A Barrister’s Tales
© 2019 CLIFFORD C. NICHOLS
Inside Title Page
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
But the noble man devises noble plans: and by noble plans he stands.
The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
FROM THE AUTHOR
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand.
And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
1 A SEED PLANTED
He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field: and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
2 THE GENESIS OF IT ALL
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds or the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.
3 AN UPHILL CLIMB
The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds feet, and makes me walk on my high places.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
4 DESPERADOS … WHY DON’T YOU COME TO YOUR SENSES
Let them be ashamed and humiliated together who seek my life to destroy it; Let those be turned back and dishonored who delight in my hurt.
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
5 RUN JANE RUN … SEE JANE RUN
And I saw among the naïve, and discerned among the youths a young man lacking sense,
Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.
6 A SPECTATOR’S PERIL
Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; be to me a rock of strength, a stronghold to save me.
He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed.
7 AN INVITATION I COULDN’T REFUSE
They speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.
Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself; For emptiness will be his reward.
8 SOMETIMES … $#!+ CAN ROLL UPHILL
A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.
“The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, You who live in the clefts of the rock, in the loftiness of your dwelling place, who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’ Though you build high like the eagle, though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.
9 CUTTING CORNERS
He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you, which your eyes have seen.
No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.
10 MY NEW FAMILY
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given us.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
11 AN OFFER OF HELP POSTPONED
Thus says the Lord, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord.”
Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
12 HELP FROM A CRIPPLED ANGEL
2 Kings 6:17
Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
13 HOOKING UP WITH MR. MURDER
Even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool.
Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor.
14 BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, BUT BETTER NEVER LATE
Do not drink wine with song: strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
But now, behold, I am freeing you today from the chains which are on your hands. If you would prefer to come with me to Babylon, come along, and I will look after you; but if you would prefer not to come with me to Babylon, never mind. Look, the whole land is before you; go wherever it seems good and right for you to go.”
15 PERHAPS SHAKESPEARE SAID IT BEST
If you have been foolish in exalting yourself or if you have plotted evil put your hand on your mouth.
And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity.
16 THE ONE NIGHT STAND
Keep your way far from her and do not go near the door of her house, or you will give your vigor to others and your years to the cruel one.
For the lips of a harlot drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps take hold of Sheol.
17 WHAT EVIL IS …
1 Peter 5:8
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
But he who listens to Me shall live securely, and will be at ease from the dread of evil.
18 SHOULD A MURDER MATTER?
The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble
Indeed, the light of the wicked goes out, and the flame of his fire gives no light…. His vigorous stride is shortened, and his own scheme brings him down.
19 SOMETIMES THE GOOD GO BAD
The Lord has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared.
He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, and has fallen into the hole which he made. His mischief will return upon his own head, and his violence will descend upon his own pate.
20 HOW INJUSTICE IS SERVED
You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice, and only justice you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the street, and uprightness cannot enter.
They devise injustices, saying, “We are ready with a well-conceived plot”; for the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep.
21 A RECORD BROKEN
All this I have seen and applied my mind to every deed that has been done under the sun wherein a man has exercised authority over another man to his hurt. So then, I have [also] seen the wicked buried, those who used to go in and out from the holy place, and they are soon forgotten in the city where they did thus. This too is futility.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
For the Lord loves justice and does not forsake His godly ones;
they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
22 HARD KNOCKS ARE SOMETIMES GOOD
This you know my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, Slow to speak and Slow to anger;
For anger slays the foolish man, and jealousy kills the simple.
Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.
23 A DAY AT THE MATINEE
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
THE CLOSING ARGUMENT
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.
Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R),
Copyright (C) 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995
by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.