1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
14 Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;
15 Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:
16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
18 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.
19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
There's a lot of wisdom spoken in the book of Proverbs. This wisdom applies to much and is quite useful.
Verses 1-4 mention some things you should do and verse 5 tells you what can happen if you do such things. Let's start with that.
"receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee"
receiving the words of wisdom is the starting point. Much wisdom is shared with you though God's word and through Godly council. Quite often the Holy Spirit will speak to you as well giving you wisdom. Wisdom here is referred to as a "her". So there's all this wisdom around you... will you receive it? "and hide my commandments with thee" This wisdom that is taught, how much of it do you receive and how much of it do you also carry around with you? While I'm not good at scripture memorization I must say that it is a good idea to do. This way you carry around that wisdom wherever you go.
Do you actively seek out wisdom? v3-4 When you're looking for a new car or a new house, or a new camera, or something you don't already know much about, you might seek wisdom from those who do know. You might learn a little about features of a product, what pros and cons certain things have. There's so many ways in which we seek out wisdom to guide us through life. Well, we really need wisdom in ALL areas of life, not just to help here and there with something like a purchase. We need wisdom in choosing a career... we need wisdom in choosing friends even. There's just so many ways in which we need wisdom. But are we seeking that kind of wisdom?
Verse 5 says if we do then we will know the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. I'm not sure I understand all that could entail, but it sure sounds wonderful.
Verse 6 states and important fact, that wisdom comes from the Lord.
Discretion will preserve you when wisdom enters your heart and when knowledge is pleasant to you. What is this discretion and how can it help you? The passage gives some great examples. Plain and simple it can deliver you from the evil man. Take pleasure in knowledge and really take in wisdom and you will be able to avoid such people, or at least not fall in with them.
Like most young people, I wasn't the wisest person when I was younger. There were times that I fell in with the bad crowd and I can truly say it was because of a lack of wisdom and understanding. I wasn't pursuing such things then.
You know, a lot of people can look at young people these days and say that they are lacking in wisdom and have a lot of growing up to do. Well I can tell you for sure that there is a real danger for a lot of people to not ever grow up and become wiser. Some people choose not to seek wisdom and follow the path of folly. But those that do seek wisdom will find it and learn to avoid much disaster.
Verse 16 starts to speak more on a more specific temptation. People sometimes wonder what it takes to resist temptation. It takes a whole lot more than just a strong will. The human will is not nearly as strong as one might think. There are many temptations out there... many things and people just waiting to lead you astray. What will it take to avoid such things.
Jesus was tempted and He withstood it. And it's not simply because He knew a few bible verses. He held the wisdom that those verses contained. He fully understood them. Besides being God, He spent much of His childhood studying scripture and spending time in the synagogue learning. He was a young man of much wisdom and not simply because He was born into that.
When faced with temptation we might not get away with a simple quoting of scripture. Scripture goes a long way... there's much wisdom in scripture... but we must study it and learn from it, not just know the words.
Back to the woman mentioned... it says that none that go to her will return. My friends, there is much evil in this world and this evil leads to destruction. To use the example they've used already... A flattering woman can lead to much destruction. Humans are not always as strong as they ought to be and without wisdom we will indeed fail. I've personally seen families fall apart because of adultery. The man that falls into such things can lose his family. That destruction doesn't stop there either. It has some horrible effects on the whole family that will ripple on for a long time to come.
There are many other temptations out there that lead to destruction. If you want to avoid such traps you will need to be prepared.
thefreedictionary.com defines wisdom as
1. The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.
2. Common sense; good judgment
I think we'd all like to think we're full of wisdom but I think that most of us could use a little more at times. If you want wisdom, you need to seek it out.
Dear Lord, thank you for today. Thank you for your wisdom that you have shared with us throughout all time. Thank you for your written word and all the wisdom it contains. Thank you for all the people that you've worked through and all the examples you have given us. Lord I pray that we would continually seek you and your wisdom. I pray that we would always seek your guidance and always be open to correction. Speak to us through your word and through your spirit. Guide us in the way everlasting.
A new subject or passage each week for all to discuss.
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