Wisdom and Prudence

Proverbs 8:12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.  13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.  14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.  15 By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; 

16 by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.  17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. 

 Did you ever have a roommate?  I had one and we did not exactly mesh.  She had rented a townhouse and although we divided everything in half she felt she had dominion over EVERYTHING.  She even had a list of rules.

Our scripture today says that wisdom is a roommate with prudence.  Now these are compatible tenants.  You have wisdom and cautiousness in the same dwelling, and along with this the scripture says there is knowledge and discretion.

Can you imagine how much trouble we would avoid if we lived with wisdom, prudence, knowledge and discretion?  Can you think of how your choices would be reflected by the company you keep?  Instead of being friends with impetuousness and carelessness, friends who are flighty and lead you into poor decisions, your support group would be stable and thoughtful.

The scripture end by saying that wisdom loves those who love her and those who seek her find her.  Have you sought out wisdom?  Do you love wisdom and understanding? Or do you pride yourself on throwing caution to the wind? An occasional impulsive moment is not necessarily a bad thing, but a lifetime of impetuous decisions can bring about a lifetime of hurt.

PRAYER:  Father, guard our hearts and our minds from things that would rob us from making good decisions.  Help us to seek you out, love you with our whole hearts, and value wisdom over any other characteristic.  Amen

Advertisements

Get Wisdom

Proverbs 8 (New International Version 1984)

Wisdom’s Call

8 Does not wisdom call out?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights along the way,
    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gates leading into the city,
    at the entrances, she cries aloud:
“To you, O men, I call out;
    I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
    you who are foolish, gain understanding.
Listen, for I have worthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
    for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
    none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
    they are faultless to those who have knowledge.

Do you remember when you were young and your mother called you in from playing to come eat? You were never so far away that you could not hear the sound of her voice.  There was never a time when you did not understand what she was saying.

Today we need to listen for the voice of wisdom just like we used to listen for our mother’s voice.  We need to seek out understanding and learn to discern the truth.  Many of us have mistaken wants for needs and wickedness has been disguised as goodness.

Wake up!  Our problems are spiritual, not political and not economical.  The only way we gain knowledge and understanding is to seek it out, and we must look in the right places.  2 Tim 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Look to the Bible for knowledge and to Jesus for faith.

PRAYER: Father, lead us in your paths of righteousness so that we can hear the sound of your voice, feel the beating of your heart, and understand the wisdom of your ways.  Amen

Get Wisdom

Prov 4:6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 

7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 

When I was a child, I did not receive an allowance.  But occasionally my aunts would give me fifty cents or even a dollar, and my sister and cousins and I would head to the corner store to load up on candy.  You could buy all sorts of candy for just one penny per piece—tootsie rolls, taffy, jawbreakers—the list goes on.  We spent all we had and came home with sacks full of candy.  But when it was gone, it was gone.

Proverbs tells us that though it cost all we have, get understanding.  Because once you have understanding, you have it.  Wisdom and understanding cannot be diminished over time, it will not be depleted just because it is used. 

What a promise!

PRAYER: Our Father, you have told us how vital it is for us to receive wisdom.  Help us to seek after wisdom with our whole hearts.  Amen

 

 

Trust in the Lord with your whole heart

Proverbs 3:5-6

 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 

Yesterday we lost a dear friend.  He was 87 years wise, and I can tell you I never heard him say a bad word about anyone.  He wrote his memoirs a year ago and the memories recorded there were as fresh as if they had just happened. 

Wally joined the Navy when he was 17 and just three weeks later Pearl Harbor was attacked.  Regardless of what happened in his life, through his words on that paper you could feel and see a sense of optimism and hope.  His name is Wally Gee and he will be missed.

I do not know Wally’s favorite scripture, but this certainly had to be one of them.  Sometimes we shield parts of our hearts, not just from acquaintances, but even from those closest to us, including God.  Of course, we cannot hide anything from God, but we tend to hold back, and when we do we are not trusting in God with our whole heart.

I would ask you today to join with me in opening your whole heart to God, trusting in Him completely, submitting to him without reservation.  He will make those crooked paths straight, and He will give you a godly wisdom that will amaze and astound you.

PRAYER:  Father God, today we ask that you free us of all reservations that would prevent us from relying on you completely.  Open our hearts, dear God, to the wisdom and guidance that comes only from you.  Amen

 

One More Saint                                           

in Memory of Wally Gee
 
One more tenor just joined the heavenly choir
One more sailor’s ship has just been retired.
One more father has gone on to meet the Son
and one more wife says, “Husband, your work is done.”
 
One less godly man will greet us on Sunday morning,
One less courageous man will stand firm to give us warning.
One less noble man will be here to lead and guide us
and one more daughter says, “Daddy, you always walked beside us.”
 
One more Christian has left his home on earth.
One more saint has arrived at his place of birth.
One more son of God has departed the family of man
and one more son says, “You always held my hand.”
 
One less day to spend with our dear Wally Gee.
One less smile to send our spirits home with glee.
One less memory to make with our dear friend
but one less painful day he will have to spend.
 
One more disciple to cross over to heaven’s shore.
One more faithful pilgrim to meet those gone on before.
One more time Wally Gee will greet God’s own
and one more time Jesus says, “Welcome Home.”
 
 
 
 

The Lord Gives Wisdom

Proverbs 2:6-9 (New International Version 1984)

For the Lord gives wisdom,
    and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds victory in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just
    and fair—every good path.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Today my sister and I are 62.  I remember certain birthdays more than others.  I recall one at my aunt’s house where there is a picture of me filling a birthday hat full of candy corn.  I remember my 16th birthday party where we had set up an elaborate maze with boxes and the girls had to crawl through only to find things like a bowl full eyeballs (peeled grapes) and a bowl full of intestines (cooked spaghetti).  We pulled taffy and dunked for apples. 

Sixty-two years and I wonder why I have not accumulated more wisdom than I now possess.  Have I spent too much time in worldly pursuits?  Or have I focused more on holiness than wisdom, not realizing that seeking wisdom will allow me to find both wisdom and holiness?

My birthday wish for today is that we each would seek out wisdom, not just so we will understand what is right, just, and fair, but so that we will find the Lord, the giver of all wisdom.

 PRAYER: Heavenly Father, today you have blessed us with another day on this earth.  As long as we have breath, may we seek out wisdom that comes only from you, and may we walk on your pathway today and every day.  Amen.

Turning Your Ear to Wisdom

Turning Your Ear to Wisdom.

Turning Your Ear to Wisdom

1 My son,  if you accept my words  and store up my commands within you,  
2 turning your ear to wisdom  and applying your heart to understanding  —  
3 indeed, if you call out for insight  and cry aloud for understanding,  
4 and if you look for it as for silver  and search for it as for hidden treasure,  
5 then you will understand the fear of the  Lord  and find the knowledge of God.  
6 For the  Lord  gives wisdom;  from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  

Before I had my son, I went into a nesting phase where I was almost obsessive about getting his room ready.  I stored diapers, formula, clothing—all things baby. It has been just the two of us for a long time now, but I still want to make sure there is food in the pantry and clothes in the closet—thankfully we are not yet to the point of storing diapers, but if that day comes I’ll just try to be grateful I’ve lived that long.

Today’s scripture tells us we are to store up God’s commands, turning our ears to wisdom and applying our hearts to understanding.  After years of not memorizing scripture, I have tried to reinvigorate my efforts.  Alas, I have found memorization is now elusive and the best I can do is paraphrase.

For the past week I have been on vacation with my husband and friends, and I did not take my computer.  I read my daily verse on my phone, but I did not spend time reflecting on the verse, praying, and then writing down my thoughts.  Some might think I am being legalistic in trying to read from Scripture each day, but I find that when I do not take the time to at least dip into God’s Word, my spirit suffers.  I tend to be more critical, less loving and less forgiving.  I tend to be more me-centered and less God-centered.

Proverbs tells us we are to look for wisdom as if we were looking for silver, and it is then we will understand the fear of the Lord and find wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Do you want understanding?  Then seek after wisdom as though it is the most precious of all treasures, because it is.

PRAYER:  Our Father, we pray that in this world where there are so many distractions, that we would be able to keep our eyes upon you, that we would understand our days are a gift from you—may we give back a portion of each day to you, and may you increase our knowledge of you and draw us to you.  Amen

 

 

Where can Wisdom be found, Part 2

Where is Wisdom Found, Part 2

Job 28:12, 22-28
Job 28:12 But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell?
22 Destruction and Death say, “Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.” 23 God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, 24 for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, 26 when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, 27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. 28 And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”

An old Chinese proverb says “you can’t prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building a nest in your hair.” Job was swarmed by birds of sorrow, and his hair was filled with nests. Yet, we see a glimmer of hope in his words.

Job had withstood assaults by Satan upon his body, family and possessions. He was under attack from both his wife and friends. Yet, Job refused to “curse God and die” as his wife implored, nor was he willing to admit some terrible wrongdoing as his friends suggested. Instead, Job maintained that he was a man of integrity. But in reading Job, it almost seems as though Job trusted in his own integrity more than he trusted in God.

But in these scriptures we see that Job has received a fresh insight regarding true wisdom. True wisdom is not only precious, it is not easily found. One must search out wisdom and it is only found in God. Job ends his narrative by saying that God has informed the human race that wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

Are you seeking out wisdom? Do you fear God, i.e. hold Him in awe for who He is? Do you shun evil in all you do?

PRAYER: Father, how little we understand about wisdom, and how much we need to learn. Be patient with us, Oh Lord, as we seek out your truths and endeavor to live in the light of your love. Amen

Where can wisdom be found?

Job 28:12 But where can wisdom be found?  Where does understanding dwell? 13 No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living. 14 The deep says, “It is not in me”; the sea says, “It is not with me.” 15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed out in silver. 16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or lapis lazuli. 17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold. 18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies. 19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it; it cannot be bought with pure gold. 20 Where then does wisdom come from?  Where does understanding dwell? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds in the sky. 

In Job’s day, precious metals were found by people looking in caves, bringing out rocks that had small strains of metal that were found when the rock was exposed to fire.   Pearls have long been found by people diving into the oceans and harvesting oysters. Yet, for one who seeks wisdom the hiding place is neither a cave nor an ocean.

Likewise, wisdom cannot be purchased, and there is no comparison to the worth of wisdom with the worth of precious jewels.  Why?  Because wisdom comes straight from God.  Wisdom is both a gift and a necessary tool to draw us closer to the living God and to enable us to live out our lives as He desires and He requires.

Job’s treatise on wisdom came near the end of his suffering, and we see as we near the end of Job’s trials that wisdom became a hard-earned prize.  Job had proclaimed his innocence and had blamed God for his loss.  Yet, Job proclaimed that if God were willing he could restore Job. When God spoke, Job finally realized that he really did not know God at all.

Do we know God?  Do we have the wisdom and understanding to seek Him out while He may be found, or do we wait on Him to call on us? And, do we have the audacity to blame Him when something bad happens, proclaiming both our innocence and our worth?

PRAYER: Father, we pray that we would not have to sink to the depths of despair as Job did before we can come to know you in spirit and in truth.  We ask that you would cover us with your wisdom, and that if we cannot always be protected physically that you would shield our spirits.  May we come to realize that our worth is found in nothing other than the blood of Jesus Christ, and may we be ever thankful for your grace and your mercy.  Amen

Wisdom

9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish  between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

 

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.  11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked.  I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.  13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor.[1]

Today I am starting a series on wisdom.  It is difficult to be a disciple of the Risen Lord without wisdom, yet how many of us have asked for this vital gift?  How many of us have sought wisdom during tribulation rather than escape from the tribulation?

We have a Monday night Bible study and we are starting a series on the book of James.  Our discussion last night revolved around how we behave during times of suffering.  Do we use the time to learn of God and grow closer to Him, or do we whine and complain about our lot in life?  When we pray for those in the midst of trials do we pray for their escape, or do we pray that God would increase their wisdom, understanding and acceptance of where they are right now?

No one wants to suffer. But, we cannot live in this world and escape suffering.  Solomon asked for wisdom in ruling God’s people and in answer to his prayer God gave him a wisdom that astounded all around him.  We need to plead for wisdom, a supernatural understanding that will draw us closer to God and man, and will help to recreate us in God’s image.

One of our government officials said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”  Perhaps we should adopt that belief as well, and pray that God would allow us to learn from situations that cause us grief. 

PRAYER:  Father, you know our hearts.  As much as we love you, none of us wants to be in trials.  Yet, trials come.  May we not waste one opportunity to learn of you and to be more like you. Help us to shift the focus off of ourselves, and onto you so that we can walk with you in wisdom and in peace.  Amen


[1] ·  Software programming copyright©2010 by Immersion Digital, Inc.
6881 Kingspointe Parkway, Suite 17 Orlando FL 32819
Manufactured and printed in Taiwan.

  • Holy Bible, New International Version® NIVR copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
%d bloggers like this: