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Magnify Proverbs 2

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The internet is full of quick resources and self-help advice amidst times of calm and times of crisis. You can find help on literally anything on the go anytime, anywhere. However, how much of it is true and actually helpful and how much of it is is just click-bait and sensationalism.

Thankfully, we have a book that has stood the test of time. King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, (excluding Jesus fully-man of course). Solomon, Son of David, when asked by God he can have anything he wants, Solomon responded  “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10). It is through this Godly wisdom that we have the book of Proverbs today! and today we look at Porverbs 2

Amazing!

Let’s journey through Proverbs!

Take a journey with me through this book of practical Proverbs.

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Wear a scarf

Proverbs 2

Moral Benefits of Wisdom

My son, if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.

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.

12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
    from men whose words are perverse,
13 who have left the straight paths
    to walk in dark ways,
14 who delight in doing wrong
    and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked
    and who are devious in their ways.

16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
    from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
17 who has left the partner of her youth
    and ignored the covenant she made before God.
18 Surely her house leads down to death
    and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
19 None who go to her return
    or attain the paths of life.

20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
    and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,
    and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
    and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

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Wisdom for the unknown

I remember experiencing snow for the first time in August 2011. South Africa isn’t known for snow, so when it does come, everybody gets truly energized. At the same time in spite of the fact that we as South African’s tend to disregard how cold it gets in snow conditions.

Sure, we may have dressed warmly because the day started cold, but that would be a jacket or jersey and not much else. The year it snowed, oh boy, we had cold, for sure, but we’re talking about a different kind of cold. The kind that gets in your bones, freezes the little hairs in your nose, and basically makes you run back inside screaming. Maybe that’s exaggerating.

In any case, we had to learn an important lesson; in that kind of cold, a scarf is essential. It isn’t about fashion; it’s about protection. The wind-whipping chill could actually damage your skin if you left it unprotected.

Solomon talks to “his son” about the value of wisdom in Proverbs 2. What he says is incredibly important and it isn’t unlike the wisdom of wearing a scarf.

“For the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding…he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” (Proverbs 2:6-8)

Wisdom is a light

The best thing about wisdom is that it helps keep us out of dangerous, dark situations. God’s wisdom is a light, showing us every obstacle hidden in the dark that could trip us and cause us to fall. It’s a thick wool scarf around our necks, helping block out some of the most destructive influences of shame, self-doubt, insults, and bad choices that can plague our lives if we let them.

Of course, having a scarf isn’t enough. You have to wear it. Having the knowledge, the wisdom, isn’t enough, you have to apply it to your circumstances.

For us to make sense of how God’s wisdom protects us, we actually have to bring that wisdom into our ways of walking every day. It takes creativity sometimes to live by God’s wisdom in our daily life – it takes prayer, patience, and a lot of listening to know how to apply the nuggets of wisdom we find in Proverbs.

God’s wisdom is infinite – that means our finite human minds can only comprehend snippets of His wisdom when He decides we need it.

As you read Proverbs 2, keep this image of a scarf (or sunblock, if you live in hot conditions) in mind. How is God protecting you with His wisdom today? How are the teachings you find in Proverbs impacting the way you walk in your daily world?

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Magnify Proverbs 1

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Introduction

The internet is full of quick resources and self-help advice amidst times of calm and times of crisis. You can find help on literally anything on-the-go anytime, anywhere. But how much of it is true and actually helpful and how much of it is is just click-bait and sensationalism.

Thankfully, we have a book that has stood the test of time. King Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived (excluding Jesus fully-man of course). Solomon, Son of David, when asked by God he can have anything he wants, Solomon responded  “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10). It is through this godly wisdom that we have the book of Proverbs today! Let’s see what Proverbs 1 has to say.

Amazing!

Let’s journey through Proverbs!

Take a journey with me through this book of practical Proverbs.

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Think differently

Proverbs 1

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

Purpose and Theme

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—
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables,
    the sayings and riddles of the wise.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Prologue: Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom

Warning Against the Invitation of Sinful Men

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
They are a garland to grace your head
    and a chain to adorn your neck.

10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
    do not give in to them.
11 If they say, “Come along with us;
    let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
    let’s ambush some harmless soul;
12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
    and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
    and fill our houses with plunder;
14 cast lots with us;
    we will all share the loot”—
15 my son, do not go along with them,
    do not set foot on their paths;
16 for their feet rush into evil,
    they are swift to shed blood.
17 How useless to spread a net
    where every bird can see it!
18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
    they ambush only themselves!
19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
    it takes away the life of those who get it.

Wisdom’s Rebuke

20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
    she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on top of the wall she cries out,
    at the city gate she makes her speech:

22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
    How long will mockers delight in mockery
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 Repent at my rebuke!
    Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
    I will make known to you my teachings.
24 But since you refuse to listen when I call
    and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
25 since you disregard all my advice
    and do not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
    I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
    when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
    when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
    they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge
    and did not choose to fear the Lord.
30 Since they would not accept my advice
    and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
    and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
    and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
    and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

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Perspective changes as we experience life

The way we see the world changes as we get older. I don’t think the same way I did when I was a child. Thankfully.

When we’re eight or nine, the whole point of being alive is tolerating school, then going home to play. Pretty simple really. That’s fine if you’re eight or nine. The problem is that if we never get out of that way of thinking, and we still feel that way when we’re 20 or 30, that’s when bad things happen.

As we grow, our way of seeing the world has to grow. The first set of Proverbs asks us to realize that God is wise and if we respect that, we’ll begin to gain wisdom. The way some of us think – that you get what you can, no matter what, even sometimes to the point of violence (Proverbs 1:10-12) – is destructive and dangerous.

The greater problems of the world we live in have to do with who we’re listening to and who teaches us how to live.

Proverbs will talk a lot about “fools” – we start in 1:7 where it says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” To respect the fact that God actually knows what He’s doing, and that to listen to Him and do what He teaches us is the best idea in the world. To do something different, well, not so great.

Imagine someone tells us that there’s a cheque waiting for us for R1 million. It’s ours for the taking, in a bank 70 miles away. The catch is that we have to walk to the bank. My guess is that we’d figure out a way to walk that far. We’d crawl, struggle, stumble, whatever it took.

We do it because it was worth it.

Is God’s wisdom uncomfortable

Solomon is describing the fool as someone who doesn’t think it’s worth it. Maybe God’s wisdom will be uncomfortable because it’s different. Maybe we’ll have to give something up to follow God’s wisdom. The question is this: Is it worth it?

As you read Proverbs 1, ask yourself the same question: Is God’s wisdom worth whatever it takes for me to know it and live by it?

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, 0 comments