“Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.” – Daniel 2:20-21 (NASB)
As we continue seeking and finding promises from God in each book of the Bible, we come to Daniel. Daniel was one of the young men who were taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. One night the king of Babylon had a disturbing dream he couldn’t remember. His own council of wise men failed to tell him the dream or its meaning. Daniel was called upon for the task. God revealed to Daniel both the king’s dream and its meaning. Daniel didn’t claim any credit for he believed in God in heaven could reveal this mystery (Daniel 2:28). We find a promise for all and all time in these words by Daniel to the king. God is absolutely sovereign over all people and all things. We sometimes hear “times have changed” as an excuse for our thought and behavior. Yes times change but God never changes nor does His Word. When times change it is God who allows them to be changed or changes them. All wisdom, knowledge, and understanding comes from our Lord God. God removes and sets up the world leaders, even those who despise God. Nothing that is has ever surprised God.
“My son, do not lose sight of these—keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.” – Proverbs 3:21-23 (ESV)
We might take a moment to think about how much our appearance is important to us. We, well most anyway, apply some effort to ‘look presentable’ in degrees from slight to excessive. While such effort has an effect on our outward appearances, we ought to put some thought into how we might appear according to our inner-self. This is best accomplished by observing today’s cautions. That is to maintain sound wisdom and discretion and not let them drop from our sight or attention. The promise, if we do is life for our soul and ‘adornment for our neck.’ The Hebrew word for ‘adornment’ speaks of maintaining a graceful or gracious attitude toward others. Such an effort will look good on our lives. People will notice that we are people who offer grace to others. Such people tend to be humble and popular because of their manner that shines from within. Additionally, there is a promise that such ‘adornment’ being as obvious as an attractive medallion hanging around our neck provides security and stability in our daily walk. This is the means to a life above reproach which is manifesting the grace of God in our lives.
“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,” – Proverbs 3:13 (ESV)
Our promise in this verse from Proverbs 3 is for a blessing or to be blessed. Often the word ‘happy’ is used as a synonym for ‘blessed. By understanding that ‘blessedness’ is a mark of supreme and perfect happiness, then this interpretation should fit. Seeking to be blessed is a good desire and action. We caution to not understand this ‘happiness’ the same as the what our world seems to offer up when a person is said to be happy. Such happiness is often the result of self-centered motivation. Blessed is deeper and much more rewarding. Who it is that receives this promise in fullness? It’s the ones who ‘find’ wisdom. It’s not an accidental or chance finding such as when we find money on the sidewalk. The greater meaning of the Hebrew word for find has the sense of ‘reaches’ what one wants through purposeful ‘seeking.’ The reward of blessing is ours by acquiring the understanding of the wisdom we seek. Of course we seek to find wisdom because we need the understanding and we ‘get’ or ‘draw out’ by digging for that understanding. We are blessed with the result of our search.
“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1 :30-31 (ESV)
Man trusts in his understanding and seeks for peace and by its own devices apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. Even when converted, they trust in their education and look at the Words and Cross of Christ with too little reverence and love. For them the call to believing faith it is too simplistic. Like the Greeks of antiquity, they trust their reason above God’s wisdom and fall into mixing God’s revelation with their learned philosophies. When they find that the two cannot fit together, they dismiss revelation and faith. So, when they stumble over the simplicity of the truth of Christ crucified they create one of their own to suit their “intellectual” understanding. In the early church such teaching was false and lead into Gnosticism* giving birth to many heresies still plaguing seekers today. As faith believers we are redeemed and not only are given salvation by God’s wisdom, rather than by our own, but we are also graciously given (“by His doing”) a measure of His divine wisdom, as well as imputed righteousness, sanctification from sin, and redemption by God in order that, above all else, the Lord will be glorified.
*GNOSTICISM: A variety of second-century AD religions whose participants believed that people could only be saved through revealed knowledge, or γνῶσις (gnōsis). Gnostics also held a negative view of the physical or material world. Early church fathers, such as Irenaeus, deemed Gnosticism heretical.
NOTE ON OUR ABSENCE: 90 Seconds with God’s Promised missed posting for three days. This was due to illness for 5 days that kept us from the process. God is good and the publication of these daily devotions is possible only by the grace and mercies of God and when done is only for His Glory.1 Corinthians, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption,
“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding. Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her.” – Proverbs 4:7-8 (NASB)
Our verse today is included by Solomon as a lesson he was taught by his father David. In the larger context of verses 3-9 we find an urgency in the lesson he is teaching. Of utmost importance, this lesson stresses the acquisition of wisdom. We hear much of the value and importance of getting and clinging to wisdom in these Proverbs and especially in the first nine chapters. After the importance of acquiring wisdom, we are instruction to acquire understanding. In the last chapter Proverbs 3:5-6 we have the lesson to trust in the Lord with all our being and to not lean on our own understanding. But here we are to lean on the understanding that comes with the wisdom of God. We are warned to not turn away from what we learn here and to not forsake wisdom for guarding the wisdom from God provides us with a guard and a watch over our ways of thinking and acting. The more highly one esteems wisdom, the more highly wisdom lifts that person. If we place the importance of God’s Wisdom that comes from His Word as a treasure in our heart we will receive honor from wisdom.
“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 if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5 (NASB)
Too often perhaps if even once, we are prone to expect to receive what we are “owed” or “due.” The faulty thought that leads to this includes the idea that we don’t need to ask to receive what we are entitled to. We speak out only when we feel disenfranchised. Continuing the lessons and promises from the book of James, we find this command is a necessary part of the believer’s prayer life. When we need wisdom we are to ask God to give it to us for God has wisdom in abundance available and He is eager to provide it for those who seek it. God intends that trials will drive those who believe to a greater dependency on Him. They show us our own insufficiency. James’ Jewish audience recognized this as the understanding and practical skill that is necessary to live life to God’s glory. It was not wisdom of philosophical speculation, but wisdom contained in the pure and peaceable absolutes of God’s will revealed in His Word and lived out. It is only this divine wisdom from God that enables believers to rejoice and be submissive in the trials and testing of our lives.
“(I) do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him..” Ephesians 1:16-17 (NASB)
We can imagine that one of the greatest blessings we might experience in the first century would be the Apostle Paul praying for us. Paul was devoted to prayer just as his Lord Jesus set the example for his apostles. These words by the are from a prayer he wrote and sent to the Christians in Ephesus. Paul says that he did “not cease giving thanks” and it became a habit to pray for the young churches and to keep praying for the believers in all cities. He requested that God would give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in order that they would grow to know God better. They were believers who knew God but like us all, they needed to continue to know God in a deeper way. This prayer is given to us in the Bible applies to our lives as well if we have believed and come to know God. We too want to know God better. We can each ask God to give us wisdom and revelation and to teach us by His Holy Spirit more and more of God’s great truths for our Christian lives each day.
18“The wicked earns deceptive wages,
but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.
19 Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
but he who pursues evil will die.
20 Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord,
but those of blameless ways are his delight.
21 Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.” – Proverbs 11:18-21 (ESV)
In the book of Proverbs are found many promises. Proverbs has a concentration of parallel lines, or antithetical parallelism. These proverbs look at the same truth from opposite perspectives. One line promises results of blessings and the other line promises the converse results of loss and even death. All the verses in Chapter 11 are such proverbs. Each one promises results from righteous living compared to results from the ways of evil living.
- Verse 18 – The efforts of the wicked deceiver do not yield the riches his deception seeks, but the righteous receive a reward from God.
- Verse 19 – Righteous living is rewarded with life and the wages of sin is death.
- Verse 20 – The abominations defined throughout Scripture and especially in Proverbs, involve attitudes and behaviors which God hates*.
- Verse 21 – Individually or in collaboration, the wicked cannot be freed from duly and just punishment, while the unassisted children of the righteous find deliverance because of their relationship with God.
God gives us here and in other passages the clear promise that wicked living has a losing result. However, righteous living is what He wants and will help us have. The wisdom is easy to see.
*What are the abominations? Proverbs 11:20; perverse living, (means crooked or distorted); Proverbs 12:22; lying; Proverbs 15:8; hypocrisy; Proverbs 15:9; wicked conduct; Proverbs 15:26; wicked thoughts; Proverbs16:5; pride; Proverbs 17:15; injustice; Proverbs 20:10, 23; dishonesty in business;
“ And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” – Luke 2:51-52 (ESV)
The Bible gives us a good amount of detail about the birth of Jesus and who witnessed the Son of God coming to earth. Angels, shepherds, VIP’s from far East, and others became aware of the birth of Jesus. However, we have very little detail of his life between His parents’ presentation of him at the temple and the beginning of his ministry thirty years later. But we have one account when Jesus was twelve years old. His parents brought him to Jerusalem for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus is not in the caravan back to Nazareth and it is discovered he is missing after the first day’s travel. Returning to Jerusalem Joseph and Mary find him in the temple with the teachers of the Law. It was logical to Jesus that He would be where He was for it was His Father’s house and He knew who He was. Other than today’s verses, nothing is said of His life until John the Baptizer announces him and Jesus is baptized by John. We know that Jesus was submissive to his parents and in favor with God and man.