Saturday, January 21
There is a great contradiction in today’s world. In a time when we are experiencing exponential expansions in knowledge, we are also suffering significant shortages in wisdom. We had placed value so high on creation and discovery, that many have lost what is labeled as “common sense,” in the process. There are plenty of planes, but no pilots, plenty of shells, but no yokes, plenty of bark but no bite? Wood? No matter. I see it in adults and students alike. They are missing a critical component in the navigation of life: wisdom.
Today, begins our reading in Proverbs, The Psalms’ more practical brother. Much like an instruction manual, a lesson plan, or a mission briefing, Solomon, King of Israel and our author, lays out the purpose of this book in the opening verses:
“ <These Proverbs are> for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young” – Proverb 1: 2-4
The faith of Proverbs is not theoretical, hypothetical, or abstract. It is the pragmatic and clinical day-to-day application of faith. It is the “how-to” or “for Dummies” book of those who are trying to live for Christ. Even without true understanding of the meaning behind these words, one only needs to put them into practice, and they will immediately benefit. Solomon was granted special insight to God’s infinite knowledge and ultimate goodness. Through this, he had the ability to prioritize, see the sequence of events, discern the lasting outcomes of every decision, and sense the overriding nature of man throughout his reign. How did he obtain such a gift? He asked (2 Chron 1:7-12).
“For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.” – Proverbs 2:6-8
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver…” – James 1:5-6a
Thankfully, the wisdom of Solomon is available to us. Yes, literally, here in the Proverbs, as we pour through a lifetime of wisdom in a handful of days, but also in a direct-to-us, handpicked for today’s questions and quandaries type of way. The only condition is, like Solomon, we ask. You don’t have to have a certain number of gray hairs, grow a long beard, or wear your glasses on a chain. God has promised to give generously to all, without finding fault.
Let this time you spend in Proverbs begin or reignite your prayerful pursuit of God’s timeless wisdom.
(photo credit: http://www.alittleperspective.com/proverbs-1-2016/)