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Sunday, June 7, 2020

More Wisdom from Proverbs

More Wisdom from Proverbs
God’s Spirit speaks through the book of Proverbs in Old Testament times with more wisdom for His people. The main point of the book of Proverbs is that wisdom apart from God is impossible Our God is a faithful and merciful God.  A God of unfailing love and a God of justice. A God who can do no wrong. And a God who calls us, His children, to be like our heavenly Father, and be merciful, loving and faithful.   
 One of God’s promises in the book of Proverbs is that He will provide and lead and protect us through life if we are willing.  He promises us: “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.”  (Proverbs 3:5-6) And another promise in the book of Proverbs says: “A person’s heart plans his or her way, but the Lord directs her or his steps.”  (Proverbs 16:9)
Also, “The preparations of the heart belong to humans, But the answer is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:1) It is exciting to realize that we don’t have to run our own lives all by ourselves. But we can come under the protection and guidance of our loving heavenly Father if we trust Him and try to obey Him.
In the book of Proverbs, Solomon lists seven things that our heavenly Father hates:  God hates the proud. (We Christians are to be humble.)  And God hates violence. People who shed innocent blood.  Our heavenly Father hates it when people stir up trouble and anger between family members.  And He hates it when people think up wicked plans or give a false witness about another person, getting them into trouble. (Proverbs 6:16-19) A whole chapter in Proverbs is given to warning humans of the perils of adultery.  Perils for the person who cheats on his/her marriage.
The Holy Spirit is not mentioned directly in the book of Proverbs, but the person named “Wisdom” is mentioned over and over again throughout the book.  The “Wisdom” in Proverbs becomes a Person calling out to each of us to take her in.  To let her lead us. Bible scholars believe that this Person named “Wisdom” in Proverbs is really the Holy Spirit, ((Proverbs 1:23)   The Holy Spirit in the New Testament is given to us when we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord and He will help and teach us to follow the  “wisdom” of Proverbs, and He will give us the strength to do it.
All through the book of Proverbs, wisdom is contrasted against folly.  Proverbs teaches that there are just two paths in life and humans must choose one of the two.  The book of Proverbs contrasts the good path of “Wisdom” against the evil path of folly.   Wisdom is many things.  Wisdom is righteousness. and Wisdom is life.  It is justice and honor and truth and industry.  Wisdom is fidelity and love and peace.
Humans can choose the path of righteousness or the path of evil. The path of Life or the path of death. Honor or dishonor.  Truth or falsehood. Love or hate.  Fidelity or adultery.  Peace or violence.  Industry or laziness. “Wisdom” travels up and down the highways and byways of this earth calling out to humans to take the right path – the path of wisdom.
Much of the book of Proverbs is taken up with warnings for us to stay away from the sins that will destroy us and begging us to follow the things that will lead to the good life. Here are some of my favorite verses in Proverbs.
“The memory of the righteous is blessed.  But the name of the wicked will rot.”  (Proverbs 10:7) 
“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers a multitude of sins” (Proverbs 10:12) 
“The blessings of the Lord makes one rich.  And He adds no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22)
“When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked are no more.  But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.”  (Proverbs 10:25)
“The righteous will never be removed. But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.” (Proverbs 10:30)
A righteous person regards the life of his/her animal.  But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10)
“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish woman pulls it down with her hands.”  (Proverbs 14:1) 
“There is a way that seems right to a person, but it’s end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) 
“Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.”  (Proverbs 15:17)
“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence.  And His children will have a place of refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26) 
“Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues of monies without justice.” (Proverbs 16:8) 
“Pride goes before destruction.  And a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
And my favorite: “In mercy and truth atonement and forgiveness is provided for sins:  And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.”  (Proverbs 16:6)    












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