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Proverbs 1: 7 is the verse I’m going to focus on today, in this post. I’m going to take you down a little scriptural detour or two, but if you hang with me, I promise, I’ll circle back around to the wisdom found in this passage.
I’m from West (by gosh) Virginia, and the West Virginia University football team is known as the Mountaineers. At football games, you’ll see yahoos, I mean WVU fans, wearing huge foam ears over top of their own ears, as they stand up and scream, “How ’bout them ‘EERS???” (Get it?)
So, today’s post is for him, or her, who has ears.
Our congregation has a scripture reading plan, and yesterday, we were to read Proverbs 1. In Proverbs 1:7, you find the theme of the whole book right there in these words:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
For Solomon, wisdom was where it’s at. Acquiring wisdom was to be valued above all things.
For the Christian, the beautiful thing about Jesus is that HE is described in I Corinthians 1:24 as the “wisdom of God”. So, any time you read the word “wisdom” in the Proverbs, you can substitute the thought, “Oh, that’s Jesus”, and it fits!
When I was little, I used to think that being “smart” was where it was at.
And I prayed and asked for wisdom, too, because I wanted to be wise like Solomon.
Of course, I missed the part that what Solomon actually asked for was a discerning heart. He didn’t just want to be “smart”. He wanted to be able to govern God’s people well, and to be able to discern right from wrong, in a world full of grey areas. And, the nice thing for Solomon was that God made him “smart” as well (that whole “dividing up the baby to determine who was its real mother” episode comes to mind).
So, what else does Solomon have to say about wisdom in Proverbs, Chapter 1?
In verses 20 and 21, he personifies wisdom and has her calling aloud, raising her voice, crying out and making a speech in the streets.
The world was a little short on mass media back in that day – so, no newspapers or radio or TV or internet over which Wisdom might have attempted to broadcast her message. Still, she was out in the streets, trying to reach people, even raising her voice to get their attention.
And here’s the part of her message that just grabbed my heart:
“If you had responded to my rebuke,
I would have poured out my heart to you
and made my thoughts known to you.”
If Jesus is the wisdom of God, does Jesus ever rebuke us?
You bet. Look at how he talks to some of the churches in the book of Revelation. He rebukes most of the churches mentioned there. And finishes by saying in Rev. 3:19:
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.”
And then he goes on to say, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
This is not a “salvation” verse. This is Jesus’ promise to those who respond to his rebuke with repentance. It is the same kind of promise that we see in Proverbs, Chapter 1.
Do you want Jesus to come in and eat with you? Do you want him to pour out his heart to you, and make his thoughts known to you?
Then you and I need to be willing to HEAR his rebuke. (We don’t like that very much in this age of “grace, grace, grace”, do we?) But this verse is For Him (Or Her) Who Has Ears, right? Let Him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
So, what about you.
Got your ears on, Good Buddy?
Then we need to respond to that loving rebuke, when Jesus whispers to our heart about an area where we need to repent. Because Jesus only rebukes and disciplines those He loves. And we need to repent: not for His sake. But for our own!
And then, oh then, and here’s the treasure, so don’t miss it, then he comes in and eats with us, and pours out his heart to us, and makes His thoughts known to us. Sweet fellowship!