Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Proverbs 4-6
Each time I sit down to Proverbs, even if it is just one chapter, I feel as if I’m sitting down to a feast of all the best and most rare foods! It is hard to choose what to focus on but for the sake of brevity, I will do my best.
Proverbs 4 begins with Solomon remembering back to when His father taught him this wisdom and urged him to keep it, to walk in the way, and not to forget, forsake, or turn away from it. This is a precious passage, even more so when we realize that he is referring to King David.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you, love her, and she will guard you. Proverbs4:6
When we decide to stop living by our own wisdom and take full advantage of the wisdom offered to us in YHWH’s word, or the Ultimate Guidebook To Life as I call it, we will find that there are built in protections and joy that come as natural byproducts of walking in His way. Contentment, deep soul rooted joy, happier homes, more meaningful relationships, protections from the snares of the world, etc. The Father longs to guard us, but we have to step under the shelter of His wing. (Psalm 91:4, Luke 13:34)
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Proverbs 4:7
Different translations use different words for “insight”. I’ve seen understanding, judgement, and even discernment. I think the meaning remains the same. We can read and learn all day long, but unless we seek the Father in it, unless we process that information out with Him and seek His will for how we are to apply it to our lives and how He wants us to use it to grow in His wisdom, it doesn’t do us much good.
This is why it is so important to set aside time each day, not only to read, but also to sit at the Father’s feet and process or digest it all out with His leading. And again, don’t feel as if you have to learn everything at once. We are working on His timeline, not ours. We are a very shortsighted people but He is an eternal Father and He will teach us to trust in His timing over our own.
Proverbs 4:10-13 go on to detail just some of the many benefits of obedience.
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil. Proverbs 4:23-27
We are told to guard our hearts diligently because, ultimately, the state of our heart is going to direct our path. This reminds me of a time when my son was younger and being disrespectful. After being reprimanded, he apologized, but I reminded him that the problem was deeper than an easily given apology could fix. It was a heart issue. We can pretend to love someone. We can pretend to respect someone. But if we do not love or respect them in our heart, that will become apparent sooner or later. It is the same with YHWH. We can call Him God all day long but if we’re sitting on that throne in our lives, our true god is apparent.
One of the most painful statements to read in the Bible is this:
On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23
With regard to our respect for the Father’s wisdom, it becomes apparent when we make excuses for not obeying, seek doctrines that tell us it is okay, or bend the rules “just a little bit” so that we can do what we want instead of what He has clearly instructed us to do. And that is the thing, y’all. His instructions really are clear, but you have to read the entirety of His word in order to see that. We can’t just take something Paul said out of context and run off real quick because it allows us to do something we want – while ignoring the fact that God said not to do that four other times, Messiah lived according to God’s instruction, and Paul wasn’t even referring to that to begin with.
Here are some great cross references for other verses that teach us what happens when we don’t guard our hearts. Matthew 12:34, Matthew 15:18, Matthew 15:19, Mark 7:21, Luke 6:45, Deut 4:9 (part of the Shema), 2 Kings 10:31, Proverbs 23:19.
Giving a little, to the right or to the left, betrays the true status of our heart. He is a wholehearted God – and we cannot halfheartedly serve Him.
Recurring themes of wisdom weave throughout the Proverbs. As you are reading chapter five look for directives to:
- Be content
- Appreciate your blessings
- Value what has value
Proverbs 5:21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of YHWH, and he ponders all his paths.
Isn’t it crazy how we sometimes think YHWH doesn’t see every action, every thought, every step we take in this world? ALL of our ways are before Him. He ponders ALL of our paths.
We are ever before Him. We should strive, then, in our love and devotion to our Father, to have Him ever before us.
How do we do this? Strive for a whole heart. Pray for it, seek it, work towards it.
Proverbs 6:6-11 is the passage that begins “Look to the ant, oh sluggard…”
This passage reminds us that we should be self starters, not someone who sits around and waits on a directive or who has to be forced to do what needs to be done. Prudent use of the Wisdom the Father has given us will keep us working, preparing our homes, making the best use of our resources, studying the Word, putting it into practice in our lives, and encouraging others to do the same. We should live in a state of both training and readiness, with the goal of being able to serve our King to the best of our ability in every moment.
*During the trying time of 2020, I was amazed at how many Believers ignored clear warning signs to prepare and later, ignored even clear orders to do so. Often I’d hear the excuse “I’m not going to worry about preparing because I trust in the Lord.”. This always stunned me as His word is so clear. I likened it to doing a huge pile of laundry, then placing all of the clean clothes on the couch in a pile and walking away saying “I’m not going to worry about folding them because I trust in the Lord.” When there is work before your hands, directives in His word, and clear signs that preparation is needed, look to the ant – or even Joseph! (Genesis 41:47-49)
Those who work their land will have abundant food but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.
The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.1Timothy 5:8
If you’re going to trust in the Father, make sure you trust in Him enough to read His word – and do what it says.
*Note: I am not referring to people who cannot prepare for whatever reason but those who are able and choose not to.
The Father is giving us wisdom through a fire hose today! Let us drink deeply!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!