Getting To Know Gods Will
Chap 15 Part 2 of 2
The Book of Proverbs clearly defines how God expects His people to find meaningful existence. In doing this, two doctrines are emphasized: the human search for meaning and the nature of God. Though all mankind has searched constantly for meaningful existence, Israel’s search is unique in at least two ways. First, though the Wisdom Literature recognizes an orderliness to the world, it never pretends that one can know that order fully,
READ: Proverbs 30:5-33
….or that knowing it will automatically bring about riches –
Proverbs 27:22-27; “22Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him. 23Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. 24For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? 25The hay appeareth, and the tender grass showeth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. 26The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. 27And thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.”
….or a meaningful existence.
Proverbs 24:10-34; “10If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. 11If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; 12If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works? 13My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: 14So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off. 15Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: 16For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. 17Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: 18Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. 19Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; 20For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out. 21My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: 22For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both? 23These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. 24He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: 25But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. 26Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer. 27Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house. 28Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips. 29Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work. 30I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. 32Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. 33Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 34So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man”.
The revealed wisdom of Proverbs clearly tells God’s people how to relate to both God and other people. More explicitly, it teaches honesty
Proverbs 11:1; “1A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.”
Proverbs 12:19, 22; “19The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment….22Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.”
Proverbs 23:29-35; “29Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 35They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.”
Proverbs 10:4-5, 26; “4He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. 5He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame….
26As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.”
….compassion toward one’s enemies
READ: Proverbs 25:1-22; ”
Proverbs 16:18-19; “18Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. 19Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
….proper sexual and marriage relationships
Proverbs 5:3-11; “3For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. 5Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 6Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. 7Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 9Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: 10Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; 11And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,”
READ: Proverbs 31:10-31; ”
….proper parent-child relationships
Proverbs 4:1-4; “1Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.”
Proverbs 22:6; “6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
….and trust in God
Proverbs 3:5-6; “5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Proverbs 16:3; “3Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
No doubt all of these individually and collectively, if followed, will provide a more meaningful life.
The inspired biblical wisdom centers uniquely on God. Wisdom outside the Bible speaks of gods who provide an orderliness to creation and of the need for people to discover that orderliness. The wisdom of Israel’s neighbors does not speak of the god or gods seeking to reveal that order. Nor does it speak of such an orderliness leading to eternal salvation. Certainly from the very beginning to the end of the Book of Proverbs, the “fear of the Lord” (in the sense of a reverence for God that produces a willing obedience) is not only its overarching context but also its constant theme. The first chapter clearly states that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”.
Proverbs 1:7; “7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
This is followed up by a call to repent of sin and to trust in God as Lord and Savior.
Proverbs 1:20-33 ; “20Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil….
Proverbs 2:1 – 11; “1My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 9Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. 10When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:”
In different forms, this theme is followed up throughout the book.
Proverbs 3:5-7; “5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
Proverbs 8:32-36; “32Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. 33Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. 34Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. 36But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”
Proverbs 14:27; “27The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.”
Proverbs 21:1-3; “1The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. 2Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. 3To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.”
Proverbs 30:5; “5Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”
Finally the book ends by reaffirming that the one who “fears the Lord is to be praised”.
Proverbs 31:30; “30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”
Certainly this book, like the others of the Bible, clearly teaches that meaningful existence can come only from the proper relationship with God. God inspired the Book of Proverbs to make these very practical teachings readily available for His people to follow and thus find meaningful life with Him. Unfortunately, the children of Israel never seemed to understand nor to follow such wise precepts, and thus they had to face God’s judgment.
Proverbs 1:27-33; “27When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.”
Isaiah 5:20-24; “20Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! 22Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: 23Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! 24Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
Jeremiah 22:3-9; “3Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. 4For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. 5But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation. 6For thus saith the LORD unto the king’s house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. 7And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire. 8And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this great city? 9Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.”
READ: Jeremiah 52:1-30; “
Scriptures To Ponder And Study
Get Wisdom: Proverbs 1 to Proverbs 4
Wisdom produces a sense of divine presence, joy, and peace in the believer: Proverbs 3:1-26
Wisdom admonishes believers to share God’s love with others: Proverbs 3:27-35
To Sons: Proverbs 5 to Proverbs 7
Good And Bad: Proverbs 15 to Proverbs 17
Wise Words: Proverbs 20; Proverbs 22 and Proverbs 31
All Is Vanity: Ecclesiastes 1 and Ecclesiastes 3
Only God Satisfies: Ecclesiastes 11 to Ecclesiastes 12
Joyful Communion: Song Of Solomon 1:1-7 and Song Of Solomon 2:1-7
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