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Sunday, September 24, 2017

PROVERBS 4:10-13


"Hear, my son, and accept my sayings
And the years of your life will be many.
I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
When you walk, you steps will not be impeded;
And if you run, you will not stumble.
Take hold of instruction; do not let her go.
Guard her, for she is your life."


Life insurance or life assurance? There is one thing we all have in common: death.  In the meanwhile, there is something inside us that propels us to cling to this life, even when we know something better is coming. Healthy choices are the best way to add many years to enjoy life. In the meanwhile...

"Hear, my son..."


As for me and my house, we daily listen to "Give me Jesus," as sung by Danny Goke.  Also we listen to the song of our hope, "Jesus I will cling to you, come what may," "Even If" by Mercy Me.  Another song says, "If grace was a kingdom, I stand at the gate.  I'm just a beggar in the presence of a King. Grace is a kingdom with gates open wide.  There's a place at the table, so come inside," by Matthew West.

One of our new favorite songs we begin our morning with is by Micah Tyler, "Move this heart to be set apart...I wanna be different, I want to be changed. Until all of me is gone, and all that remains is a fire so bright that the whole world can see that there is something different.  Come and be different in me.  I don't want to spend my life stuck in a pattern.  I don't want to gain this world and lose what matters..."  



Music is the best avenue to the soul.  Adam Clarke says, wisdom harmonizes the soul...

"'The years of thy life shall be many.'  Vice and intemperance impair the health, and shorten the days of wicked; while true religion sobriety and temperance, prolong them.  The principal part of our diseases springs from indolence, intemperance, and disorderly passions.'  Religion excites to industry, promotes sober habits, and destroys evil passions, and harmonizes the soul; and thus, by preventing many diseases, must necessarily protract life."


He goes on to describe on to describe the way of wisdom, her upright paths, how to walk in unimpeded steps and running without stumbling:  "True wisdom will teach thee to keep out of embarrassments.  A man under the influence of true religion ponders his paths, and carefully poises occurring circumstances; and as the fear of God will ever lead him to act an upright and honest part, so his way in business and life is both clear and large."



Wisdom is no casual passer-byer.  Cling to her.  Do not let her go.  Guard her for she is your life.  
Protect her with your life, for she is your life.  Your life is every beat of your heart.  Let it beat for her, O, God.  








Saturday, September 23, 2017

PROVERBS 4:7-9





"The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom
(Or the primary thing is wisdom);
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty."


Verse 7 was beginning to sound like Proverbs for Dummies:
#1 The beginning of wisdom is to get wisdom.
#2 With all your acquiring, get understanding too!


Then the next verses rise up once again with wisdom as the beautiful personification of God's love.

#1 Prize her.
#2 Embrace her.


If you do that...

#1 She will exalt you.
#2 She will honor you.
#3 She will give you a garland of grace.
#4 She will give you a crown of beauty.



"Nothing is so universally respected,
provided the learned man be
a consistent moral character...
A tiara, diadem, or crown,
shall not be more honorable
to the princely wearer, than sound wisdom."


Sounds like a win-win situation. 
It also sounds like the best kind of love,
one that each gives the other 100%. 
Love is not divided up 50-50%.
God does not say, if you give me 50%
I'll give you back 50%.  
God is love, and He gets to define it.




He chose to give 100% when He gave His son.
That's what a garland of grace looks like.
That is the crowning beauty of it all.



Adam Clarke says of wisdom,

"...to know the true God,
and what He requires of man,
and for what He has made man...
to know Jesus Christ whom He hath sent,
and for what end He was sent,
the necessity of His being sent;
and the nature of that salvation
which He has bought with His own blood...
Wisdom points out the thing requisite;
understanding sees to the accomplishment.
Wisdom sees; --but understanding feels.
One discovers, the other possesses."



Coverdale translates...

"The chefe poynte of wyssdome is, 
that thou be wyllynge to opteyne wysdome;
and before all thy goodes
to get the understandynge."




In his oldest transation, Adam Clarke quotes, 

"Begynnynge of wfsdam, welle thou widam:
in all thi wisdam, and in all thi possfoun,
purchas prudence."









Friday, September 22, 2017

PROVERBS 4:5-6



"Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you."



If there are exclamation points, I think it is of prime importance as in pay attention!
Solomon, the man of wisdom is speaking here saying get wisdom, get understanding.
Be like Solomon.
Be smart.


The next line reminds me what a mama says to her offspring in trouble:
"Don't you turn away from me!  Look at me!  Pay attention when I'm speaking!



Who would turn away from wisdom and understanding?  I can't really say, but a majority of people certainly have.  I think it is because wisdom is a personification of God.  Isn't that amazing, turn away from God and you are turning away from wisdom.  Not smart.  Where does wisdom come from?  God's mouth to your ear.  How do we listen?  Read His Word.  God's mouth to your heart.  

Adam Clarke says, "True religion is essential to thy happiness; never forget its teachings, nor go aside from the path it prescribes."

 
Then the writer of Proverbs goes on to describe her, wisdom.  We are told not to forsake her, to love her.  We are to be wedded to her.  Don't be unfaithful to her.  Fidelity to wisdom will guard you.  Wisdom will guard and watch over you.  Where does unfaithfulness begin? It begins in the mind.  Unfaithfulness goes in, then wisdom goes out.  It is prevented in the heart, having a clean heart, a heart after God.   



Adam Clarke says, "Wisdom personified here represented as a guardian and companion, who, if not forsaken will continue faithful; if loved, will continue a protector."