Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Counseled By The King; The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 56, Wisdom Helps Us Let God Be God

Solomon will talk today about letting God be God, about trusting Him to make all things right in due time.

"Better the poor whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse." (Proverbs 19:1) Solomon has spoken on this theme before. It's better to have little and be right with God than to have everything we could want and be God's enemy. As the Lord Jesus said, "What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" (Mark 8:36) Solomon had everything, materially speaking, that anyone could want. But as we learned when we studied Ecclesiastes, at one time he was more miserable than the man who has nothing. He was living far from God and he sank into such a deep depression he almost didn't want to live anymore. His money was no use to him in those circumstances. What he needed was the Lord.

"Desire without knowledge is not good---how much more will hasty feet lead the way!" (Proverbs 19:2) Our carnal natures cause us to want things that aren't good for us. This is why we have to live by God's word. We can't follow His word if we don't know it, so Solomon says we need this knowledge. His father David once counseled, "Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4) The Lord is able to make our desires line up with His. He will fulfill any godly desire He places in our hearts. We all have God-given goals and God-given talents; He is able to help us reach these good goals and develop our talents for His service.

This next verse is very simple but very profound. "A person's own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the Lord." (Proverbs 19:3) Solomon says, "A person gets himself into deep trouble through sin, then he has the nerve to blame God for his problems." I've noticed that those who don't live close to the Lord are often the first to blame Him when something goes wrong. They accuse Him of punishing them or of hating them. Solomon says this is not the case; it's their own wayward living that landed them in unpleasant circumstances. The best thing they can do now is turn to the Lord for help, submit to His authority, and live according to His instructions. We can avoid a fair amount of trouble in this world simply by keeping on the right path. We can't control everything, but there are some circumstances we can control by the way we live.

"Wealth attracts many friends, but even the closest friend of the poor deserts him." (Proverbs 19:4) Solomon was so wealthy that a lot of people probably pretended to be his friend so they could enjoy all the fine amenities of the palace and all the lavish banquets. As the wisest man in the world, we can safely assume he was able to tell they were false friends. He probably thought to himself, "If I lost all my money tomorrow, how many of these people would stand by me?"

"A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free." (Proverbs 19:5) We sometimes worry that evil deeds will go unpunished. Sometimes it seems like wicked people are prospering and enjoying life and living a long time. But their day is coming. Even if they never have to answer to an earthly authority, they will have to answer to Almighty God. King David spoke these words to calm us when we become upset over the evil in this world, "Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away." (Psalm 37:1-2) David urges us to have patience. He is a man who had to learn patience during the fifteen years between being anointed king and being able to wear the crown of Israel. His life was in danger every day of those fifteen years because of the evil King Saul. At times it must have seemed that Saul was going to keep on getting away with his wickedness, but David decided to place his trust in the Lord and to allow Him to work everything out according to His time schedule. \

Things happen in this world that cause us to fret. We might even feel envious of the comfortable lives that wicked people appear to be living. But David says, "Don't do it! God's favor is on you, not on the one who does evil. In time He will make all things right. Nothing happens in this world that God does not see. He will reward you for your faithfulness and He will punish evildoers. Keep your eyes on Him, not on the upsetting things of this world. God is in complete control and He will work things out in exactly the right way and at exactly the right time."

Our job is not to fret over things we can't control. Our job is to keep following in the Lord's footsteps. Our job is to trust Him to work things out. All we have to do is be still and remember that He is God.

I heard this song for the first time yesterday and I think it goes great with the theme of our study today, so I'm including a link to it below.

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