Some Wisdom and Some Controversy

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 NKJV

I guess this week is just not following my normal patterns, because today I am going to give you some of my own opinion. It is logically founded opinion – just not a view shared by many. I usually avoid opinions like this one so I do not stir controversy. 

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Proverbs, chapters 1 – 3 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).

Not only do you get opinion today – yesterday I presented an entire book without any devotional or commentary. I promise I haven’t lost my mind. There is a battle this week in my life, many things coming against me – but let’s (as always) focus on what God is doing. My earring business finished its first month and grew tremendously!! It is not a sustainable business yet – but it has only been a month. Give it time. I might grow faster if international shipping was less expensive. I only sell to the USA due to shipping costs. God is good, good, good!!!

I promised opinionated controversy – here we are:  Proverbs is written as a guidance book – not as a book of promises from God. As we see in this opening passage – fear of God is the beginning is understanding (obtaining knowledge and wisdom) it says the purpose of the book is “to…”. Then it says all the types of wisdom and knowledge and understanding. 

This book goes through many causation statements. Tried and true ‘if… then..” types of wisdom we all find comfort in and we all should build our knowledge, wisdom and understanding on – BUT FIRST, fear the Lord, keep it all in perspective under Him – the Him, the one true God whose ways are NOT our ways and thought are NOT our thoughts.  So God says, here in proverbs is the way the world works, understand its patterns so you can be successful – but that is all this book gives. It is not a book of covenant or promises of God. 

So for example, none of the verses in these chapter are usually extracted and clinged to as a promise like a verse from chapter 22 is:

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

Every mother with a prodigal child beats herself up and says she didn’t do a good enough job. Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. This is NOT a promise from God. This is Godly advise and instruction. It is godly and wise to train a child in the way he should go.

Every mother of a prodigal clings to this saying her child will come back – cause it says so. Oh woman, why do you know have that same fervent faith in the promise of chains being broken and strongholds torn down as you have faith in a wise saying.  Proverbs are not promises. Go extract a mighty and powerful promise from the Lord to pour your human sized faith into. This verse is for the young couple with newborns and little children – not for those with adult children making choices outside of what they were taught.  If they are not staying in the way they were taught, then probably the problem is something else.  In my life it was a deep need for deliverance from ancestral demons and curses. You can teach me the ways of the Lord, but also pass to me all the dysfunction and curses. I cannot overcome those with Godly training – they need a mighty God to extract them – to deliver me!  And I was delivered!

I am well aware that this is an unpopular opinion (grounded in context and logic).  You can accept it or reject it. But the word of the Lord must be rightly divided if we are to swing it like a sword into our situations and the lives of our loved ones – and proverbs kinda feels like throwing marshmallows at the enemy during battle.

So read proverbs as instruction for living – but know real life doesn’t stick to the script. Dig deeper for battle, this is for living and not for battling.  These bits of wisdom will work for the believers and the unbelievers – they are just wise, tried and true moral lessons – lessons that are worthless to your growth and transformation in Christ unless you start with the fear of the Lord.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is month two of the two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Proverbs 1-3 NKJV

The Beginning of Knowledge

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

To know wisdom and instruction,
To [a]perceive the words of understanding,
To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will [b]attain wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Shun Evil Counsel

My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;
For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck.

10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like [c]Sheol,
And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
13 We shall find all kinds of precious [d]possessions,
We shall fill our houses with [e]spoil;
14 Cast in your lot among us,
Let us all have one purse”—
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;
16 For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood.
17 Surely, in [f]vain the net is spread
In the sight of any [g]bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood,
They lurk secretly for their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;
It takes away the life of its owners.

The Call of Wisdom

20 Wisdom calls aloud [h]outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
21 She cries out in the [i]chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
22 “How long, you [j]simple ones, will you love [k]simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
23 Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
25 Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
27 When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.

28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
32 For the [l]turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be [m]secure, without fear of evil.”

The Value of Wisdom

My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.

10 When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
11 Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,
12 To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things,
13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness
To walk in the ways of darkness;
14 Who rejoice in doing evil,
And delight in the perversity of the wicked;
15 Whose ways are crooked,
And who are devious in their paths;
16 To deliver you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words,
17 Who forsakes the companion of her youth,
And forgets the covenant of her God.
18 For her house [n]leads down to death,
And her paths to the dead;
19 None who go to her return,
Nor do they [o]regain the paths of life—
20 So you may walk in the way of goodness,
And keep to the paths of righteousness.
21 For the upright will dwell in the land,
And the blameless will remain in it;
22 But the wicked will be [p]cut off from the [q]earth,
And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.

Guidance for the Young

My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.

Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and [r]high esteem
In the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall [s]direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your [t]flesh,
And strength[u] to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction;
12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who [v]retain her.

19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;
20 By His knowledge the depths were broken up,
And clouds drop down the dew.

21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes—
Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
22 So they will be life to your soul
And grace to your neck.
23 Then you will walk safely in your way,
And your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
26 For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.

27 Do not withhold good from [w]those to whom it is due,
When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,
When you have it with you.
29 Do not devise evil against your neighbor,
For he dwells by you for safety’s sake.
30 Do not strive with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.

31 Do not envy the oppressor,
And choose none of his ways;
32 For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord,
But His secret counsel is with the upright.
33 The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the home of the just.
34 Surely He scorns the scornful,
But gives grace to the humble.
35 The wise shall inherit glory,
But shame shall be the legacy of fools.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 1:2 understand or discern
  2. Proverbs 1:5 acquire
  3. Proverbs 1:12 Or the grave
  4. Proverbs 1:13 Lit. wealth
  5. Proverbs 1:13 plunder
  6. Proverbs 1:17 futility
  7. Proverbs 1:17 Lit. lord of the wing
  8. Proverbs 1:20 in the street
  9. Proverbs 1:21 LXX, Syr., Tg. top of the walls; Vg. the head of multitudes
  10. Proverbs 1:22 naive
  11. Proverbs 1:22 naivete
  12. Proverbs 1:32 waywardness
  13. Proverbs 1:33 at ease
  14. Proverbs 2:18 sinks
  15. Proverbs 2:19 Lit. reach
  16. Proverbs 2:22 destroyed
  17. Proverbs 2:22 land
  18. Proverbs 3:4 Lit. good understanding
  19. Proverbs 3:6 Or make smooth or straight
  20. Proverbs 3:8 Body, lit. navel
  21. Proverbs 3:8 Lit. drink
  22. Proverbs 3:18 hold her fast
  23. Proverbs 3:27 Lit. its owners

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