Good morning Saints,
Praise the Lord! God is good!
I am so grateful for all of you and your commitment to the Lord. We are seeing so much fruit in our lives as we allow the Word of God to transform our thinking, and make choices to live in righteousness. We have been hearing for months that this season of trial is changing us - God uses all things for His glory: "though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1Peter 1:6-7)
This week's reading is so practical and straightforward. In a nutshell, IF you seek God and His wisdom, your life will be totally different than those who don't! OK. Have a great week; see you next week :)
Kidding! Let's unpack this great chapter. The first 5 verses contain a series of conditional clauses - "if you do this, then this will result".
Here is what we must do: "accept and store up"; "turn your ear and apply"; "call out and cry aloud"; search to find as if it is very valuable/precious. The proverb states clearly that it is our responsibility to earnestly seek for and cherish the Lord's wisdom. The language of the text implies the need to make wisdom our own, making it part of our very being. It is one thing to read it and memorize it intellectually; it is far more valuable to get it down deep in our heart so it changes the way we live our lives. I have met many people who can quote scriptures like crazy, but it has not affected their lives. Knowing something is different than living out what you know.
Verse 5 is the crux of the whole book of Proverbs: when you accept and receive God's wisdom, then you will understand and find God (knowledge of God = finding God Himself). From God Himself comes wisdom, knowledge and understanding (v.6). In order to receive from Him, we need to know Him and spend time with Him. When we do that, there are blessings for us:
vs.7. - "He holds "success, victory" (NIV) in store for the upright" - the Hebrew actually says "sound wisdom" but focuses on the results of wisdom. God has victory in store for those who live according to His wisdom! And He protects (is a shield) to those who walk uprightly. WHAT A GREAT PROMISE! PIN THAT VERSE ON YOUR FRIDGE!!!
vs. 8. - God protects/guards the path and way of His saints. God is for you!
vs. 9. - You will understand (have the mental capacity and moral insight to discern) what is right, just and fair - you will be able to make wise choices!
vs.10-11 - Why? because God's wisdom is ruling your life on the inside - your heart and soul live out of God's instruction, not that of the world! In other words, you will have the discernment and discretion to make wise choices!
vs. 12 - Wisdom will save you from going down the wrong path - the path of the wicked
Verses 12-15 describe those who don't know God, nor follow His instruction. In a nutshell, their lives are a mess - their paths are crooked and their choices are evil, leading them to perversion and darkness. What a contrast!
vs. 16 - wisdom will save you from the adulterous woman - temptation that leads to destruction
Verses 16-19 describe those who have given themselves to seducing spirits. The contrast of Lady Wisdom leading to life, and the temptations of the wicked seductress leading to death is stunningly obvious. This world is full of temptations designed to satisfy our sinful cravings - our flesh. Here is the warning: "None who go to her return, or attain the paths of life" (vs.19). Lady Wisdom brings success and victory; the adulterous woman brings lostness and death. The Choice is clear!
Listen to the Apostles Paul & Peter:
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:8)
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. (1Peter 2:11)
Verses 20-22 close the chapter with the summary of the whole matter - Wisdom enables people to choose what is right, and enjoy God's blessings.
Friends, remember what we said last week, that Wisdom is God. Wisdom is Holy Spirit Personified. It becomes more obvious even in light of the New Testament, that we need to choose to live by the Spirit, not the flesh and not the world. When we do, good things follow!
For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory.
The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. (Psalm 84:11)
Have a blessed week!