This is a GREAT book to use that little brown audio button on once you are in http://www.biblegateway.com It’s great to listen to these scriptures and read along with your listening if you are able. I’ve said before that my bible looks like a coloring book…highlighted in many colors, circled words in many colors, notes on the sides for things I might not remember next year. PLUS…my prayer is that whoever gets my bible once I have “gone home” …. might be able to be blessed by a deeper relationship with God maybe just a little from my notes.
Click here for today’s reading: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%201-3&version=NIV
The Purpose and Theme are stated right from the beginning.
Read it again and see if you think I am right:
“1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for GAINING wisdom and instruction;
for UNDERSTANDING words of insight;
3 for RECEIVING instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for GIVING PRUDENCE to those who are simple,
knowledge and DISCRETION to the young—
5 let the wise LISTEN AND ADD to their learning,
and let the discerning get GUIDANCE—
6 for UNDERSTANDING proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.”
THEN WE HAVE THE PURPOSE OF THE ENITRE BOOK IN ONE VERSE, verse 7—
“The fear of the LORD is the BEGINNING of knowledge,
but FOOLS DESPISE wisdom and discipline.”
THE BEGINNING OF knowledge…is the FEAR of the LORD!! What does that really mean? FEAR — reverence, respect, love, trust, awe, IN THE LORD!! God THEN turns knowledge into WISDOM. The FOOL DESPISES wisdom and disciple….DESPISES it!! OUCH!!! So where are you on this continuum??? I had a dear friend of mine who is a grand believer in God and Jesus Christ tell me once that he was not afraid of The Lord. I thought about that a lot. There are times when I fear (am afraid) circumstances, and times when I fear (am afraid) what may become of our county. However, the deeper my walk has become with The Lord the more I KNOW that Hebrews 12:28-29 says it best for the believer: “28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Fear (being afraid, trembling, anxious) of God for an unbeliever often surrounds God’s judgement and wrath … and it should because that WILL come. HIS Word tells us so.
But for the believer—the fear is more of an awe, a reverence. Bear with me for just a moment while I explain my fear and awe of God. In your mind travel with me to a beautiful beach that you may have been too. It is midnight. There is no electricity so no man made light on the beach. You feel the cool sand on your feet, the cool breeze from the ocean encompass you. You hear the waves crashing on the shore and feel the salt as it touches you face. When you lick your lips, you taste the salt. There happens to be a full moon glistening across the ocean. You are barely able to make out all the stars around you because the moon is so full….yet you can see them in certain parts of the sky. Now, in your mind….just stand there….and soak it all in!! OH MY… when I do this…I stand in complete reverence and awe of my Abba Father who created all of this. Everything is perfectly in balance so we are not flooded by the waves coming to shore. I have chill bumps up my arms and down my back as I behold such beauty and glory…a mere reflection of the God who loves me. IMHO….that is the awe and reverence of a believer. You may know it on a mountain top (and I know that one too.) You may know it as you stand in the middle of a natural pool under a natural waterfall feeling the water pour over you…. the possibilities are endless where we encounter God…face to face….here on earth. I could not have children, but one of my sweet nieces allowed me to go into the delivery room with her….there were no words….TOTAL and COMPLETE AWE as I watched that little fellow join me in this world….first the tip of his red head, more of his head, then sweet face, out popped a shoulder, and then a thigh as he slipped into the capable doctor’s hands. The baby cried his first cry then the Daddy cut the umbilical cord and I was the third to hold this precious life. One thing for sure….he was not going back in where he came from!! I witnessed a miracle, the glory of God before my eyes, a peace that passed understanding, and a deep presence of knowing HIS awe and my reverence of HIM.
Once we know this fear, awe, reverence of the LORD and it gets deep into our hearts, then we are able to gain understanding and grow in wisdom. Proverbs is an awesome book of knowledge and when we fear the LORD HE turns the knowledge into wisdom and once we gain the wisdom it is meant to be APPLIED. HOW do we APPLY what we learn? First it takes willingness, desire to please God, desire to change more into what HE desire us to be….ALL HE desire us to be. RUT ROW… I said the word change!! We are all human and none of us perfect. Regardless of where we are in our growth God still has things HE is working on with each of us (regardless of age.) And, as we ALL KNOW…. change can be painful or at least for me it can be; however, we must be willing to allow God to do HIS work in us, intent on changing what HE shows us we need to change on, and have intent to obey his commands. IT did not say this would be easy… but HE promised HE would be with us and give us the strength and courage to do what needs to be done. Sometimes I’ve gone kicking and screaming and HE still loved me though the changes. Pray for God’s guidance and ask that HE touch your heart in areas where change is needed. Also ask HIM to be with you each step of the way. I tell you some of the Psalms we read….I felt as if I penned some of them from my own pain during growth. Anyone else feel the same way??
I actually started listening and reading to these Proverbs last night around midnight. It is currently close to midnight, 24 hours later, as I am typing this. Why am I sharing this with you…because each one was more than I could absorb all at once. Allow God to speak to you and touch you…..HE is waiting. If things don’t make sense….try another version of the Bible.
Chapter 1– In this chapter we are given the purpose of the entire book, warning against enticement, and warning against rejecting wisdom. We are encouraged to TRUST God and learn to make choices based on God’s ways rather than on our own human, weak, selfish, lacking self control ways…that make make totally good sense to us but may not God’s ways. I LOVE the way this chapter ends: “but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!
Chapter 2 — We look at the moral benefits of wisdom. Did you notice the “IF” and THEN statements in the first 5 verses? Go back and look…check out the benefits of doing it HIS way. We read about the consequences of adultery (ironic that it was written by a man who ended up with 1000 wives and concubines) but possibly God was planting seeds for Solomon in his early reign but he didn’t heed the advice and there were consequences. If you go back GO back to 1 Kings 3:5, look at what did Solomon asked for? He asked for WISDOM. Then skip to Chapter 4 verse 29. Read that paragraph…God Used Solomon in a mighty mighty way!!!
God will use him to write Proverbs HOWEVER, even he will mess up and not follow His own instruction (I’m sure you don’t know ANYone like that…right???) …and when He hit rock bottom we are going to read a book called Ecclesiastes. Solomon is going to say I tried the sex (with 1000 woman), I tried the drinking, the $, the rock and roll (drugs, sex, rock and roll) BUT….none of it satisfied me…So what is the point of Life? (Ah yes and his biggest point is that withOUT God there is NO point)!! Solomon provides A GREAT example for us to follow and learn from….the good, the bad, and the ugly.
My favorite verses in this chapter are 6-11, they say:
“6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He HOLDS success in store for the upright,
he is a SHIELD to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he GUARDS the course of the just
and PROTECTS the way of his faithful ones.
9 THEN you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom WILL enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 DISCRETION will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.”
Chapter 3 — describes all the benefits of wisdom. I love verses 5-6!! But for some reason verse 7 stood out to me: “Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear The Lord and shun evil, THIS WILL bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” We are reminded of the importance of tithing (HONORING the LORD with our FIRST FRUITS), and the importance of discipline. We are encouraged in verse 21 to: “preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.”
So what is the difference between sound judgment and discernment? According to the Life Application Bible, discernment or discretion is the ability God gives to many people to think and correct choices, and sometimes to protect us from things. Sound judgement HE ONLY gives to those who FOLLOW HIM. Sound judgement includes discernment but goes beyond it by including knowledge that comes form instruction, training, and discipline, and the insight that results from knowing and APPLYING God’s truths.
Have a wonderful Sunday!!
Sharing HIS love,