Friday, June 5, 2009

Proverbs 2: 9-19

Today's Thought Questions:
  1. Wisdom saves and protects us. Explain.
  2. What challenged you in today's reading
Today’s opening verses pick up where yesterday’s left off. After we understand from where wisdom comes, once we receive wisdom, we are to use it to discern “righteousness, justice, equity and every good course.” Do we do this just so we can discern? Hope not. To what aim would that be? Surely, this is life understanding--that which allows us to continue to follow God’s will and His way over the course of our lives.

Note the consistency of message between vs 9 and Proverbs 1:3b. My S.B. defines the following terms in this way:

"Righteousness--the application of God's standards in dealing with others

Justice--the ability to conform to the will and standard of God;

Equity--the living of life in a fair, pleasing way ("every good course," 2:9)"

How important to be able to discern these things as we live out our lives! And when this seems impossible is when we need to remember our steps from yesterday. This is achievable with God, when we pursue wisdom. (2:1-8)

Does the acquisition of wisdom need to be painful? The Scriptures say no. Verse 10 says “... pleasant to your soul.” I’m sure, getting back to Job yesterday, that once he achieved that big leap of understanding--that God alone is the Source of all wisdom--part of him must have come to a place of peace. But, to quickly clarify, this was more head knowledge on Job's part than heart knowledge. By the next chapter, Job seemingly forgets everything he has just learned--recounting his misery and relying upon the knowledge of his friends, which is why God has words with him some 10 chapters later. "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2)

Back to Proverbs, verse 11 and onward, again, we have more promises of security—that wisdom will guard and watch over us. Why so much emphasis on protection? Because we live in an evil world. The remainder of our verses today focus on the evil we face:

  • Man’s speech is perverse (vs 12)
  • Not all men pursue the way of Godliness (vs 13) (Remember Proverbs 1 and the “enticement of sinners”) and actually enjoy following the way of evil (vs 14)
Verse 16 introduces us to an area of focus that comes up in Proverbs on multiple occasions. This book takes great effort in highlighting “the strange woman/adulteress/harlot.” When Scripture repeats something, it is especially worth noting. Why the adulteress? Why the special emphasis here on who she is and of what she is capable to do? She is certainly described to be of a particularly nasty brand of evil:

“For her house sinks down to death and her tracks lead to the dead; None who go to her return again, nor do they reach the paths of life.” (vs 18 & 19)

My S.B. brings to light something important about death. It can either mean a sudden end or it can mean a gradual descent into sin, as in "sinking down." This is a dying that is so blind to those enveloped in this sin that they do not realize the "tracks lead to the dead." What's strikingly difficult about this sin is that it happens under one "who flatters with her words." If there is an Achilles' heel in a human being, it's being culpable to flattery--swayed by another's words because they make us feel good.

Let's remember how we started today, that we might not be overcome by how we end.

"Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you
To deliver you from the way of evil." (vs 11-12a)

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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 2: 20-22
  1. How can you practically apply what God has taught you in these verses....this chapter?

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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).

1 comment:

The Patterson 5 said...

Wisdom will enter our hearts and allow us to make wise choices not just occassionally, but consistantly. Knowledge will bring us joy as we navigate through life, with this treasure from God, successfully. Wisdom includes emotional security as well as disipline an restraint. Wisdom from God strengthens us keeping us in covenant with our spouses and with God.