are truly born of the Spirit will have this absolute assurance, that they are a child of God, and that their Father loves them. They will not need to go to church every Sunday to be told that God loves them. They will have the peace of His presence within them at all times.

Secondly, where we are.

Hebrews 12: 22 says:

“You have come … “

This is present tense. We are not on the way. We have arrived – this is the here and now, not something that will happen in the future.

Where have we come to?  Hebrews 12:22 goes on:

” … to the city of the living God … ”

Verse 23 adds:

“ … to God the judge of all … ”

We have come; we are in the presence of the living God.

In Ephesians 2:4 Paul writes “But God” – then in verse 6 adds “raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

What do we have here?

In one word: ‘Fellowship’ – that is, a true unbounded relationship with our Heavenly Father, the true treasure of heaven, which is more valuable than gold, more fulfilling than worldly possessions.

Jesus said:

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 12:21

 

Where is your heart?



The First Ten Words

Genesis 1:1 – From a Writer’s Perspective


Christians, perhaps more than most, know well the power of words.

‘Remember the word to Your servant,

Upon which You have caused me to hope.

This is my comfort in my affliction,

For Your word has given me life.’

Psalm 119:49-50

The Psalmist tells us then that a word has the power to give life. A later confirmation of this may be found in the New Testament Gospels, in which John stated:

‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’

John 1:1

Here of course ‘the Word’ refers to Jesus Christ himself – who, as we know, declared himself as ‘The way, and the truth and the life.’ So once again we’re told, ‘Your word has given me life.’

Proverbs has several examples of a word’s potential:

  • A good word makes the heart of man glad.
  • A harsh word stirs up anger.
  • How good is a word spoken in due season.

My own favourite is Proverb 25:11:

‘A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold

In settings of silver.’

I love to see well-written text. I have done since long before I knew such gems could be found in the bible. This makes me a slow reader as, when I see a particularly well-crafted phrase or sentence I tend to read it a second or third time – as though I’m savouring its flavour.

When I was in my early teens I wanted to be a writer.

I’d been a keen reader for years and was amazed at the writer’s gift of transporting readers from an ordinary world to an extraordinary one of excitement and adventure.

When I began work I’d use my bus journey from Immingham to Grimsby to read and to be transported elsewhere. In the case of my Wilbur Smith novels, this was usually Africa. So entranced would I become that I would often literally be transported beyond my destination.

So, instead of getting off at my required stop I’d sail on several stops further and have to catch another bus to return to where I should be.

Years later, when I began to learn the writer’s craft, hoping to one day produce my own masterpiece, I quickly learned the importance of engaging the reader’s attention very early on.

This is especially important when submitting work to a publisher or editor. Most works submitted to busy editors are not even read. They remain on what is cruelly known as ‘The Slush Pile’.

Of those that are picked up, most of these are not read beyond the first paragraph. For if the editor is not immediately captivated, the precious manuscript is tossed into the bin.

It’s the same with books in a bookshop. If the prospective buyer isn’t quickly enthralled or their curiosity aroused, the work is returned to the shelf. It should therefore come as no surprise that the opening to a work of literature is referred to as ‘The Hook’.

Like fish on a line, readers must be hooked to prevent them escaping.

The opening needs to arouse curiosity if the work is to be read further. It must raise questions in the reader’s mind. Questions that simply have to be answered.

It’s perhaps easy to see that a question mark looks like a hook.

When I self published my children’s novel through Amazon in 2015, I opted for the simple ‘Question-type Hook’ to engage my 9-11 year-old target audience. I figured that if you ask a nine year old a sufficiently interesting question, he or she will usually hang around for the answer. Or in this case, will continue reading.

Here’s how I opened:

‘Is there anything that’s puzzled you? Something you’ve

never been able to find an answer for?’

It was a simple question but an unexpected one and Levi

frowned and glanced up at his uncle Seymour while he

considered a reply.

He would later come to reflect that it was on this day,

and with this question that his childhood truly died.’

‘The Door to Caellfyon’

So, whilst I began with a straight forward question, some authors open with a statement , worded in such a way that questions are raised.

Take Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ for example:

‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.’

Here, we have a statement that raises not one question but several:

  • Who dreamt the dream?
  • Where are they now? Not in Manderley … the phrase states ‘Went to’.
  • What happened in Manderley? Something did. Something significant enough to warrant dreaming about it. That much is clear.

This opening is not just a classic but has been highly successful. Sales of ‘Rebecca’ between 1938 & 1965 are estimated at almost three million copies.

Another book, familiar to all of us, opens with a statement that not only tells us a great deal, but engages us with a vital question.

Its sales have been vastly greater than, not only ‘Rebecca’, but every other literary work in human history. By far. No other work comes close in terms of copies published.

Whilst we must accept that not every reader will read this particular book cover-to-cover, all will read the opening sentence – or, in this case, verse. Therefore, the following ten words form the most widely-read sentence ever to have been printed.

‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’

Genesis 1:1

This leads me to another piece of advice I was given while learning the writer’s craft, and that is, a well-rounded piece of work ought to include five basic ingredients:

Who, What, When, How & Why.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, Moses managed to encompass MOST of these in his ten-word opener.


Who?
That would be God. ‘In the beginning God …’

What?
Creation. ‘…God created…’

When?
‘In the beginning …’

How?
God. This is explanation enough but the fact is validated repeatedly throughout the Bible.
In Matthew 19:26 Jesus tells his disciples:

‘… with God all things are possible.’

Also, whilst authorship of the letter to the Hebrews is uncertain, whether it was Paul, Barnabas or Apollos, the writer confidently stated in Chapter 11 verse 3:

‘By faith we understand that the universe was created
by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made
out of things that are visible.’

There can be no greater example of the power in words. In this case one word from God created all that is seen. Furthermore, in Psalm 33:6 we are told:

‘By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and
all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.’

So, in the ten words comprising Genesis 1:1 we have the Who, What, When & How of creation. Four of the required five.

That leaves us with why.

And that is the hook, right there in the Bible’s opening verse.

WHY?

Why did God create Heaven and Earth?

This must be the most profound question faced by Mankind. And to answer that one, readers have no choice … but to read on.



A Proverbial Spider

I wrote this piece in February, 2020 and delivered it to my church in early March. At that time I had no idea how relevant it was to become.

I love old second-hand bookshops. I rarely buy anything but love browsing. While holidaying in Suffolk a few years ago, I did buy a book and it was this one:

‘The Diary of a Country Parson’

The book is a fascinating insight into the life of an eighteenth-century English vicar. One particular entry appealed to me:

1774 – October 15th

“I caught a remarkable large spider in my wash place this morning & put him in a small glass decanter & fed him some bread, & intend keeping him.”

Unsurprisingly, there’s no further mention of the spider in the diary, but I’ll get back to him later.

This was a bizarre entry but as the book reflects the man’s personal diary there is no reason to doubt his honesty. But in a world of Fake News how do we discern fact from fiction. Truth from lies. And how important is it that we’re able to do so?

What is the impact on us when our perceptions become skewed, whether that distortion be by accident or design? With this in mind, imagine a world in which 98% of the media is controlled by a handful of huge corporations. Six to eight small groups of extremely powerful people gathered in boardrooms controlling everything you see – and equally important, what you don’t see.

Their unwritten mantra may be along the lines of ‘control the information and you control the people’. This scenario shouldn’t stretch the imagination. Like it or not, it’s today’s reality. Extend that deception to academia. Our own education.

If that seems a step too far, how many Christians reading this believe in the ‘Big Bang’ and Darwin’s theory of Evolution? Yet, both are taught as fact through all grades of education and propagated through every natural history programme, publication and in every museum. Everywhere.

So if you’ve been lied to about something as fundamental as the origin of time, space and matter; the origin – or genesis – of life, is it so hard to imagine they’d lie to you about anything and everything?

That said, now imagine a generation that has been systematically misled from cradle to grave.

It would be reasonable to suggest that under these conditions, instruction and advice parents have passed on to their offspring with all good intentions has therefore been flawed to some degree. Compromised. Now, extend that deception to academia. Our own education.

The result would be a second generation whose start in life has been influenced by misinformation and who then enter an academic environment structured on those same falsehoods while, at the same time, becoming increasingly influenced by a corrupted, unprincipled and increasingly pervasive media.

A whole generation then who live entire lives without ever knowing essential truths that should form the bedrock on which their characters are built.

What would be the consequence of such a deception? To help answer this, first of all consider animals in the wild.

Without ‘situational awareness’ the deck is stacked against them

Their survival depends on knowledge of their environment. They need to know where to find food, what foods sustain them and what doesn’t. They must know where to find safety in times of danger and routes they need to take quickly to get there. They need to know where to shelter for rest.

Without that ‘situational awareness’ the deck becomes stacked against them. Similarly, we need an ever-acute situational awareness. The information we receive shapes our perceptions, opinions, world view, decisions, life choices and actions.

Therefore, an environment dominated by misinformation and deliberate deception renders it impossible for us to make effective life choices. Like wild animals lost in an unfamiliar landscape, our odds of success in life become … diminished.

Clearly a trusted source is vital. A benchmark by which we may judge all else.

As Christians we know of only one fundamental and 100% reliable truth … the word of God. The Bible. How do we know this?

Simple. The Bible tells us so.

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy we find:

‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.’

2 Timothy 3: 16-17

Scripture – our standard, or yardstick – therefore imparts undisputable conviction. It equips us with a road-map by which we need never lose our way.

In his earlier letter to Timothy, Paul had stated:

‘If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister in Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith …’

1 Timothy 3:6

We see here, therefore, that God’s word – his truth – is also nourishing. By extension it would be fair to say that those things in direct opposition to God’s truth – may be considered toxic.

Moreover, in an age in which a view expressed in Cardiff, Wales can be transmitted to Cardiff, New South Wales in little more than a heartbeat, lies are also contagious.

As contagious as a virus. Viruses and lies. Now there’s a topical consideration.

When I returned to the church following an absence of forty years I felt I had some serious catching up to do. I dusted off my bible and … two thousand two hundred pages, sixty six books written by over forty authors over 1500 years. Where do I start?

There are guides aplenty for this and each one has something unique to say, so I guess it comes down to personal choice. Whatever works for you is always going to be the best option. One piece of advice suggested the use of The Book of Proverbs in maintaining a discipline of daily reading.

Proverbs, at thirty-one chapters lends itself perfectly to a monthly rotational reading programme. Read a chapter each day, through to the end – then start again. For those months having thirty days only, read two chapters on the last day.

But for guidance in life in the twenty-first century what use is a book written approximately 700 years before Christ? To answer this I’ll quote the introduction from my own study bible:

‘Everyone knows the value of good advice. Listening to those who are wiser than we are gives us the benefit of their hard-won experience. Growing up, getting along with others, and holding a job all would be impossible without guidance from folks who have been there before.

The Book of Proverbs gives that kind of help. But the book is more than a collection of tips and tricks. It passes on a core of knowledge and experience that God says we must have if we are to live successfully.

These proverbs are not merely old sayings that concern people in far-off lands, but universal principles that apply to all people of all times. They speak of modern problems as much as ancient ones because they concern human nature and God’s ways.’

For anyone in any doubt about the relevance of Proverbs, here’s the clincher:

‘Human nature has not changed since Solomon’s time; neither has God‘s. Only the landscape around us has changed.’

So thirty-one chapters of sound advice that lends itself perfectly to modern daily reading … and, if you are using the King James Version, when you eventually turn to Chapter 30 you’ll find … a remarkable spider.


A Remarkable Spider