September 9, 2018: Thirty Sayings of Wise (#1-6)
September 9, 2018
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 24-26, Proverbs 22:17-29, Luke 22:31, Hebrews 6:1-12 Proverbs 22:17-29: We come now to “thirty sayings of the wise” (#1-6). Saying 1 17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, 18 for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. 19 So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you. 20 Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge, 21 teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth, so that you bring back truthful reports to those you serve? Why is wisdom so important? One reason is given here in “Saying 1.” And that is, godly wisdom is “pleasing” and therefore helps you to “trust” in the Lord. Living a wise, God-fearing life allows you to experience in practice the goodness of God. And this encourages you to trust God. Saying 2 22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, 23 for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life. Saying 2 ensures that we realize that we should not use whatever power we may have to abuse others who have less power or fewer resources. You might think that you can “get away with it,” but God will take up the cause of the needy and the oppressed, and in the long term will bring about justice. Saying 3 24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. Saying 3 encourages us not to befriend someone who becomes easily angered or someone who is “hot-tempered.” There is something about anger which has an infectious quality to those who are close to the one with the hot temper. Therefore, you do not want to associate too closely with a hot-tempered person in case you learn from their ways. It can seem satisfying to give way to anger, but it only causes trouble – both for yourself and other people. Saying 4 26 Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; 27 if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you. Saying 4 urges you not to go into debt if you can possibly avoid it. Perhaps a bit of debt seems like an easy solution to a temporary problem, but in the end, if you cannot repay, then “your very bed” will be taken away from you to service the loan. Avoid debt! Saying 5 28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors. Saying 5 requires a bit of explanation. In ancient Israel the land was apportioned to the tribes and the various parts of the tribe, and those portions were demarcated by “ancient boundary stones.” Therefore, this proverb urges you not to move an ancient boundary stone, meaning don’t try to get a bit of extra land for yourself by sneakily moving a boundary marker to make your property bigger. Tradition was put there for a reason. There are times when tradition must be changed, according to God’s Word, but not thoughtlessly or without care — especially when they are rightly vested interests with justice on their side. Saying 6 29 Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank. How do you rise high in your career? Is it all a matter of chance and whom you know? Not according to this proverb. If you are skilled in your work, people, even kings, will seek out your work. The lesson, of course, is to become skilled in what you do!]]>
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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