A study of Proverbs 2
Knowledge is information acquired from observation of the universe, from the immediate world around us and from media tools used to store and deliver information or data, such as computers, books, radio, TV.
Knowledge is also acquired from our parents, teachers, preachers and others, as well as from life experiences.
Knowledge reaches as far as the brain where, if it seems applicable and valuable to us, it is stored for future use; or if it seems irrelevant and worthless to us, it is ignored and forgotten.
SOUND WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING
Sound wisdom and understanding is the ability to process and use knowledge so as to live for the glory of God, which is the highest purpose of life.
THE SOURCE OF WISDOM
True knowledge, wisdom and understanding ultimately come only from God, according to Proverbs 2:6.
Christ, our Lord and Saviour, is our wisdom. as well as our righteousness, sanctification and redemption, according to I Corinthians 1:30-31.
THE PURPOSE OF WISDOM
Wisdom is not just for our heads. It is for our hearts. It affects our walk. It affects what we love and value, as well as what we hate and reject. It affects how we live. It affects our priorities and how we use our time. It affects how and why we pray. Turn to Ephesians 1. It is Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian Christians that they might have wisdom and prudence. Interestingly the entire chapter of 23 verses is all one long sentence. Paul is well known for his long, involved sentences.
Since wisdom s what we value and how we live life and ultimately our success under God, it is of supreme value. The ultimate purpose of wisdom is to guide and direct us as to how to live for the glory of God.
GOD HAS ORCHESTRATED MY LIFE.
From my birth, God planned every detail, even to where I went to college. From age 11-16 I was sent to Westervelt Home and School for missionary children outside of Batesburg, S.C. from 1944-1949 where I lived and studied with about 100 other missionary kids from all over the world where I learned about life and the value of character
From 1949-1950 I spent my sophomore year of high school in a high school associated with Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada.
From 1950-1952 I spent my Junior and Senior year of high school in CulterAcademy, a private Christian school in Los Angeles at that time. There I continued to build my life on the lessons I had learned at Westervelt and PBI.
Finally, from 1952-1956 I attended and completed four years of college at BobJonesUniversity in Greenville, S.C.
The interesting thing about all these choices is that none of them were my decisions. I simply followed my Mother’s instruction. She had been widowed when I was four and remarried another missionary when I was 16. I followed her instruction which she received from her older preacher brother in Toronto, Canada.
As a result of simply following Mother’s instruction, I received the best, most well rounded education possible, taught by the best of teachers.
At the age of 22 I married a godly young lady whom God had brought into my life and at that time ceased following my mother’s instructions and started making my own decisions for my wife and me, considering my wife and children’s good, as well as my own.
Read and consider carefully the words of the BobJonesUniversity hymn, written by Dr. Bob Jones Jr, son of the founder of BobJonesUniversity. It is profound and says so much about wisdom.
Wisdom of God, we would by Thee be taught!
Control our minds, direct our every thought.
Knowledge alone life’s problems cannot meet;
We learn to live while sitting at Thy feet.
Light of the world, illumine us we pray.
Our souls are dark, without Thy kindling ray.
Torches unlighted, of all radiance bare,
Touch them to flame and burn in glory there.
Incarnate Truth, help us Thy truth to learn,
Prone to embrace the falsehood we would spurn,
Groping in error’s maze for verity,
Thou art the Truth we need to make us free.
Giver of life, we would not live to please,
Self or the world, nor seek the paths of ease.
Dying Thou bringest life to sons of men,
So may we dying live Thy life again.
Captain of Might, we yield to Thy command.
Armored by faith, Thy Word, our sword in hand:
Fierce though the battle. Thine the victory.
Bravely we’ll strive and more than conq’rors be.
Eternal Lord, let heavens pass away.
Earth be removed, no fear our hearts shall sway.
Empires may crumble, dust return to dust,
Secure are they, who in their Saviour trust.
Unfailing love, we are so cold in heart.
To us Thy passion for the lost impart;
Give us Thy vision of the need of men,
All learning will be used in service then.
Great King of kings, this campus all is Thine.
Make by Thy presence of this place a shrine.
Thee may we meet within the classroom walls,
Go forth to serve Thee from these hallowed halls.
Copyright by BobJonesUniversity.
THINK ABOUT CHRIST
He gives purpose to life.
“For to me to live is Christ. To die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
He gives protection.
“He is our shield and buckler.” Proverbs 2:7-8, Psalm 91:3-7
Psalm 37:23-24, 30,31
He gives understanding. Proverbs 2:9
He removes confusion from our lives and keeps us on course. James 1:6-8
We can know what is right so we can do right. I Chronicles 12:32
Psalm 23:2, 25:4-5, 27:11
He gives discretion. Proverbs 2:10-11
That is, He gives us moral understanding of right and wrong, This protects us from moral indiscretions and foolish decisions that start us down the road of sin and failure.
Discretion follows spiritual wisdom and gives us good judgment and prudence. Joseph, one of the twelve sons of Jacob, used discretion when faced with the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. Though he ended up in prison temporarily, he eventually became Prime Minister of Egypt under Pharaoh. All things worked together for good and Israel and Egypt were saved from starvation
He gives deliverance
From evil men Proverbs 2:12-15
Leading us to separate from those who speak contrary to God’s Word.
Who leave paths of light to walk in darkness.
From evil women. Proverbs 2:16-19
She is recognized by her flattery.
She has forsaken the God of her youth
Sexual sin leads to death.
Note the finality of sexual sin. Proverbs 2:19 states that NONE who get involved in such sin ever return. I wouldn’t say that, but God does.
All I can say about this is that all sexual sins leave a permanent blot on lives that can never be erased or forgotten.
WISDOM TEACHES US TO FOLLOW GOOD EXAMPLES.
That’s why we must guard our associations and all we receive into our minds and hearts through books, music, television, movies, and from our computers. Examples matter. As parents we had better be good examples and also be aware of our children’s friends and influences.
YOUR ONLY TWO OPTIONS
Make wise, Christ-honoring decisions throughout your life starting now.
Live life to the fullest for others to the glory of God. Let your motto be, “For to me to live is Christ; to die is gain” Philippians 1:21
Waste your life living only for yourself and die.
The Book of Proverbs is addressed to youth. It teaches that there are basically four categories of people: the simple, the wise, the scorners and the fools.
All little children are simple and naïve. They are totally trusting and can easily be deceived, misled and harmed. It is not bad for a child to be simple. It is perfectly normal. But it would be harmful and sad for a child to stay simple all of his life. Part of growing up is the ability and the desire to move out of the simple stage of life and become wise.
As children, we have much to learn. Not just about math and grammar and history, but also about how to live successfully. We make lots of mistakes. We have lots of accidents. We do childish things because we are children. We all have painful lessons to learn. When toddlers are learning to walk, they fall down often. It’s all part of the learning process.
The simple tend to be gullible and believe anything anyone tells them, even if it is not the truth. Proverbs14:15says, “The simple believe every word: but the prudent man looks well to his going. They can easily be led into evil or good. It depends who is teaching and leading them. That’s why I am a strong proponent of home schooling or a good Christian school that supports Biblical values.
I’m so thankful that I had the privilege of receiving my education in Christian schools from fourth grade through high school and college. These were not simply schools that had the name Christian attached to them. They were Christian schools that were true to the Bible and taught and exemplified genuine Biblical Christianity.
I’m thankful for the privilege I had of receiving my college education at Bob Jones University. Dr. Bob Jones, the founder, was in his 70’s when I was there. He used to speak to us in chapel about how to live. I remember him saying to us, “I have never yet found a man who knew how to live who had any trouble making a living. If you learn how to live you can make a living.” I have found that to be true in my own life.
Part of growing up and leaving the simple stage of life is learning from seeing others punished for wrong doing. Proverbs 21:11 teaches, “When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise.”
The oldest of our three children received more spankings than the next two: not because he disobeyed more than the others, but because he did not have the opportunity of seeing an older sibling punished for doing wrong. He was that older brother. The younger two learned from his mistakes. It’s smart to learn from being punished; but it’s smarter to learn from seeing others punished. Actually, none of our three children were rebellious. They all learned quickly from their mistakes and it was a joy for my wife and me to raise them. You can learn more about our experience raising them by going to category FAMILY on this web site.
The simple, even adults, can easily be deceived by false teachers. Romans 16:17-18 warns about this. That’s why we need our Christian parents, and faithful teachers and pastors to warn us and guide us into God’s Word that is able to make us wise. Read the sober warning II Timothy 3:13-17 gives to all of us as Christians as we seek a church home.
Thank God, He preserves the simple from making a mess out of life. Psalm 116:5-6
THE AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY
As we grow there comes a time when we are confronted with the truths of the Bible and begin to understand the consequences of our decisions and actions. This is known as the age of accountability. It’s a different age for every child. It’s at this age that we must make a decision about the Bible and Jesus.
Am I a sinner bound for hell, as the Bible says I am?
Is Jesus the Son of God?
Did He die on a cross to pay for my sins?
Did He rise again bodily from the tomb to give me eternal life?
Will I receive or reject Him?
I made the decision to trust Christ as soon as I understood the Gospel. I was 9 years old at that time. The Lord Jesus not only became my Saviour; He also became my Lord and the joy and purpose of my life.
When we receive Christ as our Saviour and Lord, we are not only given eternal life; but we are also given much more.
I Corinthians 1:30 tells us Christ Jesus is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
We learn from Colossians 2:9-10 that “in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and we who put our trust in Christ are complete in Him.
Wisdom is found in His Word, Proverbs 1:1-9 tell us. The earlier you receive it and the more time you spend in it, the wiser you will be.
Unsaved people can gain knowledge. Wisdom is ability to use knowledge, Many smart people lack wisdom. The Corinthians were smart; but not wise.
I Corinthians 1 tells us.
MY DEFINITION OF WISDOM
Wisdom is the God-given ability of one who has received Christ as Saviour and Lord to use knowledge and IQ (regardless of what that may be) to process facts and situations and assess people with discernment and good judgment so as to make the right choices, have favour in the eyes of God and reasonable people and to be successful and bless others to the glory of God.
One thing for certain. Wisdom comes from God alone; whereas knowledge can be acquired through reading and study.
Luke 2:52 gives us amazing information about Jesus’ boyhood, Even though Jesus is the second person of the Trinity and the Creator of the Universe, He was a fully human child, without sin , Jesus grew in wisdom as a young boy. What a mystery this is. God, Creator of Heaven and earth, growing in wisdom as a little boy! Being taught by his mother, Mary and his step-father, Joseph, how to walk and talk. Joseph, no doubt, taught Him how to work with tools.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone in authority, from the President on down, including all of Congress who make our laws and all the judges in our courts and State governors, City mayors and council members had God’s wisdom? What a difference that would make in our nation! That ought to be the primary requisite we seek in an office holder.
REJECT CHRIST AND WE BECOME SCORNERS
You can recognize a scorner by the sneer on his face and by his rudeness and impudence towards his parents, teachers and others and by his know-it-all attitude. A scorner does not realize that he is headed for a lifetime of trouble, and probably prison and ultimately destruction.
The devil deceives him into thinking he is free and having a good time. It is a waste of time to rebuke and try to correct scorners. Better to just leave them or dismiss them from class or from school. Read what God’s Word says about this in Proverbs 9:7-8, 15:12, 22:10, Severe punishment from God awaits them. They are becoming FOOLS
WHAT ARE THE DISTINGUISHING MARKS OF A FOOL?
“No God for me!” they boast. Psalm 14:1
That is his claim as an atheist; but he is deceiving himself. Why are atheists so angry in trying to convince themselves and others that there is no God? Because they know in their heart there is a God and someday they will stand before Him to be judged. No one get angry and worked up trying to prove there is no Santa Claus nor Easter Bunny nor Tooth Fairy.
The fool despises the wisdom of God. Proverbs 1:7
He makes a mock of sin. Proverbs 14:9
He despises his parent’s instruction. Proverbs 15:5
He is a burden and heaviness to his mother. Proverbs 10:1
He is always right in his own eyes. Proverbs 12:15
His mouth is his destruction. Proverbs 18:7
He can’t keep his mouth shut. If he could; probably others would not know he is a fool. Proverbs 17:28
He returns to his folly like dog to its vomit. Proverbs 26:11
He is beyond help. Proverbs 26:4
We must not call anyone a fool, even if they are. Only God has the authority and wisdom to do that. Luke 12:15-27
IF YOU ARE A FOOL WHAT CHOICES DO YOU HAVE? Only two.
1. Continue in your sins, ignore God and the Bible. Eventually you destroy your future, die and go to hell.
2. Come to the end of yourself, and turn to God for mercy and salvation.
God will save you and as you read His Word, determined to obey it; you will grow in wisdom and grace. Listen to God plead with you to turn from being a fool. Proverbs 1:20-33 2:1-6
Ultimately it’s your choice! Deuteronomy 30:19-20 You bear the eternal consequences of your choice.
For further studies on the theme of WISDOM, go to category PROVERBS.
Have you ever noticed that everything Jesus taught was simple, direct and practical? There is nothing mystical or spooky or weird about Christianity, as you find in false religions. Christianity is not about going into a trance or putting on a pious look or attempting to speak or preach or pray in supposed pious tones. It’s not about losing control of our bodies and babbling in strange unknown sounds. It’s not about trying to imitate the latest rock stars or screwing up our faces as though we were in pain when we sing. The true Christian, though far from perfect, is real. He’s not even perpetually grinning; though a warm, genuine smile that begins in the heart and seeps out through the eyes and to the entire countenance is a beautiful reflection of the indwelling Christ in a Christian.
Jesus came to reveal the Father to us; so the better we know Jesus through the study of His Word, the better acquainted we are with our Heavenly Father.
Everything Jesus teaches, touches our lives practically as we live each day.
Everything He teaches deals with moral issues, matters of right and wrong. His teachings are going to convict us and often make us feel uncomfortable about ourselves. As long as we face our sins honestly and confess them to Him, His blood shed onCalvary’s cross makes possible His forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness. That’s the teaching of I John 1.
So with this background, let’s turn to Luke 16 and read the first thirteen verses. Here we will learn of an unjust steward. In this very interesting story we will learn about wisdom and shrewdness.
It is estimated that Jesus used about 40 parables in His teaching and about 30% of them deal with money and material things. Why is money so dominant in His teachings? Because money is so dominant in our lives. Most of our waking hours is spent earning it, spending it, investing it and thinking about how we can acquire more of it.
There is nothing wrong in being shrewd and wise in planning ahead for eventualities, including our retirement. But as Christians, our primary concern in the use of our time, energy and money should be how we can invest for the maximum dividends in eternity.
We don’t buy our way into Heaven. That is offered freely to guilty sinners who trust in God’s gracious Gift of salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ. But as Christians, we ought to be considering how best we fit into Christ’s Great Commission to take the Gospel to the whole world. As we invest in that heavenly enterprise, we are going to reap eternal dividends.
Now if you’ve read the story in Luke 16:1-13 let’s discuss it and learn the practical lessons Jesus taught.
A rich man had a steward. A steward is one who manages money and financial matters for another. That is a grave responsibility. The most important qualification for a steward is that he can be trusted.
The steward in this story that Jesus told turned out to be irresponsible and untrustworthy. When the master learned of this, he called his steward in to give an account and gave him his notice of termination.
The steward, knowing he was too old to dig ditches and too proud to beg, began to consider what he should do. Then an idea came to him. He called in the debtors one by one. Jesus mentions two of them. To the first debtor he offered to cut his debt in half. To the second debtor he offered to cut his debt by 20%.
Why did the steward do this? He was a shrewd, though irresponsible and crooked manager of money. He knew one lesson of sales that every good salesman knows. He knew his only way out of his mess was to work out a win/win situation for everyone involved. By reducing the debts of the debtors, he won their friendship which he would need after he was terminated. He worked out a plan where his master would at least recover part of the debts owed him. After all, 50% or 80% was better than nothing! He also won for himself the approval of his master.
Yes, Jesus tells us that the master commended him for his shrewdness. There are two Greek words that could have been used. The Greek word translated wisely in the King James Version in verse 8 is more accurately translated shrewdly in the New American Standard Bible. One means wise and the other means shrewd. This steward was probably not wise, but he was shrewd.
Then Jesus concluded His story with this factual statement in verse 8, “The children of this world, the unsaved, are in their generation shrewder than the children of light, Christians.” The Lord willing, we will examine this statement in more detail in our next article in this series.
Note verse 9. The New American Standard Bible makes it clearer, “And I say unto you, make friends for yourselves of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.”
One day our money is going to fail. We are going to give it all up when we die. The message of this story Jesus told is that if we invest our money in the spread of the Gospel and in building lives for Christ, one day when we arrive in Heaven we are going to be welcomed by a host of people whose lives we have personally touched for Christ as well as untold others whom we never met on this earth, but who through our sacrificial giving, came to know Christ through God’s servants who were helped financially through our gifts. I am so excited to think about this. I cannot begin to grasp the influence of my life as I have preached the Gospel in small churches for over fifty years, as well as by radio for about twelve years and now through this web site on the internet. From some reports I have received, I expect I am a spiritual great-grandfather to countless new Christians. But more exciting, the good people who have supported me down through the years are all going to join with me in rejoicing when we arrive in Heaven and begin to learn the full extent of our ministries. These Christians who have preceded us to Heaven are going to be there to welcome us when we arrive in Heaven!
If you are a “Lone Ranger” type of Christian, I encourage you to get involved in a sound Bible preaching church and help spread the Gospel by word and by your financial support to those who are faithfully preaching the Word here and around the world. Get in on the action now and one day you too will be met by a host of people who came to Christ through your financial support. If you are blessed by this web site, help spread the Gospel to others around the world by sharing this web site with others.