The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 18:11-20 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination. Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor. He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him. The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But as for a broken spirit who can bear it? The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. A man’s gift makes room for him And brings him before great men. The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him. The cast lot puts an end to strife And decides between the mighty ones. A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel. With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips.
Sitting in the breakroom on a typical workday is an eye opening, and often frustrating experience. Talk of sports, hobbies, entertainment, politics, and workplace complaints dominates the discussion. “What satisfies me, or tickles my fancy right now” seems to be the mantra that most people live by. The only thoughts given to the future, seem to revolve around things like: “ Where will I spend my retirement? How much money will I have at my disposal? What things can I accumulate to spend my time on? “, and so on.
There is no discussion of life after death. There is no thought about eternity. There is no care or concern for souls, theirs or their “loved ones”. There is only seeking after that which satisfies my stomach in the here and now, and that which will satisfy my stomach in the future. There is an acquiring of things to satisfy stomachs, not an acquiring of knowledge. This very common perspective on life is not how the Proverb describes a person who could be said to be prudent. “The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge”. A prudent person acts with or shows care and thought for, the future. A prudent person is said to be wise, sensible, or shrewd. With Christ as LORD over all, and the wrath of God abiding on those who walk in darkness and are condemned already, the only prudent course in life would be to acquire an understanding of how one might be saved from the wrath to come and how one should live having been saved by the grace of God. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. But alas, those who are walking in darkness love their sin, they love to have their carnal minds and appetites satisfied by the things of this life here and now. They have no real concern for the future. There is no fear of God before their eyes. The message of the cross is foolishness to them. This knowledge gets in their way, like a stumbling block.
You know people like this. Perhaps you have tried sharing the gospel with them, perhaps you have sought to paint a more realistic picture of the future for them, and yet they persist in their folly. Pray for them. Continue to answer the fool according to their folly lest they be wise in their own eyes. Contrast the foolishness of pursuing carnal lusts with the pursuit of the knowledge of the Holy One. Pray that God would grant them eyes to see and ears to hear, and that they would fear the LORD.
Perhaps this foolishness is something you engage in. Pursuing this or that activity without a thought to God’s will. Wasting time in the here and now, without a thought to the future, as one who is prudent. Planning things down the road without considering the eternal ramifications. Filling your mind with things that have no eternal significance, rather than pursuing knowledge of Christ. I know for me, often times in my desire to find rest or peace, I will engage in mindless entertainment, to “ help take my mind off things”. Is this prudent? Should my mind not instead be set on the things above? Should it not instead be searching the scriptures, remembering that it is through Christ that we have peace, not through the latest movie, not the trending videos online, not the newest release from my favorite author. Acquiring a knowledge of Christ is prudent. Let us pray how we have failed to sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts by pursuing after things that will turn back to dust, rather than pursuing after the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, Please be merciful to us sinners. We are men, women, boys, and girls, of dust. Please O LORD, remember our frames, that we are weak and feeble. Father, please help us in our pathetic state. You have caused us to be born again, illuminated our minds, yet so often we forget Your beauty, we forget how it is You who satisfies our souls, we forget that You are our peace, and You Who directs our steps and holds our future, so we seek to satisfy ourselves and secure that future by carnal means. Lord, we are sinful. It is amazing how Wonderful You are, to save people like us, then we turn around and chase after worldly pursuits rather than a greater knowledge of You. Heavenly Father, please grant us repentant hearts that we might seek to know You with greater fervency, and Lord, please give us clean hearts, steadfast spirits, and minds set on the things above, so that we might not forget that it is You that provides, satisfies, and sustains us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Malachi 4:2-3 But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the Lord of hosts.
Lift up your hearts!!!!