God's Wisdom and Ours

Sam Petitfils

"My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:20-23

When we study the Bible, we soon begin to marvel at the vast wisdom of our creator.  Truly His ways soar above our own (Isaiah 55:8-9).  With wisdom, He created the universe and sustains it by the word of His power.  He set the laws of nature in order so that even the planets run their course by God’s appointment (Psalm 19:1-6).  He lifts up one person, then puts down another, and does not give an account of His actions to others, as He alone is God.

God’s wisdom calls for a response: we need to also act in wisdom.  In the verses above from Proverbs 4, the writer summons his readers to pay close attention to God’s words and not to stray from them. We need to be attentive to them (verse 20), and keep them within our hearts (verse 21).  Many distractions in life vie for our attention, but listening to God’s words takes priority over all other considerations.

For those who listen to his words, God promises a sure reward.  These words of wisdom become “life to those who find them” (verse 22), and also will make their ways “sure” (verse 26).  God will become our confidence, keeping our feet from stumbling (Proverbs 3:23).  If we keep God’s ways, we find His “ways are ways of pleasantness” (3:11), leading to peace.  We will “understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (2:5).

But biblical “reward” cuts both ways.  Those who shun God’s wisdom face severe consequences and cannot hope to prosper.  They experience God’s curse (3:33), disgrace (3:35), and can only expect to eat the fruit of their own devices (Proverbs 1:31).

To put it in simple terms: God’s wisdom is our wisdom.  In other words, when we pay attention to God’s wisdom and carefully ponder His words, we become wiser than we ever could have hoped.  We also experience the smile of God upon our lives, and enjoy His blessing (Proverbs 3:33).  But we cannot forget God’s words or let go of His wisdom because such words really constitute our own life (Proverbs 4:13).

Dear child of God, in a world surrounded by temptation, we should not swerve from the straight and narrow path that God sets before us in His Word.  We need to consider our ways and stay on that path that leads to blessing, peace, and joy.  One day when you stand before God you will rejoice  that you trusted Him and His promises of reward for wise living.  Remember, wisdom loves those who seek it and promises a certain reward, often in this life (Proverbs 8:17-21).

The world seeks reward only in those things they can feel, touch, and handle.  But the child of God needs to value the blessing of a clear conscience brought about by wise living.  Others may laugh at us and discount the benefits of God’s wisdom, but at the end they will languish in their own disappointments and sin (Proverbs 5:22-23).  But the just and righteous person avoids such darkness and instead heads toward “the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until the full day” (Proverbs 4:18).

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