(#186) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:11-12-Use Your Radar

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 27:11-12: “My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, That I may answer him who reproaches me. A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.”

Radar (an acronym for radio detection and ranging first used in 1941) is an application of radio waves that extends human “sight” far beyond the range of the normal eye. It has use in trains, planes, automobiles, weather forecasting, cooking, space exploration, et. al. It has come to be associated with “an awareness, sensitivity, or foreboding of things to come.”

According to the Bible, humans have access to moral “radar” that should be very helpful:

1) The God Who Sees All. “The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works” (Psalm 33:13-15); “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3); and even in the New Testament: “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20). Whatever God commands, advises, or explains about the future result of human behavior should alert each of us to “watch out” for what is ahead.

2) Our Consciences. Everyone has been given by God an inner “radar” to sense whether a thought or action is right or wrong. This is not, by itself, a moral standard, for we can ignorantly violate God’s standard of righteousness while we have a “good conscience” (example, Saul of Tarsus killing Christians, Acts 9:1, with a “good conscience,” Acts 23:1); a conscience can become “evil” (Hebrews 10:22); or even “seared” (1 Timothy 4:1-3). When educated by studying God’s Word, however, a conscience can project ahead to sense whether a thought or action should be followed, for “the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). A “good conscience” lets us know we have done God’s Will even though others say we haven’t (1 Peter 3:16), and it won’t let us claim to be saved before we are baptized (1 Peter 3:21). Our Bible-oriented conscience should alert each of us to “watch out” for what is ahead.

3) Our Prudence (or good judgment). Christians must use their good judgment (be prudent) by heeding the warning signs (God’s Word, consciences, experiences): “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 5:14). Regarding His Second Coming and destruction of the world, Jesus has said: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13). There is NO “radar” for the exact “day nor the hour,” but the moral “radar” sweep should show us to be constantly prepared: “You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6).

“The simple” will “pass on and be punished.” Which are you? Use your “radar.”

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

#baptism, #bible-study, #conscience, #god, #judgment, #moral, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #prudence, #radar, #wisdom

(#83) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:15-16-Simply Lost

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 14:15-16: “The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps. 16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.”

“The simple” is a term, in the Book of Proverbs, which describes someone who is not using their mind for good judgment. “Simple” is not a compliment, for it is a disgrace for a human being not to use reasoning before acting. When sinful actions are the result of hormones, others, anger or malice, opportunity, lusts, pride, envy, rebelliousness, or willful ignorance, then prudence has not been used. “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).

One of the purposes of a proverb, Solomon said, is to “give prudence to the simple” (Proverbs 1:4). When one honestly, sincerely, and lovingly “thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:5-6), that indicates a purity of heart desiring to believe the best in others. But when one is “simple,” in the New Testament, it means to think innocently without always dwelling on wrongs, sins, or evil. One may therefore be easily deceived by slick speeches, designed to mislead. “For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen” (Romans 16:18-20). Being “wise in what is good” means using God’s Word as a filter for discrimination or prudence. Being “simple concerning evil” means making judgments unmixed by seeing any possibilities of evil.

Every time sin is identified, “a fool rages” as if he is right and unjustly condemned! The indignant sinner makes mockery of God’s Word. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). NONE of such sinners has any moral right to such behavior, and NO right to condemn God, Scripture, or Christians because their behavior is damned! The church of Christ in Corinth was made up of people who, having heard, “believed and were baptized” (Acts 18:8), but had left behind their immorality and ungodliness (1 Corinthians 6:11). NO indignant or raging sinner will be saved. Scribes and Pharisees watched Jesus for something with which to condemn Him, but, with a miracle, He healed a man, and challenged their false doctrine. “But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus” (Luke 6:6-11). It is sad when any sinner reacts with defensive rage but misses Jesus Christ.

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

#bible-study, #discrimination, #evil, #good, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #prudence, #simple, #wisdom