Friday, March 02, 2007

Daily Thoughts: Wisdom – For A Peaceful Life

The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel (Proverbs 1:1)

Of all the verses in the first chapter of Proverbs to go for this may appear to be the least likely. Verses 2-4 are rich with verses about the purpose of the proverbs and how they would be valuable to us.

Verses 5 and 6 likewise have plenty to say about the nature of proverbs themselves and what our quest in hearing them is based on. Verse 7 is a beauty for the whole emphasis of understanding the purpose of life.

Verses 8 and 9 the whole parental concern approach to advising children for the way to grow up. Verses 10-14 the whole set-up of the way of evil-doers and modern applications to be wary of for what some people call a good time.

We see in verses 15-19 the tragic consequences of following the way of the scornful with each verse a goldmine for daily thoughts. Then we have in verses 20-22 the wonderful woman of Wisdom and her plea for fools to just stop fooling. Verse 23 is a brilliant verse on the benefits of following wisdom and the generous nature to be found there.

Verses 24-32 is a devastating series of tragedies that befall those who choose to neglect Wisdom all more than apt to pick in highlighting the consequences of such a folly. To be honest as well the verse that particularly stands out is verse 33 with an outstandingly tremendous promise of what Wisdom does for us when we follow her – I mean forget a daily thought that right there is a three week teaching series!

So why verse one? It’s just a starter – it’s not even the main course of the introduction. Stick with me and hopefully you’ll appreciate as I did the goodies in this verse. It all hangs on the man who wrote the proverbs. Did you know that the name Solomon means peaceful? Well that right there is a fountain of goodness for any study on Proverbs. The ultimate benefit of wisdom, the reason why fearing God is the beginning wisdom and those promises found in verse 33 are so valuable is because it’s about living a peaceful life.

Imagine living life at ease because you’re in connection with the Source who can give direction in every aspect of life. Imagine having the skill to negotiate through those tricky and potentially traumatic times in life – finances, parenting, marital relationships or death – and coming out successful. Now you are seeing life at peace.

Peacefulness is not primarily external; it’s an internal reality – wholeness – only made possible by God Himself. So Solomon is the best person to write about wisdom because even in his naming and his destiny he was to be one who brought peace through wisdom. That’s even clearer when we remember one of his first direct recorded contacts with God where the Almighty allows him to choose anything he wants and the new king of Israel asks for … wisdom. (Check 1 Kings 3:5-14 especially verse 9, 11 and 12) Now that’s God’s kind of person and this is what qualifies him to write one of the most popular books in the Bible. The result of this request and indeed this book is arguably the golden era of united Israel – peace in the region, political treaties made, partnerships developed, prosperity prevailing and people enjoying it all.

Solomon’s end was tragic and a reminder that we cannot take Wisdom for granted once we have her. We must cherish her more than life itself for without her there’s no life and by following what she has to offer there is fullness of life – and she has plenty to give and is generous with it (James 1:5). The point of this verse though and this daily thought, is to highlight the writer of the proverbs and how we too should then aspire to be peaceful ones because our lives are based on the Wisdom of God. Thankfully we’re given the Perfect Personification of Wisdom whom we are called to pursue wholeheartedly, Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:24).

For His Name’s Sake
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