Thursday, June 8, 2017

“The Ring Or Your Soul?” Choose Wisely Proverb 8:11

Men and women have been chasing the dream of wealth and fame from the beginning of time. The American dream was once based upon the understanding that fame and fortune comes through thrift and hard work. During the Colonial Period, Benjamin Franklin counseled people on the "The Way to Wealth." Poor Richard's Almanac", advised that "Early to Bed, and Early to Rise, Makes a Man Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise." Poor Richard insisted that the key to wealth was to be industrious, because that is what pay's the bills and thus makes one's life easier.

Sadly, in today's modern world the understanding is that one can get rich and famous instantly by winning the lottery, hitting the jackpot at the local casino, writing and singing the song that makes the young girls cry, getting a reality TV show, going to Hollywood to get recognized, or just winning a lawsuit over a spilled cup of hot coffee. The idea isn't new, getting rich that is, just the understanding of how to reach that goal is.

Few men truly consider what the result will be of measuring one's worth by how many toys they truly have will be. All can they think of is, "He who dies with the most toys wins the game of life".

That is truly a sad understanding of what this life is truly about. As much as most believe, this life we are given is not about wealth nor the fame we gain. It's about the path you take to the next stage of your souls existence. As a Christian, we understand that financial success is one indication that God approves of our hard work and as long as we do not worship that which we earned, we will achieve the coveted state of grace, and with diligence in our walk with Christ we will be granted a place with Christ in Heaven. Jesus was in the region of Caesarea Philippi, when He told His followers;
"Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" Mark 8:34-36
The Scripture I chose to comment on today, Proverb 8:11, should be a reminder to all that Silver, gold, rubies, and I will add fame, are not as important as gaining wisdom. There are many wealthy famous people who ended up taking their lives, because they believed man's wisdom that it is the rubies of life that matters. No, it's not the rubies of life which other men can see that matters. It's who we are inside, that only God sees that matters.
For wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her. Proverb 8:11
In Matthew chapter 23, Jesus took the scribes and Pharisees to task, because of the way they falsely acted and carried themselves before the people they were supposed to lead for God. He called them whitewashed tombs that were clean on the outside but had nothing but dead man bones inside.
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness" Matthew 8:27-28
So many lose track of what matters to God, because we are so focused on what matters to our friends and relatives. We want the giant plasma television, with a nice roof over our heads in the best neighborhoods where our children can go to the best schools while not worrying about bills and surviving from month to month. On one hand that makes perfect sense, because we all have immediate needs with desires for what's best for us and our children. However, when we focus on short-term needs and desires, sometimes we make really poor decisions that will affect us in the long term. We might give up opportunities for education, or ruin a relationship, or get caught up in a habit or addiction that can harm us a lot.

Wisdom is the idea that we are able to look at the whole picture before us, not just what's fulfilling at the time. I speak of course of God's Wisdom, not man's wisdom. God's Wisdom is taking all matters before us, and putting them in the context of our present, our future, and our eternal goals. Balancing the things we need now with what we are going to need later. Instead of a desperate now-now-now thinking that so many get trapped in way too often. It is the ability to step back and consider the future so that we can make better choices. Truth is, when we chose the path of chasing fame and fortune, were are in effect selecting the rubies of life which is man's wisdom over God's.

As Christians, we need to understand that when we put the emphasis on the eternal rather than the temporal, we can then be assured that God will take care of the things we need in the world. This is the reason I decided to post a Proverb a day. It's my desire that everyone will learn to depend on God's Wisdom over man's. Thus we can be assured that the things we have control over in this world will be filled with blessings instead of trials and tribulations brought upon by our own foolishness. It isn't nearly as difficult as you may think. James tells us that all we need is to ask for God's Wisdom and and have faith He will bless us with it.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him,
but let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:5-6
I would pry that we all can work on this, and soon we will all find ourselves worrying less about the rubies of life. God bless each and every one of you.

Proverb 8 (NKJV)

The Excellence of Wisdom

Wisdom Is Everlasting
01 Does not wisdom cry out,
00 And understanding lift up her voice?
02 She takes her stand on the top of the high hill,
00 Beside the way, where the paths meet.
03 She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
00 At the entrance of the doors:
04 "To you, O men, I call,
00 And my voice is to the sons of men.
05 O you simple ones, understand prudence,
00 And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
06 Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
00 And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
07 For my mouth will speak truth;
00 Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
08 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
00 Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
09 They are all plain to him who understands,
00 And right to those who find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction, and not silver,
00 And knowledge rather than choice gold;
11 For wisdom is better than rubies,
00 And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.

12 "I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
00 And find out knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
00 Pride and arrogance and the evil way
00 And the perverse mouth I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
00 I am understanding, I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
00 And rulers decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles,
00 All the judges of the earth.
17 I love those who love me,
00 And those who seek me diligently will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
00 Enduring riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold,
00 And my revenue than choice silver.
20 I traverse the way of righteousness,
00 In the midst of the paths of justice,
21 That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
00 That I may fill their treasuries.

22 "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
00 Before His works of old.
23 I have been established from everlasting,
00 From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
00 When there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled,
00 Before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields,
00 Or the primal dust of the world.
27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
00 When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 When He established the clouds above,
00 When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
29 When He assigned to the sea its limit,
00 So that the waters would not transgress His command,
00 When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
00 And I was daily His delight,
00 Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
00 And my delight was with the sons of men.

32 "Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
00 For blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
00 And do not disdain it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
00 Watching daily at my gates,
00 Waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life,
00 And obtains favor from the LORD;
36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
00 All those who hate me love death."
The purpose of Writing the book of Proverbs was to reveal the mind of God in matters high and lofty and in common, ordinary, everyday situations. It appears that no topic escaped King Solomon's attention. Matters pertaining to personal conduct, sexual relations, business, wealth, charity, ambition, discipline, debt, child-rearing, character, alcohol, politics, revenge, and Godliness are among the many topics covered in this rich collection of wise sayings.

Without wisdom, knowledge is nothing more than an accumulation of raw facts, influenced by emotional feelings. Many highly educated people are in positions of power in the United States, but very few of those educated leaders have the wisdom needed to rule properly. .

One can say that they have been educated well beyond their intelligence. A cursory look at the court system will prove my point that knowledge without wisdom will only lead to an immoral society that eventually crumbles from within. Judges are supposed to be above the fray, and immovable to emotions. Instead, the vast majority of judges today are Godless individuals who are vacant of wisdom. So their rulings are totally based upon emotional feelings. .

We the people are to blame, because we ignored God's guidance in appointing our leaders. Instead of putting leaders full wisdom in power, we instead chose those who would scratch our itchy ears to lead us. .

Of the 31 Proverbs, only the first 24 were written by Solomon. King Hezekiah wrote 5, Proverbs 25 to 29, Agur wrote Proverb 30, and Lemuel wrote Proverb 31. Now many believe Lemuel was in fact King Solomon and Lemuel was just a nick name his Mother, Bathsheba gave him. We are told that Solomon write over 3000 Proverbs and composed 1000 songs, but the only Proverbs God decided to preserve for us are Proverbs 1-24. Like the New Testament epistle by James, it is impossible to get a chronological outline for a study since they all bounce from subject to subject..

Along with my daily routine of reading the Bible, I try to read through the book of Proverbs once a Month. It's an easy task when you consider there are 31 Proverbs. So all you need to know is what day of the Month it is. In the Months that have 30 days, or in the case of February, I just double up by reading more than one two proverb so I can begin the next month with Proverb 1 on the first again.

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