The Journey of Wisdom: When the Wisdom of God Sits Upon the Throne of Men

Today’s selected reading begins in the Old Testament poetic book of Proverbs which was written by Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first three chapters of this Old Testament book. TO KNOW WISDOM AND INSTRUCTION! TO PERCEIVE THE WORDS OF UNDERSTANDING! TO RECEIVE THE INSTRUCTION OF WISDOM, JUSTICE, AND JUDGMENT, AND EQUITY! TO GIVE SUBTILTY TO THE SIMPLE! TO THE YOUNG MAN KNOWLEDGE AND DISCRETION! THE PURPOSE OF THE PROVERBS! “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and HEman, and Chalcol ,and Darna, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom” (1 Kings 4:29-34). “So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart” (1 Kings 10:23-24). “And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the low plains in abundance. And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands” (2 Chronicles 9-22-28). A FATHER’S INSTRUCTION! SPEAKING TRUTH TO THE SON! SPEAKING WISDOM TO THE NEXT GENERATION! INSTRUCTING THE NEXT GENERATION! WHEN FATHERS TEACH SONS! WHEN SONS LEARN FROM FATHERS! “My son” (THREE TIMES USED IN THE FIRST CHAPTER, ONCE IN THE SECOND CHAPTER, THREE TIMES IN THE THIRD CHAPTER). THE VOICE OF WISDOM! THE CRY OF WISDOM! WISDOM CRIES OUT! TUNING YOUR EARS TO WISDOM’S CRY! THE INVITATION OF WISDOM! THE CRY OF WISDOM! THE PROMISE OF WISDOM! THE WARNING OF WISDOM! THE PURSUIT OF WISDOM! THE PURSUIT OF WISDOM AND THE PROMISE OF FINDING WISDOM! THE PROTECTION OF WIDSOM!

THE PURPOSE OF WISDOM (PROVERBS 1:1-6, THE INVITATION OF WISDOM (PROVERBS 1:20-23) THE REJECTION OF WISDOM (PROVERBS 1:24-33). THE PURSUIT OF WISDOM (PROVERBS 2:1-4, 3:1-4) THE PROTECTION OF WISDOM (PROVERBS 2:5-22, 3:21-26) THE PROMISE OF WISDOM (PROVERBS 3:13-20). THE PRODUCT OF WISDOM (PROVERBS 3:5-12, 3:27-35) WISDOM & THE WAYWARD WOMAN (PROVERBS 2:16-19) WISDOM & THE WICKED (PROVERBS 1:10-19) When you come to the Old Testament book of the Proverbs you will find the third of five poetic books which are found within the Old Testament Scripture. The Old Testament poetic book of Proverbs is actually quite captivating and intriguing when you take the time to think about it—particularly and especially when you consider it in light of who the author of this book was. Right from the very beginning and opening verse of this book we learn and discover the author of the book was Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. In the opening verse of this chapter we find that it was Solomon the son of David, king of Israel who wrote each and every wise saying and proverb that is found and contained within this book, and this reality is further expressed and explained when you consider what is written concerning Solomon in the fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings, as well as the words which are found in the ninth chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles. If and as you come to these two portions of Scripture you will not only encounter the tremendous truth of the wisdom which the LORD gave unto Solomon, but you will also encounter the manifestation and fruit of that wisdom. Scripture made it very clear that not only did the LORD give Solomon a wise and discerning heart to rule and govern the people of God, but the LORD also gave Solomon wisdom that far surpassed the wisdom of any of his contemporaries, and any of those who were before and would come after him. The words which we find in these two passages of Scripture help us to highlight and underscore just what the wisdom of Solomon looked like—beyond simply his ability to rule and govern the people of God. Consider if you will the words which are found within these two passages concerning the wisdom which the LORD gave unto Solomon and the manifestation of that wisdom in the midst of the people of God, as well as among the nations of the earth:

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darna, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom” (1 Kings 4:29-34).

“And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart” (2 Chronicles 9:23).

It is necessary to at least have a high level overview of these two passages of Scripture, for before we delve into the Old Testament book of Proverbs which is a compilation and collection of proverbs which Solomon wrote, it is necessary to consider the attractiveness of that wisdom. When we speak of the wisdom of Solomon it is not only necessary to consider the fact that the LORD granted unto Solomon a wise and discerning heart, but we must also recognize and understand that that wisdom was both attractive and appealing—not only to all the people within Israel, but also the kings of the nations round about the nation and kingdom of Israel. Scripture made it very clear how the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, and how she had to make the journey unto the nation and kingdom of Israel that she might prove Solomon’s wisdom with hard questions. Scripture makes it very clear that all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon in order that they might hear the wisdom which the LORD had put within his heart. We must recognize and understand this truly astonishing reality, for when Solomon asked for wisdom—when he asked for a wise and discerning heart—I would imagine he didn’t expect the LORD to impart unto him the degree, the level and the measure of wisdom he received. What’s more, is that I would dare say that Solomon did not expect, nor did he anticipate the wisdom which the LORD gave him to be as attractive and appealing as it was—not only within the nation and kingdom of Israel itself, but also among the nations of the earth. In the Old Testament book of First Kings we find that there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, as well as from all the kings of the earth. All the people of the earth, as well as the kings of the earth came unto Solomon to hear the wisdom the LORD had given him, but what is important to note is that they all came after and upon hearing of his wisdom. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for not only was the wisdom which Solomon possessed within his heart and mind attractive to those among the nations and peoples of the earth, but word spread concerning that wisdom as the people and kings from the nations of the earth would hear of the wisdom of Solomon. Oh I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that news and fame concerning Solomon’s wisdom would have spread throughout the nations of the earth, and when men and women heard of that wisdom they engaged themselves in a journey—a journey to come unto the nation and kingdom of Israel that they might hear the wisdom of Solomon.

A JOURNEY OF WISDOM! A JOURNEY FOR WISDOM! Scripture makes it very clear that there came out of all the people of the earth, as well as the kings of the earth to hear the wisdom which the LORD had placed within the heart of Solomon the son of David and king of Israel. One such individual who made quite the incredibly and lengthy journey to come hear and see the wisdom of Solomon was the Queen of Sheba. Most scholars and historians seem to put Sheba in what is the modern day nation of Yemen on the Arabian peninsula directly below Saudi Arabia. If you examine the distance between modern day Yemen and the city of Jerusalem you will find that it is just slightly over six-hundred and eighty-three miles. Stop for a moment and think about what it would have been like to travel more than six-hundred and eighty-three miles during the biblical days of Solomon—before cars, before trains, before airplanes, and the like. Think about what such a journey would have been like for this Queen of Sheba to journey just under seven-hundred miles—not only because she heard of the wisdom and fame of Solomon, but also that she might hear that wisdom and test it for herself. The reason I seek to draw and call your attention to this journey of the Queen of Sheba is because we are given an indication of where her journey brought her from, and quite possibly even how far that journey truly was. With an understanding of the great journey which the Queen of Sheba took to come and hear the wisdom of Solomon for herself, we can only imagine the journeys which the kings of the earth made that they might hear the wisdom of Solomon. We don’t know from what nations of the earth the kings came from that they might hear the wisdom of Solomon, however, we do know from Scripture that all the kings of the earth came unto Jerusalem for to hear the wisdom which the LORD had placed within Solomon’s heart. What’s more, is that Scripture doesn’t merely point to the fact that the kings of the earth came to hear the wisdom which the LORD placed within the heart of Solomon, but there also came out of all the nations of the earth and from all peoples those who sought to hear this wisdom of Solomon. Oh, I can’t help but think about and wonder concerning the great journey men and women took to come unto the city of Jerusalem, and to come unto Solomon that they might hear the wisdom the LORD had given him. Stop for a moment and think about this tremendous journey of wisdom, and this tremendous journey for wisdom which men and women would take, as they would leave their homes, their cities, their towns, their villages, and their nations that they might come unto Jerusalem to listen to the wisdom given unto Solomon king of Israel.

Scripture makes it quite clear that there came out of all the peoples of the earth those who desired to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and how all the kings of the earth came to hear this wisdom which the LORD had placed within the heart of Solomon. What makes this so incredibly intriguing is when you think about the fact that Solomon has long been dead and buried within the earth, and men and women don’t physically make the journey unto the city of Jerusalem to hear the wisdom the LORD had given him, however, what we do find is that through the Old Testament book of Proverbs men and women still come unto the wisdom of Solomon—the wisdom which the LORD had given unto him, and which the LORD had placed within his heart. The kings of the earth, and men and women from among the peoples of the earth no longer come unto the city of Jerusalem in Israel for to hear the wisdom which the LORD had placed within Solomon’s heart, however, through the Old Testament book of Proverbs, as well as the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes we find this wisdom before us in the canon of Scripture. Scripture makes it perfectly and abundantly clear that Solomon wrote three thousand proverbs, as well as wrote one-thousand and five songs. While David Solomon’s father wrote psalms which are found within the Old Testament book of Psalms, Solomon would write proverbs, which were wise sayings and teachings meant to provide instruction to those who were willing to hear and listen to them. What’s more, is that those proverbs were written and recorded, and are presented unto us within the Old Testament book of Proverbs. I can’t help but think about the absolutely tremendous reality that the Old Testament book of Proverbs is a divine invitation of the LORD to make and take our own journey unto and before the wisdom of Solomon—wisdom which did not originate within himself, but wisdom which originated within the heart and mind of the LORD, and wisdom which the LORD gave unto Solomon. In all reality, we must understand that the wisdom which the kings of the earth, and the wisdom which men and women from all the nations of the earth came to hear and listen to was not the wisdom of Solomon alone, but rather the wisdom of the living and eternal God. We dare not and must not allow ourselves to get caught up in the fact that the wisdom which men and women, as well as the kings of the earth came to hear was merely the wisdom of a man, for it was not merely the wisdom of a man which they came to hear, but it was the wisdom of God they came to hear.

THE WISDOM OF GOD BEHIND THE WISDOM OF MEN! THE WISDOM OF GOD WITHIN THE WISDOM OF MEN! As I sit here today I can’t help but think about the absolutely remarkable and astonishing reality that the wisdom which the LORD had imparted and placed within the heart of Solomon wasn’t merely his own natural wisdom, but it was the very wisdom of the living God. In all reality, we might very well say that the LORD imparted unto and within Solomon a part of Himself, and a part of His own divine nature, as the wisdom which Solomon would possess was not an earthly or natural wisdom, but was a wisdom from heaven itself. The wisdom which was so attractive to the kings of the earth, and which was so appealing to all those from the nations and peoples of the earth was not the wisdom of a single man, but was the wisdom of a divine being far beyond and far greater than any single king within and upon the earth—even the king who sat upon the throne of David. WHEN THE WISDOM OF GOD SITS UPON THE THRONE OF DAVID! WHEN THE WISDOM OF HEAVEN GOES FORTH FROM THE THRONE OF DAVID! It’s actually quite astonishing and remarkable to think about and consider the fact that the wisdom of heaven would go forth from the throne of David, and the very wisdom of God would be found within and upon the throne of David. It is truly something worth looking at and examining when you think about the fact that the throne of David would be established during the days of David, and yet during the days of Solomon the son of David we find the wisdom of Almighty God going forth from that throne. During the days of Solomon king of Israel the wisdom of heaven would be heard proceeding forth from that throne, and the wisdom of heaven would be heard of all the kings of the earth from the throne of David. How intriguing it is to think about and consider the fact that the wisdom of Solomon—the divine wisdom of the Almighty God in the heaven of heavens—would attract men and women from the nations of the earth that they might hear the divine wisdom of the living and eternal God. Solomon son of David would sit upon the throne of David—the throne of his father—in the city of Jerusalem, and the wisdom which the LORD had given unto him and placed within his heart would go forth from that throne, and would go forth among the nations of the earth. I can’t help but wonder if all those who made the journey unto Jerusalem, and unto the throne of David upon which Solomon king of Israel sat to hear and listen to his wisdom did not take the wisdom which they heard from his lips and from his mouth and bring it back unto their own nations, their own lands, their own cities, their own towns, etc.

THE JOURNEY OF WISDOM! BRINGING WISDOM BACK! I sit here today and I can’t help but think about and wonder at the fact that there come of all the people of the earth for to hear the wisdom which the LORD had placed within the heart of Solomon, and all the kings of the earth came unto Jerusalem for to hear that same wisdom, and with that being said I get the strong feeling that there were a great deal of them who didn’t merely come to hear and listen to the wisdom of Solomon, but who actually took the wisdom they heard back to their homes and spoke it among their families, among their friends, and the like. I do not believe for one moment that all the kings of the earth merely came unto Solomon to hear the wisdom which the LORD had placed within his heart, but rather a great many of them heard the wisdom which Solomon had spoke unto them in their presence, and brought that wisdom—perhaps even those wise sayings—back to their nations and kingdoms, and might have even spoken it in the presence of others. Perhaps some of the kings of the earth—after hearing the wisdom which the LORD had given Solomon—took that wisdom, and took those wise sayings which they heard from him and used it to govern the people which they were given authority over. Is it possible that not only did the kings of the earth take the wisdom and wise sayings which the LORD had given unto Solomon back to their own nations and kingdoms that they might better and more effectively rule and govern, but also all those who came from the peoples of the earth to hear the wisdom the LORD had given unto Solomon took the wisdom they heard and brought it into their homes. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that it was not only possible that the kings of the earth would come unto the throne of David to hear the wisdom of God as manifested within and through Solomon, and bring that wisdom back to their own nations and kingdoms, but all those from the peoples of the earth heard the wisdom of Solomon and took that wisdom back unto their homes. I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that the wisdom which the LORD had given unto Solomon not only went forth and flowed from the throne of David, but that wisdom also made its way into the homes of countless homes and families among the peoples of the earth, and might have even found its way into nations and kingdoms. I can’t help but wonder—and perhaps even get the strong sense—that the wisdom which the LORD had given unto Solomon went forth from the throne of David, and the wisdom which went forth from that throne would directly impact thrones within and among the nations and kingdoms of the earth. We dare not and must not think that something like this is somehow too far beyond the living and eternal God, for I am convinced that it I s just like the LORD to allow His wisdom to rule, to govern and to go forth from the throne of David, and to bring the kings of the earth, and the peoples from the surrounding nations, kingdoms and lands unto that wisdom that they might hear it—and not only hear it, but might also take it with them that it might govern their lives, and might even help govern nations and kingdoms.

The more I think about, and the more I consider the tremendous journey the kings of the earth would make to hear and listen to the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the journey all those from the peoples of the earth would make to hear the wisdom of Solomon, the more I come face to face with the fact that we don’t have to travel over land, nor do we have to travel countless miles to hear the wisdom the LORD gave unto Solomon. We don’t need to make an incredible and lengthy journey to come before the wisdom of heaven which went forth from the throne of David in the midst of the city of Jerusalem, for that wisdom which the LORD had given unto Solomon is before us within the Old Testament book of Proverbs. This is perhaps what is so incredibly powerful about the statement made concerning Solomon writing three thousand proverbs, for there is not a doubt in my mind that most—if not all of those proverbs are found before us within this Old Testament book. PSALMS, PROVERBS & PARABLES! It’s actually quite interesting to think about the fact that David king of Israel was known for the psalms he wrote before the LORD, Solomon the son of David and king of Israel was known for the proverbs he wrote, and Jesus the Son of David was known for the parables He spoke unto those who were present during the three and a half years of His public ministry upon the earth. In the Old Testament book of Psalms we find the psalms of David; in the Old Testament book of Proverbs we find the proverbs of Solomon; and in the four gospel narratives of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ we find the parables of Jesus. How absolutely remarkable and astounding it is to think about the fact that with three kings—two earthly kings, and one eternal and heavenly king—we find psalms, proverbs and parables which not only bring us face to face with worship, but also with wisdom. THE WORSHIP AND WISDOM OF KINGS! Within these three kings we encounter both the worship and wisdom of heaven, for there is not a doubt in my mind that the divine and eternal Spirit of Almighty God breathed upon the psalms which David wrote, and upon the proverbs which Solomon wrote. What’s more, is that there is not a doubt in my mind that the parables which Jesus Himself spoke was a truly wonderful and powerful manifestation and expression of the wisdom of heaven—wisdom which was wrapped up and contained within mysteries of the kingdom of heaven which was being manifested among men. Oh what a tremendous study it would be to study the psalms of David, the proverbs of Solomon and the parables of Jesus, and to allow our lives to be truly governed by the worship and wisdom of heaven.

With all of this being said, I feel it absolutely necessary to now delve into the Old Testament book of Proverbs which is before us—and specifically these opening chapters of the book. There is not a doubt in my mind that the opening chapters of the Old Testament book of Proverbs—more specifically chapters one through eight—are the foundation of the book and that which the entire book is built upon. As you read this Old Testament poetic book you will encounter and come face to face with the fact that the structure and layout of the first eight chapters are quite different from the rest of the book, as chapters nine through the end of the book are a collection and compilation of wise sayings and proverbs which Solomon king of Israel spoke and wrote. We can find these wise sayings in some of these earlier chapters, however, I am convinced that the opening chapters of this Old Testament book stand and serve as the foundation upon which the entire book is built. In other words, we cannot seek to understand the book of Proverbs without first understanding the words contained in these chapters. Even more than this, I firmly believe that the words which we find in the first six verses of the opening chapter of the book of Proverbs highlight and underscore the purpose of the Proverbs and help us to understand what Solomon was seeking to accomplish through these writings and wise sayings. You cannot truly hope to understand the nature and purpose of the book of Proverbs without first focusing on and paying attention to these verses, for these verses serve as the true and ultimate foundation of this book. It is within these verses we come face to face with that which the book of the Proverbs was meant and intended on accomplishing. If you are going to read the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Proverbs it is first necessary and important to encounter and come face to face with what should be the fruit and the byproduct of your reading—and not only reading, but also understanding the words and wise sayings which are found and contained therein. The book of Proverbs is not simply to be read for enjoyment, for delight, and for pleasure reading, but should be read with a very specific purpose and intention. The Old Testament book of Proverbs has a very specific purpose, a very specific role and function which is highlighted and underscored at the very outset of the book, and we would be incredibly wise to recognize and consider this before even engaging in reading the rest of the book. Moreover, I would dare say that if you are unwilling to come to terms with the words found and contained within the first six verses of the first chapter of this Old Testament book of Proverbs, you might very well find it incredibly difficult—not only to understand the rest of the book, but also might find yourself being short-changed concerning what this book should produce and accomplish within your life. With that in mind, consider the following words which are found within the first six verses of the first chapter of this Old Testament book:

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; to know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; to give subtilty to the simple, to the young man’s knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings” (Proverbs 1:1-6).

TO KNOW WISDOM AND INSTRUCTION! TO PERCEIVE THE WORDS OF UNDERSTANDING! TO RECEIVE THE INSTRUCTION OF WISDOM, JUSTICE, AND JUDGMENT, AND EQUITY! TO GIVE SUBTILTY TO THE SIMPLE, TO THE YOUNG MAN KNOWLEDGE AND DISCRETION! HEAR, AND WILL INCREASE LEARNING! ATTAIN UNTO WISE COUNSELS! TO UNDERSTAND A PROVERB, AND THE INTERPRETATION! THE WORDS OF THE WISE, AND THEIR DARK SAYINGS! While there is a lot contained within this particular set of verses, there is something found within the sixth verse which I feel is absolutely necessary and imperative when reading the Old Testament book of the Proverbs—namely, when you read about understanding a proverb, and the interpretation. I am convinced that the Old Testament book of Proverbs is more than simply wise sayings and proverbs, but there are also interpretations and understanding beyond the proverbs themselves. In the New Testament gospel narratives of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ we find Jesus speaking in parables, and the parables were designed to speak concerning the kingdom of heaven, and yet beyond the surface level of the parable there was also an understanding and interpretation of the parable(s) which Jesus taught and spoke. There were even certain times when Jesus would reveal the meaning and interpretation of the parable unto His disciples when they were in private that they might understand the kingdom of heaven and its manifestation within and upon the earth. It is with this particular thought in mind that I feel when we read the book of the Proverbs we need to do more than simply read the wise sayings and words which Solomon king of Israel wrote within the psalms, but we must also come and appear before the LORD in prayer and worship and seek the interpretation of the proverbs themselves. We know and understand from the opening verses of the book of Proverbs that they were written that we might know wisdom and instruction, that we might perceive the words of understanding, and that we might receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity, however, we also learn that these proverbs are intended to give subtilty to the simple, and to the young men knowledge and discretion. With that being said, however, I am convinced that it is absolutely necessary that beyond simply reading the proverbs of Solomon we need to truly seek the interpretation and understanding of the proverbs themselves. It would be very easy to simply read the proverbs which Solomon wrote and consider them as being wise sayings and words of wisdom from the heart, mind and mouth of Solomon, and yet there is an interpretation behind each proverb which Solomon wrote. What’s more, is that the more you read the Old Testament book of Proverbs the more you will find that there are a great deal of proverbs which help interpret and unlock others. There are a number of proverbs which point to and reveal the same truth as Solomon essentially said the same thing, yet in a completely different way.

We dare not, we cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this particular reality and truth, for when reading the book of Proverbs you will not only discover that there is an interpretation for the proverbs themselves, but the proverbs of Solomon also help unlock themselves. There are proverbs found and contained within this book that can be used to unlock and release understanding of other proverbs as they all present the same truth and same message. One thing you must recognize concerning the Old Testament book of the Proverbs is there are a number of proverbs that are directly linked and closely connected to each other, and help paint a true and clear picture of the wisdom we need to understand. If you are going to read the Old Testament book of Proverbs—not only do you need to understand the purpose and function behind the book itself, but you also need to understand and seek the understanding and interpretation of the proverbs which are before us. The more you read and the more you seek to understand the proverbs, the more you will find and discover that the proverbs interpret and help interpret themselves, and that there are countless proverbs that form a beautiful and powerful picture of the wisdom of heaven, and present you with a message that can and will help govern your life. The proverbs which are found within this Old Testament book are more than simply wise sayings, for there is an interpretation behind the proverbs—an interpretation which helps us to truly understand the wisdom of heaven. With that being said, we must understand that the proverbs themselves bring us face to face with the wisdom which the LORD gave Solomon, however, we must come before the throne of the living God and seek the understanding, the meaning, and the interpretation behind the proverb itself. We must do more than simply read the proverbs as a part of a daily routine, or as part of a daily devotion, for we must actually take the time to see the interpretation of the proverb itself that we must truly understand the wisdom of heaven. I firmly believe the proverbs themselves are merely one half of the picture, for there is first the proverb, and then there is the interpretation.

This reality is seen perfectly and vividly in the parables of Jesus, for the parables themselves were surface level teachings, and surface level stories concerning the kingdom of heaven, and yet there was a deeper mystery, a deeper truth, a deeper understanding, a deeper interpretation of the parables themselves which must be understood and recognized. There is a reason why Jesus repeatedly said “let him who hath an ear, hear what the Spirit is speaking.” There is a great need to hear what the Spirit is speaking when reading the Old Testament book of Proverbs, for there is more than simply the proverb itself, but there is also the interpretation of the proverb. Jesus repeatedly spoke unto the crowds and masses in parables, and yet when he was in private with his disciples He oftentimes revealed the meaning behind and interpretation of the parable itself. Oh, I am absolutely convinced that there is a great need to do a study on the psalms, the proverbs and the parables, and to truly come before the wisdom and worship of heaven that we might allow our lives to be governed by something that is so much greater and so much higher than ourselves. With that being said, we must recognize and understand that the proverbs themselves are more than simply devotional material, and chapters we read to fulfill our devotional for the day. The proverbs contained wisdom, instruction, understanding, knowledge, and discretion, and are necessary for us to allow our lives to be governed by the very wisdom of heaven. GOVERNED BY THE WISDOM OF HEAVEN! Stop for a moment and ask yourself whether or not your life is truly governed by the wisdom of heaven. If you are truly honest with yourself and with the LORD, is your life, and has your life been governed by the wisdom of heaven? Are the words which you speak governed by and founded upon the wisdom of heaven? Are your actions and your behaviors governed by the wisdom of heaven? Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—there is a great and powerful need within our hearts and lives to be governed by the wisdom of heaven, and to allow every part of our lives to be governed by that wisdom. There is not a doubt in my mind that we have a truly tremendous and wonderful need to allow our lives to be governed by the wisdom of heaven, and that we would live our lives by the wisdom that is contained within the proverbs of Solomon, as well as the parables of Jesus. The psalms of David, the proverbs of Solomon and the parables of Jesus help form a beautiful and powerful portrait of a life that is truly governed by the LORD in absolutely ever area and every facet of its existence. We must read the Old Testament book of the Proverbs and truly encounter the wisdom of heaven, and in the midst of, and in the face of that wisdom we need to allow every area of our lives to be governed by that wisdom.

With that being said, it’s necessary that we read these opening chapters of the Old Testament book of Proverbs and encounter the various different elements which are found and contained therein. Having encountered the purpose of wisdom found within the first six verses of the opening chapter of the book it is necessary to recognize and understand that there is a purpose for the Old Testament book of Proverbs, but there is also so much more that surrounds this book. We come face to face with the purpose of wisdom when we read the opening verses of the first chapter, and yet when you continue reading the first chapter you will encounter two distinct invitations, and two distinct voices. In verses eight through nineteen of the first and opening chapter of this book you will encounter the invitation and voice of the wicked, while in verses twenty through twenty-three you will encounter a different voice, and a different invitation, which is the voice and invitation of wisdom. In all reality, if you read the Old Testament book of Proverbs you must recognize that it is essentially a treatise on two competing voices and two competing invitations within our lives in the generation in which we live. There is the invitation and voice of the wicked that will attempt to entice you, and will attempt to lure you into its destructive patterns, habits, behaviors and ways of thinking, but there is a different voice and a different invitation that draws and calls you into something completely and utterly different—something that needs to completely and utterly govern your life. Before you exit the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Proverbs you will encounter the voice of the wicked and the voice of wisdom, and you will have to choose which voice you will listen to. What’s more, is you will hear and see the invitation of the wicked, as well as the invitation of wisdom, and you will need to make a decision which one you will listen to. Consider if you will the invitation and voice of the wicked followed by the voice and invitation of wisdom as it is presented in this particular chapter in verses eight through twenty-three:

“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof” (Proverbs 1:8-19).

“Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, how long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pout out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you” (Proverbs 1:20-23).

It is quite clear from the words which are found within these two chapters that there are essentially two competing voices and two competing invitations which vie for our attention and vie for our response. You cannot read these two passages of Scripture and not come to the end of the twenty-third verse and find yourself needing to make a choice and decision which voice you are going to listen to, and which voice we are going to follow. There is in this generation two distinct and two different voices which are vying for our attention, and which are vying for our commitment, and we have a great need to make a choice and decision which one we are going to listen to. This is something that is seen again and again throughout Scripture as Moses the servant of the LORD called the children of Israel into a place of choosing between life and death, while Joshua called the children of Israel to choose between serving the LORD or serving the false gods of the nations within and round about the land of Canaan. Elijah called the children of Israel to choose between serving the LORD who was and is the true God, or Baal the false god which was served by Jezebel, Ahab and countless others during those days. It is with this in mind when we read the first and opening chapter of the book of Proverbs and once more see this concept of choice being found within the hearts and minds of men and women. Within the first and opening chapter of the book of Proverbs we encounter two distinct invitations and two distinct voices, and the ultimate choice and decision that needs to be made between the two. What is truly tragic, however, is that when you read verses twenty-four through thirty-three of the first chapter you will encounter those who did in fact reject the voice and call of wisdom. The final verses of the first and opening chapter of the book of Proverbs is tremendously tragic in its nature, as the words which are found and contained there bring us face to face with those who heard the voice, those who heard the call, those who heard the invitation of wisdom, and yet they chose to ignore, despise and reject this invitation. The words which are found within this passage of Scripture must be carefully understood within our own hearts and lives, for it brings us face to face with danger that surrounds ignoring and rejecting the voice and invitation of worship. Not only this, but the words which we find here also highlight and underscore the tragic result that faces those who choose to reject the voice of wisdom crying out. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning to read with and from the twenty-fourth verse:

“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretch out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall eek me early, but they shall not find me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD; They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:24-33).

These words bring us to the place where we recognize and understand the rejection of wisdom—and not only the rejection of wisdom, but also the rejection of the invitation, the call and the voice of wisdom. Upon reading the Old Testament book of Proverbs it is worth noting and pointing out this competition of voices and invitations, as wisdom and wickedness can and will compete for your heart, for your affection, for your attention, for your focus, and for your time and energy. We dare not be naïve and try to kid ourselves that wisdom and wickedness aren’t both crying out in the streets, aren’t both crying out through our televisions sets, aren’t both crying out through our tablets and mobile devices, aren’t both crying out through our computers and laptops screens, and aren’t both crying out in the streets of our cities. We must not allow ourselves to be naïve into somehow thinking and believing that wisdom and wickedness aren’t competing voices present in the midst of our culture, in the midst of our society, and in the midst of our generation. We dare not be deceived into thinking and even believing that we aren’t brought into a place of decision and a place of choice in our culture and society, and are being asked to choose which voice and which invitation we are going to listen to and respond to. It is with this in mind that we must also recognize and understand that in the opening verses of both the second and third chapters of this Old Testament book there is a pursuit of wisdom—there is a commitment and devotion to wisdom, and to seek it out with every fiber of our being. There is a tremendous reality that is found within these two passages of Scripture that call and draw our attention to the pursuit of wisdom, which is something we have great need of. I am convinced that it’s not only necessary to hear the call and invitation of wisdom, but there is also a great need to hear that call and invitation, and to respond to it with a diligent and fervent pursuit of wisdom itself. There is not a doubt in my mind that there are those who will hear the call and invitation of wisdom, and upon hearing that call and cry of wisdom can and will respond to it with a passionate pursuit to find wisdom, and to bind it within their hearts, within their souls, within their minds, within their spirits. Consider if you will the following words which are found within each of these passages located at the beginning of the second and third chapters:

“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou sleekest her as silver, and searches for her as for hid treasures” (Proverbs 2:1-4).

“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: Bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: so shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:1-4).

As you continue reading the Old Testament book of the Proverbs you will not only notice the pursuit of wisdom as Solomon instructed and invited his son to pursue wisdom with everything inside of him, but you will also find that there is not only the protection of wisdom as a result, but there is also the promise of wisdom and the product of wisdom. Within these opening chapters we encounter and come face to face with the call and invitation of wisdom, and we encounter those who reject the voice of wisdom, but also those who hear and heed this call and voice of wisdom within their hearts and lives. What I so love and appreciate about the Old Testament book of Proverbs is that Solomon doesn’t merely speak of the pursuit of wisdom, but he also takes the time to write and speak about the great promises, the great blessings, the great fruit that comes as a result of pursuing wisdom within one’s heart and life. Perhaps the single greatest question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are pursuing wisdom within our hearts and within our lives, and whether or not there is a passionate pursuit of wisdom found within our lives. Are you one who passionately pursues wisdom, and are as committed and dedicated to wisdom as those who would travel over land—perhaps even over sea—in order that they might hear the wisdom which the LORD had given unto Solomon? What’s more, is are you one who will not only passionately pursue wisdom with your whole heart, but will you also take that wisdom and heed to it within your life? Are you, and will you be one who hears the wisdom of heaven and the wisdom of God and apply it to your life? Are you one who will hear the call and invitation of worship and will passionately pursue wisdom with your heart, with your soul, with your strength, with your spirit, with your mind? I am convinced that during the days of Solomon wisdom was crying out from Jerusalem, and wisdom was crying out from the throne of David, and there were those—even kings of the earth—who would hear the cry, would follow that cry to the source of it, and came face to face with the wisdom which the LORD had given unto Solomon. Oh, there was a cry that was shed forth from the midst of Jerusalem, and wisdom was crying out from within and upon the throne of David, yet we must understand that it was not the wisdom of a man itself that was crying out, but the wisdom of heaven, and the wisdom of God that was calling and crying out. With that being said, we must understand the protection of wisdom that is made available to those who not only seek wisdom, but also apply it within their hearts and lives. Consider if you will the following words which describe and outline the protection of wisdom that is made available to those who pursue and apply it:

“Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserved the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: to deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man the speaketh froward things; who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: to deliver thee form the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; which forsaketh the covenant of her God For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out” (Proverbs 2:5-22).

“My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: so shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou all in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall e sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken” (Proverbs 3:21-26).

These words provide us with a great context for the protection of wisdom, but we must also recognize and understand that in addition to the protection of wisdom, there is also the promise of wisdom—a promise wisdom makes to those who choose to heed its call and apply its truth within their hearts and lives. If you turn your attention to the thirteenth verse of the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Proverbs you will quickly encounter this promise of wisdom—this promise which wisdom makes to those who pursue it with everything they have in themselves:

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are the ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is every one that retainteth her. The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew” (Proverbs 3:13-20).

What’s more, is if you continue reading this Old Testament poetic book of the Proverbs you will encounter the product of wisdom—that which is produced within the heart and life of those who truly take the call and invitation of wisdom seriously, and those who passionately pursue it within themselves. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this, for it will help us in our own response and pursuit to wisdom. There is within the third chapter of this poetic book two powerful sections which describe this product of wisdom within our hearts and lives, and I invite you to consider these with all your heart, as wisdom when it is responded to, and when it is applied within our hearts and lives can completely transform the landscape of our lives. Consider if you will the following two passages which are found within the third chapter of this Old Testament poetic book:

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: for whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Proverbs 3:5-12).

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of this ways. For the froward is abomination to the LORD; but his secret is with the righteous. The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools” (Proverbs 3:27-35).

As I bring this writing to a close I feel the great need to ask you whether or not you have heard, or whether or not you hear the voice, the cry and the invitation of wisdom. After reading these words, there is not a doubt in my mind that wisdom is calling and crying out, and we are faced with a decision whether or not we going to hear and heed the call and cry of wisdom, or whether we are going to reject and despise it. I feel the great need to call and draw your attention to whether or not you are one who is passionately pursuing wisdom with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your spirit, and with all your mind, and whether or not you are willing to allow the wisdom of heaven to completely and utterly infiltrate every area of your life, and every part of who you are that your life might be governed by the true and living God. Are you truly willing to allow wisdom to guard and protect your heart and your mind. If you are being honest with yourself, are you currently experiencing the protection of wisdom within your life? Are you currently experiencing the provision of wisdom within your life? Are you currently experiencing the product of wisdom within your life? Are you currently experiencing the promise of wisdom within your life? The underlying question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are passionately pursuing wisdom with everything that is within and everything that is inside us, and whether or not we are truly and passionately pursuing wisdom with everything that is inside of us. Are we men and women who are truly pursuing wisdom and making it something that is crucial and necessary within our lives? How we answer this question can and will directly impact and affect every area of our lives, and can either make or break us in multiple areas. Oh that we would be a people who passionately pursue wisdom with everything that’s inside of us, and that we would make it a driving force and ambition inside of us during this generation and in the culture and society in which we are presently living.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s