On my way to work this morning, I got my iPod ready to listen to pastor Andy Stanley as I do every week. His church is based in Atlanta and I look forward to listen to his sermons via iTunes every week. This morning was no exception. Guess what the message was about? If you say ‘wisdom’ right out of Proverbs 1 -you are absolutely right. Way to go Jesus!
I have read chapter 1 several times using several translations – the Message version was so straightforward that some of its readers might be offended because it refers to one of the three groups addressed in chapter 1 as ‘idiots’. Ouch! On a lighter note, so much can be gleaned from that chapter alone. In fact, should you choose not to read the remaining 30 chapters – you will not be bored for a while.
The first few verses sets the stage for what the rest of the book is about, as noted in verses 2-6, the purposes of Solomon’s proverbs are to:
• Teach people wisdom, discipline
• To help them understand the insights of the wise.
• To teach people to live disciplined and successful lives.
• To help them do what is right, just, and fair.
• To give insight to the simple.
• To give Knowledge and discernment to the young.
There you have it. I hope and pray that God will keep His mighty hand on my beloved 9 year old. Referencing Andy Stanley’s church again – they have one of the greatest children ministries that I know. In fact, children from 1st to 5th grades live by the following three Basic Truths as they call them according what Jesus modeled in Luke 2:52.
• I need to make the wise choice.
• I can trust God no matter what.
• I should treat others the way I want to be treated.
My son knows them and they are used as a grid in just about everything from watching a TV show based on the characters do or say and personally in our life. In fact, if you hang around us long enough – you will hear him say something along the line ‘that wasn’t a wise choice –or I made the wise choice –right Mommy?’ It is my prayer that he continues to reference them and avoid the consequences of what Lady Wisdom warns the three categories of people she finds herself shouting at. Read for yourself how serious she is.
Lady Wisdom goes out in the street and shouts.
At the town center she makes her speech.
In the middle of the traffic she takes her stand.
At the busiest corner she calls out (The Message -Verses 20-21)
The key verse that I find myself pondering over is “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” 7a. It is essential to begin at the right place in order to gain spiritual insight and wisdom. My desire and hopefully yours too – to be wise we must start with reverence.
Priscilla Shirer in her book ‘He Speaks to Me” takes the verse apart and there’s a nice little exercise that follows.
Recall the verse says: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” so she writes:
Fear means ‘reverence’ or ‘respect’
Beginning translates ‘the essence’ and
Knowledge means ‘perception, discernment, spiritual understanding’
Based on these definitions, rewrite the phrase ‘the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge”
May God make His face shines upon you as you seek Him!!!