“…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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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