Proverbs 28-30

Taking the Reins

 When we began this journey in the book of Proverbs Solomon’s son was a young child. As we traveled through the chapters we have seen Solomon’s son grow and mature.  As he grew older Solomon gave him age appropriate wisdom and instruction, and now the young man is getting close to taking on the responsibility of being king over the nation of Israel.

Chapter 27 set Solomon’s son up for the wisdom and instruction we will read in our chapters today. In verse 23 Solomon told his son to be aware of the condition of his flocks or, in his case, the people around him and his subjects. In verse 19 Solomon told his son that what is truly in the heart of the people will be evidenced by the things they say and do. Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 15:18-20.*

In our study today Solomon will tie the actions of people that are observable to the heart condition of the person. It is important for kings, leaders, and us, to be able to see and understand the motive behind the actions of the people around us, especially our friends and trusted advisors.

Ahithophel was King David’s trusted advisor. He had a reputation of speaking wisdom from God, but when David’s son Absalom rebelled and tried to take the kingdom from David, Ahithophel abandoned David and joined Absalom in his conspiracy.  As the grandfather of Bathsheba he apparently had a deep seated resentment against David that he kept under control until the opportune time presented itself. His action and counsel reflected what was truly in his heart. The story is recorded in 2 Samuel 15-17.

 It is important that we learn to “read” people by observing their actions. Jesus didn’t call down fire from heaven on those whose actions prompted His instructions in Mathew 15. He simply said to his disciples to distance themselves from those people. Before Jesus pointed out what was in their heart the disciples were worried that Jesus had offended them because they were the religious rulers of the day. Jesus pointed out that leader or not, actions show what is in the heart, wisdom does not automatically come with a title or position of power.

David, when he heard about Ahithophel joining with Absalom did the only thing he could do. He prayed. Jesus and David exhibited wisdom and leadership skills needed to navigate the things that came up on the path of life they were faced with. We would be wise to do the same and that is why Solomon told his son to get wisdom no matter what the cost. Solomon told his son, “The Beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.  Proverbs 4:7 NASB

 We learn by repetition. This is why I encourage people, especially young people, to read a chapter of Proverbs every day and keep reading this book over and over. We need to hide God’s wisdom in our heart but there is one more thing we must do. We need to put God’s wisdom into practice.  Solomon started by encouraging his son to get wisdom, but as he grew and progressed through the chapters of Proverbs, he showed his son ways to put wisdom into practice. It is great to have God’s wisdom in our mind and even understand the benefits of His wisdom, but, we will never really know and develop trust in God’s wisdom unless we put God’s wisdom into practice. Putting God’s wisdom into practice in every situation we are facing is what will establish God’s wisdom in our heart. Do not be deceived about this. Situations will arise that demand actions and we will act. The question is what wisdom have we hidden in our heart that will be shown by our actions? We must put God’s wisdom into action if we are to retain it. Jesus said if we are faithful in little things we will be faithful in bigger things.

In 1960 my dad bought a new car with a stick shift transmission. I asked him why he didn’t buy one with an automatic transmission. He simply said he had been driving stick shift transmissions all his life and shifting gears had become automatic. Repetition is essential to establish wisdom in our heart. That is why we need to put God’s wisdom into practice! It becomes our automatic response when needed. Proverbs 24:3-4.

Along with reading a chapter of Proverbs daily, I recommend reading 8 verses a day of Psalm 119 until you get through the Psalm and then repeat periodically. Psalm 119: 11 is our goal.

May God establish us in His wisdom!

Pastor Dave

* See 2 Kings 1; Luke 9:51-56