8. Proverbs 1:1-6 The Personality Of Wisdom or getting kicked around
The Aim v.2-4
To Acknowledge v.2 To know wisdom and instruction;
To Apply to perceive the words of understanding
We covered Wisdom’s Describer Proverbs1:1
Now we’ll continue exploring Wisdom’s Definition Proverbs 1:2-7
To perceive means to distinguish, identify and sense. It’s an expression of penetration and discernment. This penetration is piercing and getting below the surface and separating to the words of understanding. The words of understanding are true genuine insight.
Our prayer should be:
Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding (true genuine insight) and I will keep Your Word; Yes, I will observe it with my whole heart.
Psalm 119:73 Your hands have made us and fashioned us: Give us understanding (true genuine insight) that we may learn You Words.
Strong’s Hebrew dictionary calls understanding the ability to skillfully respond to life’s situations by penetrating the deeper meaning of God’s Word.
The Theological Workbook of the Old Testament writes:
While understanding is a gift of God, it does not come automatically. The possession of it requires a persistent diligence. It is more than IQ; it connotes character. One is at fault if he doesn’t have it and in fact, not to pursue understanding will incur God’s discipline.
Proverbs 2:1–2 explains how we adjust and synchronize with life’s circumstance by understanding in God’s Word and Ways.
My son, if you will receive my words, and hide my commandments with you; So that thou incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding;
Regulate Us With The Right Response To Opportunities Prov. 2:1-4
Impress Us With Inner Discipline v.1
A Receptive Attitude My son; if you will receive my words,
A Recording Mind and hide my insights with you
Inspire Us With Inner Desire v.2
A Attentive Ear so that you incline your ear to wisdom,
A Obedient Heart and apply your heart to understanding
Induce Us With Inner Devotion v.3
A Personal Cry Yes, if you cry after knowledge,
and lift up your voice for understanding
Impel Us With An Inner Drive v.4
A Persistent Seeking If you seek her as silver,
A Patient Search and search for her as for hid treasure
Naomi fought with perceiving the words of understanding after her grief. She couldn’t see the insight of God because of what she had lost. She had a difficult time receiving God’s way in her life. Ruth her daughter in law explain Naomi this way.
The Security I went out full,
The Situation and the Lord brought me home again empty
Blaming the Lord for our losses is an inadequate assessment
The Pleasant One why do call you call me Naomi
The Persecuted One seeing the Lord has testified against me,
and the Almighty has afflicted me?
Naomi was badgered with she lost her security
Naomi was broken by her situation.
Naomi was resentful and deeply bitter by her suffering as she asked to be called Mara.
Naomi had lost hope. Emily Dickinson stated: “hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”
At times we can’t fathom what God is doing but discerning and discriminating to the Lord’s insights is where we perceive understanding.
The account of Ruth shows Naomi perceiving the words of understanding in the end of the account of Ruth after their return from Moab.
In our prayers we need to perceive the words of understanding as we ask in dependence. We see this in the poem of the unknown confederate soldier in his civil war creed of the disabled.
|I asked God for strength that I might achieve
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey
I asked for health that I might do greater things
I was given infirmity that I might do better things
I asked for riches that I might be happy
I was given poverty that I might be wise
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life
I was given life that I might enjoy all things
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered
I am, among all men, most richly blesse
In Annie Johnson Flint’s poem, the answered prayer, she expresses a similar thought on perceiving the words of understanding
I prayed for strength, and then I lost awhile
All sense of nearness, human and divine
The love I leant on failed and pierced my heart
The hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine
But while I swayed, weak, trembling, and alone
The everlasting arms upheld my own.
I prayed for light; the sun went down in clouds
The moon was darkened by a misty doubt
The stars of heaven were dimmed by earthly fears
And all my little candle flames burned out
But while I sat in shadow, wrapped in night
The face of Christ made all the darkness bright.
I prayed for peace, and dreamed of restful ease
A slumber free from pain, a hushed repose
Above my head the skies were black with storm
And fiercer grew the onslaught of my foes
But while the battle raged, and wild winds blew
I heard His voice, and perfect peace I knew.
I thank You, Lord; You were too wise to heed
My feeble prayers, and answer as I sought
Since these rich gifts Your bounty has bestowed
Have brought me more than I had asked or thought
Giver of good, so answer each request
With Your own giving, better than my best.
Things are hard to understand but Proverbs was written so we could perceive the words of understanding.
Gary Richmond tells about the birth of a giraffe:
The first things to emerge are the baby giraffe’s front hooves and head. A few minutes later the plucky newborn calf is hurled forth, falls ten feet, and lands on its back. Within seconds, he rolls to an upright position with his legs tucked under his body. From this position he considers the world for the first time.
The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a look. Then she positions herself directly over the calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heals. When it doesn’t get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts…
Finally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs. Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible in order to stay with the herd, where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild hunting dogs all enjoy young giraffes, and they’d get it too, if the mother didn’t teach her calf to get up quickly and get with it.
Life may not have started out quite that hard for us, but some days we feel as though it’s gotten hard. The kicks come.
There are financial burdens, marital and family disappointments, frustrations at work, conflict with friends (often unresolvable conflicts), frustrations spiritually (unresolved conflicts in our spiritual lives), mistrust, cancer and car accidents, and death (and all death is way too sudden and early!).
Things happen to us that we are powerless to change, but we have to deal every day with the consequences.
We may feel inside, doesn’t God care? Or even worse, we quit caring about God. Some might say, talking about Jesus is nice, but I just don’t know how to process what’s happening in my life.
Why? We’re being kicked to remember how to get up. In the wild, we need to be able to get up as quickly as possible in order to stay with the flock, where there is safety.
Lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild hunting dogs are looking to scarf us up, and they’ll do it, if we don’t learn from our Shepherd to get up quickly and get with it.
The first thing when we get down is we cut away from the protection of the local church and it’s certain we will be bitten by the predators that stalk us.