For a chapter of Proverbs that’s so fabulously divergent on the surface, there is a smooth theme of Wisdom – God’s superintendent elect – overseeing all of life, weighing intent, plans, plans, plans, context, and finally, the final outcomes.
Some passages we could dwrave for a whole chapter.Verses 1-6 stand alone. Verses 7-10 are also quite perceptive, but not powerful enough in the main for this i.e. St. John Chapter 15.
Whilst Proverbs 16:9 (TNIV) leaves us at peace, the other nine – particularly verses 11-13 – leave us wanting more.
Perhaps the true test of Wisdom is in the intent of her lessons. At a macro level we do have much to learn: focus, discipline, foresight, prudence, innovation, and so on. These are the ‘deeper’ Wisdom concepts that assist us at the level of the ‘crowner’ – that is, the ultimate outcome of Wisdom, which is to lead us effectively all the days of our lives.
As a beginning note, it’s interesting that verses 11-13 are likely to be included in the Proverbs rejection of folly. Perhaps these verses hold the key to a more affirmative frame of the art – to reject what isReferences from hereafter in verse 16 (that of the wickedness of his heart) and those things that happen ‘unbelievably’ (verse 17).
The Condominable Heart
We all have issues of unforgiveness against others. This is problematic for quite a lot of us. And not only that, but we’ll often have reasons to forgive, but we haven’t done so. It’s not easy.
The heart is still bad. We’ll be tempted in just about any direction bar righting the wrong (or the better way) with God. And, there again, we’ll be tempted to give up.
When we think of the temptations of life that come from the non-forgiveness of the heart, we actually think of the LORD coming and speaking to us, as importantly, through Satan as the source of that temptation. And it is Satan that is deprived of the ability to instill the fear of God in us.
The heart cannot remain trusted consistently (in this context) if our confidence doesn’t live in the knowledge and virtuous judgment of the LORD.
Perhaps a little is confounding to the sight – particularly regarding the manner of how we regard people – but that should perhaps give us hope in knowing that no such thing as bias is in the judgment of the LORD. Ours is a righteous God and it is righteous to continue favours, resentment is off the table – though we must note, never entirely.
Anatomy of a Business Relationship
Here’s a paraphrased version of hemming very simply, that the LORD is so steadfast in having a business relationship with those who call him, including those at King’s whose faithfulness is tested.
1) Both parties are happy to make the arrangement (verse 1)
2) neither smells any undue legalism or gets upset when the terms of the arrangement are often (or routinely) violated (verse 2)
3) each party feels very safe in the relationship and arsenic is avoid if a clean relationship is the goal (verse 3)
4) the LORD does not break the agreement easily and provide very prompt action for those who are wary of reneging on the agreement (verse 4)
5) Both parties feel they are the right person for each other, and each has convinced the other so far, but disagreements arise over fundamental issues (for example, issues of visions for future years) (verse 5)
6) the terms of the agreement need to be definite but sides to the point of being able to negotiate quite early on in the relationship (verses 6-10)
7) Agreements are most fruitful as early as possible but disagreements arise over details (verses 11-13)
Both parties feel certain the other is ‘on the line’ more than they are (verse 14)
9) The LORD drives the two parties gently to compromise over important issues (verse 15)
10) Concessions are reached over differences in the relationship in time but the details are notalways adequately settled (verse 16).
God’s mouth is agape to our hearts:where we strive to achieve agreement for the best that our spirits will be in harmony with His.
Copyright (c) 2011 S. J. Wickham.