Sunday, July 2, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 39, Wisdom Is A Secure Fortress

Solomon tells us that the fear of the Lord is a secure fortress. In a scary world, what can we count on for security? The Lord alone is our refuge and strength. He will never change.

He begins with this proverb, "Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness." (Proverbs 14:22) You've probably heard the saying, "What comes around goes around". Our behavior has a way of boomeranging back on us. The one who is always up to no good can't expect to enjoy peace and harmony, but the one who does good will enjoy love and friendship.

"All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." (Proverbs 14:23) Solomon doesn't promise our hard work will make us rich, but it will pay the bills and put food on the table and clothes on our backs. It will be healthy for our bodies and minds as well. But it's useless to talk about all the big things we're going to do if we never even get started. That's when the bill collectors will start calling and the refrigerator will be empty.

"The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly." (Proverbs 14:24) The wise have something to show for their hard work, but the foolishness of the unwise yields nothing but more foolishness.

"A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful." (Proverbs 14:25) I like to watch the true crime shows on TV and it's amazing to me how many times people have gone to prison on the false word of others. I've seen some shows where a witness admits many years later that he or she lied in court. It's bad enough to be a liar in our everyday lives, but sometimes our false word is enough to ruin the lives of others.

Now we get into the main portion of Solomon's message today. "Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge." (Proverbs 14:26) Solomon's father David once said, "I love You, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." (Psalm 18:1-2) David was a man who understood the need for a secure fortress. He spent fifteen years in constant danger of death at the hands of King Saul. From time to time David made fortresses in mountain caves, but he always knew the Lord was his true fortress. He depended on the Lord more than he depended on places of refuge, more than he depended on the band of men who had joined up with him, and more than he depended on his weapons.

Solomon knows his father's faith was real and that it got him through some very dark times. Because of this, as he got older, Solomon returned to the Lord. I think maybe that's why he says, "for their children it will be a refuge". Growing up with a parent who has faith has an impact on us. I grew up with a very godly mother who taught me about Jesus at such a young age I can't remember not knowing about him. Her faith, which was a secure fortress for her, became a refuge for me. I wandered in worldly ways for a time but eventually I came to know the Savior my mother worshiped.

"The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death." (Proverbs 14:27) Nothing but the blood of Christ spares us from the wages of our sins and from the snares of death. No amount of good deeds makes us righteous before a holy God. No sacrifice we could make on our own would be perfect enough to wash us clean. We will stand before God someday, and if He should ask us what qualifies us to enter into the joys of the Lord, this will be our only answer, "Nothing but the blood."

I've shared this song link in at least one previous Bible study, but I want to share it again today. It got me through a dark time. I played it over and over and it never failed to fill my spirit with joy even in the midst of sorrow. We have a Savior who loved us more than anything, more than His own life. Our Savior bled for us. Our Savior died for us. It's His blood and nothing else that gets us into heaven. We owe everything to Him.
This Blood

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