August 9 – Choose Careful Correction

“Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” – Proverbs 9:8-9 (ESV)

A worthy saying is, “Be carful to pick your battles.” This applies to us in so many ways. Whom do we know that needs some help or instruction in how to cope with the many challenges of life? We all make mistakes due to our ignorance or lack of understanding. Thus we all need help to learn better ways to manage. Certainly there are many that might come to mind. When they do, it is a smart thing to consider who we might reprimand for their own good as well as others.  Will they receive the correction or reproof or will their reply be only to scoff and jeer? There is a danger in trying to reprove a wicked person and we might be better forgoing the effort. Yet, for those who are wise our effort to help might be appreciated and they thank us. Plus when we’re receiving such instruction from a brother or sister we can know that it will improve our life⸺if we take it to heart. Don’t we desire to be wise and righteous even when receiving correction? Such correction will only lead to our better understanding and from it we gain more wisdom.  

198

August 3 – Healing From Fear of the Lord

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:7-8 (NASB)

What are our thoughts abought those who seem overly confident in their own knowledge or wisdom? “Just another ‘know-it-all’ might be a fitting description? Perhaps they have placed a bit too much importance and confidence in their alleged expertise? Certainly we need some measure of confidence that we are capable of doing what we are called to do. Be we are never called to do it on our own resources, with our own understanding. Today we have “Another warning against self-confidence! and who needs it not? So natural is it to idolize our own devices! Yet self-wisdom is self-delusion. True wisdom is its opposite—the fear of God and the fear of sin1 God calls us in today’s verse to Fear Him. The phrase ‘fear of the Lord’ occurs 11 times in Proverbs and ‘fear the Lord’ occurs 4 times. In Psalm 19:9 we learn that “the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;” God is promising physical well-being for those who live wisely according to His will2 Humility and lowliness, abhorred by the world is blessed by our dependence on God. (Romans 12:16)

185

1 Charles Bridges, An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs, (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1865), 23.

2 John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible., (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Proverbs 3:8.

October 29 – Being Wise and Innocent

“…but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” – Romans 16:19b-20 (NASB)

The wisdom the Apostle Paul advocates in these verses is more than “knowledgeability” as one commentary puts it. It is a spiritual as well as a mental quality. Paul wants the recipients of this letter to live in such a manner that they will be equal to the task of choosing what is good in the eyes of God, and that they will be innocent and guileless about evil. They should be wise for the purpose of doing and promoting what is right, and should not get “mixed up” with anything that, in God’s sight, is wrong. God promises to exercise his sovereign will in the interest of his people! 

  • He will crush Satan. He will fulfil the promise of Genesis. 3:15. Not Satan but God is Victor.
  • He will crush him under your feet. Those who are co-heirs (Romans 8:17) are also co-conquerors. 
  • He will do so soon. In a sense it is true that God is crushing Satan right along. A most decisive victory was won on Calvary. There can be no doubt about it, though, that the present passage has reference to the final, victory of God over Satan.

195

William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, New Testament Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 12-13:512–513.

August 30 – Where Knowledge Begins


“Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.” – Proverbs 1:5 -6 (ESV)

The book of Proverbs contains many promises given to us through the wisdom sayings of Solomon and others. Almost all of the promises found in Proverbs give us instructions “do this to receive that.” They are read as divine advice from God our Father. Today our promise is this: if we wish to be wise, we will listen and hear the truth that leads to learning. This learning leads to understanding and the all-important guidance we all need even to understand these proverbs and other sayings of the wise. We note here that the wise sometimes deliver wisdom through riddles. When (if) we understand “words of insight” (Proverbs 1:2) we will be able to understand the meaning of proverbs, parables, and the riddles of the wise. The word for “riddle” means an indirect, or puzzling statement which needs explanation. It is used of Samson’s riddle (Judges 14:12–19) and of the “hard questions” the Queen of Sheba asked of Solomon (1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chronicles. 9:1). Let’s pursue this wisdom and knowledge and not despise it – for from its attainment we gain understanding of how we are to live righteously before our Lord God.

194

November 9 –Avoid Being Bone Tired

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7–8. (NASB)

The two verses before today’s selection (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB) are often most familiar in the book of Proverbs. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart….” The Proverbs of King Solomon frequently offered a word of wisdom, how to be wise in our behavior, followed by the benefits that such living brings to us. Today’s promise is written that way. The wisdom is a caution for us to not be wise in our own eyes. Many promote themselves as wise, knowledgeable, experienced; as expert at whatever they want to claim. Solomon says, “No. Do not think that way. Do not perceive yourself as wise.” This does not mean we are to think of ourselves as unwise or foolish. There is something unrighteous about thinking too highly of ourselves. Solomon commands, “Fear the LORD” (hold Him in awesome regard) and reject the temptations that are evil. Turn away from such thoughts. In return we will have healing and a healthy body. We won’t be weighed down but will experience refreshment deep to our bones. Reject self conceit and evil ways, and we will be healthy. We will not be bone tired. That’s a promise from God.

– 196 –