Tag Archives: Wisdom

A Win-Win

Proverbs 3:16

“Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.”

Continuing in the description of the value of wisdom, we now come to a verse that paints a picture of a win-win situation. Do you know what that is?

A Win-Win

The best example of a win-win in my life, aside from when my wife decided she wanted to marry me, comes from my years in sales. I believe it was Zig Ziglar who said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” And that is absolutely true!

Without going into a lot of detail, I used to sell a particular big-ticket item. The potential to make a lot of money was always present, but so was the potential to take advantage of the client. I saw more than a few sales professionals convince a client to spend more than necessary, only to have the sale reversed a day later.

My philosophy was pretty simple – exceed the custormer’s expectations. How did I do that? By being an honest listener who never considered profit until after the client’s needs were met. Did I alway make money? No. But I made more than those who foolishly took advantage of others.

Even when I didn’t make an immediate paycheck, I could still sleep at night. That was truly a win-win.

Wisdom is a Win-Win

Solomon is saying that with wisdom comes both long life and honor. Many are the fools that seek riches, but die young. Many are the fools that seek long life, but die in shame.

Seek wisdom, and you will have not only what you need, but you may live long enough to enjoy it.

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” – Matthew 6:31-33 NLT

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True Value

Proverbs 3:15

“She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”

More Precious Than Rubies

On 7 November 2000 a gang of criminals used a JCB excavator to ram their way into the vault area of the Millennium Dome in London. Their target was the De Beers diamond exhibition where the Millennium Star diamond valued at more than £200 million ($320 million) was one of several precious stones on view. Unfortunately for the gang they had been under police surveillance for some considerable time. The diamonds were substituted with worthless fakes prior to the robbery. On the day that the gang struck, the Millennium Dome was awash with undercover police officers. All the gang members were arrested, including one manning a powerboat on the River Thames, which was to have been the getaway vehicle.

The Value of Wisdom

The Millennium Dome gang were distinctly lacking in wisdom. Instead, folly driven by greed led them in an attempt to steal a diamond that would have been impossible to trade for cash.

What price wisdom? Solomon knew, and attempted to portray the priceless nature of wisdom in Proverbs 3:15. All the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. The message is that wisdom is to be valued above anything and everything this world can offer. But wisdom is not found on display behind armored glass. It cannot be bought, but is a treasure that has to be sought over time.

The word used by Solomon for rubies also translates as pearls. Jesus used a priceless pearl to illustrate a parable in Matthew 13:45-46:

 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

What do you value more than anything?


Get Wisdom

Proverbs 3:13-14

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.”

The Point

This is the whole point: Wisdom is the highest thing to pursue.

Before you hunt me down for blasphemy or heresy, I must repeat something quoted earlier:

Anything but the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is the true wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24).

The best, most worthy, most desirable thing we could ever hope to attain in this life or the next is the Wisdom of God: Jesus Christ.

God has given us the opportunity to draw close and hear His voice. God has welcomed us as friends into His home. God has made a way for us to finally reach out and take His hand.

When we understand that God came to us in the person of Jesus Christ and that we can intimately walk with Him, how can we not be blessed, be happy?

Need I really say more?

Dear Lord, thank you for Your love and coming to save us. Thank You that You have made a way for us. Thank You for giving us Yourself and inviting us in. Give us more of You. Help us understand You more.


Trust the Guide

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

My Dad

Unlike me, my dad was brought up in a rough and tough home. At the age of 14, for his birthday, he received his first moonshine still. In high school he was one of the “protectors” who protected for a fee. Up until he met my mother in the middle 1960’s he was still running white lightning through the hills of Tennessee and building drag cars.

As a high school senior my dad benched 300 lbs.; ran track; threw shot put; was the state heavyweight wrestling champion; loved to fight; and could drink away a paycheck. But just a few years later, on the living room floor of my mother’s house, he gave his heart to Jesus Christ, and nothing stayed the same.

My Dad’s Guidance

My father was a wise man, but make no mistake about it, he earned his wisdom the hard way. And I did my best to follow his instruction, because I figured he knew what he was talking about. He had seen and done a lot, and he had the scars to prove it.

One day he told me, “Son, sin is fun. Alcohol tastes good. The devil has a lot to offer. But let me tell you, when you have friends bleed to death in your arms you’ll realize sin ain’t worth the price.” Spoken like the humble preacher he was.

When I got old enough to run wild, I didn’t. When I could drive, I drove safely. When I dated, I saved myself for marriage. Was I perfect? Absolutely not! But every time I came close to messing up I would remember my dad, his words, and his example. That remembrance helped direct my path.

Solomon’s Dad

Solomon had a father, also. His name was King David, and he also knew the cost of sin, the feeling of spilled blood.

God gave Solomon wisdom, but some of it came through the words of David, Solomon’s rough and tough dad. I wonder if the above verses were based on the following advice given years earlier?

As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. – 1Chronicals 28:9 NKJV

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. – Psalm 37:3-5 KJV

Solomon surely took his father’s words to heart. Our Father asks us to do the same.

A Prayer

Lord God, I am so tempted to do things my way. I am tempted so often to trust my own feelings, to follow my heart. Help me, Lord, to acknowledge that you have traveled this way before. Help me to listen and pay attention as you guide me through the curves of life, making them as good as straight.

Related Link: “First Post” – A tribute to my father, Rev. Terry L. Baker.


The Good Life

Proverbs 3:1-2

“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.”

The Lord’s Prosperity

The last entry I wrote on 2:16-19 mentioned people preaching a message other than Christ. One of those mentioned was “wealth and health,” which some have called a “Prosperity Gospel”. Something quite interesting about this passage is that some translations of the Bible mention long life and “prosperity.”  The Message puts it this way:

They’ll help you live a long, long time, a long life lived full and well.

Honestly, I like the way the KJV and others put it “For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” Let us look at what remembering the Lord’s commands means:

Peace:

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

Long life (which I think the NIV does a spectacular job of explaining clearly):

We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
1 John 5:20, NIV

Keeping wisdom in our hearts – keeping the Lord Jesus in our hearts is the only way to peace and a good life. Jesus is the only good life.

Lord Jesus, dwell in our hearts. Remind us always of Your love and grace, and help us to share You with our world. Bless us, Lord, with all of You.


Wicked Uprooted

Proverbs 2:20-22

“That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.”

Getting to the Root

Verse 22 offers a picture of trees being pulled out by their roots. Yet roots are notoriously difficult to remove, particularly if a tree is substantial and has been established for a long time. Evil is a tree that has become deeply rooted in society, and in the world in general.

While it is easy to get frustrated about the abundance of evil in our world, it is even more frustrating when we look back because it seems as if nothing has changed with time. Three thousand years ago the writers of the Psalms struggled with the prosperity of the wicked.

In Psalm 73 verse 3 Asaph declares, “For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” But David in Psalm 37 teaches us not to envy the wicked stating in verse 2: “For they shall soon be cut down like the grass and wither as the green herb.”

What Kind of Tree are You?

Make no mistake. Not just the evil, but also all who choose not to surrender their lives to God will be uprooted, extracted, removed. There will be no place for them in the New Heaven and Earth described in the Book of Revelation. But how do we walk in the way of good men and keep the paths of the righteous, so that we will not meet the fate of the wicked? Psalm 37 gives some pointers:

  • Trust in the Lord and do good (verse 3).
  • Delight thyself also in the Lord (verse 4).
  • Commit thy way unto the Lord (verse 5).
  • Rest in the Lord (verse 7).
  • Wait patiently for Him (verse 7).
  • Cease from anger, and forsake wrath (verse 8).

And you will be like a different type of tree, as described in the first three verses of the very first Psalm:

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers (Psalm 1:1-3 NIV).

Do your roots reach into the Living Water (John 4:10-14)?


Deliver Us from Cheaters

Proverbs 2:16-19

“To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.”

“Lady of the Night”

Rather clearly, this passage is telling us that the wisdom of God will keep us from being enticed by a “lady of the night,” someone generally called a prostitute. In this instance an adulterous woman is specifically implied by “forgetteth the covenant of her God,” which means she has broken her marriage vows.

Whether this is speaking of a prostitute or a wayward wife or even a wayward husband, the warning is still the same: dealing intimately with this woman (or man) only leads to trouble. There may be diseases you may not wish to acquire, unexpected children, any guilt that can come with aborting any unexpected children, an upset spouse who may seek retribution of some sort (usually through physical altercation/death).

Cheating Church

There is another danger from which wisdom can help protect us: churches. I do not mean to say that churches are bad. Rather, this is a warning of churches which “preach any other gospel” (Galatians 1:8). These are churches who have a focus on … anything but Jesus. Instead they preach a message about themselves; a message of numbers (who has more attending); a message of wealth, health, and/or fame; a message of legal do’s and don’t’s.

Some churches will preach anything but the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the true wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24).

The world will do anything to deceive and trap us. There is always a price to be paid when we follow its call. The wisdom of God reveals the deception and keeps us from following.

O, Lord, open our eyes to see Your truth and detect the ways of the adulterer. Preserve us from following the path of adultery against each other and against You. Give us all of You.