By Pastor Glen Huguenin
We live in confusing times. It seems that daily behaviors once understood as wrong are now viewed as right. In some cases those who continue to see such behavior as evil are now themselves thought to be evil. Has truth changed? Is it possible to know how to live in this world where technological advancements and instant internet access have given rise to a cacophony of voices all clamoring to be heard and all proclaiming to be true?
Why is there such a difference between how individuals think? How can we know what is true? Is there such a thing as absolute truth? The Old Testament book of Proverbs gives us rich insight into that question. It is a book of wise sayings from King Solomon who asked God for wisdom in response to God’s open ended offer of anything that he desired. God’s provision to Solomon’s request resulted in a wisdom that was instantly recognized by world leaders of his day.
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005.” (1 Kings 4:29-32)
Out of those 3,000 proverbs God saw fit to preserve 513 of these in His Word in order to help us navigate in the stormy seas of life. These Proverbs are clearly designed to show us what God’s Wisdom is in a variety of important practical areas like: honesty, money, disciplining children, sexual temptation, how we should speak to one another ect. What makes this book especially interesting is that while doing this it shows us both the path of true wisdom and contrasts that with the path of the fool.
These two paths are described in various places in the Bible as the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man, or the wisdom that is from Heaven as opposed to the wisdom that is from the world (James 3:13-18). These two paths are unapologetically called by Solomon the path of the wise and the path of the fool.
This dynamic of two contrasting wisdom’s (one which is of God and one of man) helps us to understand the shifting morality of our present world. Man, “in his wisdom” has chosen to reject the absolute truth of God in favor of a relative approach to truth where man “determines what is right in his own eyes.”
Solomon speaks to this when he says:
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15)
So the first question you need to ask is this: Do you really want to know the truth? Do you want to live life according to the Wisdom of your creator? Or are you going to choose man’s pseudo-wisdom?
Do you want to walk on the path of the wise or the fool, the path of the righteous or the wicked?
That question, even when answered in the affirmative, leads to another important one. Are you recognizing how God’s wisdom applies to your day to day behavior? It is easy to say we want to live according to God’s Wisdom but often we don’t see the connection between it and how we are living? That is where the book of Proverbs comes in. If you really want to live on God’s path then you need to spend time in this book of wisdom. This is exactly why God has given it to us:
“The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance…” (Proverbs 1:1-5)
Though there truly are many voices there really is only one that matters, the voice of God, and He has spoken in His Word about how to live skillfully or wisely in this life. He has marked the path of the wise and issued many warnings to help us discover the danger that lurks when we stray from it. So, which will you choose?