Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Parthenon at night

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Jul 17, Pro 13-15


Today’s readings are Pro 13-15.

We see a number of words repeatedly used in these three proverbs. Instruction, discipline, and righteousness are some of those most frequently used. 

Recognizing this type of pattern or repetition can help us string these wise sayings together to detect an overall theme. There seems to be a summary of sorts in Prov 15:32-33.
"Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor." 
We all know people who hear the word of the Lord and choose to ignore it, folks who choose to disregard the wisdom found in Proverbs. Whether it be an issue of pride, stubbornness, a misguided feeling or a multitude of other possibilities, many turn their backs on wisdom and sound biblical teaching. They justify this by convincing themselves that their situation is unique. His words don't apply to them. Perhaps they believe that God didn't know what they would have to go through and will make an exception in their case. 

A really great tactic for this type of self-justification is to find a phrase or isolated verse that seems to agree with their position and use it to claim that God permits, perhaps even endorses anger, a particular sin, a lack of forgiveness or simple, outright rebellion. It's easy to ignore the full counsel of Scripture and embrace only the parts that they agree with.

Yet, the Scripture tells us that whoever ignores instruction, instead of edifying himself, despises himself. Those who embrace it become smarter. T
he fear of the Lord, that awestruck reverence for who God is and how He relates to us, actually helps us learn His wisdom. 

But, to learn His wisdom, we have to admit to ourselves that there are things we need to be taught. The humble admission that we may actually have something to learn about ourselves and about our God has to come into our lives. It has to plant itself in our hearts before we are honored with his wisdom and the fullness of His blessing. Those that believe there is nothing to be learned will continue to struggle.

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