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Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’

Verses 14-15: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

When I was in college, I was in the drama team of our Baptist Student Union (called the Zoo Troupe). Once we acted out a skit called “The Owl Who Was God”. (I found out just this week that the skit must’ve been based on the fable in James Thurber’s book Fables for Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated (New York, 1940), pp. 35-36. I reread the story at the following link: https://www.k-state.edu/english/baker/english320/Thurber-The_Owl_Who_Was_God.htm). The story (condensed here) is that the other animals asked the owl to be their leader because he could see in the dark and answer any question (although his answers to most questions were “Who”, “Two”, “To wit”, and “To Woo”…mostly owl-speak!). After chasing away a few animals who wanted to ask “Can he see in the daytime?”, the other animals asked the owl to be their leader. Appearing at high noon, walking slowly with wide eyes (since he couldn’t see in the daytime), the other animals, impressed by his seeming stature, began to cry “He’s God!” They began to follow him, even when he started walking down a highway. They were still crying “He’s God”…when most of them, including the owl, were killed by a truck which ran into them. The moral was: You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.

Paul here is contrasting the natural man, using natural wisdom, with the spiritual man, who uses the wisdom given through the Holy Spirit. The spiritual man can discern and judge many things through the wisdom God gives; the natural man cannot discern those same things, because natural wisdom cannot divine the deep things of God. It would be like above, when the animals thought the owl was wise, when it reality, he was limited…just like the natural man is limited.

So for wisdom that lasts, do you want the natural sands to build your house on? Or do want your foundation to be the wisdom of the Rock?

Something to think about.

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Proverbs 20:5-6

verse 5: “A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out.”

When I was young, I went on my first “deep-sea” fishing trip. I had been fishing before in lakes back home, and could at least see into that water for a ways. But when we would let those deep-sea rods loose, and feel how long it took the weighted hooks to drop into the sea, I didn’t understand how we would catch anything when we couldn’t see it. Our captain understood though; he knew that with the proper bait in the proper spot and a little patience, we could be reeling in some red snapper and other fish within no time at all.

I read this verse and the Holman commentary on it, and I often think of my parents when they would say, “I know what you’re up to.” It didn’t matter what I appeared to be up to, they always seem to know my real motives and purposes. That type of wisdom comes from God. Experience may give us insight as to being able to tell what our children are up to, but God grants us that wisdom to be able to “draw out” those plans. God Himself knows what we’re thinking better than we know ourselves. As I’ve said before, He is that Source of wisdom; we have but to ask. Jesus wants us to be fishers of men; are you ready to “reel them in”?

Something to think about today.

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Proverbs 18:1-7

verse 2: “A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind.”

For those who remember the Saturday morning cartoon, The Smurfs, you will remember the character of Brainy Smurf. He was the self-proclaimed “know-it-all” who was often fond of trying to voice his opinion and wisdom on matters, only to aggravate his fellow Smurfs and finally getting tossed out of the village on his ear!

This verse reminds me of Brainy Smurf. The fool doesn’t really want to learn or to understand; he only wants to vainly proclaim what he knows, or rather, what he thinks he knows. There are wise people in this world, and their counsel is sound and valid. Of course, there is the Source of Wisdom Himself. So, if it is wisdom you seek, why not seek God’s wisdom today.

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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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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Proverbs 3:14-15

verses 14-15: “For its profit is better than the profit of silver, And its gain than fine gold.”

Verses 13-20 concern the value of wisdom (I’m using the Ryrie NAS Study Bible here). I think I’ll start with what I read in the Holman concordance on this passage on p.29:

“Like a merchant, the writer evaluates the treasures available to him. What acquisition will produce the greatest gain or profit? Though gold and silver are undeniable measures of wealth, they can provide only the things that money can buy, and wisdom provides what money cannot buy.”

I recall a conversation I had with a peer about jobs and careers. Although monetary pay factored very heavily in the decision of whether to take a certain job with a certain company and location, money was not the sole factor in the decision (this will probably come as a shock to some in our society today!) There are things more valuable than money. Wisdom is surely one. A person’s soul is another.

One’s soul is precious, and I’m glad I’ve trusted mine to Jesus. Have you?

Have a blessed day!

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Proverbs 3:7-8

verse 7: “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.”

Some of you may remember a cartoon called “The Smurfs” (okay, sorry for the groans I’ve heard from some of you just now!) If you remember this cartoon, you’ll recall the know-it-all character of Brainy Smurf. He was the one who supposedly was as wise as Papa Smurf, and didn’t mind showing off his smarts. Most of the time he wound up being tossed out of the village on his head by the other Smurfs!

We’ve all known people like Brainy; some of us may have even been like Brainy. These people think they know it all. It’s not until they are proven wrong (and had their ego balloons deflated!) that they hopefully learn their lesson…that they are not wise in their own eyes. But there is One who is.

God is not just all-powerful, He is all-knowing as well. He is just a prayer away, when it comes to asking for His wisdom. Remember, as it says in James 1:5 “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

Have a blessed day!

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Proverbs 2:11-15

verse 11: “Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you,”

May I present the special agents who work for Wisdom, Agent Discretion and Agent Understanding. They each serve a specific purpose here.

Agent Discretion will serve as your bodyguard. Discretion will go with you, be with you at all times. Discretion will guard you from bad situations, advise you before you make a decision that could be treacherous. Discretion cannot stop you if you decide to go against the agent’s advice, but rest assured, Discretion has seen these situations before, and usually the advice this agent gives is sound. If you decide to act without consulting Agent Discretion’s cautious counsel, the outcome (more than likely) will not be good.

Agent Understanding will be your shadow. This agent will be tailing you as you go through your normal routines in the world, and will be watching over you. This agent is an experienced guardian as well, seeing how situations develop and sizing up the likely outcomes, dependent on your participation or non-participation in them. Using this valuable knowledge, this agent is also a good advance scout to keep you from straying into a bad situation.

Now, forgive my humorous personification of these two aspects of wisdom. When I first read the verse, I thought of the old phrase “Discretion is the better part of valor”, a phrase attributed to Falstaff in William Shakespeare’s King Henry the Fourth. (see http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=Discretion+is+the+better+part+of+valor&ia=ahdi). “Caution is preferable to rash bravery.” (see http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=Discretion+is+the+better+part+of+valor&ia=ahcl). If we listen to God, and seek His wisdom in matters of life here on earth, there are a lot of evil situations that we won’t wind up in…especially since we won’t be alone. (Jesus told His followers I will always be with you…for the Christian, that’s assurance of eternal counsel!)

Have a blessed day!

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verses 28-29: “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me, Because they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of the Lord.”

Solomon, in this passage, is speaking of wisdom as something to be sought and followed. That even though wisdom will cry out to those in the streets to listen, that some will not. And on the day those people reap the whirlwind, wisdom will not listen to their cries then.

I see that same analogy to the invitation to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Today, in Christ-fearing churches, there is always an invitation at the end of most services; an invitation to come and know Jesus personally as your Lord and Savior. But check in Revelation: one day it will be too late. One day, the invitation will be no more. If you don’t know Jesus by that day…what a truly horrible day that would be.

Thank Jesus if you know Him today! If you don’t yet, the invitation is still open right now.

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