Yep, you read the title right… I am determined to get caught up! 🙂 But I promise this post won’t be super long. Let’s get right into it!
I love the title of chapter 13, “Walk With The Wise.” This chapter starts out similar to 12 by comparing the good to the evil, the wise to the wicked. For YEARS I would read passages such as these and wonder how to apply it to my life. What did all these bits of advice add up to? I don’t know about you, but it seemed random to me. But I feel like the Lord is opening my eyes to understand that all of these bits are just pieces to the puzzle of righteousness. I think we would be overwhelmed if we were to try and to change everything about our sinful selves at once. We need to digest and think on things for a while to implement and eventually change.
We’ve been seeing how the Lord wants us to be wise, righteous and good. The logical next question is how? What does this look like in our lives. I think the idea of “walking with the wise” is the next action step. When we are children, we look to our parents, grandparents, teachers, leaders and friends for guidance and to learn. Why would it be any different when talking about our spiritual lives? Are you spending time with those that are spiritually mature? Do you walk with those who are wise in the ways of the Lord? How can you get around that crowd more often?
One verse from 13 that I want to highlight is the first part of v22 which says, “A good life gets passed on to the grandchildren.” Isn’t it true that those with a good reputation are known for generations? Know that your good life will give your children and grandchildren a foundation of a “good family” to start out with! Isn’t that wonderful? It’s like when you hear people say, “They come from a good family!” That is one way to leave a legacy!
Chapter 14 further gives example upon example of the difference between someone that is foolish and someone that is wise. I’d like to look at three verses that all share a common concept.
v8 – “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.”
v15 – “The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.”
v29 – “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.”
Do you see the common thread here? Someone that is wise A)thinks about their ways, B)gives thoughts to their steps and C)is patient. They all control their mind! They don’t just carelessly go about their day. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” We can do it! With his help, we can choose in hard moments to think on Him and what is right. One of my favorite verses is Phillipians 4:8! It says, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” We have a choice folks. We get to decide what stays in our mind. Do we meditate on fear and loss and suffering, or do we focus on the blessings of life and the things that are within our control? Today you have the opportunity to dwell on what is good. Ask the Lord to help you and He will!!!
Chapter 15! Yay, getting caught up feels good! This chapter starts out with more advice on controlling your tongue. Proverbs 10 was all about our tongue; read more here.
In Chapter 15, I particularly love verse 16: “Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.” This is akin to Ecclesiastes 4:6 that says, “Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.” He’s trying to get us to understand that it’s better to have less and live in peace rather than having much with heartache. What is it worth in the end if we work our hands to the bone for something that we can’t take with us when we die… Especially if we are forsaking time with the Lord for it?
Let’s finish by looking at the last verse in Chapter 15, verse 33: “Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.” The Message puts it like this: “Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living— first you learn humility, then you experience glory.” I am going to quote one commentary that explains this beautifully: “the fear of God and humility go together, where the one is the other is; and as the one is the way to wisdom, the other is the way to glory; Christ’s humiliation was before his exaltation; men are first humbled and laid low in their own eyes, and then they are raised out of their low estate, and are set among princes; and shall inherit the throne of glory, being made kings and priests unto God; it is a frequent saying of Christ’s, “he that humbleth himself shall be exalted”, (Luke 14:11) ; such an one is raised to a high estate of grace, and at last to eternal glory.” Ref. Biblestudytools.com
Let us humble ourselves today in reverent fear of our Lord!