10/05/2004

BACK TO PROVERBS

As I have been browsing many weblogs recently, one thing has hit me square in the jaw. The need for a better understanding of grace is very, very high. I find myself needing to understand how God’s grace changes my life every moment. It is no surprise that I am not alone in this. How I wish it were different.

Why can’t we remember grace? Why do we pepper nearly everything in our lives with graceless attitudes and ideas? I wish I knew the answer to that. Then I would be truly rich in Kingdom currency.

So, back to Proverbs I go. I bet you are wondering why I just said that. Here’s why:

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding,
To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity;
To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion,
A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:1-7

Did you catch it? Read it again, slowly.

The very first part of the book of Proverbs tells us why it was written. These seven verses explain the reason the book exists.

What is the book of Proverbs good for? To know wisdom and instruction. What more wise thing in this world is there than grace?

To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity. Isn’t that what we are really looking for? Righteousness comes not by our own hand, nor understanding, but through the blood of Christ.

The book of Proverbs gives both the young, and the old and wise instruction in wise counsel, knowledge, and discretion. I am seriously lacking in all these things.

To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. Hmm, ever read a parable Jesus spoke and wonder what it really meant? Maybe the answer isn’t in the parable, maybe the answer is in wisdom, and where are we going to find wisdom? Certainly not in me, so where will we go?

Read the last line. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. We are not fools, though, we who have been washed by the blood of Christ. We are full of grace, and the words of Proverbs will have their way with us, whether we realize it or not. I have read the book of Proverbs too many times to count, and each time I do, I learn far more than I can remember that I learned. Did that statement make sense? It means I learn more than I know I learned.

Some things that I have learned will show up immediately, others only when I need it. One thing is true; do not read the book of Proverbs and expect instantaneous results. We may receive some wisdom immediately, but the book is too deep for our waking minds to grasp in one take. That is why I revisit it often. That, and the promise made in the first seven verses,

There is a book called Purpose Driven Life which makes a promise that if you read it, it will change your life. That book broke its promise to me. That’s okay, it was a misguided statement, and I probably had no business holding a book to its word. The book of Proverbs , though, has fulfilled its promise, and continues to do so. You will understand the sayings of the wise, you will gain discretion, and you will see how wisdom is not knowledge, but rather everyday experience in living the right way, the way of the Lord, which is also the way of grace.

I need grace like rain every moment. Proverbs helps me remember how little I know, but how much I have been given, not just when I read Proverbs, but when I read every other book in the Bible, and when I live. It may do the same for you. Try it, and see what happens.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
i came upon your blog by accident, but i think it's a good accident, because it was encouraging to read your words, though i don't know exactly how.
I agree, proverbs is a great book to read. i try to read a chapter each day, in accordance witht the date. i find a lesson each time i read and sometimes, if it's lesson i'm in need of, it gets repeated multiple times in different ways, but i generally get the message at the end of the reading which is really cool when i eventually realise that i learned something.
anyways i am thankful for your blog, now i'll get back to work and try to be the best student i can be :)
blessings

Tom Reindl said...

Thanks, Anonymous, I'm glad you found this Blog by accident. Come back and visit anytime. Grace to you always.

Elaine said...

Tom,
Isn't great the Bible never letrs us down yet the only promises it makes are to those who will not listen.
I to found The Purpose Driven Life, not what it is cracked up to be. Tom we already have a purpose, no book or person can change that or improve on that. No we are not perfict but we already know where our destiney lies, in Christ Jesus. Many people still go atound wondering what is the meaning to life.... the answer, It's not about you babe, it's not about me, It's always been about Him.
Just a word to the wise, people don't like it when you say you don't like this book, and you know me I don't keep such things to myself.
Anyway I love the Proverbs..have you ever tried reading them with a differen't Bible like The Message Remix?
If not try it, but only one a day.
Love in Him

Tom Reindl said...

Elaine,

Yeah, I found out people don't like it when we say the Purpose Driven Life was a broken promise. But you know what? You get it! The truth has to be told. I even remember you mentioning how you felt about it in front of the group that one Thursday, and I "experienced" the silence. It was like everyone just gasped!! You know what, good for you!! I have the Message on my computer. I'll check Proverbs out. thanks.

Technidiva said...

Hi Tom!

I love Proverbs! Raising a teenager has made me go back to it time and time again to help her (and myself) get some perspective on whats going on in this crazy world. If I can wrangle a free ten minutes from her each day, I would love to sit down and go through proverbs. As it is, we search through it according to what ever issue we are having. Last night it was on Self Control..go figure!

A couple of comments about PDL books. I bought it and never finished reading it. I think I am on the same page as you. I do find that this is a helpful book for those people just starting to seek in their life what it means to have grace and to live by the Lord.

I think thats why I go through so many Christian related blogs these days, to get into the deeper discussions and to try to understand the different interpretations!

His,
Trish

Tom Reindl said...

Trish,

Are there people in your church who like to get into deeper discussions as well? I know for me, it's hard to find anyone. That kind of speaks more to me of how we are made according to a certain bent. I'm here anytime you want to discuss the deeper issues.

I'll share what I know, but I tend to pull back from some things people have called revelations, because I am not always sure these "revelations" are truth. I tend to like to test what I learn, to make sure I am not misleading anyone before I spill it over. I hope that doesn't anger God, with me seeming like I am controlling it. That's not how it feels to me, I just want to make sure I mislead no one. I love learning, Trish.