- February 24, 2014
- By Glen Schmucker, Woodland Baptist Church, San Antonio
• The Explore the Bible lesson for March 9 focuses on Proverbs 1:33; 2:5-12, 16, 20-22; 3:1-8.
Once a month, we are supposed to change the air filters on the heating and cooling system in our house. We are better at it at times and not so good at others. The filters are not there just to protect the healing and cooling system. They also are there because not all the air that gets into our house is good for breathing. Some of that air comes with dust, among other things, that isn’t good for our health.
The writer of Proverbs seems to be telling us much the same thing about wisdom. Wisdom is not just a collection of facts, a mental repository of information. Wisdom is more a way of thinking about God, life and others that helps us filter out what information is not healthy for spiritual guidance.
When we are wise, “Discretion will protect (us), and understanding will guard (us)” (Proverbs 2:11). Wisdom is the moat across which the growing volume of information our world offers must pass to gain access to our soul. Wisdom knows when to lower the bridge on the moat and when to raise it.
The author provides a good example: “Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words” (Proverbs 2:16). Wisdom is not information about sex or its pleasures. Anyone can gain that through reading and experience. Wisdom is the capacity to discern when sex is appropriate and when it is not. Beyond that, we still need the power of God to live appropriately in sexual ways. However, without wisdom, even the power of God is useless.
Hope for the future
The writer seems to more than intimate that walking in wisdom is the only way to preserve our lives. Those who walk in unwise ways have no real future. Their lack of wisdom threatens to disconnect them from life’s true source. Those who walk in wisdom have the hope of a future full of meaning, purpose and security (Proverbs 2:20-22, 3:1-2).
We can teach a teenager the skills of driving a car. We can stress driver courtesy and the value of obeying the law. In the end, however, only if the one behind the wheel of the car has the maturity of wisdom guiding her decisions will her safety and the safety of others most likely be guaranteed.
It may well be that Proverbs 3:5-6 are some of the most well known and most memorized of all the Proverbs. Many of us have turned to those words in a time of crisis to shore up our faith in God’s guidance.
What they tell us is simple and even poetic, yet profound beyond description. In everything we do, every breath we take, every step we take, we are not to lean on our own ability to figure things out. Instead, with all of our being, even when it does not make logical sense, we are to trust God absolutely.
Lean on God
In all of life, not just our worship at church, but in the total circle of all we are and all we do, we are to lean on God for the guidance we need to make the right choices and take the right steps.
Wisdom is the choice not to presume we can figure life out with nothing more than our own intellectual capacities. It is the acknowledgement we need supernatural intervention to make even the most mundane choices of life.
Every day, we are inundated with more information than any one human brain can process. Our hearts are drawn to passions that, unbridled, do not honor God.
We need God’s wisdom, obtained through Scripture, worship and the communities of faith in which we serve to live in ways that express a wisdom whose source is from God and God alone.
Maximum length for publication is 250 words.