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Book of PROVERBS

Important: Commandments and Wisdom of God!

                         THE WISDOM OF PROVERBS #1


     
     Solomon is credited with 3,000 proverbs but only about 900
are presented to us in the book of the Bible called "The
Proverbs."

     The reason for this book: "To know wisdom and instruction;
to perceive the words of understanding ..." (verse 2). That is
the bottom line, and we are told "A wise man will hear, and will
increase learning..." (verse 5). How do we get to be wise and
increase learning? The answer is given in verse 7: "The fear of
the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom
and instruction."
     This last sentence needs to be put with Psalm 111:10. It is
the old theme of the entire Bible - you serve and obey the Lord,
you meditate and delight in the law of the Lord (Psalm 1) and you
are on your way to knowledge, wisdom, and instruction, which
leads you upon the straight and narrow pathway to the Kingdom of
God. Right from the ring of the bell, the starter's gun, to
commence the race of godly living; we are told to have the right
respectful fear of the Lord, if we want the true knowledge that
will lead to eternal life, and the wisdom to live here and now in
a manner that will keep us from many pitfalls that can often, to
put it in a picture, brake many of our bones.

     You need to ask yourself: Where am I in having the proper
fear of the Lord? Yes, we praise Him for His grace and
forgiveness, for His salvation through Christ Jesus. We praise
Him for His love towards us, His patience in dealing with us. We
know that it is written "God is love" but we also see in the
Scriptures, if we are reading them, that we also need to have a
healthy fear of the Lord. And so right up front here in the book
of Proverbs, we are told that true knowledge begins with having a
true fear of the Holy One.
     So again I ask you: Where are you in the "fear department?"
We can get a fluffy peaceful heart within the circle of God's
grace and salvation. But often it is only through a healthy fear
of the Lord that we move along the pathway of obeying and keeping
His commandments, statutes, precepts, judgments, and do as Jesus
taught in Matthew 4:4 - man shall not live by bread along, but by
every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, or the pen of
the Lord as given to us in what we know as "The Bible."
     Nave's Topical Bible gives 7 and 1/2 pages under "Fear of
God." So the Lord devotes much time and space to teaching that we
are to have a respectful fear of the Eternal One. I certainly
recommend you have in your personal library "Nave's Topical
Bible." It gives you the main verses in printed form, for most of
the important topics found in the Bible.

     Then Solomon speaks from the stand-point of a father and
mother that do know the true God and His true ways of life, a
father and mother that desire their children to listen to them,
so the parents can guide those children away from wickedness and
to living the holy ways of God (verses 8-19).
     The wisdom is that if sinners entice you, to cast your lot
in with them as they plan on evil, you are not want walk with them,
you will not desire to go down their path, for their ways will come back 
on them; those who want to take from others what they should not, will in
the end pay the price, and reap what they sow (8-19).

WISDOM CRIES OUT

     The Bible uses a tool in writing that is called
"personification" - giving to "things" human type qualities. In
this case WISDOM is made as if it is a woman shouting out in the
streets: "Wisdom cries outside; she utters her voice in the
streets: she cries out in the chief places where people meet ...
fools hate knowledge. Turn you at my reproof ... I will make
known my words unto you" (verses 20-23).
     But people most of the time, refuse true wisdom, which is
from the Lord. They will not serve His commandments, they will
not endure His reproof. So wisdom will laugh at the calamities
that people bring upon themselves (and wisdom is really God, and
so personification here is taking one aspect of God's character
and putting it as a woman). In the end God will laugh at them,
mock them, when they finally turn and call upon Him. There is a
time limit for God's patience; He will eventually, if ignored
long enough, not answer when He is called upon, shall not be seen
when people go looking for Him (putting this in a figure of
speech). They hated true knowledge, and did not choose the fear
of the Lord, would none of His counsel, and despised His reproof.
So when the time limit for the Lord's patience and offering of
wisdom runs out, people will eat of the fruit of their own ways.
Being too simple minded and too full of physical prosperity can
destroy a person or a whole nation, when such a mind-set and
material riches get between you and the Eternal One. 
     The ones who listen to God, and who act upon what they are
told, they are the ones who can find real safety and be at peace
from evil (verses 20-33).
     People who have found the wisdom of God, who are instructed
by His knowledge, who will accept His correction, who will walk
in His commandments; they do have inner peace and contentment.
For they have confidence that no matter what life may throw at
them (even as the apostle Paul encountered after his conversion)
God is with them, they are on the Lord's side. Like Daniel's
three friends that faced the fiery furnace, they had peace and
safety of mind, no matter what the result was when thrown into
that fire.


CHAPTER 2

     Yes we see in verse 6 that we are speaking of the Lord when
we personify wisdom into a woman - for it is from the Lord that
wisdom comes, and it is from His mouth that knowledge and
understanding is found. What is the combination, what must be the
ingredients to understand the fear of the Lord, and find the
knowledge of God? We find the answer in verses 1-4. You must be
willing to receive the words of God, to hide within yourself the
commandments of God, to put your ears forward like a horse does
to be wise for what lies ahead. You must have the right heart of
mind to desire understanding. You must want with all your very
being, true knowledge and true understanding. You must seek and want
these attributes that come from God, as you would want to seek
and find a treasure of gold. If you have these characteristics 
then you will know what the fear and knowledge of God is all
about. It is the "righteous" (see Psalm 119:172) who shall find
sound wisdom; God is a buckler to those who walk uprightly
(verses 1-7).

     How much more, how plainer can God tell us that finding His
salvation by grace through faith, means a whole lot more than
just uttering with the mouth you have accepted Jesus as Savior,
or having some physical tingle run up and down your spine.
Passage after passage, over and over again in the Bible, the Holy
One makes it clear as to the attitude of mind and heart we must
have to really be His child. 

     Those in tune with the true God shall understand
righteousness, judgment, equity, and the good path - such is
expounded all over the Bible, and when you have the mind-set of
God (see Phil.2:5) you will find the truths of the Eternal (verse
9).

     When the wisdom of the Lord is in your heart, and knowledge
of the Holy One is pleasant to your life, you will have
discretion and understanding to keep you, to deliver you from the
evil persons who walk in darkness, rejoice in evil, and delight in
the ways of the wicked. You will be delivered from the strange
woman (now this could be speaking of prostitutes and immoral
women); this section could well be speaking of the "woman" type
as referring to "church." The Bible uses "woman" to speak either
about the true church or the false church. The house of the false
woman church (Babylon whore and her daughters of the book of
Revelation) is the house of death and leads to the pathway of
death. If you follow this spiritual whore and do not repent of so
doing, you will never find the path of life. If you keep away
from this woman and walk in the pathway of the righteous (again
Psalm 119:172), you will inherit the earth (land) for all
eternity (Psalm 37 with Mat.5:5). The unrepentant wicked shall be
cut off from the earth, and to give emphasis it is repeated again
as "the transgressors shall be rooted out of it" (verses 10-21).

     We end this chapter with the simple truth of Romans 6:23.
The unrepentant wicked shall face eternal death, while the
righteous, who have accepted salvation under God's terms (see my
study called "Saved by Grace") shall inherit eternal life.

CHAPTER 3

     As a child of God would write to his son (verse 1) the law
and the commandments of such a father would be the law and
commandments of God. 
     The Bible uses the speech tool of "general statements" in
many places; it is used dozens of times in this book of Proverbs.
Verse 2 is a general statement. Serving the law and commandments
of God will give you length of days, and long life, and peace. We
know this is a general statement truth, for many of God's
children down through the centuries, who have served the pathway
of the Lord, did not have long life, and some certainly did not
have "peace" as we might use the word. The apostle Paul is a
classic example: he did not live to ripe old age as did the
apostle John, and many times he did not have "peace" per se in
the one sense of the word, being persecuted, beaten, stoned,
shipwrecked, imprisoned, and at times going without some of the
physical comforts of daily living. Yes, "general statements" -
watch for them throughout the book of Proverbs. I have a full
study on that subject on this Website, called "An Important Key." 


     Mercy and truth are to be bound about our neck like a scarf
on a cold winter day, and they must be engraved in our heart - a
part of our very being pumping spiritual blood through our body
and mind (verse 3). Mercy is important for Jesus taught that only
as we have mercy will mercy be given to us (Mat.5:7). Truth,
Jesus said was the Word of God (John 17:17).
     Certainly such a person will find favor in the sight of God,
and often in the sight of man, as such a child of God is pleasing
to work with and just simply "be around." Such a person is living
the well known "love chapter" - 1 Corinthians 13.

     We are indeed to trust in the Lord with all our heart, and
not to lean to our own understanding (verse 5). When we start to
say in our Christian life, "Well here's the way I look at it" on
the spiritual side of things, and forget what God may have to say
on the matter, then we are into adding or subtracting from God's
word (and the last verses of Revelation give us a clear warning
about doing such a thing) or making up our own "interpretation"
of the Scriptures instead of letting the Bible interpret itself
(i.e. Rev. 12:3,9).
     In all our life we are to acknowledge Him, and by so doing
He will direct our path (verse 6). It is having a mind that is
constantly walking with the Lord; it is being mindful of Him, in
our work or play, in our talking with others, in our recreation
time, when out shopping, when driving the car ... just
everywhere, any time, any situation. Sometimes it may be a quick
saying, "Lord I need your help in this situation" or "Father
forgive me for those wrong words" or "Lord I missed the mark,
forgive me, and help me to do better next time." It's all about
having a mind that is constantly mindful of God. Oh, it might
also be saying, when out in some part of creation, "Thank you
Father, that I'm able to enjoy this lovely work of your hands."
     A mind that is so in contact with God ... well He will
direct your path (verse 6).
     We are admonished to not be wise in our own eyes. A
Christian must look to God and His word for wisdom, the Holy
Spirit will also lead and guide us, but we must put away the
vanity of only relying on ourselves. Sometimes life experiences
give us some wisdom, if we've been willing to learn from our
errors and mistakes, but going it alone ... well some people it
seems never learn from their mistakes or the mistakes of others;
it is not good to overestimate our abilities. The correct fear of
the Lord will serve us in departing from evil, and so we shall
then find health to our navel and marrow to the bones; a way of
saying the fear of the Lord will keep us on the straight and
narrow pathway that leads to eternal life, and away from the
ditches full of thorns and thistles (verses 7-8).

     We are admonished to not forget to honor God with our
physical substance and the firstfruits of our increase. Both Old
and New Testaments show us God thinks it very important that the
poor and needy, the fatherless, the widow, are provided for. The
Lord has laid it upon the hearts of many to form "charities" to
help people in all kinds of situations, long ones or short ones.
When we give to worthwhile causes, we do give honor to the Lord.
The use here of "firstfruits" can imply that serving God with our
physical goods, is on the top of the list. We then study the word
of the Eternal to find the different ways we can give to the Lord
and to our fellow man, that is pleasing in His sight (verse 9).

     Living this way will often (not automatically - another
"general statement" here) give us a full barn, and all plenty of
what we need in this physical life (verse 10). The use of such a
verse by some to preach "wealth, wealth and wealth" if you give
to their ministry, is taking a verse out of the context of the
whole Bible. The widow that Jesus praised for casting in her last
nickel into the Temple service, was obviously not rolling in
money, but her attitude in serving God was without reproach. You
need to study all the Bible to keep many verses in true
perspective. Lifting verses out of the Bible from its full
context, has produced many a false teaching, and disappointed
many when God does not come through as false ministers exclaim He
will.

     In verses 11 and 12, we come to the truth that the Lord will
correct us, as a loving father will his child. We should pray
that He will not have to do it very often, and certainly not in
His hot displeasure. We should pray that our attitude of mind
will be such that when the Lord does have to correct us, it will
be with gentleness and patience. The more we are willing to be
taught and guided by the Bible, the more we are willing to
conform our lives to the ways of God, the less the Eternal will
have to correct us. If we are as easy working clay in the hands
of the master potter, the correction we are given will be so easy
to take, for the Lord will correct with softness. It will be so
that most of the time we will not even recognize it as
"correction" per se but as "guidance" in growing in grace and
knowledge of Him that loves us so.

     Wisdom is once more viewed as better than fine gold: "She is
more precious than rubies: and all things you can desire are not
to be compared to her. Length of days is in her right hand; and
in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are the ways of
pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life
to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is the person that
retains her. The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by
understanding has He established the heavens. By His knowledge
the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew"
(verses 13-20).

     As you see from these verses something like "wisdom" is
given human female personification. Hence the argument of those
who give as evidence "person" Scriptures to say the Holy Spirit
is an individual person separate from the Father and Son, have no
argument at all. The so-called "Trinity" of the Godhead cannot be
upheld by the verses that give personification to the Holy
Spirit. You would have to prove your "three person" Godhead in a
different manner than trying to use "person" verses, for indeed
here in the book of Proverbs I can maintain with that argument
that WISDOM is a female person, separate from God the Father. But
that is not the case for "wisdom" is an attribute that comes from
the Father, but here given a mode of personification.

     We are admonished to keep sound wisdom and discretion; they
will be life to your soul and grace to thy neck. You will walk
safely and will not stumble into all kinds of pitfalls that life
without wisdom and discretion will surely throw at you. With
wisdom and discretion you can have sweet sleep. You will not have
to be filled with the wrong kind of fear. The Lord will be your
confidence, and will guide your feet (verses 21-26).
     How many fears, heartaches, worries, people have encased
themselves with, because of a lack of wisdom and discretion. You
hear the stories all the time on the evening news, of people
getting into all kinds of troubles, sometimes even death, because
they failed to use some sound wisdom and discretion in their
lives. Not all things are time and chance that Solomon wrote
about in his book of Ecclesiastes (Ecc.9:11). Some of our
troubles we bring on ourselves because we did not exercise sound
wisdom and/or discretion. Wisdom and discretion can save us a
mighty big lot of troubles at times, if we had used those two
very important gifts that come from God. A most important part of
acquiring those two blessed tools for life, is the reading and
studying of the Word of the Lord, for the Word of God is the mind
of God. For embracing the Word of the Eternal, meditating on it,
living your life by it, will automatically give you wisdom and
discretion. A simple example: by wanting to serve the
commandments of the Lord, you will know there are some places and
some people, you should stay far away from, and even more so come
certain times of the night, when evil and wickedness come out to
play.

     You need to do good to them who deserve you to do good to
them, when it is in your ability to so do. If your neighbor needs
a hand from you, and you are able, then do it; do not put it off
by saying, "Tomorrow friend, tomorrow." Tomorrow may not come to
you or your neighbor. You have a chance to do good NOW, then do
it NOW! And you need to live as much as lies in you, lovingly
with your neighbor, you may need his help some time. Make sure
you do not "but in" or cause strife with someone when they have
done no direct evil to you. You need wisdom to know when you
should be a mediator between neighbors. Don't envy those who have
power to oppress others; don't follow their ways. If only all
those in the past "slave trading" of the Anglo-Saxon people had
listened and obeyed this one verse.
     God is against the forward people who practice evil; they
are an abomination to God: but the righteous .... ah, the Lord
will give them His very secrets. Now that is something, really
something, to have God share His secrets with you. 
     The bottom line: God will eventually curse the house of the
wicked: but the just (those who walk the Lord's way) ... they
will be blessed. I guess so, for they shall inherit eternal life,
and be part of the family of God forever.
     Those who scorn the real true values that come from God,
well He will scorn them in the end - I mean what can be more
scorned than the wicked who shall be burned up and be ashes under
the feet of the righteous, as it will be, when all is finished in
God's plan for mankind on this earth.
     But the reversal is true for the lowly, the humble, those
who will repent of sin: they shall be given the grace of God. Ah
yes, the wise shall inherit GLORY! But shame (and destruction)
shall be the promotion of fools. It is written, only the fool has
said in his heart there is no God. Keep that view and the fools
will be promoted to shame and death in the final end of it all
(verses 27-35).

     What a POWERFUL three chapters so far. Wisdom and serving
God in spirit and in truth is given emphasis. True wisdom we are
not yet done with, we shall encounter it's importance again in
chapter 4.

                            ...................


To be continued


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