God’s Way Wins

Proverbs 19-21

Proverbs 21 30 NIV sgl

I encourage you to read these chapters focusing again on what stands out to you.  Depending on where you are at in life right now, different words of wisdom might stick.  Here are some that stuck out to me:

19:11 – A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

I’m someone who tends to hold grudges.  Especially if I wasn’t asked for forgiveness.  When someone asks, I am usually willing to offer it, but the thing is, people don’t always ask.  And sometimes I perceived I was wronged when the other person doesn’t see it that way.  This proverb reminds me that it is better to forgive and move past an offense than to let it sit and weigh me down.

19:20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

Accepting correction isn’t easy.  I tend to bristle at it (especially when I know it is something I did wrong, or need to change).  It puts my defenses up, and I imagine many others feel the same.  But when we accept proper discipline, we come out better.  We learn and grow, and don’t continue to make the same mistakes.  It is an important part of life to heed Godly advice and discipline, even when we don’t like it.

21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.

This one is an encouraging one to end today’s thoughts.  Sometimes it can feel like in this world, evil is winning.  That people have made their plans, and they are succeeding despite it being contrary to God’s ways.  So here is your reminder: they won’t win out in the end.  Nothing can succeed if it is against the LORD.  We might feel weighed down and defeated when we see evil prevail, but we know how it ends.  We know who wins.  And it isn’t evil.

I’m writing this while life is weird.  We are stuck at home, not going to church (I don’t think I have ever not been to church on Easter Sunday), many people not going to jobs, not having dinner with families, not enjoying a dinner out.  But we can have peace when we remember that no matter what is happening now, God has a plan, it will come to be, and we can look forward to eternal life.

~Stephanie Fletcher

 

Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+19-21&version=NIV

Tomorrow’s reading will be Proverbs 22-24 as we continue seeking and growing in God’s way during our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

 

How to Be Stupid

Proverbs 12

Proverbs 12 1 NASB

As I read though this chapter, one of the things I noticed was a handful of verses talking about taking criticism and counsel, and what type of counsel we give others.  This starts in verse 1.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.

When we mess up, how do we accept it being questioned or pointed out?  Do we want to grow and not make the same mistake again, or do we hate to be told we messed up?  This verse doesn’t pull any punches.  If you hate reproof, you are stupid.

Verses 5 and 6 continue this:

The thoughts of the righteous are just,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.

Where are we getting our counsel from?  Are we listening to the righteous, or to the counsel of the wicked?  If we are listening to the wrong people, we have a serious problem.  Their words are lying in wait for blood.  They are working to drag us down with them.  We need to make sure we are surrounding ourselves with people filled with Godly wisdom, and listening to their counsel.

Verse 15 says:

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

Maybe we aren’t listening to the wicked, but we also aren’t listening to the wise.  Instead we think we know it all and don’t need to get help from anyone else.  Maybe we are ashamed to admit we don’t know how to deal with a problem we have and because of that we try to deal with everything on our own.  No matter what the reason, we are a fool if we do not seek counsel.

We need to get counsel from wise and righteous people.  We also need to give wise counsel, and in some cases this may mean admitting we don’t know the answer.

There is a ton of other things we can learn from this chapter so take time to look it over.  The chapter ends with a familiar sentiment:

In the way of righteousness is life,
And in its pathway there is no death.  (Proverbs 12:28)

 

Andrew Hamilton

The Battle Rages On

Proverbs 9

Wisdom vs. Folly

This chapter starts with wisdom again calling out to the naïve and the foolish.  Wisdom is calling for everyone to forsake folly and proceed in understanding.   This is very similar to what we saw in chapter 8.

Starting in verse 7, it changes topics a bit.

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,
And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.

It seems like we should try to help everyone gain wisdom, and that would be great.  However, is someone does not want to gain wisdom, or isn’t open to listening to you, you need to be prepared for their reaction.  You may be insulted or even hated for trying to impart wisdom.  I don’t think this means that you should give up on those who insult you, but possibly there are times to back off or change tactics.

On the other hand, we should each look at how we respond to someone who is trying to Proverbs 9 9 NIVhelp us seek wisdom.  Are we upset when someone points out that we are not making the best decision?  Or, do we appreciate the instruction being given to us.  This is a sign of where each of us are in our pursuit of wisdom.  Verse 12 says:

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

If we are scoffers, we are lacking in wisdom and will have to deal with that ourselves.

Then, starting in verse 13, we see another section where folly is being personified and calling out to people, trying to pull them away from wisdom.  There is a battle between wisdom and folly shown between the beginning and the end of the chapter.  This is showing us that gaining wisdom is not easy, even when that is what we want.  We know the outcome of seeking wisdom, and the outcome of folly.  So, we need to make sure we are continuing to seek wisdom and not be lead astray by folly.

Andrew Hamilton
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