Sunday, July 16, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 53, Wisdom Helps Us Trust The Lord

Solomon is still expounding on the theme of foolishness, but he ends today by helping us to place our trust in the right place.

"A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the mother who bore him." (Proverbs 17:25) As he did yesterday, Solomon speaks of how painful it is to have a child who is wayward.

"If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good, surely to flog honest officials is not right." (Proverbs 17:26) The king is a man who hates injustice. As a politician he's seen examples of the innocent being punished and the guilty being set free.

"The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues." (Proverbs 17:27-28) We've noted before that it's Solomon's opinion that foolish people talk all the time.

"An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels. Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. When wickedness comes, so does contempt, and with shame comes reproach. The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream." (Proverbs 18:1-4) He says, "What a shame it is to start quarrels and to have to always be right. The wise person speaks words of encouragement, words that are as cheerful as the sound of gurgling waters."

"It is not good to be partial to the wicked and so deprive the innocent of justice." (Proverbs 18:5) Solomon was a man who prayed for wisdom. He knew he could not rule the nation or judge court cases without it. He didn't always live for the Lord, but he believed in being fair.

"The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts." (Proverbs 18:7-9) Speaking without thinking can bring on a heap of trouble. It's so important to be careful what comes out of our mouths. Solomon mentions another unattractive character trait: gossip. The one who enjoys gossip enjoys it in the same way he would enjoy scrumptious food.

"One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys." (Proverbs 18:9) He says, "The one who halfway does his work is as dangerous as the one who purposely sabotages the work."

"The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it a wall too high to scale." (Proverbs 18:10-11) Some wealthy people don't know the Lord, and they trust in their money for protection. But the one who knows the Lord trusts in Him. I've never been wealthy and so I've had to trust in the Lord to supply all my needs. David had to trust in Him too, so he said, "Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You." (Psalm 9:13) He also said, "Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him." (Psalm 32:10) He said these encouraging words that we can pray in our difficult times, "When I am afraid, I put my trust in You." (Psalm 56:3) The sons of Korah, who wrote several of the psalms, make us this beautiful promise, "Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in You." (Psalm 84:12) Let's not misplace our trust by putting it on ourselves, on others, or on our wealth or possessions. God alone is our refuge and strength. He is present and ready to help us in our troubles. (Psalm 46:1)

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