Listen, my son!

Scripture reading for July 4th: Proverbs 1-4

I have personally read Proverbs dozens of times over the last thirty years.  For many years I read the entire book of Proverbs each month as a daily discipline.  For the past 8 years, I have read the chapter of  Proverbs for that day at the bi-weekly men’s accountability breakfast that I am a part of.  Even though I have read or heard Proverbs many times, I am still impressed at how they speak freshly to us about our daily lives.  Wisdom is a bubbling brook!

Hearing and listening can be two different things.  Almost everyone can hear what is being said but listening in order to learn and apply truth is a different process requiring humility and a teachable spirit.  As we begin the book of Proverbs, take a moment to check your hearing and listening abilities.  Put your mind in a learning mode.  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you new insights about successful living and decision making as well as who God is.

Solomon is the author of many of the proverbs.  He was David’s son through his wife Bathsheba.  Solomon was visited by God and given an opportunity to ask for anything he desired.  He asked for wisdom to rule God’s people.  God was pleased and the proverbs are some of the written record of the wisdom God blessed Solomon with.  Solomon wanted to pass that wisdom on to his sons.  These early chapters talk about the benefits of wisdom and how it may be found.  The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.  (Proverbs 1:7)  There are those who either don’t want wisdom or are so enthralled with their own way that Solomon gives them names.  Simple, fool, and mocker are the three names of those who refuse to listen and learn!  (Proverbs 1:7, 22)  Thankfully, those names are not descriptive of any of us!

Listening to wisdom has many blessings.  It brings knowledge and discretion to the young as well as guidance.  (Proverbs 1:4-5)  It brings safety to those who listen and they have rest and no fear of harm.  (Proverbs 1:33)  A person who listens to wisdom understands the fear of the Lord and finds knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:5)  Your soul will find joy and you will rest in God’s protection.  You will be kept safe from wicked men who are on crooked paths leading to destruction.  (Proverbs 2:12-15)   You will also avoid the adulterous woman and her path that leads to death. (Proverbs 2:16-19)  Listening and keeping wisdom brings long life and prosperity.  (Proverbs 3:2)  Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her and they will be richly blessed!  (Proverbs 3:18)

Wisdom is to be prized above any other treasure.  (Proverbs 3:13-15)  We must lay hold of wisdom by taking hold of the words given by the Father.  (Proverbs 4:1-5)  We must prize it and faithfully esteem wisdom.  We must hold onto instructions of wisdom and guard them.  Wisdom is our life and health to our whole body!  (Proverbs 4:22)  Wisdom is to reside in our heart! (Proverbs 4:23)  Wisdom sounds a lot like Jesus Christ, in whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! (Colossians 2:2-3)

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