Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Pondering Proverbs – 9

“For Yahweh gives wisdom; for His mouth come knowledge and understanding, He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones,” Proverbs 2:6 – 8.

This is a parenthesis between verses 5 and 9. Verse 5: “Then you will discern the fear of Yahweh and discover the knowledge of God. Verse 9: “Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course.”

The assurance of our seeking wisdom and knowledge (verses 1 – 4) is the Person of Yahweh; “And without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him,” (Hebrews 11:6).  We trust God, we trust His character, our hope in our seeking is rooted and grounded in Him, in who He is; He is our expectation and we know that the wisdom and knowledge and discernment that we seek is but Him – for all discernment and knowledge and wisdom is in Him – He is all judging, all knowing, and all wise.

It is an error at worst and immaturity at best, to treat wisdom and knowledge and understanding as things that can be acquired and known and developed apart from God – for these “things” as we might call them, are given to us as God gives Himself to us and as we, by His grace, give ourselves to God. It is God who gives wisdom, so James encourages us to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5); it is from God’s mouth that we receive knowledge and understanding – do we read and “hear” the Word of God?

Consider the great storehouses of wealth in the world, the royal jewels in the Tower of London, the gold in Fort Knox; these treasures are nothing compared to the sound wisdom which God stores up for the upright, for those who seek Him, who cry to Him, who listen for Him. How would we feel were we to be given the keys to Fort Knox and told that we could remove an inexhaustible supply of gold, not just today, but tomorrow and the next day and the next day and as often as we wanted? How do we feel to know that our Father has stored wisdom up for us so that He might give that wisdom to us – that as his sons and daughters we might draw on that wisdom in our relationship with Him – to His glory and the blessing of others? How would we live our lives if we knew that we never had to balance the checkbook to see if there were funds remaining – for our Father has given us an inexhaustible supply of knowledge and understanding? We are told (verse 4) to seek these things as if we were seeking silver and hidden treasures.

Our uprightness (verse 7) is found in our Lord Jesus, He is our righteousness, and we do well to remember that; because Jesus is our righteousness we are called to walk in integrity – Jesus tells us that if we love Him that we will keep His commandments (John 14:21) – we are called to be holy as our Father is holy (1 Peter 1:13-16); we are not to be as the Prodigal Son who squandered his inheritance. As we are good stewards of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge we will receive more of the same.

We can be assured that our Father is guarding the paths of justice and that He preserves the Way of His saints – no matter what we see around us. Even though it may appear that there are no straight roads, no secure paths to travel, no sure way to navigate life – we can live in the knowledge that God preserves His people and that the Way that He has sent us will ever be the sure and certain Way to live within, the Way to travel, the Way to negotiate the vicissitudes of life. This is the one Way to which we can invite others – knowing that in this Way that God our Father has given us a shield…given us Himself.

In the midst of a world gone mad, spiraling out of control, descending into the abyss of darkness and ignorance and violence – we can live in the Light of the Word, we can live in inexpressible light, drawing on an infinite storehouse of wisdom, discernment, and knowledge – as seek the face of God in His Son Jesus Christ.

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