The Vulcan salute

The Vulcan salute

He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life, and he who pursues evil will bring about his own death. – Proverbs 11:19 

Proverbs 11:17-30

 17 Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.

 18 Evil people get rich for the moment, but the reward of the godly will last.

 19 Godly people find life; evil people find death.

 20 The LORD detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity.

 24 Give freely and become wealthier; be stingy and lose everything.

 25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

 27 If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you!

 28 Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.

 29 Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind. The fool will be a servant to the wise.

 30 The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends.

Live long and prosper was uttered as a part of the Vulcan salute. It was a hand gesture popularized by Leonard Nimoy, Spock, in the 1960s television series Star Trek.  It consisted of a raised hand with the palm forward and the thumb extended, while the fingers are parted between the middle and ring finger.

It is derived from the gesture on the Jewish Priestly Blessing. The Jewish Kohanim (priests) raised both hands, thumb to thumb in this same position, representing the Hebrew letter Shin (ש). The Shin (ש) has three upward strokes similar to the position of the thumb and fingers in the gesture. The letter Shin is begins several of well-known Hebrew words: El Shaddai, meaning (Almighty God), Shekinah and Shalom.

Do you wish to live long and prosper? The Book of Proverbs offers guidelines, but not guarantees. Simply stated if we choose to do what is gracious, kind, right and intrinsically good, positive results follow. The results of our kindness are often not immediate or obvious. It is a life choice which ultimately is good for us and others who receive kindness. But it is not an ironclad rule that always delivers. There are no guaranteed cause and effect outcomes which are so often wrongly promised by the deceptive words of prosperity preachers.

We do not give to get. Rather, we give and do right because we are instructed to do so by our heavenly Father. In the Father’s kingdom there is a kind of barter system of spiritual reciprocity. What we receive back, is the goodwill and appreciation of the Father. Through Him we are refreshed and encouraged. The leanness of our souls is exchanged for fullness. The Father never owes us, but He does incline Himself to us.

Galatians 6:10 as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

REFLECT & PRAY

We are instructed to give materially. But what about our time and attention to others. What is harder to give things or time? Ask any busy father or mother.

Father, You are characterized by hesed, loyal love, loving kindness.  I want to be like You!! Encourage and strengthen me to be good, kind, and generous.

INSIGHT

When we are born into this world, we are given a slate of life upon which to write. Because we are redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ, our old slate is wiped clean of past indiscretions. We are given a second chance to make better decisions and life choices.

Choose wisely how you write upon the clean slate you have been handed by your heavenly Father. Patterns of behavior have their own outcome and result. Righteousness leads to life and emotional health. Evil leads to emotional leanness and death.

Philippians 2:3-4

 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

To better understand Galatians 6:10, it is important to grasp the practical context in which it is written. Barclay translates it like this:

Galatians 6:5–10

Don’t deceive yourselves; no one can make a fool of God; whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. He who sows to his own lower nature will from that nature reap a blighted harvest. He who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap life eternal. Don’t get tired of doing the fine thing; for, when the proper time comes, we will reap so long as we don’t relax our efforts. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are members of the household of the faith.

Paul declares a grim truth. He insists that life holds the scales with an even balance. If we allow the lower side of our nature to dominate us, in the end we can expect nothing but a harvest of trouble. But if we keep on walking the high road and doing the good, fine, and kind things, in the end God will repay (Barclay).

In the first century, the Greeks believed in the goddess of retribution, Nemesis. The Greeks believed that, when people did wrong, immediately Nemesis was on their trail and sooner or later caught up. The law of sowing and reaping is still in effect even for children of the King.

The Lord calls us to do what is good and right, not only because godly living reflects His own holy character, but also because it benefits and blesses us. Living by God’s Word is the healthy way to live (Stanley).

A tree is known by its fruit, a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love (Saint Basil).

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest” (Mark Twain).

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