“When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue.” – Proverbs 28:2 (ESV)
Another promise that warns of bad actions. This is meant for the land or country ruled by unrighteous leaders. Unrighteousness in a nation produces political instability, with many vying for power. The tenure of each leader is shortened. But wisdom promotes social order and long rule. Poor leadership creates instability on a national level. This is not only true in the current state of most countries today but it has been true over the centuries before and since these proverbs were written. Avarice leads to greed for power and control. False promises abound to the point that the people of a land cease to trust what their leadership says. Does any of this sound familiar these days? There is a promise that is good and true in the second part of the proverb. We can acknowledge God’s hand in the perpetuation of the state led by men of understanding and knowledge. The long and prosperous reigns of the kings of Judah – the Southern Kingdom are strongly contrasted with the records of Israel after the ten tribes split and formed the Northern Kingdom where not a single king is called Good.
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you…
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.” – Proverbs 2:1, 6-8 (ESV)
The book of Proverbs came about in different ways. King Solomon, is called the wisest person and he ruled Israel from 971–931 B.C. He was granted great wisdom by God (see 1Kings 4:29–34). He authored the instructive sections found in chapters. 1–9. It is in this section Solomon addresses his son about what chiefly speaks to the conduct of early life. The importance of knowing and possessing the wisdom God gives is emphasized. It is the wisdom we received from God that we need and want. Wisdom is believing the words of God’s mouth which are revealed in Scripture. We can trust His words because when God speaks He promises. We are promised wisdom will be given from the Lord for He gives wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. The upright are promised this wisdom. The upright identifies those who are true believers. God stores up sound wisdom as He is the source. True believers – covenant seekers – seek to know, love, obey God and to live righteously. Covenant keepers alone know this wisdom and experience God’s protection. For us who are true believers God promises to be our shield and to guard our paths as He watches over us.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction” – Proverbs 1:7 (ESV)
Proverbs are short, pithy sayings expressing timeless truth and wisdom. They arrest our thoughts, causing us to reflect on how we might apply divine principles to life situations. Proverbs contains insights both in poetry and prose; yet, at the same time, it includes commands to be obeyed and promises. Today our promise is that having a proper fear of the Lord Almighty will bring (teach) us knowledge. We find the same instruction in Job 28:28. People who are unbelievers make statements about life and truth all the while thinking that is makes sense to them therefore is must be right and good. However, they do not have true or ultimate knowledge until they are in a redemptive relationship and possess reverent awe with God. Note the progressive steps here: 1) fearing God; 2) receptive to teaching about God; 2) learning about God; 4) knowing God; and 5) imitating God’s wisdom. The fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which our own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God’s. The essence of true knowledge is fearing God. Without awesome respect of Him a person is ignorant of spiritual things.
“But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” – Matthew 10:30 (ESV)
Today we have what might seem to be an unusual promise verse to consider. Jesus is teaching and training his disciples in for work He has chosen them to do. It begins in verse 5 when this narrative tells of the mission the twelve were being sent out with instructions from Jesus. There is a rich treasure trove of truth and promises in this passage (Matthew 10:16-42). When Jesus tells them that even the hairs of our head are all numbered He is saying more than simply that He knows how many hairs are on our heads. That number would be different for each of us and His knowledge is not limited. It is more a promise that even down to the number of hairs on each of our heads we are fully valued by God. Therefore, apart from His sovereign care and loving heart nothing can or will happen to any of these hairs. So declaring His knowledge and care for the life of each small sparrow which were of insignificant cost in the market there certainly is a value held for us. A value which is greater than many sparrows.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,” 2 Peter 1:3 (ESV)
We find our promise from God’s Word today in the second letter written by the Apostle Peter . “His” refers to Jesus Christ. Christ’s power is the source of the believer’s sufficiency and. all things that pertain to life. All genuine Christian’s are eternally secure in this salvation and will persevere and grow because we have received everything necessary to sustain eternal life through Christ’s power. This promise is especially precious because it is about what God does for us who belong to Him. He is the one who has called us to Himself because He loves us. He gives us eternal life and then provides us all that we need to live this new life. We are His children. He wants us to be like Him. He provides all that we need for godliness. Do you ever wonder how you can come up to the standards God has set for you? If so, remember this verse and the promise that it is His divine power that gives us everything we need to live a godly life. We are never expected to do it on our own because God’s power is always there for us.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)
Our Father in heaven has done so very much for us. He is the God of light in many ways and our verse reminds us that He brings that light into our hearts. The Apostle Paul makes a direct reference to God as Creator, who commanded physical light into existence (Genesis 1:3). The God who created physical light in the universe creates supernatural light in the soul and bring believers from the kingdom of darkness to His kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13). The light is expressed as “the knowledge of the glory of God.” That means to know that Christ is God incarnate. To be saved, one must understand that the glory of God shone in Jesus Christ and He drives darkness from our lives. Isn’t it wonderful to know that we don’t have to live in that darkness or with it in our hearts? God has made his light shine in our hearts and it is a glorious light for us who have believed. Be encouraged today as you recognize that God is a God of glory and He wants us to know of His glory. It is a promise that will bring light to our hearts and to our lives.
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2 (ESV)
These words which are a blessing or prayer written by the Apostle Peter in the second letter he wrote to Christian believers in the first century. This “knowledge” is a strengthened form implying a larger, more thorough, and intimate knowledge. Our precious faith is built on knowing the truth about God. Christianity is not a mystical religion, but is based in objective, historical, revealed, rational truth from God and intended to be understood and believed. The deeper and wider that knowledge of the Lord, the more abundant is the “grace and peace”. What a great difference it makes in our lives when we come to know God and His Son Jesus Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, God brings us into His family and begins to reveal himself to us. He wants us to know Him and to keep learning more and more about Him. Our verse today promises us what happens when we learn to know our Lord better. We receive grace and peace that multiplies through knowing Him. It will be true as we learn to know Him better. What a benefit is promised to us here.
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, … that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, …that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:14, 16, 17, 18, 19 (NASB)
From today’s passage we’ll consider specific parts of Paul’s continued prayer* for the believers in Ephesus. Because this is part of the inspired Word of God, what Paul prays for on their behalf he has prayed for on ours as well. His prayer is for the spiritual welfare of others. The source of these promises is according to the riches of His glory – ‘according to’ rather than ‘out of,’ means the riches are never diminished. They are limitless and available to every believer. It is for our spiritual power that Paul prays, “strengthened … His Spirit in the inner man.” Spiritual power marks every Christian who submits to God’s Word and Spirit. The prayer is for our understanding. Only as believers are we able to understand the fullness of God’s love. There is no comprehension apart from genuine, Spirit-empowered love in our life. Paul gives us four descriptive words⸺breadth, length, height, depth⸺which suggest the vastness and completeness of God’s love. Such knowledge of Christ’s love is beyond the capability of our human reason and experience. It can be known only by those who are God’s children and are filled up to all the fullness of God.
*Read our passage in context Ephesians 3:14-21 (NASB).
“For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,” – Proverbs 2:6-7 (NASB)
True and Godly wisdom comes only by revelation. The words of the LORD’s mouth are contained in inspired Scripture. It is there that we can hear God speak. That is the promise we are given in the Bible, the Word of God. Through yielding to our awesome Lord God, we gain wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Wisdom promises us positive and moral benefits that become a shield for us. Wisdom keeps one from evil and contributes to holiness. Wisdom is a matter of our heart, and of our moral conduct, for it is not simply the acquisition of intelligence. Another promise beyond giving us wisdom, knowledge and understanding is that the LORD stores up sound wisdom for the upright. He has it in abundance and available for us when we need it and ask Him for it (James 1:5-8). The ‘upright’ identifies those who are true faith believers, who seek to know, love, and obey God. It identifies us as those who seek wisdom and instruction in order to live righteously. One verse more teaches that the only ones who can know this wisdom and experience God’s protection (Proverbs 2:8), are keepers of the covenant and promises of God.
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.” – Psalm 19:1-2 (NASB)
Today we consider a promise for us from God’s Word that He is here. With an objective look at the world around us and especially, as in today’s verse, looking up to the sky day and night, we see the evidence that God exists. He has given us a testimony in the heavens and their expanse; both are vital elements of God’s work in creation. Observing we know without hearing a voice because creation itself is telling and declaring this truth; both emphasize the permanence of these corresponding revelations. The psalmist, who is David the King, uses an anthropomorphism (ascription of human attributes to God) to illustrate God’s great power in creation of the universe. God has placed these evidences of His existence and work so that we can know without excuse that He exists (Romans 1:18-20). God has done this for our benefit and for His glory. He is perfect in every way, powerful without any weakness and worthy of honor and praise from us; we are His creatures made for this purpose. This is the sense and urgency behind David’s words in this Psalm. Today, let us see God in His creation and rejoice with thanksgiving.