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Ralph's Daily Devotional - Tuesday, January 23

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1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
    for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
    doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
    the sayings and riddles of the wise.  

 

Who needs "The Book of Proverbs" written some 3000 years ago when we have the internet to guide us along with people such as Woody Allen and Oprah?  I do.  Its timeless truths have stood the test of time and cultures.  Sure, some of the things it says are culturally dated, but it doesn't take a genius to reconcile that.


Let's look for a moment at what "wisdom" is really all about.


1. Wisdom is not about instant success in life and seminars on how to become affluent and successful.  It begins with humility and the ability to take "instruction" that we might gain "insight into understanding words."  People love to talk.  We have a hard time listening and discerning.  That's why so many fall into foolish errors and are taken in by deception.


2. Wisdom will affect our "behavior" in doing what is "just and fair."  There is nothing wrong with being shrewd.  In fact, wise people are always seeking the best possible options, but not at the expense of others through broken promises and deceptive practices.

3. Wisdom is meant to be shared.  The "young and simple" here can be anyone, but it probably begins with our children.  Often, you will know a wise man through his kids.  This college frenzy today in which parents naively believe that the best schools  roduce the best children is marvelously myopic.
   
4. Wisdom is often hidden.  "Riddles, sayings, proverbs" convey truths that take time and tenacity to unlock and interpret.  They were used to get people to think (a very rare way of approaching life!).  In today's world of wanting to break everything down to a quick and easy solution, the room for error is often not diminished but enlarged.  Life itself is a mystery, and so is God.  But it can be understood because along with the darkness there is also light.  Wisdom understands and accepts both realities and applies that to all of life.
        

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