Morning Light – October 3rd, 2016

ml_2016Today: [Proverbs 3] The Dividends of the Wisdom of God. In this chapter of Proverbs we see God as a Father speaking to us as servant-sons. We are exhorted to keep the law of God in our hearts and the commandments of God always before us. There is a promise that in yielding our lives to the law of God in our inward parts that long life, blessing and peace will be added to us. The promises of God are not just about an afterlife. The wisdom of God is health to our bodies and strength to our bones. The wisdom of God and the law of God brings substance and increase to us to the point that the adjectives used to describe our state in life would be that of increase, plenty and fullness.

[Pro 3:1-35 KJV] 1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. 9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. 11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son [in whom] he delighteth.

Proverbs chapter 3 is one of the most iconic chapters of Proverbs. I continues in the vein of a father speaking to a son, imparting the wisdom of God from one generation to the next. The first verse exhorts us as sons not to forget the law of our father. This is more than just a general exhortation to remember the scriptures. This is a very personal and intimate exhortation of a father speaking directly into the heart of a son in the interests not only of the son himself but the son as a builder of legacy in the family line. One of the names of God is “Elohim” which means “the Creator ‘El’ and His pantheon, or ‘family’”. It is the tribal name of God used in Gen. 1:26 when God said “Let us make man…” It is the word used in the words of Jesus in John 10:34 when He quoted concerning the sons of men from Psalm 82:6 “ye are gods…” In the Old Testament the emphasis was more upon our identity as servants than sons of God but these references in Proverbs has a distinctly unique New Testament quality, speaking to us not just as servants called to be obedient but sons called to be faithful.

When verse 1 says “my son forget not My law…” the word son used here is the Hebrew word “ben” which derives from a root word meaning “builder” by extrapolation in this context a “builder of the family name…” The law is the “torah” which comes from a root word meaning to “flow down” like rain. Moses referred to the nature of God’s voice speaking to him in this manner when he said in Deuteronomy 32:2 that the doctrine of God distilled or flowed down to him in this manner. The commandments referred to are more than just rules. God has not called us to be rule keepers. The word commandments means “directions”. Let your heart keep the current of God’s directives in the same way a left and right bank keep a river. In so doing they will add length of days, long life and peace – or prosperity (peace, soundness, tranquility, friendship with God in covenantal relationship) to us.

13 Happy [is] the man [that] findeth wisdom, and the man [that] getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it [is] better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15 She [is] more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16 Length of days [is] in her right hand; [and] in her left hand riches and honour. 17 Her ways [are] ways of pleasantness, and all her paths [are] peace. 18 She [is] a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy [is every one] that retaineth her. 19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. 20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. 21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

The wisdom of God that verse 13 refers to is none other than Christ Himself. Christ is our wisdom. Our wisdom is a person; His name is Jesus. To the world, wisdom is defined as the “quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgment. It speaks of sagacity, intelligence and the quality of being astute or shred in worldly affairs. God has not called us to be shrewd. He has called us to be like Christ. Wisdom is not about getting over on people. Wisdom is not about stepping on others in order to advance ourselves. Wisdom is spoken of as woman in this chapter that verse 16 says hold length of days in her right hand and in her left riches and honor. This is not only for a chosen few. If you are a believer and have accepted Christ as your savior there is a promise of long life, honor and provision. This is what Jesus referred to when He said in John 10:10 that He came that we might have life and life more abundantly. God places no premium upon suffering or impoverishment. When 2 Tim. 2:12 speaks of suffering with Christ the word here means “to sympathize with”. If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him. If what you have endured as a believer does not lead to reigning with Christ in this life then it has nothing to do with the sufferings of Christ referred to in Rom. 8:17.

[Rom 8:17-18 KJV] 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

The sufferings have to do with the cost in your life of walking with God. It isn’t about us carrying in our lives those things that Jesus took to the cross in our behalf. 1 Peter 2:24 tells us that Jesus bore our sicknesses so we could be well. 2 Cor. 8:9 says that Jesus became poor so that we could be rich. God’s will is that you would live a long life. God’s will is for you to walk in provision and in honor. Following after the wisdom of God in the person of Jesus Christ is His means by which these blessings become characteristic of your life’s experience.

24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. 27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do [it]. 28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. 29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. 30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. 31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. 32 For the froward [is] abomination to the LORD: but his secret [is] with the righteous. 33 The curse of the LORD [is] in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. 34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Verse 24 speaks of the tranquility that the wisdom of God brings into our lives. Many times wealthy people have this world’s goods but they do not have the enjoyment of them. Proverbs 10:22 says that the blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow. God does not choose for you to go through life with a furrowed brow. The wisdom of God will keep you. The wisdom of God is out there working for you even when you are asleep. Verse 26 says that the Lord is your confidence and will keep your foot from being taken. That means that God is looking out for you. Rom. 8:36 tells us that though the world looks at us as sheep for the slaughter that is not our truest identity. John 10:11 tells us that Jesus is our shepherd. At night in ancient times sheep were kept together and kept safe because the shepherd would surround them with thorn bushes to discourage predators. Jesus hedges us in with thorns. It is actually painful to the enemy to come after us or to try and press through the hedge that God puts around us. The world finds the idea of God’s favor despicable. Religion perverts the idea of the favor of God as having more to do with suffering, deprivation and being devastated in life as a “witness for Jesus…” Nothing could be further from the truth. Verse 33 tells us that the habitation of the just is blessed. We are just – or justified through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we go low (v. 34) He gives us grace – His empowering presence on the basis of unconditional love. The wisdom of God causes us to inherit glory (v. 35). Fools on the other hand are promoted into shame. Joel 2:27 says that we will never be ashamed when our faith is in Christ.

The glory that we inherit is more than ethereal or spiritual beneficence. What is this glory? The very 1st mention of glory in the scriptures is in Gen. 31:1 when Laban’s sons were complaining about Jacob’s prosperity. Gen. 30:43, the previous verse describes Jacob as a man whom God had increased exceedingly who had much cattle, maid servants, men servants, camels and asses. Whatever the glory of God is there a component of it that promotes you and blesses you in this life as well as in the next. Many minister’s scoff at this but my response would be “are you volunteering for the opposite condition?” The word lowly here in verse 34 means to “bow down” or to “humble one’s self”. What are we bowing to? We aren’t bowing to circumstances. We are bowing to Christ. We are as the chapter states in the beginning allowing ourselves to keep the law of our Father and receive His commandments and make them the directives of our life.

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