A human being lives, but he is given life.
New King James Version (NKJV)
The Excellence of Wisdom
1 Does not wisdom cry out,
And understanding lift up her voice?
2 She takes her stand on the top of the high hill,
Beside the way, where the paths meet.
3 She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the entrance of the doors:
4“ To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
5 O you simple ones, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
6 Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
7 For my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
9 They are all plain to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction, and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choice gold;
11 For wisdom is better than rubies,
And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.
12“ I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And find out knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles,
All the judges of the earth.
17 I love those who love me,
And those who seek me diligently will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold,
And my revenue than choice silver.
20 I traverse the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21 That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.
22“ The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23 I have been established from everlasting,
From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields,
Or the primal dust of the world.
27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 When He established the clouds above,
When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
29 When He assigned to the sea its limit,
So that the waters would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
And my delight was with the sons of men.
32“ Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
For blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the LORD;
36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death.”
Thought of the Day
“When we are filled with pride, we leave no room for wisdom”
I was one of the speakers at a family camp in Canada. One afternoon as my wife and I were visiting a couple who directed the children’s ministry, their teenage son came in and sat down. During a lull in the conversation he asked me, “Who are you, one of the big shots here?”
Momentarily I was speechless. Young people have a way of cutting through pretense and getting right to the point. “Well,” I replied, “some people around here might think so, but you and I know the truth.”
God has no big shots, yet the “Christian world” has created celebrities, and many people bow at the shrine of big-name speakers and musicians. Some in public ministry begin to believe the superlative descriptions of themselves and think they are superior. But when pride takes over, shame and disgrace are sure to follow (Prov. 11:2). In contrast, the pursuit of humility brings honor (29:23). Men and women who truly understand God’s greatness detest any signs of pride within themselves (8:13).
It’s appropriate to show honor and respect to God’s servants, but we lack wisdom if we think of ourselves or others as “God’s big shots.”
Lord, help us to hate sinful pride as You do! —Dennis J. De Haan Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Use us, Lord, and make us humble,
Rescue us from foolish pride;
And when we begin to stumble,
Turn our thoughts to Christ who died. –Sper
Personal Reflection and Discussion