Sunday, February 17, 2013
Scratching The Surface of Proverbs
Scratching the Surface of Proverbs
If I had paid more attention to my father while growing up,...
I could have avoided so many problems if I'd only...
Can anyone relate to that?
How about this?
If I had paid more attention to my Father while growing up,...
He's offered the best advice that I've never taken; and I've suffered the consequences of ignoring and rebelling against His counsel.
Can anyone relate to that?
A consistent theme of Holy Scripture is Father knows best.
Trust and obey Him and everything works out for the best sooner or later and definitely in the end.
Conversely, well, we don't want to go there; but we do when we ignore and rebel against His counsel.
It's been said wisdom comes from examples, experience, and education.
That's knowledge; gathering data to inform decision-making.
Wisdom is not something to be learned or earned.
Wisdom is mysterious; as in knowing what to say and do without examples, experience, and education.
Knowledge can be gained from examples, experience, and education.
Wisdom comes from our Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior.
Knowledge can be picked up by watching others, trial and error, reading books, enrolling in a course or conference or workshop, and the like.
Wisdom, just knowing what to say and do without help from anyone or anything, comes from God.
Knowledge comes from the classroom, the university of hard knocks, and a variety of human resources.
Wisdom comes from immersing ourselves in intimacy with God; or as the Psalmist said, "God inhabits the praises of His people."
Knowledgeable people quote each other; relying on each other for direction and destiny.
Wise people, Peter observed, "speak...[and act]...as moved by the Holy Spirit."
Solomon comes to mind.
Following his dad David to the throne, he confessed, "I don't know much of anything, yet I am supposed to lead Your chosen people."
God blessed Solomon's humility: "The Lord was delighted...'Since you have asked for wisdom and not for an extended lifetime or personal wealth..., I will honor your request...I have planted the deepest wisdom in your heart. There has never been nor will there ever be a man like you.'"
And as many have acknowledged for as long as anybody can remember, Solomon has been renowned as the wisest man who ever lived.
Proverbs contains the wisdom given to Solomon to benefit anyone who recognizes the Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior of how to live a righteous life - "a treasury of wisdom...And don't think you can decide on your own what is right and what is wrong...Respect God...depend on Him...He is ready to share His wisdom with us...His words bring true insight..."
Proverbs provides Godly wisdom for people who want to be Godly when it comes to just about anything including parenthood, romance, marriage, money, industry, commerce, diet, communication, and just about everything that we'll address in time.
You name it, Solomon's got something to say about it that he got from Father who knows best as Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior.
Reading Proverbs can be tough.
Maxim after maxim after maxim on how to live righteously.
Or practically speaking, wisdom for staying out of trouble and tapping into God's best for us.
Did you notice how God was "delighted" that Solomon did not ask for a long life or wealth or any of those other things that fade with time; and yet God gave them to Solomon because he wanted to honor God more than anything else: "I have also given you the things for which you have not asked - wealth and an honorable reputation..."?
God explained why Solomon got more than he asked: "If you live a life devoted to Me,...then I will add days to your life."
Jesus explained how esteeming God more than anyone or anything else including self yields His best sooner or later and definitely in the end: "Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too."
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, reached this conclusion: "Whatever you do, do it as service to Him, and He will guarantee your success."
O.K., so here's the truth or consequences.
The wise trust and obey God and, therefore, prosper.
Conversely, "Only fools despise wisdom and discipline."
Fools seek knowledge; and receive the best that they have to offer each other.
The wise seek God; and receive His best.
Not much of a choice; which, of course, is why people who do not choose God are called fools.
I like how Jesus put it: "Those people who are listening to Me...are like a wise man who built his house on a rock, on a firm foundation. When storms hit, rain pounded down and waters rose, levies broke and winds beat all the walls of that house. But the house did not fall because it was built upon rock. Those of you who are listening and do not hear...are like a fool who builds a house on sand. When a storm comes to his house, what will happen? The rain will fall, the waters will rise, the wind will blow, and his house will collapse with a great crash."
Not much of a choice.
The first step to wisdom is always in His direction.
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!