Wisdom Shouts Out (Proverbs 1:20-33)

We have been studying Proverbs 1 over the last few days, and today I hope to close out the chapter. There is a fair few verses left, but I will try to group them and talk through the sections.

20 Wisdom shouts in the streets.

    She cries out in the public square.

23 Come and listen to my counsel.

I’ll share my heart with you

    and make you wise.

Proverbs 1:20, 23 (NLT)

Wisdom Cries Out

Wisdom, the thing we have been seeking and the overall purpose of Proverbs, takes on a female persona now and begins to talk to us – the reader.

Wisdom cries out, shouting in the streets and urging us to come and find her. This firstly implies that wisdom will not simply fall in our lap, but rather we must seek after it ourselves. I reflected in an earlier post that it takes effort on our part, and we must engage with the Bible as a whole, and Proverbs in particular, if we want to become wise.

Why does she shout in the street and cry out in the public square? Simply because that is where the people are gathered. Wisdom is on offer to all of us, not just a select few. In fact, and in some of the verses we skipped over, wisdom calls out to “simpletons!” Not so politically correct of course, but again, the point is that no one is excluded. Proverbs aims to help the unwise become wise.

Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise. Prov 1:23 #Bible #Wisdom

Don’t Ignore

24 “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come.

    I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.

25 You ignored my advice

    and rejected the correction I offered.

27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,

    when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,

    and anguish and distress overwhelm you.

Proverbs 1:24-25, 27 (NLT)

The message of this section is clear – do not ignore the call to wisdom!

Wisdom is trying to get our attention, and so often we choose the foolish path. We make our choices based on our feelings, our gut or what others want us to do, and yet those are worldly ways. Our choices must be Bible-based and Spirit-led, for that is the only way to ensure success.

Look at what befalls those who ignore wisdom. They end up in calamity and disaster, with anguish overtaking them. When we go our own way, or follow the world, we will end up in a place we do not want to be. The world offers us no satisfaction, and we will only ever be truly fulfilled by our relationship with God. Remember that the beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and nothing works without that.

Avoid calamity. Avoid distress. Stay well away from the path that leads to disaster. Embrace the wisdom of God, and submerge yourself in His teachings. The bible is the manual for life, and nothing works quite right if we do not follow the user’s guide!

Harsh Words

Wisdom becomes rather harsh in the latter part of our passage. Having offered her help time and time again, and being snubbed by those who think they know better, Wisdom now refuses to answer. The foolish begin to search for her, but it is too late and they can no longer find her.

28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer.

    Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.

29 For they hated knowledge

    and chose not to fear the Lord.

30 They rejected my advice

    and paid no attention when I corrected them.

31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,

   choking on their own schemes.

32 For simpletons turn away from me—to death.

    Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.

Proverbs 1:28-32 (NLT)

They have hated knowledge and wisdom’s free gift. They have refused her guiding hand and the correction she offers. Verse 29 tells us that they have refused to fear the Lord.

Harsh as it may seem, we only have so many chances to reject God and His ways. A time will come when it will be too late to turn to Him. I do not want that for you! If you have not turned to God, then now is the time. None of us know how long we have, or when it will be too late, so take that critical step right this second!

Fall on your knees before the Lord and cry out to Him for His forgiveness. Ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life, and to save you from your sin. He will not refuse you. While you are at it, ask Him to fill you with wisdom, so that you might live a successful life in service to God.

Live in Peace

33 But all who listen to me will live in peace,

    untroubled by fear of harm.”

Proverbs 1:33 (NLT)

The chapter closes with these words – those who listen will live in peace.

Peace is something we all crave. Like wisdom, peace will not just happen to you, but must be sought. We have the fruit of peace in our hearts (see Galatians 5:22-23), and Jesus left us His peace as part of our inheritance (see John 14:27). Yet, this fruit must be cultivated so that it grows in our lives.

If you seek wisdom, you will find peace also #Bible #Peace #Wisdom

There are many benefits to living wisely, but for me at least, finding peace is enough to convince me.

Wisdom is calling you today, so do not ignore her plea. God, likewise, is knocking at your door, and hoping you will answer. Set your mind and heart towards Him today, and learn of His wisdom. This first chapter of Proverbs is there to convince us of our need for wisdom, and it certainly has me! How about you?

Every Christian is a Teacher

Yesterday, I wrote a post entitled – Confession Time – and part of that featured the following verse from James’ epistle.

Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment.

James 3:1 (NLT)

The phrase “heavier judgement” caught my attention, and reminded me (and hopefully you also) that those who teach, will be held to a higher standard because we are supposed to be leading the way for others to follow.

I made the point that this was not restricted to church pastors, but indeed anyone with a ministry (including bloggers!).

As it happens, I am reading a commentary on James at the moment, and there was a point made about this verse that every Christian is a teacher of one form or another. While we may think of those stationed in the pulpit as “teachers” (and they are), it is not restricted to that.

For instance, parents are teaching their children all the time. Whether directly instructing the children, or in turn being observed by said children, parents are very much passing on information to the next generation.

Perhaps you are not a parent, but we can find other examples. Business men and women in leadership “teach” their employees in one way or another – especially if they are known to be believers. Doctors and medical professionals impart knowledge to one another and their patients, teaching them how to care for themselves and others. We could go on…

I do not want to stretch this too far, as clearly James had in mind those who were teaching the Word of God. We naturally include in this: pastors, teachers, preachers, evangelists, home group leaders and Sunday school leaders. Each one of those is sharing knowledge of the Bible with others.

It would be rather easy, if outside of one of those categories, to assume that James 3:1 does not apply to you. I would challenge that however. If you are going to witness for Jesus, as every Christian is called to do, then you will – at some point – need to “teach” someone else about Him. Even if not called into full time Christian ministry, you are called by Jesus Himself to share your faith.

Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Matthew 28:19-20

Notice that first word of verse 20… “teaching.” If you believe that Jesus was giving each one of us this Great Commission, then you must accept the responsibility of being a teacher.

School teachers spend many hours preparing for class. And pastors giving sermons on a Sunday must also give sufficient time to preparing their messages. How much time have you spent preparing to share your faith? Do you have your testimony memorised? Could you give a clear explanation of the Gospel if the opportunity arose?

Peter says:

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. Always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, with humility and fear,

1 Peter 3:15 (WEB)

Are you ready to give that answer? Mine could do with work if I am honest. The key is to be clear and concise. Most people will give you around 45 seconds to say your piece before they decide if they want to hear more or not. That really isn’t long. Most of us could prepare and rehearse a short few words setting out the truth of the Gospel, so that we are fully prepared to teach someone who is asking.

Do not squander those opportunities to share your faith. Do not allow yourself to be caught unprepared. As it has been said, you may be the only Bible some people ever get to read, so make the most of the chance. If your memory is not all that good, then keep a flash card in your pocket, wallet or purse so it is there if you need it.

Every Christian is a teacher. That includes you dear reader.

Don’t let this post just pass you by. Set aside some time and prepare you answer. Write it down and memorise it. You do not know when the next opportunity may come. Be ready when it does!

God bless you.

Eternity in the Balance (Best of 2021)

andy-brown.org/2021/02/08/eternity-in-the-balance/

Over the next few days, I will be sharing some of the most read posts of this year.

This post, from way back in February, discuss is the idea of eternal punishment and how we can avoid it! I know that may not seem like the most uplifting of themes… But there is nothing more important!

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do leave me a comment or question.

Thanks for reading!

Harvest Hits

For some reason, this post from harvest time has attracted a lot of views during Advent…!

No idea why, praise the Lord anyway! If you fancy a Harvey’s message during this Christmas season, then I hope you enjoy it!

andy-brown.org/2021/09/26/harvest/

He is Our Rock (Psalm 92 #3) – Andy Brown

This is the third and final post on Psalm 92. If you missed them, you can read the first one here – Praise in the morning, praise in the evening- and the second one here – You Thrill Me. We left off last time discussing that although evil may flourish for a time, it will…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2020/04/28/he-is-our-rock-psalm-92-3/

Praise in the Morning, Praise in the Evening (Psalm 92 #1) – Andy Brown

Part of my Bible reading this morning was in Psalm 92. It is a wonderful psalm of praise and thanksgiving, and I think we need a good dose of that right now. In fact, we always do, but times of struggle seem to require an extra boost of worship. The psalm is one for the…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2020/04/24/praise-in-the-morning-praise-in-the-evening/

In Giving, We Receive

Our church regularly visits our local church school to give assemblies and teach classes. it is a wonderful ministry, and great to be able to share the good news with young people.

This week, the team were not able to visit in person so instead recorded a video. I wanted to share this with you.

And as well as giving the children something to think about, it also talks of the shoebox appeal. we support Operation: Christmas Child which provides gifts two children living in poverty across the world at Christmas time. If you have not heard of it before, then do check it out.

I have been thinking a lot about giving lately. i’ve said it before, and will no doubt say it again… A Christian who does not give, is like a Christian who does not pray. God has blessed me a great deal, and expects me to use that for the purpose of His kingdom.

How about you?

You may not feel like you have very much, but what has God put in your hand to use?You may not feel like you have very much, but what has God put in your hand to use?

I hope you enjoy the video!

https://youtu.be/5ejsAShNdI8

The Room

I wish I could say I wrote this. Such a powerful, powerful story. This is from my Facebook memories from 9 years ago. But in a sense I did write this…

The Room

Believe in Jesus

It has been an interesting day in my house, with nothing quite going according to plan!It has been an interesting day in my house, with nothing quite going according to plan! As a result, I’ve not been able to sit down and write anything today.

However I have just seen this post from another blogger and wanted to share it with you.

I do hope you enjoy it! And God willing, normal service will resume on my blog soon!

There are no other gods other than God Himself. He is the beginning, He is the end, and He sustains all things through His Son Jesus. For with …

Believe in Jesus

Sing To The Lord!

I really do encourage you to check out Allens blog-Devotional Treasures. you certainly won’t regret it!

Formonthills Nature Reserve, Glenrothes, Fife. Photo by Alan Kearns Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and …

Sing To The Lord!

Reaching the Jesus Friendly

Everybody needs Christ, especially those who think they already have Him. I got my first taste of high school and college ministry under an …

Reaching the Jesus Friendly

What is a miracle?

Some say that a miracle is a suspension of the normal rules governing reality. Others may say that it is God intervening in our lives in a powerful way.

When we think of miracles, we might imagine mountains moving or sight being restored. These are, indeed, great miracles! But not all miracles look like this.

I say that having clothes on your back and food in your belly is a miracle to.

Having a roof over your head it’s a miracle as well. As are your eyes which allow you to read these words.

Having the ability to walk up and down the stairs would be a miracle to some.

Surely though, the greatest miracle of all is being restored to righteousness in and through Christ Jesus our Lord! Our sins forgiven, and being fully justified before our Heavenly Father.

Have you experienced this miracle for yourself? You can do so today…

All you need do is believe and trust in Him, confess the things that you have done wrong, and then ask and receive God’s forgiveness. Let the knowledge of that forgiveness miraculously change your life forever!

If you are seeking a miracle, first check you have not already received one! God bless you this Lord’s day.