The knowledge of God

Let us never forget that the essence of the Way is the knowledge of God. Any hint to the contrary ought to be promptly rejected. By knowledge is meant both knowing about God and knowing God intimately. One can have the former without the latter, but never the latter without the former. Mystics might affirm communion without the facts, and postmodernists may think relationship possible without objective truth, because they place religion on separate plane from normal life, but the incarnation of Jesus Christ sweeps away their fuzziness.

The wisdom of God has been brought down to earth. Of course, it was always practical, always present for man to grasp, but in the Lord Jesus it was internalized and manifested in a new way. God’s word has always been sharp, clear, and pragmatic. His counsel to Cain, early on in human history, serves as a prime example. Continue reading “The knowledge of God”

Solomon’s proverbs

Solomon is known for his proverbs. Most proverbs are short, compact statements that express a truth about human behavior. Most of the proverbs use two contrasting phrases which compare two ideas, usually wisdom and foolishness (or folly). It is thought by many that Solomon wrote his proverbs in the middle of his life and the book of Proverbs is presented as the wisdom of a father that he is giving to his son.

During his reign Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs according to 1 Kings 4:32. Many of these were compiled during his reign. Other, chapters 25-29, are identified as being copied during the days of Hezekiah, hundreds of years later. Continue reading “Solomon’s proverbs”

The wisdom of Solomon

When we think of Solomon’s wisdom, three incidents from his life would readily come to mind as well as the book he wrote that we call ‘Proverbs’. If you recall, he asked for wisdom from God when he began his reign – and God answered that request. We see his wisdom when two women were claiming the same baby. The third incident is the visit by the Queen of Sheba.

“When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, she came to challenge him with difficult questions … Solomon answered all her questions; there was no question too complex for the king.” (2 Chronicles 9:1-2 NET) Continue reading “The wisdom of Solomon”

Was this wise?

Was it wise to spend nearly a whole Sunday school quarter focused on pain, suffering and meaninglessness? Apparently so, if success can be measured by the participants’ enthusiasm each Sunday.

Am I correct in perceiving a tendency exists to gravitate toward the positive, uplifting and empowering? If this be the case why would anyone even consider wallowing for an extended time in such things as human suffering? You are probably already ahead of me in this article. Continue reading “Was this wise?”

Time well spent

“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength, but wisdom brings success” (Ecclesiastes 10:10 NKJV).

I recently watched a man in South Asia cut down a mahogany tree with a hatchet. The tree was probably 20 inches or so in diameter, with a fairly full top, and he climbed up near the top then began trimming branches. When he had it trimmed down to the main trunk only, then he came to the ground and cut it at the roots. Some of the work he did with a crosscut saw, but most was with a hand ax. If you have never tried it, take it from me, that is a hard job. This man did it well, and it did not take a very long time. Continue reading “Time well spent”

Two sources of wisdom: God or not-God

In the lips of him that hath discernment wisdom is found; But a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding (Proverbs 10:13, ASV).

By Ron Thomas — The words of this proverb are not hard to understand. Wisdom comes from only one of two sources. The source of wisdom is either from God or not-God. There are no other options. Continue reading “Two sources of wisdom: God or not-God”

Wisdom

Christians sometimes moan about the times in which we are living. Everything seems to be going from bad to worse. And then it gets worse than it was. We think we live in the worst times that ever were. Christian often wonder why those around us can’t see their need to change the way they are living and thinking. If seems that one of the things missing in our world is real wisdom.

What is wisdom? Some seem to think that wisdom is simply the accumulation of knowledge. The problem with that type of definition is that you can accumulate loads of knowledge and not have wisdom. Wisdom is a quality which one gets that is based on knowledge, experience and good judgement. As a friend of mine has often said, knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit rather than a vegetable; wisdom is knowing you shouldn’t put it in a fruit salad. Continue reading “Wisdom”

Exceptions that prove the rule

“If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:14).

What makes a proverb a proverb is that it is generally true in most cases. This also means there could conceivably be an exception to the rule, but it would only prove the rule.

When Jesus spoke the proverbial statement above, he was warning his disciples not to blindly follow the advice and  attitudes of some of the religious hierarchy of the day because of their hypocrisy. But even he recognized that there are exceptions to it: Continue reading “Exceptions that prove the rule”

A proverb in the mouth of fools

Last week I began the final edit of a book for a friend. It’s a delight to read and an easy work to revise. He has the gift of words and, specifically, of writing. If I weren’t a servant of God, I’d be tempted to envy. He makes reading a joy, and learning a pleasure.

Not everyone has such a gift, and that’s a fine thing, since it’s God’s plan. But some people have what might be called an anti-gift.

Proverbs 26 enlightens the reader about the actions of fools. Among them is the use of a proverb in the mouth of fools. They are not only inept, their bad usage screeches against the ear. Continue reading “A proverb in the mouth of fools”

Hindsight in advance

“Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble” ( Proverbs 4:10-12 NKJV).

One of the popular songs of the past lamented, “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger; I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was stronger.” Almost everyone can relate to such a wish. If we knew in advance the consequences of our actions we might well choose differently on many occasions. That is we would do differently if we truly believed that those consequences would certainly follow.

The human capacity to ignore the lessons of experience is no less than incredible. A definition of insanity attributed to Albert Einstein is, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It does not matter whether the experience is our own or that of others; whether it is contemporary or from ancient history. When a particular belief or behavior consistently produces negative consequences, it is foolhardy to continue in it. Continue reading “Hindsight in advance”