My son, do not walk in the way with (sinners), keep your feet from their path; For their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.
Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird; But they lie in wait for their own blood, they lurk secretly for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners.
Here’s one way we could see sin, how it operates, and how we operated when we were in it. Sin had us focused on the worlds finite pleasures; and really, it’s not like we had the option of focusing on anything else. In fact it had us so fixated on what goes in within this realm and this finite reality, that we didn’t care if we were stepping on anyone or anything else just to get ahead.
And apparently, in our hurting each other, and in our trapping one another it’s actually come to a point that we wouldn’t notice, but in our excessive offense and/or defense we’d probably be setting up traps and snares, only to end up falling upon them; as a result we maim ourselves, if not we’d ultimately compromise our physical bodies to the point of death.
(Sinners) hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord; they would have none of (Wisdom’s) counsel and despised (her) every rebuke. They shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fantasies.
As we take a look at Proverbs 1 again and again, we may come to considering the possibility that it’s not as if Wisdom is separate from the Lord. Take a look at Proverbs 1:5-9:
A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel; to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; For they will be a graceful ornament on your hand, and chains around your neck.
Before we take a look at Wisdom (as she cries out), let us consider a couple of points to draw from these verses. First of all, in our own personal pursuits, we would of course do well to increase learning – that is, not only turning away from saying at any given moment that you know anything and everything there is to know, but it is also always keeping in mind that there’s always something new to see, always something to learn, relearn, and/or unlearn (which is really also learning). And of course, in our constant learning, we wouldn’t necessarily figure everything out right away. For these moments, it’s almost mandatory, certainly critical for us to consider the wisdom of others – That is, we ought to spend a good amount of our time with those who are wiser than us, that we would grasp and understand the words of the wise.
And where can we find these wise people? Friends, I don’t necessarily know your own relationships with your own families, but I dare say that you don’t need to go too far to find wise people – perhaps all you need to know is that your father and your mother have their own wisdom to impart upon you. Your brothers and sisters may also have their own brands of wisdom; or, if you share with them, it can have the same effect as mentioned elsewhere in the book of Proverbs – that is, like how iron sharpens iron.
I’m sorry, but let’s also put these gems from Proverbs 1 for us to read:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (1:7), and whoever listens to (Wisdom) will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil (1:33).
With all this Scripture in mind, one may come to the consideration that it’s not as if Wisdom is separate from the Lord. Consider what we know – to fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and it is the beginning of knowledge. Take that, and what we just read, and we can say that the fear of the Lord would have us eventually dwelling in safety. We would be secure, without fear of evil.
Having the fear of the LORD means to be without fear of evil. It’s around this time that we would also be able to recognize the relationship between the fear of the LORD and perfect love – BOTH of these cast out all other fear. And with that said, we could say that perfect love is the beginning of wisdom – and, yes – through perfect love we also dwell in safety; through perfect love we are certainly secure.
At around this time I took a break from Proverbs 1, and after trying my hand in playing and singing The One Who Saves and Open Heaven / River Wild, I was led to take a look at Philippians 1:19-24.
For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which shall I choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two: My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is for better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
I’m not sure why I wanted to indicate this set of verses, but, dear reader, please recognize that today is Monday, and I did absolutely nothing today – perhaps in my doing nothing I started berating myself for not being of any value – part of what I was feeling was that I just wanted, as Paul wrote, to be at home with the Lord already. And I was thinking to myself – was that necessarily what I was feeling? Was it that I wanted to be with the Lord, or that I was sick and tired of the bullshit that’s been going on in this world, and in this reality?
I thought to myself, does this physical body have to die in order for me to actually enjoy being with the Lord? As I asked this question, I remembered something that I realized in the past – that, if anything, I ought to be more excited to be in this world, considering that I know that Lord is with me, 100% of Him with me right here, right now, never fading, never leaving me, always with me, as close as He could ever be – EVEN in all that we see with our finite senses.
I may not necessarily be as enthusiastic as I insist I ought to be as I type all this, but I ended my note-taking on pen and paper (yes, this was all written down before being encoded and embellished on) with the following lines:
The fear of the LORD is the end of the Law.
Christ is the beginning of wisdom for all who believe.
He is honored in my body, whether by life or death.
Let’s have a good week ahead, folks.