The next thirty-one days, I’ll be pouring over the words of Solomon in Proverbs. No, I won’t be ripping apart the entire chapter since, as is with all of God’s Word, it would take more than one entry to really dig in. J However, I do encourage you to read through the entire chapter on your time. I also challenge you to memorize a proverb each day and meditate on it throughout the day.
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7
I used to wonder what it meant to fear the Lord. When I thought of fear, I thought of scary movies and monsters under the bed. Usually, some evil force would terrorize the hero in those movies and I used to think that those monsters would reach out and grab me if I wasn’t quick enough. It didn’t make sense to fear God if He was good.
Now I see that the fear comes from knowing God is all powerful, all knowing and yes, He’s all good. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. It is by His mercy I am on earth in the first place.
It’s too easy for me to forget that in a world where modern conveniences make me comfortable and science attempts to explain everything away. I may think I have an answer for everything and a way to take care of myself in any situation.
I need to remember God controls my life. By His will, he placed me at this time and place in the world. Just that fact is enough to make me fear Him and be thankful for what He’s done for me.
Where are you in regards to wisdom? Do you have a teachable heart? When other Christians (whether they are more mature or whether they are just peers) confront you about an issue in your life, is your first response a prideful, stubborn one, or do you genuinely want to be sharpened by others so you can gain wisdom on how to live a godly life? Do you seek out more mature believers to gain their wisdom, or do you just depend on yourself? Do you constantly read the Bible to gain God’s wisdom, or are you lethargic in your pursuit of the Lord? Are you serious about gaining every little bit of wisdom you can gain from God and other strong believers? Solomon was, and God blessed him for it.
Later in Proverbs 1, God gives a warning to those who do not fear the Lord or seek His wisdom: “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me. Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1:28-33)
I don’t know about you, but I want to choose to live in safety, without fear of harm! Let’s spend time this month really gaining all the wisdom we can from the book of Proverbs!
A Manual for Living
These are the wise sayings of Solomon,
David’s son, Israel’s king—
Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right,
to understand what life means and where it’s going;
A manual for living,
for learning what’s right and just and fair;
To teach the inexperienced the ropes
and give our young people a grasp on reality.
There’s something here also for seasoned men and women,
still a thing or two for the experienced to learn—
Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,
the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.
Start with God
Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God;
only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you;
never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee.
Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair,
like rings on your fingers.
Dear friend, if bad companions tempt you,
don’t go along with them.
If they say—”Let’s go out and raise some hell.
Let’s beat up some old man, mug some old woman.
Let’s pick them clean
and get them ready for their funerals.
We’ll load up on top-quality loot.
We’ll haul it home by the truckload.
Join us for the time of your life!
With us, it’s share and share alike!”—
Oh, friend, don’t give them a second look;
don’t listen to them for a minute.
They’re racing to a very bad end,
hurrying to ruin everything they lay hands on.
Nobody robs a bank
with everyone watching,
Yet that’s what these people are doing—
they’re doing themselves in.
When you grab all you can get, that’s what happens:
the more you get, the less you are.
Lady Wisdom goes out in the street and shouts.
At the town center she makes her speech.
In the middle of the traffic she takes her stand.
At the busiest corner she calls out:
Simpletons! How long will you wallow in ignorance?
Cynics! How long will you feed your cynicism?
Idiots! How long will you refuse to learn?
About face! I can revise your life.
Look, I’m ready to pour out my spirit on you;
I’m ready to tell you all I know.
As it is, I’ve called, but you’ve turned a deaf ear;
I’ve reached out to you, but you’ve ignored me.
Since you laugh at my counsel
and make a joke of my advice,
How can I take you seriously?
I’ll turn the tables and joke about your troubles!
What if the roof falls in,
and your whole life goes to pieces?
What if catastrophe strikes and there’s nothing
to show for your life but rubble and ashes?
You’ll need me then. You’ll call for me, but don’t expect
No matter how hard you look, you won’t find me.
Because you hated Knowledge
and had nothing to do with the Fear-of-God,
Because you wouldn’t take my advice
and brushed aside all my offers to train you,
Well, you’ve made your bed—now lie in it;
you wanted your own way—now, how do you like it?
Don’t you see what happens, you simpletons, you idiots?
Carelessness kills; complacency is murder.
First pay attention to me, and then relax.
Now you can take it easy—you’re in good hands.