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Passage: Proverbs 1-3

On Monday, July 22, 2013 (Last Updated on 7/22/2019), Yujin wrote,

How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge? (Proverbs 1:22)

Simple-minded and naive characterize those that are not wise. They encounter some challenge, and rather than trying to learn, seek counsel, and find resolution, they allow themselves to be overwhelmed and overcome. Or else they seek to act without understanding. They opt for a momentary, albeit practical, benefit while losing sight of the long-term detriment. 

Those who are most naive are those that think more highly of themselves than they ought. The Bible calls such people "wise in their own eyes." Rather than considering knowledge outside of what they already know, they simply and only lean upon the understanding they have. There are also those that repeat a matter, failing to learn from their former mistakes, and repeatedly committing the same errors that eventally destroy them. 

But perhaps the most simple-minded, naive and foolish of all is the one that denies God. They are content to live a "full" life and are unwilling to really concern themselves with anything beyond it. If they were confronted with the thesis of Ecclesiastes, namely, the vanity of earthly life, they would simply say, "So what?!" 

The Proverb gives this assessment of all such people:

Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.
They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.
So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.
For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them (Proverbs 1:29-32).

Friends, as believers we ought to know better, for we have come to know and understand not only that there is a God, but that He sent a Savior, and that this book, the Bible, is God's wisdom for the ages. If we are true to our convictions, we ought to be fanatically devoted to our God and to His Word. And since we have such wisdom in the Bible that outsines any and every other book, scroll or collection of sayings, we ought to be among those that excel in knowledge, wisdom, prudence, and discernment. 

Friends, start here. Start in the Bible, for there is nothing else that excels it. Since it's first publication, there has been nothing that has ever exceeded it as the worldwide best-seller. No one could question that it has been the most influential collection of books throughout history bar none. Even if you read other books and study other resources, make the Bible your chief and daily standard. 

I know people that know the Bible but live like fools, for they have not carefully taken to heart what they have read and applied it to their lives. They are spiritually-minded, but they live worldly lives.

Friends, don't be like that. Read, meditate, study, and then humbly and prayerfully begin to live out the wisdom that you discern from God's Word. If you have been carefully reading, you know that this will not be easy because of a persistent sinful nature, from which we will not be completely freed this side of heaven. You also know that the ignorant, naive, and false teachers may not understand nor accept what you do. But you also know that those faithful to the Lord have always been a faithful few and never many.

Therefore, you cannot always or often judge the rightness of your course by how many people support you or by some immediate benefit or positive outcome, for if your way is of eternal worth, only eternal outcomes can properly measure its worth and only an eternal counsel can judge its wisdom. While we wait for the former, we have the latter in God's Word, the Bible. 

Passage: Proverbs 1-3

On Sunday, July 22, 2012, Fernando wrote,
Proverbs 1
11 If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
     let us ambush the innocent without reason;
12 like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
    and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
20  Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
    in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:

Spiritual maturity, done through knowing Jesus through scripture and ceaseless praying, changes they way you view this world. Sickness becomes an occasion to pray, depravity becomes an effect of sin.
V11-12, paints such a picture: 'don't view this world as a world of choices, but the dominion of sin.' You are under God or under sin. When Your friends say 'let's take pleasures or glory in...' You should hear, 'let us slit our throats and drink poison.'

V20-21, encourages the ear to be sensitive to wisdom: 'these things are right, this what is seen throughout the streets must change!' The hope of God, the potential for redemption is always present, the options is always there as if announcing at "the head of noisy streets." When you see the crowd's error do not be swayed, let their roar be the roar fighting against righteousness.

The world around, let it be transformed by scripture, let your thoughts be confirmed to the mind of Christ, offered through scripture.

Proverbs 3
1 take my teachings
5 honor the lord
11 Accept his discipline
13 blessed is the one who finds wisdom
19 by wisdom the lord establish the earth

21 keep sound wisdom; do not lose sight of these.
23 then you will walk securely
25-26 don't be afraid, the lord will be your confidence
27 be fair
28 be prompt
30 don't seek adversaries

33  The Lord's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.

The center point, as I see it, is in verse 25-26!
wisdom is great... Wisdom is significant... Hold on to it, ready?
"Don't be afraid, the lord Is your confidence."

When I think wisdom I think of do's, don't, strategies, or a paradigm.

Just like a discussion of salvation, you speak of actions, rules, and paradigms but the core of the matter is relationships; wisdom here is positioned similarly.

You get a list of actions, rules and paradigm for wisdom. But this all hangs on the lord being your confidence.

Because the lord is your confidence:
-You will walk securely
-Don't be afraid
-Be fair
-Be prompt

Its because your trust you will do these. It is because you do these you show yourself as dependent on God. This is wisdom, being dependent on God. It is not 'knowing what to do' but knowing that what needs to be done will be taken care of, what is required (such as a person's heart for a negotiation deal or mercy; or life sustaining food supplied; or the job created for you to ask for; or the suprise paycheck to carry as far as God's plan calls for).

Your participation is in your choices in responding as if you trust the lord in kindness, mercy, and meekness. The character traits leads you on secure paths.

The experience of God's blessings are in the substance of your current events.

Passage: Proverbs 1-3

On Sunday, July 22, 2012 (Last Updated on 7/22/2013), Yujin wrote,

Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight,  and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:2-6 NLT)

The Proverbs were given "to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just and fair" (Proverbs 1:3). The foundation for this kind of life, according to the Proverbs, is the fear of the LORD (Proverbs 1:7).

Today, I key in on the beginning of the way to this kind of life. Proverbs says that it is gotten through earnest and diligent seeking. "Tune your ears...concentrate...cry" These are not passive but active words, such that we are to understand that the knowledge of God and the fear of God do not come to those that do nothing to pursue them.

When we pursue them as we would precious treasure, when we give our full interest and attention to them, THEN we have this promise: "You will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God." In other words, "the LORD grants wisdom!" Therefore, we have hope and can know that our efforts are not in vain.

Friends, if I might make this counsel from Proverbs immediately practical for us today, it is teaching us to earnestly and diligently seek God in His Word. The only more important thing to knowing God through His Word is fearing God by obeying what He commands in His Word. 

We already know from passages like Psalm 19 and Psalm 119 how precious the Word of God is for our lives. Consider just a few verses from Psalm 19:

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:7-10 NIV)

Therefore, my friends, I appeal to you, do not forsake your daily time in God's Word. Read, meditate, study, memorize, apply, and declare His Word. It will give you the proper persepective in every situation, whereby you will discover peace from the things that cause most people self-destructive stress. It will give you the wisdom to make right choices without the need to turn to media, the web, friends, pastors, or self-help books. The Bible is in itself sufficient. And when you learn to study it for yourselves, it will protect you from the smooth, eloquent, yet deceptive words of certain speakers, that, whether intentionally or unintentionally, distort the truth of God to your harm and theirs. 

Reading the Bible through year to year is the minimum for any Christian. If you follow this site, it means just a few chapters every day, amounting to hardly 20 minutes of reading time. Some of you have chosen a longer path, reading the Bible through over two years. That means you read 10 minutes per day?! Friends, understand that you cannot read "too much," you can only read "too little," for the more you read, the more understanding you wil have, because you will have a greater context to discern meaning. I think 10 minutes per day is too little. Even 20 minutes seems small, but I have encouraged it because I hoped that you would combine your reading with daily sharing, which can turn those twenty minutes into one to two, or for some of you, even three hours time. But each of us is answerable to God, who calls us to "seek first His kingdom and righteousness" (Matthew 6:33) and to "study to show ourselves approved by God, not needing to be ashamed because we rightly divide the Word of God" (2 Timothy 2:15).

If the Spirit of God is convicting you now, don't hesitate, pick up your Bible or turn to the reading section of this site, and begin reading. Then determine in your heart not to stop, just as you cannot stop breathing, drinking, or eating. Understand that as the latter sustains your physical life, the Word of God sustains your spiritual life. 

Passage: Proverbs 1-3

On Friday, July 22, 2011 (Last Updated on 7/22/2013), Yujin wrote,

Friends, have you considered Proverbs 3:5-7 lately?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.

Many theologians say that prayer is the greatest expression of faith, because it requires one to humble oneself before God and trust His wisdom and strength rather than trusting our own. Yet, so often when we pray, we have already thought out what we want to do and how we want things to go. We just want God to bless what we have come up with as the "best possible" course of action or outcome.

Theologians also say that some of the best prayers are prayers that pray the Scriptures back to God. Yet, how much of our prayers are Scriptural? Do the Scriptures teach us to pray for happiness, success, and safety? Yet these constitute the mainstay of our prayers. And when the Scriptures do touch on these things, aren't they always in the context of fulfilling God's will? But is this our purpose when we pray for such things?

Are we praying the same as we live, "leaning on our own understanding," rather than seeking God's will in everything? Are we being "wise in our own eyes?" If so, rather than being the greatest expression of faith, prayer has become a most obnoxious expression of pride. Rather than seeking God's will, we would be presuming to tell Him our will. Patrick Johnstone, the writer of Operation World, a great prayer journal for worldwide missions, once wrote, "When men work, men work, but when men pray, God works." As high-sounding and inspiring as this sounds, it is misleading. It gives the false impression that God only works when men stop working or that God only works when men pray. The truth is that God is always working out His will, and through prayer, if we are praying rightly, we learn to align ourselves with His will. Effective prayer, therefore, means that we have listened well. And the more in keeping with God's will our prayer is , the more likely it will be answered "Yes!" This is why Jesus taught in John 15:7, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." This is also why all of Jesus' prayers were answered. This is why the Bible says "the prayer of a righteous person is effective" (James 5:16).

Oswald Chambers wrote a profound truth that takes some thought to digest and understand: "It is not so true that prayer changes things, but prayer changes me, and I change things." God does not change and His will is fixed in His eternal and immutable counsel; however, by prayer, and God's answer to our prayers, we get a better grasp of the wonderful unfolding of God's purposes. Prayer can help us to see whether we have read God's Word properly and whether we are correctly applying His principles to our lives. Prayer is not primarily for us to get things from God but rather a means that God has given whereby we might learn to align our will with God's will more perfectly.

Passage: Proverbs 1-3

On Friday, July 22, 2011, Misty wrote,

I like the way the writer of Proverbs gives wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and righteousness and their antonyms human characteristics. I.E. She will watch over you. Wisdom calls out in the street. She raises her voice. It helps me to understand how I can relate to wisdom, to knowledge, to understanding. In itself, i vaguely understand wisdom. But when I have this picture of what wisdom would say if she were speaking to me, I GET IT!

Wisdom says, If you listen to what I am saying, then I will pour out my spirit on you and teach you my words. You will live securely and be free from the fear of danger.

Foolishness is the antonym of wisdom. It is the humanistic view point. That I have the power inside of me and I don't really need God. Foolishness says I don't fear the Lord, I don't want wisdom that doesn't come from me. Foolishness leads to an end that isn't pleasant.

Where does wisdom come from? Ch. 2:6 says God gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Wisdom will bring success, knowledge and understanding.

Am I wise? In my eyes I am. In God's eyes, I am foolish.

I pray ch 3.3-7 Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave me. Tie them around my neck, write them on the tablet of my heart. Then I will find favor and high regard in the sight of God and Man. Trust in the Lord with all my heart, don't let me rely on my own understanding, help me to think about Him no matter what I am doing, and guide me in the right path. I am foolish although I think I am wise, Lord, please help me to fear You and turn away from evil.

Passage: Proverbs 1-3

On Friday, July 22, 2011, Stephen wrote,

"Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops."

 There are many encouraging words from today's reading, but those above caught my attention. When it comes to how much one has to have, it seems like that there's no practical applications for it. The way I check myself whether I am balanced between need and want is not dependent on how much but on where my heart is. If wealth becomes the purpose for my career to meet the wants of myself, spouse or children, it is not right whether I have a lot or little. Love of God must be second to none. Money can easily creep in to the list of things that steers our lives even though the list should have only one item - Love of God as Jesus says in Matt. 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

Passage: Proverbs 1-3

On Thursday, July 22, 2010, Yujin wrote,

Much of Proverbs is written from the perspective of a parent to a child, even the King to his son. Therefore, the instructions are highly personal and meant to be memorable, so that as the child grows up, he will not forget the lessons learned early in his life (cf. Proverbs 22:6). So there are several instances where we read something like what we find in Proverbs 1:8, "Hear, my son, your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching."

What particularly caught my attention in this reading was the way in which these parents taught their child. They taught with an awareness of what the child would sooner or later experience: "My son, if sinners entice you...If they say, 'Come with us..." (Proverbs 1:10,11ff). One of the primary complaints children have with respect to parents is that parents "just don't understand." Oftentimes, this means that parents do not grasp the present reality of the child's experience. Parents think in terms of a by-gone era that is irrelevant to the child's modern-day experience.

However, this is not the case for the father in the Proverbs. This father does understand, so he can give real-world scenarios to his child. He can say to his child, "This is what is going to happen to you. This is the kind of people that you will meet. This is what they will say. This is how they will entice you." How many of us can say we know the world of our children today? How many of us can say that we have pondered the lessons learned from our past experience and related them to the present-day experience of our children? Have we been reading? Have we been watching? Have we been listening? The parents in the Proverbs have.

Why is this such a great parenting principle? By showing your child that you understand the reality of what they will experience before they experience it, when they actually face the situation you have described, they will remember your words. Even more importantly, they will have a strong argument to trust your words. If you have rightly described the first part of their experience, namely, the kinds of people that they will meet and what these people will say and how these people will entice them to follow them (cf. Proverbs 1:10-15), then it is likely that they will believe the accompanying warning that to follow these people will bring only harm to themselves (cf. Proverbs 1:16-19). Your child will think, "Everything my mom and dad told me so far about these people was true, so it is probably true that if I throw in my lot with them, the bad things they say will happen will also happen."

Therefore, let us undersand how we can effectively parent our children by taking the timeless moral lessons that we have learned from our past and accurately connecting them to the present-day experience of our children. And rather than just communicating abstract principles with the expectation that our children will "figure it out for themselves," let us teach with concrete examples that will leave little room for misunderstanding. As we read the first nine chapters of Proverbs, which detail a father's instruction to his son, we will grasp how real-world, situational, and concrete the lessons are.