Theme of the Week: Let’s Begin! Wisdom that Works
Bible Verse: To receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple. Proverbs 1:3-4 ESV
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 1:2-6
God has two goals for us in the book of Proverbs.
Verse 2 states them. One is deep character, and the other is straight thinking. “To know wisdom and instruction”—that’s deep character. “To understand words of insight”—that’s straight thinking. Verses 3, 4 tell us more about deep character, and verse 6 tells us more about straight thinking. Verse 5 is a parenthesis, urging even wise people to keep growing.
What about God’s first purpose for us—deep character? “To know wisdom and instruction,” verse 2 says. We haven’t defined wisdom yet, so now is the time. What does the sage mean by “wisdom”? Wisdom is more than brains. It is more than morals. We could memorize the whole Bible, and mean it from the heart, without wisdom. Wisdom is skill, expertise, competence that understands how life really works, how to achieve successful and even beautiful results.
Wisdom knows better than to walk onto the football field and hope the game will go well somehow; wisdom draws up a game plan that will score more touchdowns than the opponents because that plan takes into account not only the rules of the game but also psychology and timing and strategy and everything it takes to win. That is wisdom.
We are being invited into the counsels of the best and the brightest. Now if wisdom is so desirable, and it is, then why isn’t everyone running toward wisdom? Why is it rare? Because of the next word in verse 2: “instruction.” It is also translated “discipline.” (NLT)
Sorry, friends, but we are not born wise. We are foolish people pursuing wisdom by humbling ourselves under the Lord’s correction.
Can any of us be above it? When we are honest enough with God to change, he puts that crown of beauty on our heads. It is what he wants to do.
Taken from Proverbs: Wisdom That Works by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., © 2012. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, crossway.org.
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