September 20, 2018: Godly Wisdom – The Path to Blessing
September 20, 2018
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
1 The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
When you are secure in your relationship with God, then you can be brave in any situation!
2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.
What are the secrets to effective leadership (even leadership of an organization that is troublesome)? According to this proverb, it comes down to wisdom: “discernment and knowledge.”
3 A ruler who oppresses the poor is like driving rain that leaves no crops.
A Christian in a leadership position has a responsibility to look out for the weak and the marginalized and the poor. Someone who has power and uses that power to oppress the poor has a detrimental effect on the whole organization, and not just the poor: it is like “driving rain that leaves no crops.”
4 Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them.
A constant theme in proverbs is the intrinsically moral nature of real wisdom. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. And when someone forsakes wisdom, the ultimate end of that is even to praise the wicked.
5 Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.
Moral discernment and clarity will increasingly come as someone seeks the Lord – but when you are stuck in sin, then moral vision becomes increasingly cloudy.
6 Better the poor whose way of life is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse.
Wealth is not the be-all and end-all of life. Better to be poor and live a blameless life than to be rich and perverse. A poor man with a clean conscience can rest easy.
7 A discerning son heeds instruction, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.
Wisdom is to listen to your father’s instruction – most fathers, most of the time, and especially godly fathers, want what is best for their children.
8 Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.
There is a moral order in the world – not perfect this side of the fall, but still present – that means that when you forsake that moral order, then there are normally repercussions even in this life, and certainly in the judgment to come.
9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.
If you turn away from the Bible, do not think your prayers will be acceptable. The God who speaks in his Word is the God whom you seek in prayer.
10 Whoever leads the upright along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.
This proverb again speaks to the moral order in this world which, though not perfect because of the fall, is still present – and will certainly be perfectly implemented in the world to come.
11 The rich are wise in their own eyes; one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.
One of the traps of wealth is that it can blind you to seeing who you really are. Flatterers can gather around you and make it hard to understand and notice your own foibles. Make sure, then, that you are in community with people in a biblical church who are able to tell you what you really need to hear.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.
Good and strong leadership leads to rejoicing! The opposite kind of leadership leads to people going into hiding.
13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Confessing your sins can seem a scary thing to do: but if you confess your sins to God, he is faithful and just and will cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.
The fear of God – trembling before God – is the foundation of wisdom and the path towards blessing too!]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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