Whoever Loves Instruction Loves Knowledge

The Thinker

Proverbs 12:1 & 15 (NKJV) Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid…{15} The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.

One of the sure signs of a wise person is their desire to learn, especially from their mistakes. A stupid person is too proud to receive correction. Fools are self confident and arrogant. They are so sure that they are right that even when they make a mess of things they refuse to learn from their mistakes.

Correction is a part of success. We actually can learn more from our failures and mistakes than we do when everything goes smoothly with out a hitch. Yet a foolish person refuses to recognize that they need to change and grow.

In sports we have coaches that correct players and constantly point out those areas of their game that need to be corrected and improved. This is why athletes look at film of their performances so that they can see what they did right and what they did wrong. A good athlete looks at their mistakes and works to correct their bad technique. An overly confident athlete ignores the advice of their coaches and refuses to work to improve their performance.

Foolish people seem to never learn. They like to constantly blame others for their failures and will never take personal responsibility for their foolish decisions. This is why they go from one failed relationship after another, and yet can’t see that they are the problem. They are too proud to ask for help and too stubborn to accept the counsel of others.

We all need friends and mentors who can speak openly to us, without fear of offending us. This actually keeps us safe from spinning off into destructive behaviors. A wise person has the good sense to humble themselves and receive the advice of others, even when they may tell them something they don’t want to hear.



The High Cost of Low Living

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Proverbs 5:1-6 (NKJV) My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding, 2 That you may preserve discretion, And your lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell.6 Lest you ponder her path of life—her ways are unstable; You do not know them.

Wisdom is the ability to make wise choices and exercise discretion when faced with temptation. In this passage we hear a father admonishing his son to take hold of wisdom so that he can avoid the snares of being led away by the immoral woman.

While many men and women have fallen because of sexual immorality, this passage can also be applied metaphorically. The immoral woman represents the seductive charms of the world that the believer is faced with every day. Notice the imagery that is used to describe this woman in verse three. “For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil” Temptation can seem so sweet and alluring to our carnal appetites that if we are not careful we can easily seduced by the pleasures of sin for a season. Hebrews 11:24-26

In the next breath we hear the stark warning of the father to his son. But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. “5 Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell.6 Lest you ponder her path of life—her ways are unstable; You do not know them.” The devil never shows us the price tag that is attached to sin. The drunkard never expected to lose his/her family, their career, or their reputation when they took that first drink. The young person who is diagnosed with an incurable sexually transmitted disease (STD) never imagined that their unbridled passion would result in such devastating consequences. We could go on and on with example after example of the high price of immoral living.

One of my dear friends who passed away a few years ago use to declare.

“Sin will take you further than you want to go

Keep you longer than you want to stay

And cost you more than you want to pay.”

This is one of the reasons that God time and again admonishes us to flee from temptation, and immorality. 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:10-12; 2 Timothy 2:22

Sin is costly. All we need to do is open our eyes to the world all around us and we can easily see the dire consequences of ignoring this warning. Romans 6:23 (Amplified) For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.

There are benefits for living a godly life, just as there are consequences for living an immoral, ungodly life. We cannot sow the seeds of sin and death and then pray for crop failure. Galatians 6:7 (NKJV) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Proverbs 4:3-6 (NKJV) For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell.6 Lest you ponder her path of life—her ways are unstable; You do not know them.

If you choose to follow after immoral, ungodly things, you will live a life of confusion and disillusionment. In the end it will shorten your life and bring you a great deal of heartache. Ultimately it will cost you your very soul. So the bottom line is this, fear God and keeps His commandments. They will be life to those who find them, and health to all of their flesh.

Proverbs 4:20-22 (NKJV) My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.



The Pleasant Paths of Wisdom

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Proverbs 4:10-13 (CJB) Listen, my son, receive what I say, and the years of your life will be many. 11 I’m directing you on the way of wisdom, guiding you in paths of uprightness; 12 when you walk, your step won’t be hindered; and if you run, you won’t stumble. 13 Hold fast to discipline, don’t let it go; guard it, for it is your life.

The responsibility of a parent is to guide their children into paths of wisdom. The responsibility of children is to give heed to that guidance. While no parent is perfect, a godly parent will try to direct their children along paths that bring the best for them. A parent’s aim is to train their children to make wise choices for themselves. While this is never a guarantee (as is evident with the story of the prodigal son), it is the parents primary goal.

In like manner, as a good parent God desires that we choose paths of righteousness, and seek after wisdom. If we will give our attention to the word of God and fellowship with Him, then our paths will be pleasant, and our footing secure. Even in the midst of trouble we can be assured that the wisdom of God will uphold us. The following verses draw a stark contrast between the paths of wisdom and godly living, as opposed to an ungodly life.

Proverbs 4:18-19 (NLT) The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. 19 But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over.



Get Wisdom! Get Understanding!

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Proverbs 4:1-9 (NKJV) Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

In this passage we have an example of Hebrew parallelism, where one thought is contained in another. To get wisdom is essentially to gain understanding, and vise versa. Wisdom will give us the ability to understand the complexity of situations we may encounter along life’s path, so we can choose the right way.

Wisdom will guard the believer from calamity. Wisdom will keep us from making foolish choices that can cause us much trouble. When we embrace wisdom we will avoid the pitfalls that so often befall those who lack this virtue.

In the context of this passage we hear the words of a father to his son, as he admonishes him to acquire this essential element for life. While wisdom is acquired from the hand of God, it is also bestowed through learning from others who have gone before us. The great thing about this is that we can avoid the mistakes they made if we will learn to listen to their advice, and observe their lives.

Wisdom can be gained through life’s experiences. Someone has said, “Life is a great school, but the tuition is awfully high.” Rather than experiencing the same pain of trial and error, we can learn from the mistakes of others. This is one of the problems with youth culture in the West today. Because of the breakdown of the family young people are not gaining the wisdom that they need to deal with life’s problems from adults. Most youth acquire nearly all of their advice from their peers. Youth simply do not have enough real life experience to give wise advice to one another.

The following passage instructs us that older men and women of God are to instruct the younger in right living, by example, and by word.

Titus 1:1-6 (Amplified Bible) But [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians]. Urge the older men to be temperate, venerable (serious), sensible, self-controlled, and sound in the faith, in the love, and in the steadfastness and patience [of Christ]. Bid the older women similarly to be reverent and devout in their deportment as becomes those engaged in sacred service, not slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble, So that they will wisely train the young women to be [a]sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children, To be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited). In a similar way, urge the younger men to be self-restrained and to behave prudently [taking life seriously].



Fools Gone Wild

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Proverbs 3:21-24 (NKJV) My son, let them not depart from your eyes—Keep sound wisdom and discretion; 22 So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck. 23 Then you will walk safely in your way, And your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.

The book of Proverbs is specifically addressed to young people. As we grow older we should be growing in wisdom, unfortunately this is  often not the case. Discretion is one of the sure signs that a person is growing in wisdom. Discretion is the ability to discern, and make wise choices even in the face of pressure.

Another characteristic of discretion is to exhibit self control, or to act modestly. These are two character traits that are not only sadly lacking in today’s pop culture, but actually looked down upon as being out dated, or unattractive.

As a result, we are seeing young men and women who live in a seemingly perpetual state of adolescence Because people lack godly wisdom they have no shame. This is why people act like utter fools, and regularly flaunt their stupidity for the whole world to see though various media outlets.

TV shows like ‘Jerry Springer,’ along with pop culture videos such as ‘Girls Gone Wild,’ are just a couple examples of the utter depths of depravity that can take place in people’s lives when they cast off godly wisdom. Godly wisdom will give people the discretion that they need to make choices that will bless rather than destroy their lives.

Proverbs 1:2-4 (NLT) These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair.  4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.



The Lord by Wisdom Founded the Earth

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Proverbs 3: 19-20 (NKJV) The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens; 20 By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew.

The foundation of the earth, the foundation of the universe, and the foundation of our very existence is owed to the amazing wisdom of Almighty God. It is comforting to know that our existence is not the product of mere chance, or millions of years of random mutation. Every part of creation was a part of God’s meticulous planning.

Psalm 19:1-4 (NLT) The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.

When we consider the magnitude of the world around us, why does it seem like a strange or difficult things to believe in the reality of God? The meticulous craftsmanship and diversity of nature itself, is so mind blowing that to imagine that such wonders could have ever achieved their existence apart from God, is simply not plausible.

Psalm 139:13-14 (NKJV) For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well



The Blessings of Godly Wisdom

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Proverbs 3:13-18 (Amplified Bible) Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is the man who finds skillful and godly Wisdom, and the man who gets understanding [drawing it forth from God’s Word and life’s experiences], 14 For the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver, and the profit of it better than fine gold. 15 Skillful and godly Wisdom is more precious than rubies; and nothing you can wish for is to be compared to her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are highways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold on her; and happy (blessed, fortunate, to be envied) is everyone who holds her fast.

Godly wisdom gives us insight and understanding of the knowledge that we have gained from God’s word and life’s experiences. Godly wisdom will always lead us toward a more holy lifestyle in God, whereas worldly wisdom leads people away from God, to trusting in their own human understanding.

The wisdom that comes from God brings with it pleasantness rather than turmoil. In addition to this, godly wisdom provides a quality of life and not merely a quantity of possessions. Bringing a peace and joy that temporal pleasures alone can never provide.

Godly wisdom will bring us into alignment with God’s will, which in turn brings us into the flow of God’s blessings. Many people see material wealth as something to be greatly desired, but without godly wisdom financial prosperity can be our undoing.

If material possessions alone brought true fulfillment then Americans should be the most contented, and joyful people on earth. Yet by all observations in spite of this great wealth we see broken families, discontentment, and deteriorating health throughout the nation. Without the wisdom of God, knowledge and abundance will only amplify the character traits that are lacking in an individual or nation.

Godly wisdom is a tree of life to those who lay hold on her; and happy (blessed, fortunate, to be envied) is everyone who holds her fast.



Wise In Your Own Eyes

fal Feast Days 2Proverbs 3:7-8 (NKJV) Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, And strengthto your bones.

When sin entered the world it brought with it human independence, arrogance, and pride. When God confronted Adam about his sin after he had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, rather than humbling himself before God, he began to attempt to justify himself. The pride that came to birth in Adam’s heart tried to pass the buck to Eve, and even to God. Genesis 3:13 (NKJV) Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

Man has been attempting to justify his sin ever since. Like the modern day atheists who claim to deny the very existence of God, and yet continually accuses God of all the woes of human suffering. They like Adam refuse to admit that man is squarely to blame.

Only when we humble ourselves, and admit that we are utterly hopeless, and helpless apart from the love and mercy of God, can God pour his love and forgiveness into our hearts. God desires to bless all people, regardless of their behavior, but He will never allow human arrogance to determine the rules of engagement. It is His way or no way! No matter how much people may resist this notion, it is a fact that we must readily accept if we are ever to experience the fullness of this amazing salvation that is only made available through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Psalm 100:3 (NKJV) Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves…



The Way of Wisdom

fal Feast Days 2Proverbs 2:10-12 (NKJV) When wisdom enters your heart, And knowledge is pleasant to your soul, 11 Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you, 12 To deliver you from the way of evil.

When we receive the wisdom of God, it becomes a guard against the temptations, and snares of the evil all around us. The key to this taking place is to delight in the wisdom and knowledge of God. The of course involves delighting in His word, and time spent in seeking Him through prayer.

The wicked take no delight in knowing God, or seeking His wisdom. As a believer, we do not want to allow the ways of a fallen world begin to dictate our understanding. The Christian is to live by God’s wisdom, not the wisdom of this age, which is passing away. (1 Corinthians 2)

When the wisdom and knowledge of God becomes our guide in everyday life, then they will keep us from the paths of the wicked, which in turn will keep us from a great deal of heartache and trouble.



Treasures of Wisom

ScrollsProverbs 2:1-7 (NKJV) My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly.

The wisdom of God comes from the knowledge of His word. If we treasure God’s word then we are candidates for His wisdom. God’s word, and His wisdom are like valuable hidden treasure. While they are readily available to all who seek, they are not cheap.

We could liken this to panning for gold verses mining for gold. Gold dust, and small nuggets are right up on the surface for all to gain access to, but if you want the payload or the real treasures you are going to have to dig. In like manner you will need to dig deeper with a hunger and thirst for righteousness if you want the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge of God.

Matthew 7:7-8 (Amplified Bible) Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.