Have you ever been in a difficult situation that you just need answers for? Have you ever asked, “What am I supposed to do now?”, “How am I supposed to do this?”, or “Why is this happening?”
I certainly have…
I was searching for answers. I wanted God to speak to me through His word and tell me “what, how and why” in a particular difficult situation. This time when I read Proverbs it was different. This time I noticed it right away and really for the first time… Three words that kept popping up, and let me tell you, God makes no mistakes. Everything He does is on purpose! I have read Proverbs multiple times, used it for the “daily chapter” reading thing that nearly everyone who owns a bible has done, but I never really delved into these three words. I have learned at this stage of my life that if something jumps out at you or catches your attention in the word of God, investigate it! It is the way we grow and learn. It is the way The Spirit of God reveals new things to us. The word consists of so many layers and surfaces and it beautifully intertwines itself to create a story that is all about one thing… The redemption of God’s most beloved creation (humans); through the messiah He sent to earth named Jesus, who died a bloody death and was raised to life again so that through Him, we are released and freed from the judgment of sin and are promised eternal life.
All throughout Proverbs are three words that repeat themselves over and over again…These words opened up a flood of insight for me:
I understand how this may seem elementary at first, but stick with me. It’s important to establish the meaning of these words in practical form, so that our hearts can be prepared to receive the concealed truth of these three simple words. (I’ll get to that later.)
1. WISDOM – Principles. Guidelines to live by, a morality code (doing the “righteous” thing). Knowing what to do next. The gift that empowers us to to make right choices based on the facts of the circumstance.
Ecclesiastes 8:1 – “Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom illumes him and causes his stern face to beam.”
Colossians 2:8 – “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
2. UNDERSTANDING – Clarity. The ability to discern and see into situations, to translate the meaning and know how to respond. The gift that empowers us to bring the facts into clear focus.
Proverbs 2:3 – “For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding.”
Psalm 119:130 – “The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.”
3. KNOWLEDGE – God’s Truth (on any matter). The word of God. The unchanging, never-ending facts that give us the answer why.
Proverbs 18:15 – “The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”
1 Timothy 2:3b-4 – “God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
What are the Proverbs for?
- 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 give the youth knowledge and discretion
How do the Proverbs help?
A wise man will hear and increase in learning
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 (a loving reverence for God and devotion to Him) of The Lord is the beginning of knowledge
Fools despise wisdom and instruction