Month: January 2019

Consequences of Not Listening to Wisdom

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Proverbs 1

24    Because I have called and you refused,

I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,

25    Because you disdained all my counsel,

And would have none of my rebuke,

26    I also will laugh at your calamity;

I will mock when your terror comes,

27    When your terror comes like a storm,

And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,

When distress and anguish come upon you.

28    “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;

They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.

33    But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,

And will be secure, without fear of evil.”

Have you ever said to your kids, “I told you not to do that, now look what you have done.”? I both heard this from my father and my children heard it from me. It is the nature of our nature to reject instruction and to learn the hard way. In this section we find a strong warning from Wisdom. She says that if we reject her call and don’t pay attention to her counsel and don’t turn away at her rebuke that we will wish we had. It’s one thing when our kids got a little cut or a bruise from not listening; it is quite another thing when we feel the full consequences of our adult foolishness.

Notice here that when we reject Wisdom’s counsel and rebuke that when we ask for it, it won’t be there. Once we have turned away from Wisdom and found ourselves in trouble, Wisdom is not going to be at our beck and call. We will try to find her but she won’t be there. Once you are in jail, it is too late to seek Wisdom; once you have become chained to your sin, it is too late to seek Wisdom; once you have ruined your life, it is too late to seek Wisdom. The prime example of this is King Saul who rejected Samuel the prophet’s instructions from God and when Saul decided he needed Samuel’s help, Samuel was dead, and Saul had no way to contact his God.

The first chapter of Proverbs ends with a contrast: “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” The benefits of Wisdom far outweigh the apparent difficulties. In fact, when we say “no” to ourselves because we are following Wisdom’s instructions, we will dwell in safety, security, and apart from evil’s painful consequences. Are we walking in Wisdom’s instructions today? Are we paying attention to the fear of the Lord and the instruction of Wisdom? This is a good question to ponder.

 

Don’t you wish you could pass this devotional on to your government leaders? What a mess our governments are in because they have rejected the fear of the Lord and the Wisdom of God.

 On the one hand today we are praying for Jane, who found out that her father died 45 days ago. He lived quite far away and they could not get a hold of him over Christmas. Yesterday they drove out to his town and found out that he had gone to the hospital and died. Pray for Jane as she grieves over this loss. Her father was a Muslim. Julie’s mom died suddenly on Friday back in Illinois. Pray for Julie and her brother and aunt as they work through this sorrow. On the other hand we are rejoicing with Rachel and her family. Rachel’s progress has been continual and she is to be coming home this Saturday. All of her stitches are out, the port has been removed, and she is going through daily physical therapy. Thanks to God for this continual miracle of healing.

 We rejoice in another wonderful day with God’s people. We walk in the Light just as Christ is in the Light and we have shared fellowship one with another. Thank God for this glorious fellowship we enjoy as His children in His Light. The people of JIBC sweetly welcomed Bobbi and Jared with open arms and open hearts. Thank you for your kind welcome.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Wisdom, Listen to Her

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Proverbs 1

20    Wisdom calls aloud outside;

She raises her voice in the open squares.

21    She cries out in the chief concourses,

At the openings of the gates in the city

She speaks her words:

22    “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?

For scorners delight in their scorning,

And fools hate knowledge.

23    Turn at my rebuke;

Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;

I will make my words known to you.

 

As we study the book of Proverbs, we will see that the person of wisdom is always referred to as a woman. “She raises her voice in the open squares, she cries out in the chief concourses, she speaks her words.” This does not raise a question of why, this is just how it is done. We are then to listen to the Woman of Wisdom as she cries out with words of instruction, warning, and rebuke.

Notice with me that Wisdom does not hide her message. In the NT we read that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Wisdom does not hide her message, she does not speak in the shadows but boldly in daylight. There is nothing to hide about the instructions of wisdom. We hide our sin and its consequences, but we rejoice when we follow wisdom and enjoy its benefits.

Wisdom speaks in the open and she speak in the main places of travel. We might say that wisdom shouts from the billboards and the radio stations. She cries out through social media to make her messages known. Wisdom is not afraid of being seen, in fact, she puts herself out in the central public square and calls all men and women to follow her ways.

Wisdom also speaks in the gates of the city. We would say that wisdom speaks in the courthouses and in the government houses. Unfortunately, today the voice of wisdom is not always heard in the courthouses and in the government houses. Too often men and women of foolishness are trying to persuade with their godless philosophies. “When the wicked bear rule the people mourn, but when the righteous are in authority the people rejoice.” The people of a country rejoice when their leaders are listening to the voice of wisdom.

And so, when we or anyone else turn our ears and lives to listen to Wisdom’s cry, she fills us with her spirit and makes her words known to us. All that it takes to be a person of wisdom who lives a wise life is to make certain that we listen when Wisdom speaks and we turn when Wisdom calls.

 

As we prepare for Sunday, take time to both pray for the pastor and teachers who are preparing their hearts and minds to preach and teach and pray for ourselves to be ready to walk into the house of the Lord to spend time with His people lifting up His name. As you know, I always look forward to Sunday, its what pastors do. But I remember when I wasn’t pastoring a church, I still loved Sundays. I loved the fellowship, the singing, the praying and especially the opening of the Word of God. My pastor, Pastor Dennis Walton, week after week opened God’s word to us and I looked forward to our time with him. Pray for Sunday.

Pray also for one another. We have an enemy of our souls who hates all the things of God, especially God’s church. Pray for each of us to have spiritual victories as we prepare our lives to come to church together.

The neurologist we met did not specialize in epilepsy treatment. She gave us the name of a doctor here who is and epileptologist. Still looking.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS