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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, September 10, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Proverbs 1:20–33

Wisdom cries out in the street;
   in the squares she raises her voice.
At the busiest corner she cries out;
   at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
   and fools hate knowledge?
Give heed to my reproof;
I will pour out my thoughts to you;
   I will make my words known to you.
Because I have called and you refused,
   have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,
and because you have ignored all my counsel
   and would have none of my reproof,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
   I will mock when panic strikes you,
when panic strikes you like a storm,
   and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
   when distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
   they will seek me diligently, but will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
   and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
would have none of my counsel,
   and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way
   and be sated with their own devices.
For waywardness kills the simple,
   and the complacency of fools destroys them;
but those who listen to me will be secure
   and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.” (NRSV)

Godly wisdom and knowledge is essential to navigating life well. While knowledge is about having important life information that impacts decision making, wisdom knows how to apply knowledge successfully for the best possible outcomes. Proverbs 1 makes a call for wisdom.

The most familiar example of wisdom in action is a story of King Solomon (1 Kings 3:16–28). As the story goes, Solomon issued a ruling regarding two women both claiming to be the mother of a child. In a supreme demonstration of wisdom, Solomon ordered that the baby be cut in two parts with each woman receiving half. This action revealed the true relationship of mother to child. As a result of this expert decision-making process, to this day Solomon is known for his wisdom. While an inspiring story, it is important to understand that Solomon was wise because he asked God for wisdom.

Do you desire wisdom as Solomon? Are you wise or foolish? Proverbs 1:22 defines three unwise conditions: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?” The simple person is the one who lacks knowledge and can’t decide which course of life is good or bad. Second, the scoffer is the one who is too smart for anyone, including God. The third is the fool, the person who is obstinate and will not listen to any advice or instruction. At times all of us represent one of these definitions.

If we want to be wiser than we are, we can learn crucial life principles from the Bible, and then ask God to grant us wisdom so that we will live life skillfully.

Holy God, give us wisdom so that we will live in a way that is wise and skillful. Amen.

Written by Robert Crouch, Director of Volunteer Ministry

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