Sunday, July 9, 2017

Forsake Foolishness & Live Wisely, Proverb 9

Gaining wisdom does not make you arrogant, it makes you humble. That's because when you know the truth you realize how stupid you have been, and then you will desire to help others who are as foolish as you once were. Thus the reason I enjoy sharing a Proverb a Day, while sharing what nuggets of gold I found in this wonderful book. When one understands that Christ is the Wisdom of God, how could you not desire to have that which encompasses the very brain of our Creator?

I had a college history professor who answered a question from another student on why we should study history. She had two answers for him. The first was the classic response we all know;
1.) "We study the history of the world so that we will learn from the successes and failures of those who came before us. Those who forget these lessons will be doomed to repeat the bad ones."
The second reason she gave has stuck with me as much as anything I ever learned in College,
2.) The more we know, the more we don't know, and those who believe they have learned everything there is to know are bound for failure.
Thus the reason I shared the quote from the American humorist, Evan Esar,
"The disadvantage of becoming wise, is that you realize how foolish you've been."
While it is not a biblical quote, it is a true one. We are always learning something new, and each time we do we should realize what Solomon came to realize in his later years when he wrote Ecclesiastes. Life without God is vanity. From a worldly perspective, Solomon had it all. Wealth, power, prestige, popularity, women, education, everything that people associate with happiness and success. Yet he states,
“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).
“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit” (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
Even when God blessed Solomon with wisdom, which brought him knowledge and wealth, he eventually realized he needed God. Without God, even wisdom can be unsatisfying and empty. Paul tells that we all have knowledge, but then he tells us that Knowledge puffs up, while love edifies. (1 Corinthians 8:1) However, many take this verse so out of context that they actually decry the knowledge one has of the Scriptures and the world. As if they are trying to puff up ignorance and stupidity at the benefit of love. Yet we know God tells us in Proverb 1:7 that,
“The fear of the lord is the beginning of knowledge"
Thus the reason I say that 1 Corinthians 8:1 has been historically misused in Evangelical Christianity. Which leads to the question, "Then when is the proverb “knowledge puffs up” appropriate?" Certainly not when one encounters a lover of learning. It is appropriate, and necessary, when a believer does not know to the degree that they need to know. As in 1 Corinthians 8:1-4, when a Christian is not using his knowledge to build up his brother, or when his knowledge is not coupled with love. Then a believer is deserving of correction. He is not to be discouraged from further learning though, but encouraged to grow in knowledge and love.

You should forsake foolishness and become wise, so your life will be blessed, By gaining the wisdom of God, your heart will grow to love others and your soul will be blessed by the Holy Spirit.  You will find yourself being humble with the knowledge you have instead of arrogant and self righteous as the Pharisees and Scribes were. A wise person shares their wisdom and knowledge in a way that does not repel others, but rather in a loving way as Christ did. Once you reached that point, then and only then, will you know that you have gained the Wisdom of God.

Proverb 9 (NKJV)
The Way of Wisdom

Wisdom's Invitation
01 Wisdom has built her house,
00 She has hewn out her seven pillars;
02 She has slaughtered her meat,
00 She has mixed her wine,
00 She has also furnished her table.
03 She has sent out her maidens,
00 She cries out from the highest places of the city,
04 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
00 As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
05 "Come, eat of my bread
00 And drink of the wine I have mixed.
06 Forsake foolishness and live,
00 And go in the way of understanding.

07 "He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
00 And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
08 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
00 Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
09 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
00 Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
00 And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
00 And years of life will be added to you.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
00 And if you scoff, you will bear it alone."

The Way of Folly
13 A foolish woman is clamorous;
00 She is simple, and knows nothing.
14 For she sits at the door of her house,
00 On a seat by the highest places of the city,
15 To call to those who pass by,
00 Who go straight on their way:
16 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here";
00 And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
17 "Stolen water is sweet,
00 And bread eaten in secret is pleasant."
18 But he does not know that the dead are there,
00 That her guests are in the depths of hell.epths of hell.

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