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Increase in learning and acquire wise counsel | P1-V5

The Usefulness of Proverbs

Proverbs 1; I die daily devotional

 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

The previous devos are focused on becoming aware of our awareness, wait … what? 1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naïve, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. Yes, until tomorrow, our proverbs are focused on becoming aware of our being alive, and alive in an environment of Wisdom. Wisdom is setting our environment for appropriate development; for growth in a world and realm of two encompassing forces: good and evil.

As my words are being written, we are innocent of their consequences. The same is understood with the hearing of these proverbs until we listen to their instruction; at which point we become responsible to our understanding of these instructions. So why learn them? Why incline our ears to hear these words given to Solomon by the power of God through Jesus Christ—the Word of God? Those answers are disclosed in the book of Revelation, but we don’t find ourselves in that experience yet. What I’m about to write next is kind of a far off thought, question rather, of curiosity to the knowledge that the place of Christ is described, but not the place of Satan. Have you ever wondered why the lake of fire is described as no more than a place of eternal punishment that burns—Hell? However, the new heavens and new earth are described in all its good, glory and magnificence, and of course the Bride of Christ—New Jerusalem—is also described in all Her radiant Truth.

What are we to make ourselves of this Truth we discover to hear ever so gently?

INCREASE IN LEARNING

This increase in learning I understand to be a preconception of what it means to be humble, because only God is all-knowing. And our responsibility to this instruction is to be always seeking the counsel of our heavenly Father in Christ our Lord. That, at the very least (for me), is what it means to worship God, to sing praise and spiritual song. The quality of such a state at its core is innocence to the experience of sin. The humble doesn’t point the finger as one who compares sin with sin, as though my sin is less appalling than yours, but instead acknowledges their sin in repentance and lives forgiven with hope.

WISE COUNSEL

As we grow in our faith to the knowledge of God, we’re instructed to acquire wise counsel. What this looks like from my viewpoint is a collection of pens (after all, I am a writer) and the ink of these pens of color signify my counsel.

  • black & white (God) [Father]
  • red (Jesus) [Son]
  • purple (Helper) [Holy Spirit]
  • yellow (women of faith) [fire]
  • blue (men of faith) [water]

True story, my favorite colors are indigo blue and neon orange; these specific colors reveal things about my personality that I have yet to understand, but look forward to discovering more about it as we move through life together. Counsel is much like the function of these colors as each color, specific to our person, represents a hierarchy. I have yet to exercise this consciously, but what happens when—I or you—ask a question (specific to our person) to a people that know us intimately (spiritually) that only the Holy Spirit can answer? What this might look like is being miserable at our jobs; what we do as far as an occupation that pays the bills, but is not at all what we’d hoped to-be-stuck doing, the rest of our lives. And so we go to certain people for insight, guidance, and help in navigating our discontentment while discovering more and more about ourselves. Some of our counsel might tell us to quit our job for what we mean to accomplish whereas other counsel might reveal treasurable aspects about our current occupation that we’d missed and outweighs the discontentment (joy in what we do is revived). Only the Holy Spirit knows these qualities about ourselves if our counsel is in Christ.

  • What are you learning?
  • Who is your counsel?
  • Are you content?
  • Is your counsel in Christ?
  • Is your counsel content?

RECOURSE

Proverbs 1 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naïve, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. The Enticement of Sinners 8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; 9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; 13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; 14 Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” 15 My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, 16 For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood. 17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors. Wisdom Warns 20 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; 21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: 22 “How long, O naïve ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? 23  “Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; 25 And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; 26 I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, 27 When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. 30 “They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. 31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. 32 “For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

Matthew Henry (P1-V5) Commentary
IV. What good use may be made of them, v. 5, 6. Those who are young and simple may by them be made wise, and are not excluded from Solomon’s school, as they were from Plato’s. But is it only for such? No; here is not only milk for babes, but strong meat for strong men. This book will not only make the foolish and bad wise and good, but the wise and good wiser and better; and though the simple and the young man may perhaps slight those instructions, and not be the better for them, yet the wise man will hear. Wisdom will be justified by her own children, though not by the children sitting in the market-place. Note, Even wise men must hear, and not think themselves too wise to learn. A wise man is sensible of his own defects (Plurima ignoro, sed ignorantiam meam non ignoroI am ignorant of many things, but not of my own ignorance), and therefore is still pressing forward, that he may increase in learning, may know more and know it better, more clearly and distinctly, and may know better how to make use of it. As long as we live we should strive to increase in all useful learning. It was a saying of one of the greatest of the rabbim, Qui non auget scientiam, amittit de ea-If our stock of knowledge by not increasing, it is wasting; and those that would increase in learning must study the scriptures; these perfect the man of God. A wise man, by increasing in learning, is not only profitable to himself, but to others also,

  • 1. As a counsellor. A man of understanding in these precepts of wisdom, by comparing them with one another and with his own observations, shall by degrees attain unto wise counsels; he stands fair for preferment, and will be consulted as an oracle, and entrusted with the management of public affairs; he shall come to sit at the helm, so the word signifies. Note, Industry is the way to honour; and those whom God has blessed with wisdom must study to do good with it, according as their sphere is. It is more dignity indeed to be counsellor to the prince, but it is more charity to be counsellor to the poor, as Job was with his wisdom. Job 29:15I was eyes to the blind.

OUTLINE

  • Why learn?
    • it teaches humility
    • it teaches discernment
      • it makes wise the innocent
      • it judges the arrogant
        • it preserves life

Bold as a lion

Warnings and Instructions

Proverbs 28; I die daily devotional.

1 The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.

After reading the commentary for this verse provided in our resource, I appreciated the connection between the wicked flee when no one is pursuing, and guilt.

"Guilt in the conscience makes men a terror to themselves, so that they are ready to flee when none pursues; like one that absconds for debt, who thinks every one he meets a bailiff."—Matthew Henry

As I meditate on this verse and commentary, think to myself, “how does it apply to me.” In my head this exercise works, but now, how to articulate it into writing where it makes sense? That’s quite the psychological exercise because it’s no longer about me, but the relationships between: God, the author to this proverb, Matthew Henry (17th/18th century biblical commentator), myself, and you. However, I’ve already hinted at the focus, “How does this apply to us?” And a deluded paranoia comes over me by the thought that I’ve done something so terribly wrong that it’s impossible for me to be forgiven and reconciled to a holy God.

“Why is that—” I ask myself, and then remember my guilt. I remember how I was sexually abused. I remember how I was physically abused; psychologically abused; spiritually abused. But then I also remember how all that abuse—much like a virus invading cells—invaded to reprogram my psyche, and a lot of what happened to me convinced me of a different identity. I’d become the virus. I’m guilty! So now that the virus has successfully reprogrammed me, I flee. I make excuse after excuse to avoid the truth because the truth is pursuing me. … Is it?

BOLD AS A LION

It’s time to face the virus. I won’t forget my wife Laura in agreement to the encouragement of our friends, “go to this ‘re:generation‘ program” that my church provides, which is basically like going to A.A. meetings, but on steroids—so I thought. Okay maybe not steroids, but I think you get the point. I also won’t forget how Laura decided to go along with me as though she didn’t need it, and well—I’ll let her tell you that story—because that woman was dead wrong up-in-dis-house. As soon as we arrived at our first meeting, we’re separated (women with women and men with men), it felt sketchy the first couple of sessions, but it was a safe place. After I’d “graduated” the first six weeks, I was given a dedicated group of other adult men with issues all across the spectrum. It came about after 5 months in, all that testosterone was like a bomb going off and we all killed each other! I’m ghostwriting you right now… Are you paying attention? These guys dumped all their heavy weight of sin on the floor to watch it burn—because nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

To continue in our guilt is to continue in our very … insecurely … wicked behavior, that virus of sin—that does separate us from God. This is why the Word of God is preached and the gospel available to believe because it’s a miracle. You are a miracle! Yes, you could give me reasons to prove against that fact; it only makes sense, when we feel convicted by whatever sin separates us from God. And you might say to me, “But Nathan, you don’t understand what I’ve done! You don’t know the skeletons in my closet!” and you’d be right, but I can tell you this! Nor-do-you-mine! And if I’m here preaching a victory over my sin to you, do you dare challenge the validity of the Lion in me? Because shoot… bear with me another mile, and let me tell about this gospel!

It wasn’t a Lion that conquered the sin in you, but a Lamb. The Lamb of God—given as the sacrifice to atone for not only the “virus” of your enemies if their faith reveal it so, but for you, your sin. And if God were to have it be that your enemies be turned back to Him even after the injustice done against you, who are you oh man to talk back to the Lion of God—Jesus Christ. Is it not righteous to hope for those guilty of injustice to experience remorse, a conscience convicted, and forgiveness extended being reconciled to God? Is that not what it means to be as bold as a lion?

Don’t be afraid or a coward to confess the nature of what is hidden deep within you. If you believe in God through Jesus Christ then you have a Lion inside you, willing to help clean up all your mess. Find someone you know in the Lord, someone you can trust with all your soul, and let them pray over you—be healed.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.


Resources

Proverbs 28 (NASB)—blueletterbible
1 The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion. 2 By the transgression of a land many are its princes, But by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures. 3 A poor man who oppresses the lowly Is like a driving rain which leaves no food. Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, But those who keep the law strive with them. 5 Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all things. 6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than he who is crooked though he be rich. 7 He who keeps the law is a discerning son, But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father. He who increases his wealth by interest and usury Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor. 9 He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination. 10 He who leads the upright astray in an evil way Will himself fall into his own pit, But the blameless will inherit good. 11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding sees through him. 12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves. 13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. 14 How blessed is the man who fears always, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity. 15 Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear Is a wicked ruler over a poor people. 16 A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days. 17 A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him. 18 He who walks blamelessly will be delivered, But he who is crooked will fall all at once. 19 He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty. 20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished. 21 To show partiality is not good, Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress. 22 A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him. 23 He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor Than he who flatters with the tongue. 24 He who robs his father or his mother And says, “It is not a transgression,” Is the companion of a man who destroys. 25 An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper. 26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered. 27 He who gives to the poor will never want, But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses. 28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.

See here, (28:1—Matthew Henry Commentary)
1. What continual frights those are subject to that go on in wicked ways. Guilt in the conscience makes men a terror to themselves, so that they are ready to flee when none pursues; like one that absconds for debt, who thinks every one he meets a bailiff. Though they pretend to be easy, there are secret fears which haunt them wherever they go, so that they fear where no present or imminent danger is, Ps. 53:5. Those that have made God their enemy, and know it, cannot but see the whole creation at war with them, and therefore can have no true enjoyment of themselves, no confidence, no courage, but a fearful looking for of judgment. Sin makes men cowards.

Degeneres animos timor arguit-
Fear argues a degenerate soul.—Virgil

Quos diri conscia facti mens habet attonitos-
The consciousness of atrocious crimes astonishes and confounds.—Juvenal

If they flee when none pursues, what will they do when they shall see God himself pursuing them with his armies? Job 20:2415:24. See Deu. 28:25Lev. 26:36.

2. What a holy security and serenity of mind those enjoy who keep conscience void of offence and so keep themselves in the love of God: The righteous are bold as a lion, as a young lion; in the greatest dangers they have a God of almighty power to trust to. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed. Whatever difficulties they meet with in the way of their duty, they are not daunted by them. None of those things move me.

Hie murus aheneus esto, nil conscire sibi-
Be this thy brazen bulwark of defence,
Still to preserve thy conscious innocence.—Hor.

OUTLINE

-One verse at a time.
-Provide commentary.