Encourage0gram June 4, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This weekend we are reading Proverbs 3-4. As I am reading these wise words, I am struck by the passion Solomon shows. Repeatedly, he calls his children to listen 3:1, 11, 21; 4:1, 10, 20. It is imperative that we are committed to teach our children, the next generation. We must seek to capture their ears and their hearts. And children need to heed the call to listen. Listening is just the beginning of the learning process.
Look again at the promises Solomon offers to all who will follow the wise path.
NIV Proverbs 3:1-2
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
NIV Proverbs 3:4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
NIV Proverbs 3:7-8
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
NIV Proverbs 4:10 Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.
All of us as adults want to see the next generation blessed by the LORD. Therefore we must be committed to teaching well. Teaching by our words and our example. Teaching truth with love.
Solomon sets a high standard for teaching. Notice the themes he addresses in these chapters.
3:5-6 How to received guidance from the Lord. It is not surprising that this is one of our
favorites in the Bible.
3:7-8 How to live humbly and shun evil.
3:9-10 How to honor God with your wealth.
3:11-12 How to learn from God’s discipline.
3:13-18 The great value of wisdom and its blessings on life.
3:19-20 The method of God’s creation. See the parallel in 24:3-4 for building our homes.
3:21-26 The blessings that follow those who have discernment and sound judgment.
3:27-35 A strategy for loving your neighbors.
4:1-9 The value of wisdom and the pathway to find it.
4:10-17, 20-27 The parallel value of his paternal instruction.
4:18-19 This a stark contrast between the wise and the wicked! Take a moment to meditate on this picture. Light and dark are often used this way. Remember light always shines in the darkness. See Matthew 5:14-16
NIV Proverbs 4:18-19
The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
4:23-27 is a wonderful checklist to access our spiritual heath. It reminds us of the supreme value of seeking the Lord to grow our godly character. Once we do mature in character it will have a blessed effect on our ability to make to decisions and to live wisely.
It is good to be on this journey with you! Tomorrow we will look at Proverbs 5.
Your servant for Jesus‘ sake,