Wisdom From Above
As the deer pants for water, Lord, so my heart thirsts for You (Psa. 42:1,2). Thank You for Your refreshing Word.
Read Proverbs 1:1-19
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (Jas. 3:17). We must not forget this.
Verses 1-6 introduce us to wisdom, which will be the theme of these chapters. Wisdom in ancient thought is essentially practical. It is not to be confused with knowledge, although much wisdom presupposes knowledge as the basis for its emphasis on sound thinking and right behaving (4-7). Wisdom is linked with a disciplined, or self-controlled, life, and helps us to live in a focused way. This provides a needed corrective in our world where so much is random and uncontrolled, and where many find it hard to take responsibility for their actions. This is illustrated by the way in which wisdom preserves us from becoming involved in destructive behavior (10-19). Those who lack wisdom see the possibility of short-term gain and resort to theft or fraud to obtain instant income. The wise see the long-term consequences and avoid such behavior; they can see that it has within it the seeds of its own destruction (19). Wisdom brings understanding and insight. The wise can interpret the signs of the times and make sense of what is going on in the world (Matt. 16:2,3). If we ever needed people to do that, it is now.
How can we become wise? We shall see later that effort is required. Here we learn that wisdom ultimately comes from God. It is respect for him and his ways that leads us into wisdom (7). It is, however, mediated through humans. Here the son is encouraged to listen to the words of his parents: both father and mother are involved in passing on wisdom. The previous generation may not know everything, but they have lived life and gained experience. They are worth listening to–especially those who have lived close to God. If we do not listen, we run the risk of losing the accumulated wisdom of the ages.
To what peer pressure are you most susceptible today? Remember the meaning of biblical wisdom: you need to keep the long term consequences in view rather than just short term gain.
Gracious Lord, I want to keep my focus firmly on You so that I may gain Your wisdom.
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