Sunday, August 9, 2009

Proverbs 24: 1-12

Precepts and Warnings
1Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
2For their minds devise violence,
And their lips talk of trouble.
3By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
4And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.
5A wise man is strong,
And a man of knowledge increases power.
6For by wise guidance you will wage war,
And in abundance of counselors there is victory.
7Wisdom is too exalted for a fool,
He does not open his mouth in the gate.
8One who plans to do evil,
Men will call a schemer.
9The devising of folly is sin,
And the scoffer is an abomination to men.
10If you are slack in the day of distress,
Your strength is limited.
11Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
12If you say, "See, we did not know this,"
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?


Today's Thought Question:
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

Oh, the powerful message of Verse 12!

"If you say, 'See, we did not know this,'
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?"

"We did not know...." For weeks, we have been studying and exploring wisdom, how to attain wisdom, from Whom wisdom comes, why we need wisdom. Today, we learn what happens when we make excuses for not knowing.

I don't think the first part of this verse suggests that we need to know everything. We haven't read anywhere here where wisdom is attained by a given date in our lives. Truly, I think we are learning and growing every day in our wisdom. Surely, we have learned that this process begins as a child.

I think the emphasis in the beginning does refer to knowledge that we have attained at some point in our lives, but we have, perhaps, forgotten it? Maybe we decided that what we learned didn't apply in a particular case? You can make up questions as easily as I can, but it all amounts to making excuses. And not just airing these excuses in front of anyone but in front of the one who hears all, sees all and knows all.

God watches our every move and hears our every word--spoken or unspoken. Most importantly, and most condemning for us who are caught in our excuse-making, God knows our hearts.


"Every man's way is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts."
--Proverbs 21:2


He doesn't just know the heart, but He studies our motives. He absolutely knows the why's of everything we ponder. Do we truly not have wisdom in an area? He knows it, and if He wants us to learn, He will make that happen. Are we not applying the wisdom that He has given us? It's like accepting a beautiful gift and then throwing it back at the Giver, with the wrapping paper and bows in shreds! God will weigh our hearts, and more. (Read on....)

"Will He not render to man according to his work?" God is a God of grace, indeed. God is not going to let wisdom be used in a way that harms His integrity or His will. He is not going to let wisdom be wasted. There are consequences to come.

"And the deeds of a man's hands will return to him."
--Proverbs 12:14b

It is one thing not to accept wisdom. We know that folly is bound up in our hearts. We know that some will follow the adulteress into sin. We know that sinners are easily swayed by the evil people around us. However, it is another thing entirely when one who has been seeking and attaining wisdom from a holy God denies what has been given, twists what is truth, buries the wrongs, shrugs his or her shoulders, and says "I didn't know...."

Ignorance (of God) is not bliss.




Photo: http://static.squidoo.com/resize/squidoo_images/-1/lens2390658_1233463567heart-in-hand.jpg


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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 24: 13-22 (of the Solomon-compiled proverbs)
  1. What proverb in today's passage spoke to you and why?

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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).

2 comments:

Kelly Combs said...

I love your last sentence. Ignorance of God is not bliss. wow.

I guess the verse 1 speaks to me the most. "Do not be envious of evil men, not desire to be with them." Truthfully I can be envious of the wrong things, the things the world loves. This is an area I can be and am working on.

Carmen said...

The same section spoke to me as well...and also

"if you are slack in the day of distress, your strength is limited." Lord I want to be courageous!

Oh, and Proverbs 12:14...just makes me shudder. Oh how I need His mercy!!