July 20

Proverbs 1

Highlights In Today's Reading:

The theme of Proverbs is wisdom. Compare Matthew 7:24-27. Knowledge is the ability to acquire facts and wisdom the ability to rightfully apply those facts (Proverbs 2:1-6). The wise are protected and preserved (2:8; 3:5-6); in contrast, for the simple, the fools, and the scorners (1:4,7; 3:34) there's a price to pay if wisdom is rejected (1:24-28).

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. . . . But whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil (1:7,33).

There is a promise in connection with spiritual wisdom. If thou . . . searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God (2:4-5). Many understand most of the literal meaning of the Bible, but many do not comprehend its spiritual significance because they have not submitted to its guidance. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee (2:10-11). The Apostle Paul said: We speak the wisdom of God. . . . hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit. . . . Which things also we speak . . . comparing spiritual things with spiritual (I Corinthians 2:7,10,13). The concept of many of the scribes and Pharisees in the days of our Lord is that they were secure in their religious position and refused to give up their authority. Consequently, they saw Jesus and heard what He said and yet they were blind as to who He really was (Matthew 13:13; John 9:39). The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (I Corinthians 2:14).

How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge (Proverbs 1:22). The simple ones are not the ignorant, but rather those who allow worldly interests to become the motivating force in their lives. The simple ones often become scorners — more fixed in their disinterest of the truth of God's Word. They gradually become hardened in sin and hate knowledge. Then God calls them fools. Fools refuse the warning that would awaken them to the fear of God. Since they ignore His Word, it cannot deliver them. Finally, destruction cometh as a whirlwind (1:27). The fear of the Lord embodies a complete reverance of and devotion to God — an unconditional subjection of one's own self to His will.

Jesus said: If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself (John 7:17).

Thought for Today:

Great gain is obtained by giving control of our lives to God. This is a principle the world refuses to accept.

Christ Revealed:

As the Creator who founded the earth . . . He established the heavens (Proverbs 3:19). All things were created by Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:2-3).

Word Studies:

1:4 give subtilty to the simple =b> impart knowledge to the teachable; 1:11 lurk privily =b> wait secretly; 1:28 early =b> diligently; 2:1 hide . . . with thee =b> receive and treasure in your heart; 2:7 buckler =b> a shield used in hand-to-hand combat; 2:12 froward =b> opposed to God; 2:16 strange woman =b> adulteress; 3:26 thy foot from being taken =b> your life from all danger.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Larry Craig (ID) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD) • Country: Zimbabwe (11.2 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: English and Shona • Limited religious freedom • 59% Christian; 35% Traditional; 2% Muslim; 4% Other/non-Religious (Hindu, Buddhist, Baha'i, Jewish) • Prayer Suggestion: Confess and repent of any known sin (I John 1:9).

Optional Reading: Titus 1

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:10