Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life
Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.
This week, let’s take a different approach to how many people view the commands of the Lord and the wisdom that Solomon is bestowing upon us. Let’s top up our coffees and I will try to explain through this week’s words of wisdom from Solomon.
Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways. For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence. The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed. The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame.
This week’s words of wisdom from Solomon seem obvious at first glance, yet do we know that these words of wisdom mean? …Or do we simply chalk them up to more rules to remember: don’t envy, don’t be perverse, don’t be wicked, don’t be foolish. Do we say, “We should not do these things because we do not want to be cursed, mocked, or shamed,” or do we say, “By not doing these things, God will bless us,” as if our actions give us brownie points with God.
Actually, if we live with this mentality, we’ve missed the mark; we’ve missed the focus of Solomon’s words and the basis of God’s wisdom. We need to see these words in a reciprocal light. It’s not a passage on ‘don’t do this or don’t do that’. It actually is focused on doing, seeking, and the results of having God’s wisdom. It is focused on seeking God’s wisdom and his righteousness. For when our eyes are fixed on the Lord and our hearts seek him, he fills us with his peace and understanding, wisdom and contentment, love and a closer walk with him. Knowing that even in times of oppression and humility we can trust that God is with us and guiding us.He has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us, and it is in this desire to live in his unconditional, self-sacrificing love and forgiveness, despite the wickedness and sinfulness within us, that we are blessed and honoured by the Lord, and the curses and shame that are promised to wicked and foolish people are not even a worry that we compare ourselves. For as we live in God’s grace and seeking the Holy Spirit through our words, actions and lives, “against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:23b)
So if you have been looking at God and his ways as a bunch of do’s and don’ts in order to be a better person and accepted by God, good luck with that. Let me tell you now that you can never do or be good enough to earn God’s favour. You will always be trying to compare yourself to the law or to others; and you will miss the mark. For only perfection is in God’s midst, and we will never achieve that on our own; we will always be brought down by our sinful human nature. However, God clothes us in Jesus’ perfection and acknowledges Christ’s sacrificial death as our own punishment and payment for all our sins. Christ has paid the price and has reunited us with our God, in this life now and in eternity. It is not about the ‘do’s and don’ts’ but about the seeking and trusting our most gracious God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In this truth we live and are blessed.
Prayer: Dear Most Gracious Father, there is so much wickedness in this world, and at times it looks like it flourishes: the wicked get away with their wickedness, the perverse flourish, and the foolish are honoured. Help me not to focus on their ways and be envious, or consider myself any better and loved by you because of my actions, but help me to keep my eyes focused on you, to seek you, to follow in your ways, and to entrust my life, now and eternally, into your keeping, through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour! AMEN!