READING: Proverbs 1-3
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Today’s reading begins the book of Proverbs, a book filled with general truths that speak practically to life. Specifically, they are a cry for living wisely — for fearing God and living accordingly. That theme is evident in the first three chapters.
1. A wise person will always be teachable. The person who thinks he knows it all has just shown his lack of wisdom — not his wisdom. The wise person clings to the lessons of the past, remains teachable today, and knows he will still have much to learn tomorrow.
Prov. 1:5 A wise man will listen and increase his learning, and a discerning man will obtain guidance.
2. The wise person fears God. Fear of the Lord is not some absolute dread, but nor is it some “sappy” polite respect; it is reverential awe of God. It is such an understanding of Him that love and obedience are also the necessary response. Disobedience is a sign we don’t fear God enough.
Prov. 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.
3. We are wise to cry out for wisdom. One of the themes of this book is that foolish people naturally go the wrong way. They go down the wrong path, make the wrong choice, follow the wrong woman, etc. Wise people recognize that all of us are prone to wandering in the wrong direction, so they cry out for wisdom each day. They seek it like silver . . .
Prov. 2:3-6 Furthermore, if you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
4. Trusting in the Lord — not in myself — is wise. By my nature, I will mess up. When I think I am wise, I will show otherwise by choices that are stupid. I am learning every day that no matter how old I get, I need God’s wisdom every day. The words of Proverbs 3:5-7 are more than just verses to memorize; they are life.
Prov. 3:5-7 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. Don’t consider yourself to be wise; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
So, I ask these questions today:
- Am I really teachable? In my ministry? In my marriage? In my job?
- Do I really fear God? If I say I fear Him, does my life give evidence of that?
- Do I really cry out for wisdom every day? Or do I seek wisdom only after I’ve made a mess with my own decisions?
- Do I really trust in the Lord rather than myself? Am I living in His strength or in mine?
PRAYER: Please pray that my answers to these questions will be the right ones . . . and may they be right only because God has granted me wisdom. I will pray the same for you today.
TOMORROW’S READING: Proverbs 4-6