A proverb a day turns into 5 days
After attending the Dallas Razorbacks vs. Aggies game, I am somewhat behind in posting to my blog. I was able to read my Bible each day but since I did not take my laptop I have a lot of writing to do.
If you wonder why you should bother to read the book of Proverbs 12 times during the year, keep reading and you will find an abundance of reasons. Verses 2-7 0f the first chapter says:
- for attaining wisdom and discipline
- for understanding words of insight
- for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life
- doing what is right and just and fair
- adding to the learning of the wise by listening
- giving the discerning guidance
Why wouldn’t we want to spend a portion of every day devouring words that will accomplish all of these things? And v. 7 is one of the strongest verses in the entire Bible: The fear (awe) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
If you have ever watched Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” you may think wisdom is no longer sought after or treasured. It seems we have all but abandoned our quest for knowledge, and the thirst for godly wisdom has likewise been abandoned. But if you continue to read further in Proverbs, you will see that just as there are rewards for wisdom, there is punishment for folly. Vs. 25 and 26 actually says, “I will laugh at your calamity because you did not listen to me.” I have heard some pastors say this verse means that God will laugh at our calamity, but these verses are about wisdom, not God. I cannot imagine God laughing at the demise of any of His children, but we should not test God by continually turning away from His instruction.
Proverbs 2 goes on to deal with the moral benefits of wisdom telling us we should search for wisdom as though it were silver or some other hidden treasure. I remember the movie “Goonies” which was about a group of misfits who had found a treasure map. So convinced were they that treasure would be found, they began a journey that not only was rife with traps but also put them at odds with a family of criminals. If we would only seek wisdom with the same fervor those kids sought (and found) the treasure, then we are told in v. 10 of Ch. 2 that “wisdom will enter your heart.” Wisdom saves from wickedness, perverseness and darkness and keep us in the company of good men. (v 20)
Proverbs 3 goes on to expound on the benefits of wisdom. Prov. 3:1-2 says wisdom will increase our lives and give us prosperity. Prov 3:5 is another one of those scriptures that once learned, stays with you forever: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths.” If I tell God that I am committed to trusting Him with all of my heart, but then do not invite Him to partake in any of my decisions, I am not being honest. When I read my Bible and pray, if I do all of the talking and do not give God any time for any input, then I am really just talking to myself, and that has never been known to be very productive. When we find ourselves on the wrong path, time after time, then it is clear God is not directing our paths and we need to back up and start again.
Prov 3:11 can be a tough scripture: do not rebuke the Lord’s discipline for the Lord disciplines those He loves. No one likes to be disciplined. Discipline equals punishment and punishment implies you have done something wrong. But God’s discipline is not man’s discipline. God’s discipline is designed to turn you back to Him. When we find ourselves on the mat, down for the count, that is when we should look toward Heaven and turn toward God for the answers to life’s questions.
Prov 4 says though it costs you all you have, get understanding (v.7). Most of us have never given all we have for anything. We always save a little something back “for a rainy day.” Giving all we have is just not in our nature. Jesus, however, gave all He had to purchase our redemption, not His, ours. Will we ever completely fathom God’s mercy, Jesus’ sacrifice, or why God even wants a relationship with such flawed individuals? God, please give us the wisdom to understand, and the understanding to continue to seek your wisdom.
V. 22 says God’s words are life to those who find them and health to our bodies. We are to guard our hearts, for they are the wellsprings of life. Again, I wonder why–why would we not cling to the word of God, why do we not take more time to visit His word, to hear His word, to make His word a part of our daily lives? Why do we not make a conscious effort to memorize His word? What else can you think of that is life to those who find it, and health to your body? Help us Father, to recognize the importance of your word, and to receive the life found therein.
Prov. 5 speaks primarily of adultery. Many of us may think we can skip this chapter as it does not now, nor would ever, apply to us. Not so fast. This chapter speaks not just of adultery, but of the lack of discipline that can lead to adultery. There is that word again–discipline. V 12 says, how I hated discipline, how my heart spurned correction. These are the words of a man whose life was ruined by a lack of discipline. Is discipline so hard that we are willing to trade it for our life? God forbid that we choose folly over wisdom, or evil over good.
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