Monday, December 29, 2008
Proverbs 1:1-7 Time to make a Change
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 For gaining wisdom and being instructed; for understanding insightful sayings;
3 for receiving wise instruction [in]righteousness, justice, and integrity;
4 for teaching shrewdness to the inexperienced,knowledge and discretion to a young man—
5 a wise man will listen and increase his learning,and a discerning man will obtain guidance—
6 for understanding a proverb or a parable,the words of the wise, and their riddles.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;fools despise wisdom and instruction.
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
Solomon is the primary author. Agur, Lemuel and other unidentified wise men also contributed. But Solomon wrote most of the book. Like all of the Bible, each writer was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write each word. Thus, Proverbs is part of the inerrant
Word of God. Most of Proverbs was written in the 10th Century BC, though it was not totally completed until about three centuries later.
Wisdom" is the key word of the book, and basically means "skill in living". It also means "seeing things from God’s point of view".
The word "instruction" also appears often, and refers to the moral discipline one’s life.
"Understanding" also appears frequently and means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.
"In the book of Proverbs 'wisdom' signifies skillful living—the ability to make wise choices and live successfully according to the moral standards of the covenant community. . . . (This) produces things of lasting value to God and to the community." Allen P. Ross, E.B.C. 5:905.
The entire book is designed to instruct believers on how to live life wisely and skillfully. It is particularly designed to disciple young people from infancy through about age 20. It is a great manual for Christian youth who want to learn early the principles and secrets necessary to live victoriously and successfully throughout life.
Proverbs is also excellent for parents and grandparents who want the information on raising successful children. Every Christian counsellor must be a student of the Proverbs. Every pastor must likewise feed upon the Proverbs.
One of my mentors told me many years ago that He read daily, among other Scriptures, five chapters in the Psalms and one chapter in the Proverbs. This enabled him to read the entire Books of Psalms and Proverbs each month, providing worship and wisdom to him in abundance.
Throughout this series we are going to be asking the question how would your life be different if you only had 30 days to live. What changes would u make.
The answer to that question will go beyond any New Years resolutions.
Every one of us must understand how brief our lives are.
2 fellows were walking through the bush back in the 60's. Giant tiger snake bit man on rear end. He fell to the ground. Feeling the effects of the venom, he said, Get a Doctor I’m dying.
His mate ran to town and found the Doctor. "my friends been bit.. you gotta come. On rear end.
"I can’t come I got all these patients right now. You can help friend yourself expose the spot, make a knife cut it deeper and suck venom out."
"Is that the only way?"
"Yeah if you don’t do that he’s gonna die."
He runs back to his mate in the bush: "Where’s the doctor?"
"The Doctor said he couldn’t come and the Doctor said you gonna die!"
The truth is, every 60 seconds someone dies. Every one of us has a death date. Heb 9:27 You have a destiny with death.
You have a death moment, a death date.
I know when mine is. Death Clock . com. Questions: asks birth date and spits out a death date. December 22 2049 1, 300,3000,0000 seconds to live.
(Ecclesiastes 1:14) “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
Pleasure (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11) “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”
Pursuits Ecclesiastes 2:17) “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
People (Ecclesiastes 4:8) “There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother…This too is meaningless.”
Possessions (Ecclesiastes 5:10) “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”
3 Priorities that Matters Most Prov 8:32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. 34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. 36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
1. God matters.
Prov 8:13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech. 14 I possess good advice and competence;I have understanding and strength.
22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: 26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. 27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: 28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: 29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: 30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; 31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
Prov 1:7; Prov 9:10. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
A. A matter of conviction. 1:7b What sort of time do you put into seeking to know the Lord?
B. A matter of concern. Prov 2:1-5. My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 listening closely to wisdom and directing your heart to understanding; 3 furthermore, if you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.
When you stand before Him you are going to think that.
You will think Maybe I should have made that a bit more o f a priority on my life.
Few things as important as making God a n important part of your life.
It brings joy to my life to know Him. (Philippians 3:7-8) “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…” Rubbish.. = dung… KJV.
C. A matter of choice. Prov 1:29. Because they hated knowledge, didn’t choose to fear the Lord
James Watson, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, was being interviewed for British documentary three years ago. He said he saw no reason why "stupidity" could not some day be corrected by gene therapy just as other "disorders" are now being cured. "If you're really stupid, I would call that a disease. I'd like to get rid of [stupidity]." Unfortunately, this gene therapy isn't ready yet
People continue to make stupid decisions about their relationship with God.
They continue to put it off.
(Luke 12:20-21) “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
A whole lot of people will discover that the religious stuff is not a substitute for truly knowing Him.
A fool to put your life into a whole lot of things that won’t matter in the end.
What you worked for didn’t come with you.
Before I die I’m gonna put all my money put it in a briefcase and take it with me.
So on the way up I can take it with me. When he died she went upstairs and the briefcase was still there. “I knew he should have put in the basement!”
(1 John 2:17) “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
2. People matter.
The book of Proverbs is a book about relationships. Its about how to get on with people. But there are some people it says to avoid. It particularly deals with three groups od people; the naïve, the scoffers and the fools.
Prov 1: 22 “How long, foolish ones, will you love ignorance? [How long]will [you] mockers enjoy mocking and [you]fools hate knowledge?
THE COMPANIONSHIP WITH FOOLS IS TO BE AVOIDED - Proverbs 13:20 says, "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." Proverbs 1:10ff even gives a particular illustration of the danger of running with foolish friends. "My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, ‘come along with us…let’s waylay some harmless soul;…we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse’ - my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths…These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves! Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it." Do you get that? Foolish people can give you a lot of compelling reasons why it’s smart to do stupid things; and if you hang around with them enough, you’ll believe them. I always get concerned when I see young people who have grown up in the church getting into groups that are doing foolish things - because I know they are already in trouble. Remember, "a companion of fools suffers harm."
THE CONVERSATION WITH FOOLS IS TO BE ASSESSED- Proverbs 26:4, "Do not answer a fool according to his folly; or you will be like him yourself." This is to be distinguished from running with a foolish crowd. This verse actually pictures disputing or arguing with fools. It’s tempting. It may seem wise to debate with foolish people. But the Bible indicates that it only brings you down to a fool’s level. Foolish ideas don’t even deserve the time it takes to give them a hearing, so if I make it a habit of wasting valuable time arguing with foolish people I become foolish myself.
THE COMMENDATION OF FOOLS IS TO BE IGNORED- Proverbs 26:8, "Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honour to a fool." What happens when you tie a stone onto a sling? It won’t go anywhere! Honouring a fool makes the one doing the commending as foolish as the one honoured. You watch these awards shows and they are honoring some musician or actor who stumbles up to the stage drunk or stoned on drugs, or some lady who forgot to dress that night - who is known for an adulterous lifestyle as much as she’s known for her talent - and if you’ve got any sense at all, you can see from such a scene how foolish it is to commend fools.
THE FOOL DISPLAYS CONCEIT - He thinks he’s right even when he’s clearly wrong. Proverbs 12:15 says, "The way of a fool seems right to him; but a wise man listens to advice." A foolish person never seems to learn from others or even from his own mistakes. He’s always right and everyone else is wrong. He’s never the problem; someone else always is.
THE FOOL DISPLAYS CLOSE-MINDEDNESS - He despises wisdom, instruction, and discipline. Proverbs 1:7 says, "…fools despise wisdom and discipline." In fact, Proverbs 15:5 says he even despises his own father’s instruction. He has a closed mind. Don’t bother him with the facts; he already has his mind made up without them.
THE FOOL DISPLAYS COMPLACENCY - Proverbs 1:32 says, "…the complacency of fools will destroy them…" To a foolish person, nothing is so important that one needs convictions about it. He won’t stand for anything.
THE FOOL DISPLAYS CONTEMPTUOUSNESS - Proverbs 14:9, "Fools mock at making amends for sin…" Proverbs 19:3 says, "a man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord."
What it all boils down to is that a person characterized by habitual foolishness is a fool. Now all of us do foolish things at times, but a fool school student does little but foolish things. Proverbs 26:11 says, "As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." He gets his pleasure from foolish things. Proverbs 15:21 says, "Folly delights a man who lacks judgment, but a man of understanding keeps a straight course."
But on the other hand, the book of Proverbs is a book for the family. It’s a book for fathers and grandfathers to teach their children.
Prov 2:1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 listening closely to wisdom and directing your heart to understanding; …. 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.
We know it,, but we still treat people badly.
Recorded messages from 9/11.. hundred s of voice mails, I am sorry we fought before I went to work.. I have 10 minutes to live and I am so sorry. Not one wanted to continue a fight.
(Galatians 5:13-15) “Serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
If you had one more opportunity what would you say? Why don’t you say it now?
It matters so much that it says:
(Matthew 25:35) “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Small groups… so necessary in your life.
(Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT) “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
3. Eternity matters.
If you think this is all there is? I am sorry for you, for this life is not so great!
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18) “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Problems theory. You don’t ever fix them they never go away. You always have a problem. If you solve one another pops up!.
Isn’t that encouraging a pastor who says you can’t solve them, since they don’t go away or soon as you solve one, another pops up you need something bigger than the problems.
Here is what he says. Look at what’s unseen!
What do you have with a person who doesn’t need this life to work out? He is happy all the time. Eternity matters. Life isn’t about your stuff here on earth!
(Luke 12:15) “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
It’s the daily temptation of every one of us.
If you want to be very smart.. then take Jesus’ advice.
(Matthew 6:19-21) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
(Psalm 90:12) “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Police arrested James Newsome, 37, and charged him with taking money at gunpoint from a local Corner store. The robber was easily identified from the surveillance tape.
Plus, the coat worn by the robber was found in Newsome's car.
Also, Newsome's wife said the family car had a radiator leak, and a puddle of antifreeze was found beside the store where the robber parked. Finally, the robber wore a hard hat with the name "James Newsome" printed on it.
Acting legend John Wayne is reported to have said: "Life is tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid."