Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 21, 2012 … A Fire-hydrant of Wisdom

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Proverbs, Chapters 30-31 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Proverbs 30: 1, 3, 5-6 :[NIV] … 1 The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh—an inspired utterance. This man's utterance to Ithiel: "I am weary, God, but I can prevail. … 3 I have not learned wisdom, nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One…. 5 "Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar”. 
Highlight Passage #2: Proverbs 31: 1 :[NIV] … The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him. 
Highlight Passage #3: Proverbs 31: 10-31 :[NIV] … To study this passage, go to this link -  ============  

Reference Passage #1: Ephesians 5: 22 :[NKJV] …  Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  

My Journal for Today: Wow! … Way wow!!! … My reading plan today had me read, study, and mediate on Proverbs 30 and 31; but that’s like trying to get a drink of refreshing water from a fire hydrant. It’s just WAY TOO MUCH wisdom to take in and write about in one morning!

Most certainly the section of these two chapters of proverbs which would grab the eye/heart of most Christians would be that one from Proverbs 31: 10-31 to which I’ve linked any of you to read above. Apparently a King Lemuel from one of the northern Arabic kingdoms, wrote down some of the musings of his mother about Godly womanhood; and in this passage we have one of the clearest pictures in God’s word of what a “Godly woman” might look like. And it certainly refutes the stereotype that many get – inaccurately – from Paul’s picture of the surrendered wife in a marriage of mutual submission.

That passage, to which I’ve quoted above, seems to create an image of Godly womanhood, especially married women, as being passive and not actively and assertively working in life, … always looking to the husband for guidance. But as one reads in Proverbs 31, the woman of God, who is actively living her life out in surrender to God, is pictured as industrious, creative, and self-assured. And the key to understanding God’s picture of womanhood is to merge these two images into a biblical understanding of how God pictures the woman in relation to Godly manhood; and how they must be mutually submissive – first to God and then to one another [especially in marriage]. Books and books have been written on this subject; and I’ll not attempt to even blog about it here today.

 But for my own edification and journal entry today, I’d like to focus on Proverb 30, apparently written by a man named Agur, about whom little is known. Scholars have speculated that he was a wise man who may have been a subject of King Lemuel, the author of Proverbs 31. But in reading Chapter 30 of Proverbs, we read that Agur hardly felt like a wise man. He was rather self-deprecating early in chapter 30, reporting that he really knew nothing. But then he gives those who are reading his ancient scriptural blog some incredibly insightful wisdom, … the first being that God’s word is the main source of our human insights (see Prov. 30: 5-6, copied above). And then Agur goes on to give us some very powerful word pictures, primarily taken from observations about God’s creation and nature, which help us to gain great insights into how we should live.

Have you ever thought that we could learn lessons in life from leeches, ants, locusts, or lizards? Well, when Agur paints pictures of how these creatures of God live and have their being, they become lessons in living life with more purpose, industriousness, and productivity; and we see just how much more we could glean from life if we lived by learning and applying the lessons God teaches us through the creatures He has created. I certainly got a lot more out of the lessons of life from Proverbs 30 this morning than I ever had in my past readings of this chapter; and I hope, with your meditation on this chapter, you did as well.

Now, having gone through all the proverbs again in these past few weeks of my reading plan, I see why Christian teachers will say that’s is a good discipline to read one chapter of Proverbs per day on the date number of the chapter we study. Being that there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs, one would read and meditate on the first 30 chapters twelve times in a year and Chapter 31 eight times. That’s putting a lot of Godly wisdom in front of us every day during a year of devotions; and I might suggest that one add to this exercise in Godly discipline, reading these chapters ALOUD each day after praying that God would give you (or me) His mind/heart (i.e., wisdom) from this exercise of faith (see James 1: 5-6). If we did this, … for one year, I would predict, based on the truth of Isaiah 55; 11, all of Psalm 119, and 2nd Timothy 3: 16-17 that we’d experience God’s transforming grace by this commitment to His word in seeking His will and His way in life. A worthy exercise, I would say.  

My Prayer Today: … Lord, thank You for Your wisdom in the Proverbs. Help me to incorporate Your mind and to follow Your wise ways from Your word. Amen

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