Thursday, May 25, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 4, How To Stay On The Right Path

Solomon tells his son that the Lord gives godly wisdom to the one who seeks it. The one who follows the Lord can stay out of trouble.

"My son, if you accept my words, and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding---indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:1-5) God passed along fatherly advice like this to His people Israel, pointing out that He can easily be found by the one who seeks Him, "I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob's descendants 'Seek me in vain'." (Isaiah 45:19a) The Lord Jesus spoke similar words in Matthew 7:7-8, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." We can have as much of the Lord in our lives as we want! The one who seeks Him will never seek in vain.

Solomon continues, "For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones." (Proverbs 2:6-8) The king sounds like his own father David, a man who knew and loved the Lord. Solomon had such a thirst for knowledge that he spent a great deal of his life furthering his education and studying every subject he possibly could, but without the Lord's guidance this education could do little to help him be emotionally and spiritually successful in life. It was only when he applied himself to building a relationship with his Maker that Solomon found satisfaction in the things of this life and a sense of peace about the life to come.

When a person gives his heart to the Lord and commits to following Him, then and only then does he attain true wisdom. "Then you will understand what is right and just and fair---every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you." (Proverbs 2:9-11)

Why is it that we can't find wisdom on our own? Because we are so easily led by our fallen natures. In our human way of thinking, a particular solution to our problem may appear to be correct, but it might lead us into sin. We are like little children in some ways, because left to our own devices we will make up our own rules....and they will be rules that satisfy our most basic instincts. They will be rules that tell us it's okay to do unto others as they have already done to us, or worse yet, they will be rules that say it's okay to go ahead and do wicked things unto others before they can do wicked things unto us. We can't be trusted to make up our own moral and spiritual codes for living. We must depend on the One who is completely holy and righteous and trustworthy to set out these rules for us. We can't count on ourselves to recognize right from wrong without the Lord's guidance. This is why Solomon will say in Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death."

Ancient Jewish tradition teaches that David is the author of Psalm 119 and that the words contained in it are intended as instructions for his son Solomon. He speaks of the wisdom that can only be attained by studying the laws of the Lord and points out that knowing God's word is what makes a person truly wise. If a person is following the Lord, he can't help but stay on the right path, for God will never lead him in the wrong direction. "Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on Your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey Your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey Your word. I have not departed from Your laws, for You yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." (Psalm 119:98-105)

Why wander off by ourselves in the dark? Let's allow the word of God to shine a light on our path.

Our worship song for today is based on our passage from Psalm 119.
Thy Word

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