Proverbial Wisdom

Proverb 4: 1

Here, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding.

The book of proverbs is packed with wisdom, instruction and encouragement. There is no way, in daily excerpts, that I can give you any taste of the richness of the Proverbs. I would wish for you to spend a day in there or a lifetime because after all these years of reading them, I still find jewels embedded in those chapters. The proverbs were written by the wisest person ever to live, at least until Jesus. He had an intimacy with wisdom unlike anyone before or after him. He shares those deep insights with us in these pages. As you find wisdom, you find life. You could spend a month in the fourth proverb alone.

In the selected passage, God is tells us that if we will be attentive to his Word, we will receive understanding. He will give us wisdom. And really, if you want to know the whole truth, He already has given us wisdom. It is up to us to appropriate it by reading His word. It is like a field that He has already planted and cultivated such that a very bountiful and rich harvest has grown. All we need do is go reap His harvest. It is there awaiting us. And believe me, there is a lot of good fruit in the proverb section. If you want to start there you could feed yourself for a very long time.

Come. Enjoy the fruits of His labor. Eat and be filled in Jesus’ name.

Story Time

Proverb 4: 1

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 

I wish to share a little trade secret with you today. We all know we should read the Bible but we also all fail to read it as much as we should. Sometimes it is hard to get out of it what you need. Well, here is the secret. Read it like it is a personal letter from Jesus to you, especially the New Testament. Insert your name in the text. Stop and talk aloud to Jesus about it. Consider it all a letter just to you. When you make it personal instead of a homework assignment it takes on much more meaning.

When reading the Old Testament, look for the story. Imagine yourself as a Hollywood producer looking for the next great epic film series. The Old Testament really is awesome but you have to be prepared to see it for its glory. 

Also, I know we are wedded to our King James Bibles and you don’t have to throw it out but get a modern version too. Unless you are an Elizabethan scholar you will get much more out of a modern language version. I use the New American Standard Bible for its authenticity but I often give NIV Bibles as gifts because although they are not quite as accurate as the NASB they are even easier to read. And don’t minimize the paraphrase versions either. I still pull down my Living Bible I received in Junior High to read really convoluted passages so that I can get the general meaning. Then I can switch back to more literal translations in order to hone in on the exact thoughts conveyed.

I want you to read the Bible because it is good for you, it is life, health and well-being. I don’t want to make it a bore and I certainly do not want you to put yourself under condemnation when you don’t read it as much as you could. However, if I can give you only one gift and then you must travel the rest of your journey without me, I would give you the Word. I know it will keep you. if your read Proverbs 3, 4 & 5 you will understand how important God thinks His Word is to your life. Just remember, make it fun, make it personal. Jesus is talking to you specifically. I pray for each of you right now in the name of Jesus that God will give you a love of the Bible and a deep longing for it. Amen.