Read: Proverbs 1-2 and Psalms 85
In the next two weeks the words of King Solomon and other wise men will fill my thoughts. Given the difficulties we are currently facing, the timing of this scripture is perhaps most important.
Beyond the intro, the first exhortation from King Solomon is to ignore the temptation to go along with sinful people. Simply put,
My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. Proverbs 1:10
To begin with, this assumes we have enough discernment to recognize the lure and bait of a sinful person. In hindsight this is easy to identify, it’s having the foresight to see what is happening that I find difficult. The distinction here, I believe, is these men are well known to be scoundrels; their reputation precedes them. Lord help us to have the foresight and clearly see the traps that lie ahead!
Wisdom is personified in Proverbs 1:20-33. The imagery is really great!
on top of the wall she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech
If we would stop and listen we would hear wisdom speak, but it seems I am often in such a hurry, stressed by one thing or another, that I often do not hear the shouts from the city gate. The rebuke is rather harsh: I will mock when calamity overtakes you (Proverbs 1:26b); tough words which simply reveal the truth.
Moral Benefits of Wisdom
It’s great to follow up the rebuke with some refreshing words: if we call out for insight and wisdom God will provide!
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
Thank you Lord!
While wisdom is not afraid to rebuke when necessary, wisdom provides discretion and understanding, saves us from wicked and adulterous people; it leads us on the path of righteousness.
Wisdom begins with fear of the Lord, with a deep and sincere appreciation for who God is as Father, Creator and Redeemer of all. This is important to appreciate in a world that relies on IQ scores to define those who are wise and who should be followed. In a world that denies God’s existence, the moral compass has no true north. Our key advantage is not only relying on the One True God, but working hard to learn his ways and follow his path. Reading the Bible daily is a start. Hearing the whispers and shouts from the gate is a great next step. Thank you for your words Lord. Help us to hear!