Lessons from Proverbs

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Proverbs-SeriesAs we have read through the book of Proverbs, several themes have been addressed.  For the astute thinker, it is clear that many times the answers provided in God’s Word stand in direct opposition to the answers offered us by the world of “experts”.  In fact, as our culture intentionally moves further away from the standard outlined in the Bible, we are finding these diametrically opposed opinions flaunted as “truth” more and more before us.

For example – throughout this book we have seen a whole handful of instructions on how to successfully parent our children:

“He who spares his rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early.”Prov 13:24 AMP

“Discipline your son while there is hope, but do not [indulge your angry resentments by undue chastisements and] set yourself to his ruin.”Prov 19:18 AMP

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.”  – Prov 22:15 AMP

“Withhold not discipline from the child; for if you strike and punish him with the [reedlike] rod, he will not die.  You shall whip him with the rod and deliver his life from Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead).”Prov 23:13-14 AMP

“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left undisciplined brings his mother to shame. 
Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your heart.”Prov 29:15,17 AMP

So the Bible (written thousands of years ago) tells us that a good parent is one who disciplines their children, teaching them right from wrong, many times using corporal punishment to help them learn.  It doesn’t say to abuse them, nor to do damage to them out of anger.  But it DOES tell us to spank them to help them grow into mature, healthy adults.

Contrast this with the message of the world’s “experts”:

There is an obvious disconnect between the advice from the experts and the advice from God’s Word.   While God tells us that correct parenting is to take a rod of correction to your children to help them grow healthy and mature – the world says this approach actually damages them and creates future mental illness.  (Is there anyone surprised that parenting the world’s way has created the generation of disrespect and lawlessness that our youth currently portray?).

My wife and I have raised two beautiful, well-adjusted, mature young women – both packed with high self-esteem and virtue – and we both did not hesitate to spank them when they were younger!  They are not damaged… bruised… nor mentally/emotionally unstable.

This is just one small example of the two types of “wisdom” we are all presented with these days.  Be smart – let God’s time-tested Word guide you… and turn off the “experts”.

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

 

 

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Wisdom in Proverbs

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WisdomAfter finishing the 150 song list of the Psalms, we enter into the Wisdom Books.  First out of the gate is the book of Proverbs.  Probably written and compiled by Solomon (David’s son) around 1000 B.C. – it contains practical moral and spiritual truth in proverbial form for the people of God.  It is fitting for Solomon to have spoken/written a majority of these because (if you remember) it was Solomon who pleased God by asking for great wisdom above treasure (1 Kings 3).  Being as there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs – many Christians choose to study 1 chapter a day for a month to help them learn godly wisdom.

There are six Hebrew words which are translated as “wisdom” throughout Proverbs.  Each holds distinct characteristics and highlights a separate form of being wise:

1.  CHOKMAH – This word is used roughly 40 different times in proverbs and refers to “having good sense”.  This refers to having your wits about yourself… being a good administrator.

“For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom (CHOKMAH); from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Prov 2:6

2.  BIYNAH – This word means “discernment or discrimination” and is also translated  as “wisdom, understanding, and knowledge”.   This refers to making good decisions in all situations.

“The wise also will hear and increase in learning, and the person of understanding (BIYNAH) will acquire skill and attain to sound counsel [so that he may be able to steer his course rightly]”Prov 1:5 

3.  LEB – This refers to the heart – which is viewed as the center of a man and where wisdom is manifested in Hebraic philosophy (unlike the head/mind to the Greeks).  It is used 4 times in Proverbs.

“Folly is pleasure to him who is without heart (LEB) and sense, but a man of understanding walks uprightly [making straight his course].”Prov 15:21 

4.  ARMAH – This refers to “shrewdness or one who is prudent”.  It is used 3 times in Proverbs as “wisdom”, “subtlety”, and “prudence”.

“O you simple and thoughtless ones, understand prudence (ARMAH); you [self-confident] fools, be of an understanding heart.” Prov 8:5

5.  SAKAL – Another word for “prudence of good sense”.  It is only used one time in Proverbs:

“Receive instruction in wise (SAKAL) dealing and the discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity,”Prov 1:3

6.  SEKEL – This final word for wisdom refers to “insight and discretion”.   It is used 3 times in Proverbs and points to one who can foresee into a situation with clarity before he makes a huge mistake.

“Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense.” Prov 19:11

As we read through this very valuable book – think about these 6 different words for wisdom and how they apply to your life.  May the LORD grant you an abundance of wisdom in every situation you face as you study His Word!

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK