Monday, July 3, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 40, Wisdom Causes God To Delight In Us

The king begins today by saying, "A large population is a king's glory, but without subjects a prince is ruined." (Proverbs 14:28) A high position and much wealth is useless if the population is rebellious. A ruler without wisdom won't be respected.

"Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly." (Proverbs 14:29) Our true character comes out when we are aggravated. The way we handle difficult situations says a lot about us.

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." (Proverbs 14:30) There have been people I've envied at times because it seemed like their lives were easy and they had everything they wanted, but in every case I ended up finding out they had problems as bad as mine or even worse. We can't go by the outward appearance. It's easy for someone to put on a front and give the impression of having the perfect life or the perfect family or the perfect job. But no one is perfect and no one's life is perfect. Envy is bad for our health and we might as well let it go. If given the choice of keeping our own lives or trading them for someone else's, we're better off with our own.

"Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God." (Proverbs 14:31) We can't say we love our Maker if we don't love everyone He has made. It's wrong to honor the wealthy more than the poor. Our God "does not show favoritism" and we shouldn't either. (Acts 10:34)

"When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God." (Proverbs 14:32) The troubles of this life will overwhelm the wicked because they don't have a firm foundation. Their security is not in the Lord. But the righteous are able to face even death with an unshakable hope. We who are in Christ know that "to live is Christ and to die is gain". (Philippians 1:21)

"Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known." (Proverbs 14:33) To repose is to be at ease, to be at peace, to be quiet or relaxed. Solomon says, "The godly wisdom in a person's heart keeps him centered and at peace, but the foolishness of the ungodly cannot be hidden, for it leads to conflict and discord." The prophet Isaiah agrees, saying to the Lord, "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You." (Isaiah 26:3)

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people." (Proverbs 14:34) I like the way the KJV puts it, "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." God honors the nation that serves Him, but sin brings only reproach. I sometimes think the only reason God still has His protective hand on America is because there are so many Christians here. There is much sin in our land and all we have to do to prove it is snap on the TV, turn on the computer, or open up a newspaper or magazine.

Solomon, as king, has both wise subjects and foolish subjects. He can relate to God in this way, for God has to deal with both the wise and the foolish, so he says, "A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant arouses his fury." (Proverbs 14:35) In the same way our Lord takes delight in those who honor and love Him and obey His word. A king with wise subjects is a happy king, and Solomon says, "Make our King happy. He will be pleased with the one who fears Him. He will take delight in that person."

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