Listening to the Wisdom of God
Updated: Oct 12, 2018
Nowhere does the Bible say, “You shall not mainline heroin.” However, the considered perspective of most evangelical Christians is that thrusting heroin into your veins is not an acceptable practice to fulfill the purpose of the human body. Why is it that the church would remain negative about such an action, when the Bible does not expressly forbid it?
The answer to that question recognizes that there are commandments in the Scripture that prohibit murder, unfaithfulness to one’s marital commitment, and covetousness – only to name a few. However, the life-prescribing exhortations in the Bible far exceed the Ten Commandments. These include the very teachings of our Lord and the wisdom literature – particularly that which is found in the book of Proverbs. In the next few weeks, as we begin together in the Lion’s Den, I will attempt to share some various insights that have come my way through personal study of the book of Proverbs. My prayer to God is that something contained herein will result in greater happiness and fulfillment in your life.
The actual authorship of the book of Proverbs is debated at length among scholars. However, if a person accepts the truth of the Bible at face value, the book begins with the “proverbs of Solomon, the son of David.” This does not imply that Solomon wrote each and every one of these proverbs entirely himself, especially since some of them claim specifically to have different authorship. The statement does suggest several important things to further enhance our study of the book. First, it suggests that Solomon compiled all of these proverbs and that many of them are the work of his hands. Undoubtedly, they are perspectives that were heard frequently in Israel. Many contemporary authors have attempted to provide similar insights of wisdom and advice, but this particular compilation belongs to Solomon from a time early in his marriage – and he is still recognized as one of the wisest kings ever to live. Second, the selection of proverbs reveals to us the very mind of God. It shapes the way in which we perceive the ever-changing world around us – particularly the relationships we maintain with our fellow human beings. Great insight arises from these passages regarding mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, and just dealings demarcate the direction of God’s obedient follower on almost every page. Were a man or a woman to invoke these proverbs in his or her life, and live life in accord with them, such an existence would manifest the blessing of God both in this life and the life that is still to come.
Some of the most difficult occurrences in life seem to take place in our relationship to fellow believers. It is far easier to locate the splinter in the eye of another. And, of course, we locate those with no idea about the motivation or circumstances that may have resulted in questionable actions. And further, we usually attempt to adjudicate these matters with only a modicum of evidence that falls far short of the total. Any such judgment is destined to be problematic in itself. So, the book of Proverbs is a remarkable book teaching well the ways that God has ordained for man to relate to his fellows.
Watch the next few weeks as we examine the richness of this book and attempt to discover together the ways in which it guides the lives of all of us.
Until He comes,