Monday, June 26, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 33, Wisdom Is A Light For Our Path

This morning we study a series of miscellaneous proverbs dealing with such things as being a hard worker and being willing to listen to godly instruction, but then Solomon finishes by telling us that we never have to walk in darkness if we follow the Lord.

"The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt." (Proverbs 12:27) Solomon says, "The lazy man sits by his campfire at night with nothing to eat, but the one who hunted game goes to bed with a full belly."

"In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality." (Proverbs 12:28) The Bible does not teach the death of the soul. The soul has an eternal destination, but only those who possess the righteousness that is by faith will enter into the joys of the Lord. This is the type of immortality Solomon promises to those who follow the Lord.

"A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes." (Proverbs 13:1) The king used these proverbs to teach his son. He reminds his son that if he is wise he will listen and take these proverbs to heart.

"From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence. Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin." (Proverbs 13:2-3) It would be interesting to know how many acts of violence and murder began with rash words. Solomon says, "There are some people who are always itching for a fight. They can never let anything go. They just have to have the last word. This propensity for stirring up violence will be the ruin of them."

"A sluggard's appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied." (Proverbs 13:4) The king warns, "If you are too lazy to work, you can expect an empty stomach. If you are too lazy to seek the Lord and His righteousness, you can expect an empty soul. The righteous person seeks and finds, both materially and spiritually."

"The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves. Righteousness guards the person of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner." (Proverbs 13:5-6) Wickedness is like a bad smell; it will cause people to avoid us.

"One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. A person's riches may ransom their life, but the poor cannot respond to threatening rebukes." (Proverbs 13:7-8) Speaking of people we want to avoid, isn't it annoying to be around someone who is pretentious? There are some who are barely making ends meet because they are living far above their means in order to impress those around them. Then there are those who have plenty of money but always pretend to be scarcely getting by in order to avoid giving to the church or to the community. Sometimes they even run scams so they can receive donations for themselves. Solomon advises, "Don't pretend to be something you're not. Suppose you pretend to be wealthy and someone kidnaps you or a family member for ransom. How will you pay the ransom?"

"The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out." (Proverbs 13:9) Again we want to take note that Solomon is not speaking of the annihilation of the soul. A light or a lamp in the Scriptures tends to have to do with this life on earth. As long as we live in this dark world, we need a light to show us where we are going. For example, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path." (Psalm 119:105) We are not going to need any type of artificial light when we spend eternity with Christ, because, "The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp," (Revelation 21:23) and, "There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:5) Solomon tells us, "The righteous will always know where they are going in this world. They follow the word of God and the instruction of the Holy Spirit. The wicked stumble about in the darkness, stubbing their toes on objects they can't see and falling into pits they didn't know were there." The Lord Jesus agrees, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12) Amen! Guide us, Lord.

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