Monday, July 31, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 63, A Blameless Life

Solomon discusses the wickedness that hides in the human heart. He speaks of the faith that makes us blameless in the sight of God, and we talk about the solution for our sins.

"The purposes of a person's heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out." (Proverbs 20:5) We've discussed the human heart before in relation to the prophet Jeremiah's observations about it, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) It seems to be human nature to hide our true purposes at times, even from ourselves. This is why godly insight is needed. We need it to figure out whether our purposes are sinful and whether the purposes of those around us are sinful. Have you ever just had a bad feeling about associating with certain people? Outwardly everything seems completely right about them. They're friendly and kindhearted. But something in our spirit warns us to avoid a close association with them. There have been times I've ignored the warning of the Holy Spirit in these situations (to my regret), and so I've learned to take heed to those feelings of something being wrong. When the Holy Spirit warns us, we don't have to know the reasons why. Our job is simply to obey Him.

"Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?" (Proverbs 20:6) Here is another good reason why we need godly insight. People will claim to love us when they really don't. They may think they do, but then when we're going through hard times they realize they don't love us enough to stick by us. Or they may claim they love us in order to gain something for themselves. A man as wealthy and famous and powerful as Solomon no doubt dealt with many false friends. He says it's hard to find a faithful friend. I'm thankful for the faithful friends I have, aren't you? We need to hold onto our true friends. We need to honor their faithfulness by being faithful back.

"The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them." (Proverbs 20:7) David referred to himself as blameless in Psalm 18:23 and Psalm 26:1,11. We know David wasn't sinless. No one is, plus David's sins are written in black and white on the pages of our Bibles for all to see. He was referring to the blamelessness that comes by faith in the One who can make him righteous. This is the same type of blamelessness we have in Christ. We were unable to live blameless lives, so the One who is perfect lived a blameless life for us and gave Himself as the propitiation for our sins. (Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2) There is no other way to achieve blamelessness in the sight of a holy God than to trust in His Son. He says He will not only bless us for our faith, but He will bless our children after us. David and Solomon are a good example of this. Solomon wasn't as godly as David. The Bible tells us Solomon's heart wasn't fully devoted to God as David's heart was. (1 Kings 11:4,6) Yet the Lord blessed Solomon because he was the offspring of David. Who knows how God might decide to bless our descendants simply because we have been faithful to Him?

"When a king sits on his throne to judge, he winnows out all evil with his eyes." (Proverbs 20:8) When he became king, Solomon prayed for discernment. He asked the Lord for wisdom so that he could guide the people of Israel. This wisdom included the ability to see through lies and false witnesses in order to judge court cases fairly. Our God, who is a righteous Judge, will also winnow out all evil with His eyes. Nothing is hidden from Him, which is why it's so important to acknowledge the truth of the next verse and to take appropriate action.

"Who can say, 'I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin?'" (Proverbs 20:9) The answer is: no one! No one can truthfully say this! As the prophet Isaiah pointed out, "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way." (Isaiah 53:6a) Seeing that we are all sinners, what hope is there for us? Isaiah provides the answer we need, "And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6b) The Lord Himself provided the solution for us. Because we could not achieve righteousness on our own, the One who is righteousness achieved it for us. The Lord laid on Christ all our iniquities so that we could say by faith, "I am blameless in the sight of God through Jesus Christ His Son."

I'm a sinner. You're a sinner. We can't make it through one day without saying or doing or thinking something that is contrary to the word of a righteous God. As Isaiah says, we all have gone astray and wandered off like sheep. But thanks be to God, we have a Shepherd who loves us and who seeks us when we wander. We have a Shepherd who laid down His life for us. We have a Shepherd who took up His life again to prove that His sacrifice on our behalf was acceptable to God. As the old song says, "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

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