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(#79) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:6-God’s Word To The “Me” Generation

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 14:6: “A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands.”

The term “scoffer” describes an attitude toward truth: derision, scorn. Job expressed to his friends, “No doubt you are the people, And wisdom will die with you!” (Job 12:2) Everyone who thinks their opinion is superior to all sources of truth, will fail, now and forever: “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility” (Proverbs 18:12); “A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin” (Proverbs 21:4). Against the haughtiness of Babylon, God decreed, “I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isaiah 13:11). An over-inflated ego: in a child, rejects parental correction (“disobedient to parents,” “headstrong,” “haughty,” 2 Timothy 3:1-5); in a “scientist,” ignores evidence for Noah’s Flood (2 Peter 3:3-7); in  wealthy people, refuse to trust in God (1 Timothy 6:17); in researchers, reject evidence for God’s existence (Romans 1:18-21); and in religious leaders, refuse to listen to Jesus Christ (Luke 16:14). “Scoffers” do not ask questions to learn truth, but to test the Teacher (Matthew 16:1; 19:3; 22:35)!

Other proverbs show how dangerous this attitude really is: “He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy” (Proverbs 17:21); “Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge” (Proverbs 19:25); “When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge” (Proverbs 21:11); “A proud and haughty man –‘Scoffer’ is his name; He acts with arrogant pride” (Proverbs 21:24); “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease” (Proverbs 22:10); “The devising of foolishness is sin, And the scoffer is an abomination to men” (Proverbs 24:9). According to these: no father should be happy a child is a scoffer; hitting a scoffer only has a sobering, “wise up” effect on other sinners; scoffers only listen to that which inflates their pride, haughtiness, and arrogance; scoffers are the cause of contention, strife, and reproach; and scoffers are to be despised of men.

“Knowledge is easy” for anyone willing to learn. Jesus said: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). Evidence for God is easily seen everywhere in His Creation, and the Identity of God is evident throughout His Scriptures. “For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary” (Psalm 96:4-6). Don’t listen to “scoffers,” who willfully reject all avenues of truth, but rather listen to God whose Truth is easily found. Even idolaters may “seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#arrogance, #bible-study, #derision, #haughty, #practical-lessons, #proud, #proverbs, #scoffer, #scorn, #wisdom

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Psalm 131 What It Means To “Grow Up”

There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.” This Psalm is attributed to David, but also could have been written about David, for it seems to express his child-like humility before God.

Verse 1 defines humility;

Verse 2 describes contentment;

Verse 3 distributes this among his countrymen.

Verse 1: “LORD, my heart is not haughty.” Humility is not downgrading oneself, but accepting oneself in view of God. “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility” (Proverbs 18:12). “By humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4).

“Nor my eyes lofty.” The way up is down, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Paul taught Christians “to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men” (Titus 3:2). Moses was humble (Numbers 12:3), but God can: “Exalt the humble, and humble the exalted” (Ezekiel 21:26). Every person is a “creature” needing the Gospel (Mark 16:15-16).

“Neither do I concern myself with great matters…Nor with things too profound for me.” “Great matters” are out of my control, and “profound” things are above my head. In other words, everything in this world doesn’t need everybody’s opinion! Facebook or Tweet that! This is not a “head-in-the-sand” approach to life, but a realization that all matters may not be our personal concern. Probably this verse is in the Law of Jesus Christ in Romans 12:16: “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.”

Verse 2: “A weaned child” has made the transition from suckling to satisfied.  Comfort in the mother’s breast is no longer also the child’s sustaining food. “A weaned child” has learned that life is no longer dependent upon mother alone. The process of maturing has progressed. To be a Christian, one must be “converted and become as little children, [or else] you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Then spiritual progress in the faith is expressed by Peter: “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:1-3). Many who do not become Christians have refused the humility of repentance and baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Many of those who have become Christians have refused to be “weaned” from the “milk” of the Word of God. “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13-14). Spiritual growth is stunted without study.

Verse 3: “O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.” This is a challenge for David’s brethren to move forward in their faith. The church of Christ is thus challenged: “We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel” (Colossians 1:3-5).

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #children, #church-of-christ, #contentment, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #gospel, #haughty, #humility, #milk-of-the-word, #obedience, #salvation, #teaching, #weaned-child