Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
Well it’s Monday again. Tomorrow is November 1st and a new month will begin. I just wrapped up two studies. One was in the Book of Isaiah, which I found good but still confusing to me. If I were to be asked what one thing I learned from my study, I would say that I saw how God cared for and kept his promises to the Jewish people. Yes, God used the Assyrians and Babylon to chastise His people for their sins. But God also gave the Jews many promises that one day they would be a blessing to the nations. When we look around today we don’t see that. But in His time, it will come.
Now, I am embarking on a journey of two new studies. Where they will take me and how long of a journey it will be, I don’t know. One is a study of the New Testament book of Galatians. The other is the Old Testament book of Proverbs. I am especially excited about Proverbs. I can’t tell you why other than I believe the Lord has put it on my heart. I have just barely started on it so I don’t have any great insights to tell you yet. But I do have a few thoughts that I would like to share.
If I were you ask you to tell me the theme of the book of Proverbs I would imagine almost all of you would tell me the theme would be summed up in one word. That word is WISDOM. And you would be right. Solomon was the wisest man of his time. In 1st Kings 3 God gave Solomon an open invitation, “ask me what you wish Me to give you.” (1st Kings 3:9) Wow!!! What an opening! So, what did Solomon ask for? WISDOM. You see that in verse 9 of chapter 3. God gave him what he asked for and so much more. Basically, Solomon had everything he could ever want, fame, money, power, wisdom and peace with his enemies. So how is it, that he could change from writing the book of Proverbs to writing the book of Ecclesiastes, where he would say those immortal words, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity (or futility).” Basically, he said everything he had amounted to nothing.
I think the basic problem was that Solomon didn’t apply his own proverbs to his life. Solomon loved the Lord his God. It says that if 1 Kings 3. That is why God gave him such favor. But something happened along his journey and he lost it. While he was given wisdom from the Lord he did not keep it. Wisdom isn’t just accruing knowledge. We have many people in the world with knowledge. But few actually have wisdom, or the ability to apply knowledge to their lives. Some of you may know I enjoy history, especially, World War 1. I have several reasons for that but I won’t go into them here. In 1914, Europe was in a real state of change. Previously the world was run by the aristocrats of the countries. In 1914 the “common people” were starting to revolt and make their voice for change heard. But the aristocrats tried to keep things the same. One thing they did was they made alliances with other countries to protect each other in case of war. When a catalyst was applied through the assassination of two of royals of a particular country, the wheels were put into motion. Many of the leaders could see war was coming but none of them had the wisdom to stop it. Soon, as one country declared war with another, other countries were drawn in because of certain alliances and World War 1 was born. It was nothing but four years of carnage where nearly a whole generation of young men was wiped out. But it changed Europe forever.
So, the book of Proverbs is there to help us not to make the same mistakes Solomon did and the European Aristocrats did. As we gain knowledge of God and His principles, we need to apply them to our lives. Otherwise we will have a head full of facts about God but no heart for Him. So please pray for me as I embark on this journey. I am excited about it and am asking God to give me true wisdom. Not so, I can impress you or my leaders here at the ministry, but simply so I will be able to live a life that pleases Him and Him alone.
May I leave you with a couple of verses? These two verses are said to be the key verses of the book. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fool despise wisdom and instruction.” The second verse is Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. One commentator says that if we truly fear God (reverence and love Him) we will want to obey Him in what we do. We will want to live a life that pleases God not just because He has the power and will chastise us, which He does, but of what we do to Him and His name (paraphrase from Warren Wiersbe). Our sin hurts God. Yes he will forgive but we show our love by our obedience to Him. I know, that doesn’t sound nice. But it is truth none the less. If we truly love someone in the physical world, we will want to do things that will please them and make them happy. Not for fear of retribution if we don’t, but simply because we love them. My friends, the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 3:10). Let’s not just accrue knowledge, let’s be wise in our relationship with our LORD! Amen!