“Love the Lord with all your minds heart and soul.” Matthew 22:37
It seems when we Christians talk about our faith these days it’s so frequently focused on feelings, emotions – “from the heart.” And while Jesus will ultimately be the judge of our heart’s true commitment, He also asks us to use the rest of our bodies to honor God. It’s not enough to feel God we need to know and obey God. Why? Because His Words are designed to guide us through this temporary life as best possible. We want to become skillful not just at making a living but in making a life that is in line with our Holy Father. Many of us have experienced life outside those guardrails – sometimes on a daily occurrence. When we are rash with our decisions or emotions, quick to be angry, quick to take up the latest idea or get rich scheme, quick to enter into relationships without good judgment, we easily find ourselves outside God’s protective ways.
The words “wise” and “wisdom” are used 125 times in the 31 chapters of the book of Proverbs. It sounds as though someone might be trying to get a point across to us! Wisdom literature in the Bible includes Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes. But for this series I’ll be focusing only on Proverbs. You’ll notice there’s 31 chapters – perfect for a one month study of God’s messages to us about living life in His guardrails.
But first and foremost, we need a right relationship with our Creator. Meaning we accept God in His three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as one God who created the universe and everything in it. And that Jesus came as fully man and fully human to be the final, complete sacrifice to cleanse us of our sins. In this way we may come before God, our King, as righteous. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent in our lives. There is one way on this path and that one way is open to everyone who believes in Him.
Second, we have an assertion of a moral law operating in the world and there will be divine justice. None of which has to do with IQ, wealth or even education. There is an expectation by God to follow His moral laws. And everyone, believers and non-believers, will be judged upon their death.
If we do not have these two foundations, then the seeking of wisdom has no foundation itself. Without a moral King to guide us then we are guiding ourselves. And we know how well that usually turns out! Our selfish souls seek ease, seek comfort, seek pleasure above all. Without an understanding and acceptance of a final, universal judgment then what does it all matter? If you read back into ancient history, peoples without God sacrificed children to meet their desires. They performed all sorts of sexually immoral acts (especially on women) to please their desires. Murdered without out conscience. It was the formation of God’s people through Abraham and Moses that brought God’s moral law back down to earth. Setting us back on the path toward God’s future Eden on Earth.
And so, through people like King Solomon He spoke. The king had asked God for wisdom and it was granted (1 King 3:5-14). It is believed King Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs during his reign. The beauty of the proverbs selected for this book is that none of them are in conflict. All cultures have their sayings – quick summaries of lessons. But many times, they conflict with each other! (“Look before you leap!” vs “He who hesitates is lost.”) God’s words are never opposed to each other.
Toward the end of his reign, King Solomon turned to the folly he so frequently spoke to avoid and disregarded his own wisdom – proving we need to stay close to God at all times. In fact, God warned him when He gave Solomon this gift: “And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will enlighten your days.” A good reminder to never take a day off from following God.
Proverbs are not promises. They are generalized statements of what is usually true. So, if you find a proverb that you want to disagree with first remind yourself that we humans are sinful people. And second, God seeks to bring us into His ideal world. We are practicing to live in our final home – the New Eden.
If you haven’t signed up to receive your 31 Days of God’s Wisdom, make sure you subscribe today! After entering your email information below, check your inbox for your confirmation link. Thank you for joining me on this journey and be sure to share with your friends, neighbors, co-workers and family! Blessings to you for wisdom, Kris