For today, One Year Bible Online links here.
The first of these proverbs represents a basic fact that many people do not understand. I have known people who were secretive about their behavior and went out of their way to leave people confused about what they had, and had not done. They could never understand why people were always suspicious of them when those people had never actually caught them doing wrong. They would get angry when they were accused without evidence for the wrong they had done, demanding to know why the person thought they had done the deed, and insisting that the only reason the person thought they were guilty was because of unjust prejudice (even though they were indeed guilty as charged). They did not realize that the very tactics they were using in an attempt to hide their guilt gave it away.
This psalm reminds me of many great hymns and songs of praise, even though I cannot think of one I know based on it. Let us praise the Lord and make music with any and every instrument we can find to honor His name. His word holds true for all time. It does not change with the seasons, nor with the latest fad. People may insist that God did not really mean what He said when He called this or that wrong, but when the consequences of doing those things come home, they will realize that God did not forbid those actions because He was a killjoy. Rather He told us not to do certain things because He loves us and does not want to see us hurt.
1 Corinthians 8
The first point Paul makes here is that anyone who thinks they know all the answers does not know all that much. Knowledge makes us feel important, but love causes us to make OTHERS feel important. Therefore love is more valuable than knowledge. Let us seek to act out of love for our fellow believers rather than out of a desire to be right.
Paul goes on to discuss the fact that we know that there are no gods besides God. Therefore idols are not actually gods, so anything dedicated to an idol is not really dedicated to anything. The result of this is that there is no harm in using an object (or eating food) which has been dedicated to an idol. However, some people are used to thinking of an idol as a god. For such people using an object (or eating food) which has been dedicated to an idol is an act of worship of something other than God. If by our actions we cause someone else to commit a sin, to worship an idol, we are more in the wrong than they.
It is the responsibility of those with the stronger faith to look out for those of weaker faith. If you believe that it is not a sin to do something, and thus believe that you are more knowledgeable about Christian faith than those who believe that it is a sin, it is your obligation to make sure that none of your actions encourage them to do that which they believe to be a sin. If you encourage others to do something they believe to be wrong, you are sinning against those other believers and against Christ.
Nehemiah gives us a good example about what is needed in a leader in troubled times. He did not use his position to enrich himself at the expense of the people. Instead he used his own wealth, the wealth which had allowed him to gain a position of leadership, to supply the needs which resulted from his position of leadership. This is not a criticism of those who need the support of those they lead (whether as political leaders or in some other leadership role) in order to fulfill their obligations as leader (Nehemiah lays out some of the obligations he had). This is a criticism of those who use their position of leadership to extract wealth for themselves from those whom they lead.