Challenge from last time: Do a word search in the Bible of “BLESSED”. You can go online into Bible Gateway — Keyword Search — match exact phrase — New King James Version — “Blessed is the man”.
As a young person I watched television shows like Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, and Bonanza. I still watch them occasionally on the classics of COZI. Episode after episode bad guys make bad decisions: planning to steal what’s not theirs, sometimes killing innocent people in the process, and always ending up in jail or dead themselves. These programs very clearly illustrated the results of bad decisions, bad company, and violence. Proverbs 1:10-19 describes sinners as fools with evil plans. Proverbs 1:19 says “Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gains, it takes away the lives of them who get it.” Roy, the Lone Ranger, and Mr. Cartwright usually demonstrated the trait of wisdom in trials. And even when they made a bad decision, they would recognize it and correct their actions. I wish wisdom seemed as easily recognizable in my day to day life as in a television show.
Proverbs 1:1-6 describes the purpose of the book of Proverbs: to attain wisdom, discipline, insight, prudence, rightness, justice, fairness, discretion, guidance, learning, and understanding. Verse 7 seems to use the term “knowledge” as a synonym of wisdom saying “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”. And verse 33 says “whoever listens to [wisdom] will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Very often each verse of Proverbs is a mini-sermon by itself, with a line about wisdom beside a line about foolishness. For example, Proverbs 10:14, “Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.” A good habit would be to read one verse of Proverbs a day, and meditate on it.
Wisdom isn’t hard to find nor is it hiding in remote places. Proverbs 1:20-21 describes wisdom as “calling aloud in the street” and “raising it’s voice in public”. Proverbs 8:1-4 says it again. So why do we have such a hard time hearing wisdom? We’ve filled our ears with the noise of this foolish world. Books, movies, television programs, and friends who loudly entice us away from good advice and wisdom. Those who have wise, God-fearing parents must remember what their mothers and fathers taught and lived. (Proverbs 1:8-9) We must spend more and more time in God’s Word, hearing God’s Word in church, and spending time with friends who love and obey God. Then wisdom will be louder in our ears and the world will fade away.
After reading Proverbs 1, my definition of wisdom is the power of Godly judgment and discernment fearlessly put into sound action. And my definition of foolishness is the weakness of one who blindly follows his/her own selfish desires into a pit of disaster, calamity, and distress.
*What is your definition of wisdom?
*What is your definition of foolishness?
*Whom do you turn to for wise advice?
*Whom do you need to avoid because of foolishness?
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for Your book of guidance, the Bible, which clearly teaches Your ways of wisdom and the folly of evil. Thank You for the Holy Spirit who reminds me of what I’ve been taught by Godly parents and pastors and teachers. When I turn to the world’s ways, turn me back and draw me to You. I confess my nature is to stray, but I love You and need You. Thank You for the promise that, if I follow You, I will be safe and at ease, and need not fear. AMEN.