Gracefully Truthful

Digging Deeper,Focus,God,Gospel,Guidance,Jesus,Relationship,Wisdom

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Proverbs 4

Listen, sons, to a father’s discipline, and pay attention so that you may gain understanding, 2 for I am giving you good instruction. Don’t abandon my teaching. 3 When I was a son with my father, tender and precious to my mother, 4 he taught me and said: “Your heart must hold on to my words. Keep my commands and live. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; don’t forget or turn away from the words from my mouth. 6 Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding. 8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; if you embrace her, she will honor you. 9 She will place a garland of favor on your head; she will give you a crown of beauty.”

10 Listen, my son. Accept my words, and you will live many years. 11 I am teaching you the way of wisdom; I am guiding you on straight paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered; when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Hold on to instruction; don’t let go. Guard it, for it is your life. 14 Keep off the path of the wicked; don’t proceed on the way of evil ones. 15 Avoid it; don’t travel on it. Turn away from it, and pass it by. 16 For they can’t sleep unless they have done what is evil; they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. 17 They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. 18 The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday. 19 But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don’t know what makes them stumble.

20 My son, pay attention to my words; listen closely to my sayings. 21 Don’t lose sight of them; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to one’s whole body. 23 Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. 24 Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don’t let your lips talk deviously. 25 Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. 26 Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. 27 Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.

The Original Intent

1) Why is there such an urgent tone in the writer’s word choices?

Listen! Pay attention! Don’t abandon my teaching! Whatever else you get, it must be wisdom above all else! Don’t forget it! 
These phrases of urgency are repeated within this chapter as well as the first nine chapters of Proverbs, a book themed with wisdom from beginning to end.

Proverbs was written by King Solomon, son of King David. God lavished Solomon with wisdom that went far beyond his own human capabilities and throughout the book, we can’t help but notice the intensity with which Solomon is impressing upon his sons.

As a child reaches for a hot burner, we intensely shout and push their hand away because wisdom protects. It is with this same intensity Solomon is writing to his sons. Wisdom would be the safeguard for them even after Solomon passed away. He wouldn’t always be there for be wise for his sons, so he urges them to personally own the process of seeking wisdom as well as living wisely.

The Everyday Application

1) Why is there such an urgent tone in the writer’s word choices?

The entire purpose of parenting is wrapped up in passing on wisdom from the tiny ages to the older ones. We want our children to see, understand, and process the world through the eyes of experience, able to make wise choices.

The thing about wisdom is that once you’ve held it and owned it for yourself, you want others to experience the same delight you have by embracing wisdom; the only logical step is to share it. The one who has taken wisdom in knows how precious it is, and the urgency to share it increases. We want others to experience this wisdom as we have. This is exactly like the gospel!

Jesus is the literal embodiment of wisdom as He, being fully God, took on our flesh while maintaining His deity, which includes all wisdom. The more we take in of Jesus Christ, the more we naturally are moved towards sharing how sweetly wonderful it is to know and experience Christ!

Is Jesus sweet to you? If so, you’ll want to share Him! Maybe you’d like this sweetness, but it just never seems to be a reality for you no matter how hard you try.

As Merry invited yesterday, “carve out a few moments and find a quiet space.
Talk to the Lord. Have a real conversation with Him. Tell Him where you are and ask Him to help you, then trust He is faithful and will respond to His beloved daughter!” Sweetness is available and He longs for you to experience Him!

The Original Intent

2) According to this passage, how does someone “be wise”?

Being 
wise first begins with seeking out wisdom, which means we need to define the reality of our current state of affairs. How wise are we truly? Do our everyday life choices reflect wisdom? Do our relationships demonstrate wisdom?

I’ll cut to the chase, we all, (yes A L L) need more wisdom. The starting line is realizing our need and seeking it out. Solomon teaches one way of attaining is simply by listening and learning as wisdom is spoken to you and modeled in front of you.

It’s a given that Solomon was wise, but wise people listen to wise people. When Solomon spoke these words, he intended them as a means of making his own sons wise, and all they had to do was define reality (their current need for wisdom), listen to wisdom spoken and written, and watch what it looks like to live out wisdom in real life. Wisdom was enacted for them, they just had to “pay attention!”. (verse 1)

The Everyday Application

2) According to this passage, how does someone “be wise”?

While Solomon wanted his sons to live wisely, this passion for pursuing and embracing wisdom was a precursor the coming Wisdom of Jesus Christ. There is no wisdom outside or beyond the Lord God.

We, as humans, may become really good people, treat others well, and take care of the planet, but until we have defined reality that we are stuck in our sin without a Savior and have humbly surrendered ourselves to Jesus as our only hope of rescue, we have entirely missed the boat on being wise. To truly embrace wisdom is to embrace the gracious gift of salvation Christ offers to us who are trapped by our inescapable punishment for sins. And that’s  A L L of us.

Once we have acknowledged the reality of our sin and asked Jesus to rescue us, we can choose to grow deeper in wisdom by listening to His words in Scripture and watching His wisdom modeled in others around us who have long chosen Christ as their own Rescuer. Apart from God, there is no wisdom. And no one can really become wise without Him!

The Original Intent

3) Is wisdom truly the difference between life and death?

Returning to the idea of urgency with which Solomon wrote, yes, wisdom is precisely the difference between life and death. We can see this in the obviously practical such as looking both ways before you cross a street to avoid being hit by a car. Here, wisdom avoids physical death, but we also see this truth at work in the less obvious.

When we listen well in tense arguments rather than push our viewpoint, wisdom brings life by allowing for deeper relationship and understanding to occur. To spout off our thoughts, letting anger control us, is not only unwise, it also is like a sword to our relationship. Wisdom brings life, reckless abandonment of wisdom brings death, no matter what scale you use to measure its affects or what scenarios are being lived out.

The Everyday Application

3) Is wisdom truly the difference between life and death?

When we become aware of wisdom’s influence in our lives and the gift of life it carries with it, we learn to walk more wisely because the reward of life is worth the cost of defining reality and then pursuing wisdom. When we understand that following Jesus, as the fullness of wisdom, brings life in both the mundane, the mediocre, and the magnificent, embracing His wisdom as rescuer of our souls is absolutely worth it.

The alternative to surrendering control to Jesus? Death. Eternal death and complete separation from the God of all wisdom and authority. The choice we are each faced with will result in either life or death, both on the grand scale for eternity, as well as the innumerable small ways as we live out our everyday lives.

With Jesus, we can live supremely wise lives, but without Him, we will bring death with us everywhere we go and into every relationship we have. Choose wisdom! Choose Jesus! And then urgently share this sweet gift with others!

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