Through the Bible, April 19

Reading: Proverbs 1-4

Summary: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt” (1 Kings 4:29-30).  That wisdom manifested itself in, among other things, 3,000 proverbs uttered by Solomon (1 Kings 4:32).

The book of Proverbs is a collection of many of Solomon’s own proverbs, though it also includes some authored by others (see chapters 30-31).

Though it appears that the book is a hodge-podge collection of wise sayings, it’s theme is very concise:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and instruction.

(Proverbs 1:7)

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,

and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

(Proverbs 9:10)

Today’s reading will be a sampling of some of the longer proverbs found in the first nine chapters.

Devotional Thought:

How Much Do You Want It?

An eager student approached the wise, old teacher claiming to desire knowledge.  “Please teach me!” he pled.

“You are not ready to learn,” came the surprising reply.

“Oh, but I am! I am ready!” the young student responded.

“Very well, then.  Meet me in the morning on the beach,” the instructor ordered.

The following morning, eager with anticipation the young man waited on the beach as the sun crept over the horizon.  After a brief wait the old man arrived.

“Follow me.”  No greeting; only this brief directive.  With that, out into the surf he marched.  Quite surprised but anxious, the young man followed.

They waded until the water came to their waste.  He stopped. Suddenly the old man lunged at the young, seized him by the back of the neck and plunged him into the sea.  And held him.  Shortly the young man began to struggle, then to flail.  He panicked and with every bit of strength fought the teacher’s grip.  Finally, after only moments that seemed eternal, he allowed the boy to rise.

A tremendous gasp filled his aching lungs.  “What are you doing?” he screamed.

Calmly came the reply, “Only when the intensity of your desire for knowledge matches that for air just now are you ready to learn.”

“If you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Prov. 2:4-5).

How much do you want it?

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