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Archive for June, 2010

verse 21: “To endow those who love me with wealth, That I may fill their treasuries.”

The old Chinese proverb states: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Not only does the man get the benefit of the food (the fish), but knowing how to get it himself (how to fish), he becomes more self-reliant, and less dependent on charity.

Wisdom has those benefits too. To accept God’s wisdom has additional benefits than just being smarter. It allows you to grow in Him, and to apply those teachings to your life. Your life will be better as a by-product. Now, hear me out here: our lives on this old earth will not be perfect, nor will we all turn into millionaires! This is not a verse that says God is a magic genie, granting all our wishes. Though I consulted the Holman commentary that I use in this study, I already know that not every Christian is financially rich. Yes, there are some Christians who have more money than others; there are non-believers who are more financially well-off, too. You can be spiritually wealthy by accepting God’s wisdom. I know a good many Christians who are happy and content in the Lord, and they are not going to crack the Fortune 500 anytime soon. 🙂 Remember, there are a lot of rich people today, and some of those folks are plain miserable, discovering that money can’t buy happiness.

Something to think about.

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verses 12-14: “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way, And the perverted mouth, I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine.”

Wisdom keeps some interesting company. I quote the Holman Concordance here on Proverbs, page 72-73:

“8:12 – Wisdom, you might say, lives with a family of other wonderful virtues. Prudence can refer to trickery (Josh. 9:4), but in Proverbs it always means good, sensible behavior. Knowledge describes not just academic attainment but knowledge of truth. And discretion in Proberbs means the careful behavior that arises from clear thinking. It is the opposite of recklessness. All three words refer to the ability to form sound plans.”
“8:13 – But wisdom is far more than shrewdness; the fear of the LORD is its foundation (Prov. 1:7, 9:10)…”
“8:14-16 – Wisdom returns to the catalog of accompanying virtues began in verse 12. She can provide people with direction because she has counsel and sound judgment; and she strengthens them to meet the challenges of life with understanding and power.…”

I cannot put it more plainly. Tis better to keep company with this family than with what the world offers.

Something to think about.

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verses 1-4: “Does not wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice? On top of the heights beside the way, Where the paths meet, she takes her stand; Beside the gates, at the opening to the city, At the entrance of the doors, she cries out: “To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men.”

Remember the old cartoon or comedy skits with “the wise man of the mountain” or “the wise guru”? The scene sets up with some weary truth-seeker climbing the highest mountain where lives the wise man. When the weary traveler finally reaches the serene wise man to ask his question, the guru would answer with some response that was 1. funny (it was comedy, of course) 2. sometimes sarcastic or 3. common sense (well, duh!)

While God does have a sense of humor, He doesn’t treat an earnest seeker of knowledge like that. In fact, by Solomon’s words here, wisdom actually calls out and is present in the heavily-trafficked areas of life, exhorting those to listen. Wisdom is not something so remote and hidden that we have to climb the highest peak to find it. It’s as close to us…as a prayer to God. So take off the mountain-climbing gear and get on your prayer knees today!

Have a blessed day!

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verse 22: “Suddenly he follows her, As an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,”

For several years in my childhood, my siblings and I reared and showed 4-H steers. It was an interesting cycle of getting the steer; feeding, caring for, and working with the steer; and then showing him in various fairs and county shows, culminating in the state show if you made it that far. Now, unless you already had a buyer for the beef, you would put the steer into the sale that would take place after the state show. The last thing I would see most every 4-H year is my steer being put on someone else’s trailer and driven off. Now, even though I was a naive youth, I knew the steer was going to the slaughterhouse; it was a way of life on the farm.

But even as naive as I was, I knew what was ahead for that steer…death. The steer didn’t know; that animal would be led into the slaughterhouse, not knowing it was about to die. That is the analogy Solomon uses here. The foolish youth is following the seductress straight to his doom, and he doesn’t realize it. The devil is that way, masking the road to destruction so it looks appealing. Pray today that Jesus would open your eyes to the world around you, and not be taken in by the trappings of this world. Remember, we’re only on this world a short time…

Something to think about.

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Proverbs 7:12-20

verse 12: “She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner.”

We often think we’re immune from harm befalling us. It’s not necessarily ignorance or arrogance, but sometimes it’s the sense that we’re secure and totally safe…only to find out bad things can happen to us as well.

I feel like I live in a relatively safe community; I couldn’t ask for better neighbors on my street. However, in the last few years:

    our home was burglarized while we were at church
    my neighbor 2 doors down was mugged…in his driveway…in broad daylight
    within the last month, a fellow church member who lives about 5 blocks away was held up at gunpoint in his driveway

In all cases, God protected us. But I list those instances to say that evil is everywhere….it’s not just in the “bad” parts of towns…it “lurks by every corner.” Solomon is speaking of the harlot laying in wait for the victim here. We must always pray and trust God in all things; also pray to God for the wisdom we need in our daily lives to protect us and to use the common sense He gives us to help us avoid that evil in the streets and squares.

Something to think about.

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My apologies: had internet connectivity problems last week!

verse 8-10: “Passing through the street near her corner; And he takes the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, In the middle of the night and in the darkness. And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.”

Remember the old cliché: “in the wrong place at the wrong time”? Solomon describes the scene of flirting with sexual temptation. The young man lacking sense is in an area he shouldn’t be in. Looking for someone he shouldn’t be with. So, is it any surprise, when the married woman greets the young man, when she “comes to meet him”?

Sometimes, of all the senses God has given us, the one we use least is the common sense. Willpower is a great thing for combating temptation, but remember, the devil doesn’t play fair, and he is a supernatural enemy. When Joseph got cornered by Potiphar’s wife, his best defense was a healthy retreat, breaking all track records to get out of there! Pray to God today to use the wisdom He offers to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Something to think about today.

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Proverbs 7:1-5

Hello, everyone! It’s good to be back. Our Carpenters trip was wonderful. It was a great mission trip this year and very rewarding! Thank you to those who prayed for me and for our group.

Now, back to Chapter 7:

verse 4: “Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding your intimate friend;”

If you were to travel to an exotic place (exotic in that it was totally alien to you, that you knew nothing of it), you would be sure to find a trustworthy guide, wouldn’t you? This guide would shepherd you down every street, every stopping point for food and rest, and even be your translator while talking to the natives of the land. After a while, you would begin to trust this guide as you would your own brother or sister. Your very life could well depend on their counsel.

That is what Solomon is exhorting here: to trust in wisdom as one would trust their sister. In most cases, our own flesh and blood family would never let us go anywhere or do anything that would be detrimental or harm us, at least now without trying to warn us first. It’s because family ordinarily loves you more than any other friend. To those who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you have the best family member ever, who is closer than any brother.

Something to think about.

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