Tag Archives: Sophia (wisdom)

Brazen Church Girl

Today I decided to post a rerun from 2012. I couldn’t say it any better if I re-wrote it today.

Proverbs 7:13-15

“So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.”

One of the greatest myths is that all church-going girls are “good” girls. These verses are a good example. Not only has this woman been waiting in the dark for her prey, she is openly religious, and uses her surface piety to lure the fool. But let’s break down these verses one at a time.

“So she caught him, and kissed him..”

Look who is the aggressor; it’s not the man. Conventional wisdom (not godly wisdom) has taught us that men are always the aggressor and that women should be wary. However, there are plenty of young women, as young as middle school, who know exactly what they want, and how to get it. Consider the words of this mother…

“I have a very outgoing, charming, attractive 15-year-old son. I have literally been chasing the girls away from the door ever since the seventh grade. … The aggressiveness and promiscuity of young girls nowadays is beyond words. Their dress is so alluring and inviting to a young man, what’s a guy to do? Moreover, what’s a mom to do?” (source, Family Life Today)

“Impudent face…”

It is amazing how people can look you right in the eye and tell a bold-face lie. That is what this woman was doing. The Hebrew word translated here as “impudent” could also be translated as brazen. She just looked this naive boy in the face and told him what he wanted to hear.

“Peace offerings…vows…found thee.” 

It is obvious in verses 14 and 15 that something doesn’t add up. Why is it that a woman of the night would be telling this young man about how she went to church? Oh, it’s pretty simple, really. She was just saying what a good Jewish boy wanted to hear.

Here was the total, irresistible package: a young, gorgeous and religious woman calling out to be rescued from breaking the Law. “I am so glad I found you! You’re the answer to my prayers! This must be God’s will,” she essentially said.

In the Old Testament, when a peace offering was made, the leftover meat was to be eaten that night, and no later (Lev. 7:15). She presented her case in such a way that said, “We have to do this now!” She played to his religious chivalry.

When this woman grabbed the man, kissed him, lied to him, and trapped him, she did it with everything that said: “This must be a good girl – she’s only trying to do the right thing – and she likes me!” I can almost imagine him repeating the words of an old Debbie Boone song, “This can’t be wrong when it feels so right.”

A Prayer

Oh, Lord God, open our eyes to the tricks of the Enemy! Give us the wisdom we need to discern between a treasure far above rubies (Prov. 31:10) and a trap. Help us to teach our sons and daughters to be godly. Help us to be parents who set the example.

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Listen and Receive

Proverbs 2:6-9

“For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.”

Verse six seems to be the continuation of the thought started in the first five verses.

Solomon is saying “if you listen to me and seek the wisdom of God, you will find treasure – treasure that is found in the fear and knowledge of the Lord. But the crucial connection is “incline thine ear unto wisdom, [and] apply thine heart to understanding.”

Listening

One of the hardest things for a child to do is listen to the widom of an elder. If you are a parent, or play one on T.V., then you know that teenagers are the worst offenders. Believe it or not, teens know everything. They have no desire to listen to instruction, especially if if goes against the grain of their vast experience.

But Solomon wants his son to understand that in order to grow in wisdom and understanding, especially without having to suffer needlessly, he needs to listen. And if he will listen to the Lord, wisdom and understanding will come from “out of his mouth.”

Access Granted

The Hebrew word that is translated in verse 7 as “layeth up” is tsaphan (Strong’s H6845).The idea is of something that is hidden, secret, inaccessible, and guarded. This means that true wisdom from God is not accessable by worldy or fleshly means. It can’t be mined or extracted from the soil of life. It hast to be heard.

An attentive, listening ear is all that is required to gain access to the secret treasures of the Almighty. They can’t be bought. They can’t be bargained for. They come at the expense of time and humilty.

Next Level

Much like the video games children (and too many adults with nothing better to do) play, where each level unlocked provides tools to succeed on the journey to the next, the storehouse of God’s wisdom provides what we need for the journey ahead.

Notice how that when accessed, God provides three things: a buckler (shield), divine protection, and understanding. He watches over our paths and gives us invaluable insight into the working of life. But He also give us a “buckler,” a shield, a piece of armour.

What most young people, and adults, fail to realize is that danger lurks aroung the corner. And no matter how straight God makes our path, He still wants us to bear a shield. His wisdom is a strong defense against the arrows and spears of the enemy.

The Buckler

Interestingly, though, the KJV translators used the the word buckler instead of shield. Why? Maybe it’s because a buckler is more than just a static, defensive piece of armor. A buckler was also a weapon. Bucklers were smaller shields which could be used not only to deflect the enemies blows, but could also be used as a “steel fist.”

Never forget that the same shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16) which can “quench the firey darts of the wicked” can also be used to fight back. The tools God gives those who listen to Him will not only protect us, but will enable us to advance.

 

(originally published 4/09/12)


Happy First Anniversary!

proverbial thought pictureI can’t believe it has actually been a year since this blog first went live. One year ago, on April Fool’s Day, Proverbial Thought set out to share a little bit of God’s wisdom with the world.

As I thought about this day, the famous words of the martyred missionary, Jim Elliot, came to mind:

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

The greatest fool is the man who attempts to gain the whole world, but then loses his soul (Mark 8:36).

Special Thanks

I would like to extend my personal, heartfelt thanks to all those who make this blog possible. I appreciate each of you from the bottom of my heart, for I could not have done all this on my own.

  1. My wife and daughters – for allowing me the time to study Proverbs in between work, seminary, writing, preaching, and the long honey-do list still incomplete.
  2. David Welford – for encouraging me to take a step of faith, and believing in someone you have  never met.
  3. Nick Welford – for your original blog that brought us together, and for your unique perspective which has challenged me, along with brought me to tears.
  4. Daniel Klem – for faithful, consistent blogging with a heart for God, and for wisdom beyond your years.
  5. Grady Davidson – for being an encouragement as a fellow pastor in the same part of town. I am blessed to have friends who care more about bringing glory to God through the unity of the Body of Christ (John 17:22) than for denominational pride.
  6. Jason Sneed – for your friendship and support through the years, and for your deep passion for serving the Lord.
  7. Chris Jordan – for giving this blog a chance, for excellent writing, and for not treating this American like the intellectual inferior other Canadians think I am ;-).
  8. Father God – for liberally giving wisdom to the lacking ones who ask (James 1:5).
  9. Jesus Christ – the Wisdom of God made flesh; my Savior.
  10. The Holy Spirit – for opening our eyes and hearts to treasures the world cannot know.
God Bless

God bless you, the readers and subscribers, for taking the time to read Proverbial Thought!

Please, pray for us, as we pray for you.


Wisdom Was There

Proverbs 8:27-31

“When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.”

A BAD RAP

Somewhere along the line, Wisdom has gotten a “bad rap”.  Ask the man on the street about finding Wisdom, and some will likely visualize a Buddhist monk sitting cross-legged, passionless, in a trance-like state.  If you want to discover wisdom, he would say, take your questions to those guys.  Of course the monk will never answer the question as you pose it; rather, you’ll get a Zen-like contradictory statement in reply.

Ask others about finding Wisdom, and they will bring to mind the scolding voice of a worrisome grandmother:  “Put on your hat or you’ll catch your death of cold!  Take an umbrella – it looks like rain!”

Frankly, I find both of those “visual images” for wisdom unattractive, unappealing, and unscriptural.  How different is the Wisdom of Holy Scripture!

 Wisdom was present at creation.  Yesterday we considered how the personified voice of wisdom in Proverbs 8 points especially to the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, by whom God the Father created the cosmos.  In today’s verses, Wisdom is present as God establishes the clouds above and the oceans beneath.

What is of special interest in today’s verses, however, is Wisdom’s demeanor in verse 30:  Wisdom rejoices in the work of creation!  Wisdom dances with delight!  And when the work of creation was completed, with mankind filling the earth, subduing it, and having dominion over all creation (Genesis 1:28, Proverbs 8:31), Wisdom is laughing and dancing for joy, delighted in all that God has done.

DOES JESUS LAUGH?

To even pose the question sounds, well, a bit sacrilegious – and therein lies our problem.  Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, took raucous delight in the work of Creation.  Jesus Christ, our Singing Shepherd, sings over the Flock with joy and gladness (Zephaniah 3:16-17).  What about His (and our) enemies?  Do they bring a furrowed brow of worry to his face?  Not at all!  Rather, “He who sits in the heavens laughs!  The LORD holds them in derision” (Psalm 2:4).

LIGHTEN UP, PEOPLE

The path of Wisdom is the path of laughter, joy, and delight.  Those who know the One who is Wisdom can afford a holy chuckle every now and then. We can laugh at ourselves, at our own foibles, silliness, neuroticism and mistakes.  We can chuckle at the goodness of Christ who somehow incorporates our screw-ups into his glorious redemptive plan.  We can even laugh the laughter of the Redeemed,

Then our mouth was filled with laughter,

            And our tongue with shouts of joy!” (Psalm 126:2)

Heavenly Father, we take ourselves so very seriously.  Forgive us, Father.  As we seek to know the way of Wisdom, fill us with joy, delight, and laughter!  Through Christ our Lord we pray:  Amen. 


God’s Words vs. Man’s Words

Proverbs 8:8-9

“All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.”
Man’s Words

All one would have to do is look at the average text message or Facebook rant to figure out the difference between the words of God and the words of man.

For one thing, every word of God is pure, as pure as silver refined seven times (Ps. 12:6). The average text message is about as pure as water in a ditch – next to a barn yard.

And what about knowledge? God’s words are plain to those who want to hear, and completely factual in all things. The average Facebook post has about as much objective truth as the National Enquirer.

So, why is it that we continually seek man’s wisdom, instead of the Lord’s? There is more than enough wisdom to be had if only we would ask (James 1:5) and do His will (Ps. 25:14). King David said, “I understand more than the ancients because I keep thy precepts” (Ps. 119:100).

God’s Words

Unlike the foolish, prideful, arrogant words of men, the Wisdom of God is trustworthy and plain. Unlike the wisdom of men which is limited to knowledge gained from a finite perspective, the Wisdom of God is unlimited, infinite, and enjoys an omniscient perspective.

You can select any number of works from off the shelf of your nearest Books-a-Billion, each one written by the wisest of worldly philosophers, but they will all sound similar. It matters not if the book was written by Plato, Socrates, Hume, Samuel Clemens, or Oprah and Dr. Phil – it’s all human opinion.

But pick of God’s Word and you will find something totally different. You will find wisdom inspired by the Holy One. You will find hope, life, and joy.

More importantly, you will find Truth.

A Prayer

OH, Lord Jesus! How much we need your wisdom to guide us in these troubling days! We need not the shifting wisdom of men. We need more than the unpredictable advice of our emotions. We need the pure words from your mouth. Give liberally and don’t hold back. Speak, Lord, for your servants are listening.


Brazen Church Girl

Proverbs 7:13-15

“So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.”

One of the greatest myths is that all church-going girls are “good” girls. These verses are a good example. Not only has this woman been waiting in the dark for her prey, she is openly religious, and uses her surface piety to lure the fool. But let’s break down these verses one at a time.

“So she caught him, and kissed him..”

Look who is the aggressor; it’s not the man. Conventional wisdom (not godly wisdom) has taught us that men are always the aggressor, and that women should be wary. However, there are plenty of young women, as young as middle school, who know exactly what they want, and how to get it. Consider the words of this mother…

“I have a very outgoing, charming, attractive 15-year-old son. I have literally been chasing the girls away from the door ever since the seventh grade. … The aggressiveness and promiscuity of young girls nowadays is beyond words. Their dress is so alluring and inviting to a young man, what’s a guy to do? Moreover, what’s a mom to do?” (source, Family Life Today)

“Impudent face…”

It is amazing how people can look you right in the eye and tell a bold-face lie. That is what this woman was doing. The Hebrew word translated here as “impudent” could also be translated brazen. She just looked this naive boy in the face and told him what he wanted to hear.

“Peace offerings…vows…found thee.” 

It is obvious in verses 14 and 15 that something doesn’t add up. Why is it that a woman of the night would be telling this young man about how she went to church? Oh, it’s pretty simple, really. She was just saying what a good Jewish boy wanted to hear.

Here was the total, irresistible package: a young, gorgeous and religious woman calling out to be rescued from breaking the Law. “I am so glad I found you! You’re the answer to my prayers! This must be God’s will,” she essentially said.

In the Old Testament, when a peace offering was made, the leftover meat was to be eaten that night, and no later (Lev. 7:15). She presented her case in such a way that said, “We have to do this now!” She played to his religious chivalry.

When this woman grabbed the man, kissed him, lied to him, and trapped him, she did it with everything that said “This must be a good girl – she’s only trying to do the right thing – and she likes me!” I can almost imagine him repeating the words of an old Debbie Boone song, “This can’t be wrong, when it feels so right.”

A Prayer

Oh, Lord God, open our eyes to the tricks of the Enemy! Give us the wisdom we need to discern between a treasure far above rubies (Prov. 31:10) and a trap. Help us to teach our sons and daughters to be godly. Help us to be parents who set the example.