The screen revolution has had positive and negative impacts on society. One of the negative impacts it has had on many people is moving the focal point of authority from external to internal. Meaning that people feel freer to disagree with the things they learn because they think they discovered that information on their own by looking it up on Wikipedia or Google.
This past Sunday, we talked about the importance of passing wisdom down from one generation to another. Not just any knowledge or wisdom, but godly wisdom. According the book of Proverbs, godly wisdom is the key to life.
The first section of Proverbs 1 serves as an introduction to the book as a whole and primer on gaining godly wisdom. The first 7 verses contain four principles for growing on godly wisdom. Here they are…
1. Proverbs are pint-sized portions of Godly wisdom (v. 1). The book of Proverbs contains a long list of short, pithy sayings and poems. They contain a concentrated dose of reality to help the reader see things for how they really are vs. how they appear. The book of Proverbs was written by Solomon, Hezekiah, Agur, and Lemuel during Israel’s golden age – and has stood the test of time.
2. Proverbs help unlock the mysteries of life (v. 2-3, 6). Most of us have a set of keys that we use to open up our house, turn on our vehicle, and gain access to our workplace. The right key makes all the difference. Proverbs help unlock the mental mysteries of life by providing wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
3. Proverbs are for the innocent, inexperienced, & impressionable (v. 5). Those who already have life figured out don’t need godly wisdom. But those who are teachable and humble, will find a wealth of wisdom in God’s Word. Steph Curry is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. According to one of this coaches, Curry is, “The most educable player I’ve ever known—both in terms of his willingness to listen and in his ability to absorb and execute.”
4. Proverbs pave the way to Godly wisdom (v. 7). The closing verse in this passage introduces theme that is reapted throughout the book: godly isdom is a path that must be pursued (It shows up again in chapters 4, 9, and 15). Those who purse wisdom will find it and will be transformed by it.
Godly wisdom is the key to life, but it must studied and acted upon. Instead of treating like one more news headline, or one more piece of trivia, or one more social media post, we must hold on to it like a priceless treasure. We must do whatever it takes to incorporate godly wisdom into our lives and to share it with the next generation.
Last Wednesday, the Lt. Gov. of Texas, Dan Patrick, said what many born-again, Bible-believing Christians were thinking – that you can’t cure racism and injustice without first accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. This opens the door to a change of heart and a change character which allows individuals to love their neighbors as themselves.
There are no simple solutions for the racism and injustice that has been exposed by George Floyd’s death, but spiritual revival is a place to start. This approach reminds me of the connection that is made in the first chapter of Proverbs between reverence towards God and wise living. In verse 3, the Biblical author claims the righteousness, justice, and equity can only be achieved through obedience to God’s Word. Justice and equity are values we all really need right now.
Verse 7 is the theme verse for the whole book of Proverbs: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (NIV). It is repeated again 9:10 and 15:33 to emphasize the connection between fearing God and living rightly. When someone starts with a personal relationship with God and does their best to follow the path of life laid out in the Scriptures, they are much more likely to live overcome racism and injustice, in their heart and in their community.
Verse 7 also underlines the chaos that comes from marginalizing God and ignoring His Word. Lt. Gov. Patrick also spoke of the efforts of some to “kick God out” of our country. Those who discount faith in Christ and the wisdom of God’s Word should expect turmoil, confusion, and violence – and that’s exactly what we have right now in our country.
Once again, there are no simple solutions for racism and injustice and America, but there is a cure. Those who change their hearts towards God and the Savior that He sent, Jesus Christ, will be uniquely equipped to love their neigbhors as themselves, regardless of the color of their skin.
Do you agree with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick? What other connections do you see between faith in Jesus Christ and justice and equity?