The scriptures for today are Proverbs 1: 7 ESV
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
And Proverbs 1:20 – 33
“Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice;
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
Because I have called and you refused to listen, (I) have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
Because you have ignored all my counsel, and would have none of my reproof,
I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you,
When terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
(and also, because they) would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof,
Therefore, they shall eat the fruit of their way and have their fill of their own devices.
For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;
But whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
Wow! That seems so full of ideas I hardly know where to start. Since this is supposed to be a short devotion, I will have to pick and choose, but I want to encourage you to study the verses for yourselves too.
Disclaimer: As I and others have mentioned, we “writers” get 3 choices for scriptures to write about for each daily devotion. Here is a word picture of my thoughts when I read this one:
I saw a recent 2 frame meme on Facebook. The first frame showed a posterior view of 2 Star Trek characters as they skipped into a tunnel and exclaimed “Let’s take a time travel trip to the year 2020!” The next frame showed their horrified faces as they expediently exited the tunnel shouting, “Nope, nope, nope!! Bad idea! BAD idea! When I read this scripture, especially the part about getting laughed at if I fail to listen to wise counsel, I instantly thought “nope, nope, nope!” I began to look at the alternatives. Soon however, I decided to try to tackle this one. Time spent trying to understand God’s word is always time well spent.
Research showed me that these verses do not mean that God is laughing at me in my failure and saying I goofed up one time too many, but instead it is Solomon’s female personification of wisdom. It is “she” that is laughing and refusing to help. So that at least is somewhat of a relief. Still I pray to hear and heed God as He instructs, so even that “woman” won’t have cause to laugh at me.
The other verse that jumps out at me is the often-quoted number 7. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Most of us have taken time to ponder that one. To me, it means to try to take in God’s power and compare it to my weakness. I serve a God who can do anything! I bow in reverence and my heart is in awe. I would love to hear what it means to others.
Each time I study the Old Testament, I am reminded how much I am indeed a sinner in need of a Savior. I will close with these two New Testament verses. “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2Timothy 3:16 - NIV). This encourages us to keep trying to understand God’s word. In Luke 2:10, we can examine the fear factor a little further. “The angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’” (ESV) To me, this says that if we will only honor and respect our God and acknowledge our need for Jesus, there isn’t anything we need to be afraid of.
Dear God, please open my eyes and ears and heart to wisdom’s call. Strengthen me to follow. In Jesus name, Amen
Juli Hampton Ham10five@gmail.com
Prayer Concern: Help Christians everywhere to dig deeper into Your word, that we might shine Your light, bigger and brighter!