Sunday, October 29, 2017

THE 3:16 VERSES OF THE BIBLE, PART 15: "WISDOM - PATHWAY TO JOY"


Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. (Proverbs 3:16)
The depth of the riches and joys of Scripture is an amazing thing to behold. There is nothing more important than the Pathway to Peace, Joy, Eternal “Riches” and Eternal Life and as we press into the Oracles of God and, it is never clearer than a key verse here in Proverbs 3:16.

To mine these gems, which speak of the Truths just described (the above-mentioned Pathway), we must read Proverbs 3:16 in context, by starting in Verse 10 and all the way to Verse 18. It is here we see the chief responsibility of those of us, who are called “His chosen or His Elect…..or His Children”. In case anyone is offended by the words “chosen” and/or “elect”,  these are the terms used in Scripture for the redeemed or those who have repented, sought forgiveness of all our sins, and accepted The very Son of God – Jesus Christ – as Lord, Master and Savior of our lives. Before this conversion, we were just like everyone else in this world – lost, and headed for eternal judgment. This is not magic. The offer of Salvation is open to everyone, because the God of Heaven loved His created world so much, He died to pay for our sins, so we would not have eternal death. It takes wisdom to acknowledge and accept this Truth.

Once, the Truth of this Good News, which is what the word "Gospel" means, is received, Wisdom is required to be able to move from Point A of being baby Christians, to Point B, C and D where maturity and fruit should be evident. Here is where we look to some of the verses surrounding Proverbs 3:16 to seek directions for that Pathway to Maturity. 

Let us begin in Proverbs 3, verses 11-18:
11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof,
12  For whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. 
13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.
14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.

PRUNING:
From these Words from the Oracles of God, we discover this about the Pathway To His Purposes:
-  When God separates us from the World through conversion, He will need to get the world out of us! Simple as this. A person can be a Christian for 10, 20, 24, 40 or even 50 years and we still have issues and a propensity to slip up and let in some of the worse elements of culture to sidetrack and even distract us from what is important. This is when God needs to prune us and get us away from evil influences, sometimes using unpleasant means, and discipline us for our own good. There is ONE BIG difference between a Child of God and a Child of the god of this world. Our Heavenly Father will discipline us, just like our own earthly father would, to keep us from harming ourselves and our future. But those who reject the free gift of Eternal Life and Salvation in Christ, will be allowed by God Himself - freedom to do whatever they want....in this life, but once it is over, they will of course, have to answer for it. They will be allowed to live lives of rebellion, lust of the flesh and more. They will be allowed to believe in evolution and strange idolatry, while the men and women who follow Christ will have the roughest time in this life. This discipline could be anything from doubt to persecution, from financial issues to emotional distress. All of the latter is meant to grow our Faith as we trust God with this transforming molding and shaping going on, and even trials by baptism of fire. As verses 11 and 12 prove here, those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines this way.  

-  Because every true Christian believer has a healthy fear, awe and respect of Abba Father, true wisdom has its seeds already planted. Because the believer has accepted the pruning and reproof of the Lord, whether it is through the preaching or reading of Scripture or the prompting of Holy Spirit, he or she is already blessed!! Even if we face the same harshness, coldness or even loneliness of life, our ticket has been punched for this Journey with Jesus. Seeking the fellowship of the local church and its ministries where the Bible is lifted up alongside the Name of Jesus, above all else, we grow in Understanding. Understanding and comprehension of what the Spirit is saying through the Teaching and Washing of the Word, will bring pleasures in our inner man which the world will never be able to even come close to taking from us! (Verse 13)

-  While these may appear to be simple on paper, they are extremely tough to live, in our own strength. We must trust God and especially trust Him when it is the hardest. Solomon knew this Truth in the beginning. At the dedication of the great Temple of God, Solomon was praying and the Lord told the new king to ask for anything he wishes, and God will give it to Him. Instead of riches etc, Solomon asked for "Biyn" - the ability to discern and understand.  It was this wise choice to ask God for the ability to think, understand and discern which led the king to be called the wisest man in the known world. These are the permanent riches which will light up our Pathway to Victory and will never go away. Understanding will lead to more wisdom and there are truly major benefits associated with Godly wisdom.

These benefits are in quick succession: 
-  Huge gain, sometimes even temporal financial blessings. While verses 14 and 15 do mention a possible gain in making wise fiscal decisions, the real gain in walking out this faith is to live wisely and with purpose. Wisdom here is to be regarded way more than temporary financial gains.
Proverbs 3:16 shows us, through the words of God, that if we are wise by allowing God to transform and clean up our lives, we CAN and DO have long and fruitful lives! The verse says "Long Life is in her (Wisdom's) right hand. The right hand is the hand of power and destiny all through Scripture. When God says that this to us, He wants us to know that IF we pursue His wisdom and that not of this world and its many nice sounding deceptions, we will more than be alight! We will downright shine through with the attributes of Jesus Christ. Once we have that in our lives, what follows is a Pathway to Peace - true inner peace.

- To that effect, verse 17 explains to us that because of this type of understanding and Wisdom, we can have "Pleasant Ways". This could be in anything. This could be anything from peace and tranquility in our homes to a Godly calm in the believer when everything around is exploding. Pleasant Ways do not negate the ups and downs and harsh ways of modern life. However, pleasant ways DO mean that we are supposed to keep those things in perspective as our minds are dedicated on to the Truth and Joy of the Pathway to Peace, love and joy in the Knowledge of Jesus.
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