It sounds like a very timely topic and I hope you are receiving it with that intent.
We are continuing, now on day ten of our extended odyssey having undertaken a search and rescue mission for wisdom. Understanding that enlightenment is within our reach we shall seek and find the knowledge and inspiration necessary to uplift, support and enhance our collective journeys as well as our own personal paths.
I want to thank you all for being here today. Whether you’ve followed this series all week, or if this is the first time you are joining us. We are involved in a month-long study of wisdom as taught in the Book of Proverbs. If you’d like to know more about The Passion Translation and why we are using it for this undertaking, you can find a recap near the end of today’s conversation.
When the Bible keeps talking about the same thing over and over,that’s because it is important. That’s why Solomon continues on the themes of loving wisdom and treasuring her.
Along with that we choose to understand that honoring the commandments of God will prevent us from making complete messes of our lives. They are our service, protection and give us life, joy, and everlasting blessings.
These analogies are not about reminding that there are alternatives and that the resources we need to avoid these pitfalls are readily available.
What are those tools?
Wisdom And understanding.
That’s why we continue along this discourse here on our shared path on “Becoming Today”.
Yesterday our discussion on “Feasting With Fools”,can be summarized by noting that Solomon is teaching us that those who are wise and righteous are capable of taking instruction. That then causes them to always be “Becoming” even wiser.
An analogy here is that wisdom sustains our spirit just as food and water supports physical life.
To further our common understanding we should note that the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines wisdom as “knowledge, and the capacity to make due use of it.” So it’s not just what you know, it’s how you put it to use.
Decide not to make use of it and you are waiting for a precious gift. Act upon knowledge with a malicious intent and any perceived rewards are not lasting.
The search for wisdom involves our free will. We must choose to not only seek it, but also accept it. Then we need to decide to embrace the common sense alternatives to continue moving forward on our shared journey that we call “Becoming Today”.
Now let’s turn the page and prepare for Proverbs 10.
Let’s read together as this chapter begins with:
Wisdom for Today
The wisdom of Solomon:[a]
When wisdom comes to a son,
joy comes to a father.
When a son turns from wisdom,
a mother grieves.
Gaining wealth through dishonesty[b] is no gain at all.
But honesty brings you a lasting happiness.[c]
The Lord satisfies the longings of all his lovers,[d]
but he withholds from the wicked what their souls crave.[e]
Slackers will know what it means to be poor,
while the hard worker becomes wealthy.
Know the importance of the season you’re in
and a wise son you will be.
But what a waste when an incompetent son
sleeps through his day of opportunity![f]
The lover of God is enriched beyond belief,
but the evil man only curses his luck.[g]
The reputation of the righteous
becomes a sweet memorial to him,
while the wicked life only leaves a rotten stench.[h]
The heart of the wise will easily accept instruction.
But those who do all the talking
are too busy to listen and learn.
They’ll just keep stumbling ahead
into the mess they created.
The one who walks in integrity[i]
will experience a fearless confidence in life,
but the one who is devious
will eventually be exposed.
The troublemaker always has a clever plan
and won’t look you in the eye,
but the one who speaks correction honestly
can be trusted to make peace.[j]
The teachings of the lovers of God are like
living truth flowing from the fountain of life,
but the words of the wicked
hide an ulterior motive.[k]
Hatred keeps old quarrels alive,[l]
but love draws a veil over every insult[m]
and finds a way to make sin disappear.
Words of wisdom flow from the one with true discernment.
But to the heartless, words of wisdom
become like rods beating their backside.
Wise men don’t divulge all that they know,[n]
but chattering fools blurt out words
that bring them to the brink of ruin.
A rich man’s wealth becomes like a citadel of strength,[o]
but the poverty of the poor leaves their security in shambles.
The lovers of God earn their wages for a life of righteousness,
but the wages of the wicked are squandered on a life of sin.[p]
If you readily receive correction,
you are walking on the path to life.
But if you reject rebuke,
you’re guaranteed to go astray.[q]
The one who hides his hatred while pretending to be your friend
is nothing but a liar.
But the one who slanders you behind your back
proves that he’s a fool, never to be trusted.
If you keep talking, it won’t be long
before you’re saying something really wrong.
Prove you’re wise from the very start—
just bite your tongue and be strong!
The teachings of the godly ones are like pure silver,
bringing words of redemption to others,[r]
but the heart of the wicked is corrupt.
The lovers of God feed many with their teachings,[s]
but the foolish ones starve themselves
for lack of an understanding heart.
True enrichment comes from the blessing of the Lord,
with rest and contentment[t] in knowing
that it all comes from him.
The fool[u] finds fun in planning to do wrong,
but the wise delight in having discernment.
The lawless are haunted by their fears
and what they dread will come upon them,[v]
but the longings of the lovers of God will all be fulfilled.
The wicked are blown away by every stormy wind.
But when a catastrophe comes,
the lovers of God have a secure anchor.
To trust a lazy person to get a job done
will be as irritating as smoke in your eyes—
as enjoyable as a toothache!
Living in the worship and awe of God
will bring you many years of contented living.
So how could the wicked ever expect to have a long, happy life?
Lovers of God have a joyful feast of gladness,
but the ungodly see their hopes vanish right before their eyes.
The beautiful ways of God are a safe resting place
for those who have integrity.[w]
But to those who work wickedness
the ways of God spell doom.
God’s lover can never be greatly shaken.
But the wicked will never inherit
the covenant blessings.[x]
The teachings of the righteous are loaded with wisdom,
but the words of the evil ones are crooked and perverse.
Words that bring delight pour from the lips of the godly,
but the words of the wicked are duplicitous.
Take a moment to reflect, and then we’ll begin to break down some of today’s concepts.
We also need to take notice today that Chapter 10 comes from a slightly different viewpoint. While the first nine days of our study saw Solomon singing the praises of wisdom, today begins an accounting of his own wisdom gained and shared in his lifetime.
As a king of Israel ( from 970 to 931 BC ), both historians and theologians agree his reign was highlighted by wisdom and wealth that made his land and people prosper.
Solomon gave all the credit for his Success to God, for as it is told in the Scriptures, in first Kings 3:9, n a dream, God had asked him what he wanted most, and Solomon replied, “an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil”.
The rest is history and its benefits continue to live today for those of us willing to seek the wisdom, inspiration and guidance that is so freely offered.
In today’s reading we began to learn about some of Solomon’s personal experiences and the common sense values that can serve us so well today.
Like in verse two, “Gaining wealth through dishonesty is no gain at all. But honesty brings you a lasting happiness.”
Brief, to the point, direct and impactful.
As were several other of the examples shared today. Verse eight teaches, “The heart of the wise will easily accept instruction. But those who do all the talking are too busy to listen and learn. They’ll just keep stumbling ahead into the mess they created”.
You are never too old to learn, we should always be seeking to embrace something new everyday. Wisdom is found in listening and sometimes it’s impact is even greater when you truly hear what some are trying to sell you and discern for yourselves, that you need to run, not walk away.
Eminded in the next segment of the text of the fact that Integrity Is Integral,
“The one who walks in integrity will experience a fearless confidence in life, but the one who is devious will eventually be exposed”.
And then in verse ten, we are reminded to take our vetting of ideas to higher levels as we read, “The troublemaker always has a clever plan and won’t look you in the eye, but the one who speaks correction honestly can be trusted to make peace”.
Living with and freely sharing not only our hope for peace, but also being a living testimony of it are important to our shared journey here on “Becoming Today”.
As the hymn resonates in my mind, “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…”
Peace comes from the same source as enlightenment and wisdom, as was noted in verse 22, “True enrichment comes from the blessing of the Lord, with rest and contentment] in knowing that it all comes from him”.
Then the passage continues to again restate the need for us to use our wisdom as counsel when listening to others, quote, “The fool finds fun in planning to do wrong, but the wise delight in having discernment”.
The knowledge of Solomon that we are blessed with in this chapter also explains that “The teachings of the righteous are loaded with wisdom, but the words of the evil ones are crooked and perverse”.
That’s something to think about, as tomorrow we’ll examine the next chapter of Proverbs which will focus on Righteous Living.
Truth, understanding, enlightenment and wisdom are all very “Becoming” traits. They empower us to grow and learn to be who we truly were intended to be. Which in turn enables us to continue moving on, with our momentum fully powered forward and upward.
I hope you have enjoyed the first ten days ( really? already? ) of this odyssey. There is much more to come.
As always I encourage you to actively participate. Please post your comments, questions, suggestions or concerns below. This is a safe space to share and there are protections in place to keep spammers out. I will respond to all who choose to participate.
If you do not feel comfortable sharing below, remember you can always reach out privately through the easy to use form on our Contact page.
I pray each and every one of you enjoys a safe and blessed day. Then join us tomorrow as we continue our proverbial search here along this shared journey we call “Becoming Today”.
For those that have been here for a while I hope some of the repetitive nature of these posts is not too distracting. Not only are some of these points to remind us of our focus this month, it is also designed to also be welcoming.
We never know when a fellow traveler may walk along with us, or need to take a diversion.
This is especially true since I have no idea what algorithm directed you, what search method may have pointed in our direction or how many of you find us on any given day. Therefore it’s necessary to recap some of the outline for our combined purposes.
I appreciate your patience and understanding, so I’ll now mention we’ve come to that point in this conversation and if you’ve already heard this, then you can skip the next few paragraphs and pick up with the next image.
Now for those of you listening to the podcast I know that makes no sense, since you can’t hear any of the beautiful graphics we create each day, so you’ll just have to listen along; again… (insert audible giggle here) understanding that I’m laughing with you not at you.
As I am apt to do, even if you have studied Proverbs before, our undertaking may be a bit different, as we’ll be adding some passion to it.
I am being called to focus this teaching around the The Passion Translation® book of Isaiah and New Testament with Psalms, Proverbs, and Song of Songs translated from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts.
Done so by Dr. Brian Simmons who believes the” message of God’s story is timeless; the Word of God doesn’t change. But the methods by which that story is communicated should be timely; the vessels that steward God’s Word can and should change.
Also I’ll remind you that the footnotes referred to are available below and include underlined study links.