Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Proverbs 1: 20-33

Today's Thought Questions:
  1. Do you desire to respond to Wisdom's call? If so, what does God promise to do?
  2. What has God taught you though these verses?
We open today with wisdom personified. She speaks in the first verses. Solomon says that wisdom is clearly present wherever we go--her voice should be heard; she is conveniently located. Yet, "How long...?" There are some who do not hear, who do not see.

Back in verse 8, Solomon mentioned 'naive', saying the proverbs would "give prudence" to them (vs 4). Here again in verse 22, the naive are given attention. The root word for 'naive' means "an open door" in that the one who is naive does not know what to keep (as wisdom) and, with discernment, what to discard (as silliness). How long will the naive continue on in their silliness; the scoffers scoffing and the foolish hating knowledge?

Verse 23 is the first of two verses of hope in today's passage.

"Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.

Turn to my (God's) reproof--my correction, my reasoning. Yesterday, we read about the enticed making one small step onto the wrong path and falling into sin. Today, a way out--turn to my reproof. And God promises two things--the pouring out of His spirit and making His words known to us. Looking at the Hebrew meaning, 'known' suggests "to properly ascertain as by seeing." To me, that suggests great clarity. Where we are called to be faithful by believing in that which we do not see, to have God promise His Spirit and clarity in His Word that we might see it before us is an amazing promise indeed!

An important point to consider, from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary: "Men cannot turn by any power of their own; but God answers, Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you. Special grace is needful to sincere conversion. But that grace shall never be denied to any who seek it. The love of Christ, and the promises mingled with his reproofs, surely should have the attention of every one."

Surely... but, no. The verses continue (vs 24+), and we discover that though God offered this grace, "you" (some, still) refused, ignored, neglected, rejected. God responds with some strong words and actions. Grace is available while we have life. But in the eternal judgment, God will speak, and He does not forget. But when you get right to the heart of it, verse 31, God says that we punish ourselves by our choices. Read it again: "So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices."

There's at least one oft-used proverb that follows that vein: You reap what you sow. And what is at the heart of this fruit? Waywardness and complacency (vs. 32). Whose way will we follow? Will we stand reluctant to hear wisdom's call?

Today's passage does end with a second verse of hope (vs. 33): "But he who listens to me shall live securely [rest contentedly] and will be at ease from the dread of evil."

By His grace, we can hear...we can listen!

* * *

Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Questions:

Proverbs 2: 1-8
  1. What are the benefits of wisdom?
  2. Reread verses 6-8. God offers to do what, for whom?

* * *

Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).


KelliGirl said...

Sue J.,
First of all, great job on this study so far. Pretty impressive! I look forward to taking this journey with you and the other women.

Even thousands of years after it was written, Proverbs is still fresh and relevant. At the heart of the verses today, it seems the writer is saying, we have choices. Choose God's way or choose our own way. The choice is ours, but there are consequences. Seek divine wisdom and we receive God's blessings (v.23, 33). Choose our own way or the way of the world and we stand alone in the turbulent seas of life.

That's why I think v.7 is key to pointing us in the right direction, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Once we start to understand who we are, and who we're not. And who God is, and who He isn't, then godly truth seeps into our souls.

For me, the challenge is knowing the difference between the wise and foolish way. It's not usually well-marked.

I pray for increasing wisdom for you and all the women participating in this study.


Chatty Kelly said...

"They will eat the fruit of their ways." This reminded me of Adam & Eve. They literally ate the fruit of the knowledge of good & evil and with that came sin.

It also reminded me as a mom of calling me kids and yelling for them, and they of course ignore me. Calling "time to clean up" it often falls on deaf ears. Then we its TV time and I say "no TV because you didn't clean up" suddenly it's calamity. I could totally relate to these verse as a mother to her children.

Carmen said...

Relating as a parent, I wonder at the sadness God must experience at people's refusal to come to Him. We see around us the results of disobedience. Yet, like a loving Father, He keeps bidding them to come, encouraging them to walk in the way of righteousness. Such amazing grace!

I think the same applies to us as His children. When we sometimes chose our own ways, or don't consult Him. That must sadden Him as well!

The Patterson 5 said...

The thirst for wisdom leads to God.
Benefits: Being in His presense, being under his sheild, and protection.