Updated: Jul 20, 2022
Solomon begins his words of wisdom in the Proverbs with a simple statement: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, BUT fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Let’s take a tour of Proverbs 1 together.
As I watch the extreme shift that is happening in culture the truth found in Proverbs chapter 1 resonates deeply. In verse 22 the Lord says: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?” The reality of this simple statement is abundantly clear in today’s mainstream culture.
Today in the USA we have people that can’t define a woman, biological men that are competing in women’s sports (and winning everything), we are facing some of the worst economic conditions in years and it’s all self-inflicted, the evidence is undeniable that the covid vaccine isn’t safe or effective and yet all the data that says as much is ignored while pushing it on children (to follow this more closely I recommend reading the blog coffee and covid), we deny the basic biology of a human life screaming “my body, my choice” when it’s clearly another human body. The push to normalize sexualizing children in schools has become a battle for parents who are called ‘domestic terrorists’, children are being smuggled in droves across our border and sold as sex trafficking slaves and it’s ignored by our mainstream media and culture (if you want to weep, watch footage of the miles of condoms and little girls underwear littered along the unsecured parts of our borders, this is a huge problem), I could go on but you get my point.
Paul writing Timothy warned that in the last days things would be perilous, 2 Timothy 3:1-5. This is exactly what happens when Godly wisdom is abandoned for the ways of the world. For those of us who have been raised in the US we’ve seen an interesting dichotomy at work, on one hand life for humans has improved significantly over the past 100 years, while simultaneously we have abandoned the God that has blessed this nation. Yet that is the way of humans.
In the Bible we see this cycle occur starting after the Exodus all the way through the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Babylonian destruction. God lays it out pretty clear in the law. He tells the people, if you follow my ways and commandments (live by my wisdom), I will bless you and it will go well for you and your family. BUT, if you abandon my ways and Me, you will deal with the consequences. That is what we are seeing today in our modern world. We have done what the Israelites did, we follow the Lord until we forgot where the blessings came from. Now we are paying the price for abandoning Him.
Good news, it’s not over. If you are reading this, then that means God wants to use you. He has commanded (yes, it’s a commandment, not a suggestion) us to “let your light shine” (Matthew 5:16) and to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). The fact that we have the wisdom and insight to see the folly of the world is a gift that we can’t squander. Continuing our tour of Proverbs 1, in verse 20 we are reminded that “out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square.” In Roman 1 we are reminded that “men are without excuse” because God has made it clear to all people. C.S. Lewis brilliantly expounds upon that point in his book Mere Christianity (a great read if you haven’t taken the time to read).
We know from the parable of the narrow road that “few find it” but that doesn’t negate our responsibility to live in the wisdom of the Lord by the Holy Spirit. God makes us promises if we do live His way, in verse 33 He says, “but whoever listens to Me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” As we follow the Lord, not only do we have the supernatural covering of peace over our lives (Philippians 4:7) but the Lord also uses our lives as examples to our fellow human beings to remind them there is a better way than the folly of the world or trying to live by our own ‘wisdom’. The benefit of living by the Lord’s wisdom exceeds just His protection, but we are rewarded for our faithfulness, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
It takes courage to not get sucked into the rhetoric or folly of the world. This is why in verses 8-19 there is warnings about not “giving into sinful men” (v. 10), not “going along with them” (v.15). It’s also why the Lord tells Joshua to “be strong and very courageous” three times in Joshua chapter 1 (v.6,7 &9). P.s. when the Lord says something three times that means pay attention. We aren’t going to fit in, we aren’t going to think like the world, we aren’t going to sound like the world, we aren’t going to live like the world and we need to accept that.
Once we find our identity in Jesus we disassociate with the world and worldly identities. Then we must open our heart to His rebuke and wisdom. In vs. 23 the Lord says, “Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you. I will make known to you my teachings.” Notice the ‘if, then’ statement in this verse. First, we must repent (listen to the tug of the Holy Spirit) and THEN we get His wisdom. Too many people want the wisdom without the repentance.
In Romans chapter 12:1-2 Paul lays that same concept out like this: “Therefore, I URGE you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices (repent), holy and pleasing to God – THIS is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” The ‘if, then’ statement of this verse is live for God and then you’ll get His wisdom.
Why are so many people living so unwise both in and out of the ‘church’ today? Because they haven’t truly, genuinely opened their heart to Jesus. “Here I AM! I stand at the door and knock (she raises her voice in the public square). If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20.
How about you? Will you open the door for Jesus?
Keep your eyes on Him...