Words of Wisdom
[A Study of Proverbs]
[Please read the first paragraph of Part One before proceeding.]
The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. – Proverbs 28: 1
This Scripture has special significance to me because I experienced it in my life and saw the results of it in manifestation. Just because a believer was once strong in the Word of God, does not mean that they will always stay that way. Some believers can lose their commitment and actually begin to live a life that is influenced mainly by the god of this world. This is not a happy situation and it is surely not one that we should rejoice in. But I saw the results of this transformation and I never forgot it.
I have to say, on a lighter note, that notice how God has a sense of humor when it's appropriate. The verse first talks about a wicked person(s) fleeing from a situation when no one is chasing them. No one is thinking evil of them and no one is attempting to inflict evil upon them.
God says, in contrast, that the righteous are bold as a lion. That means that they have no fear because they walk by the commandments of the true God.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear [moral cowardice]; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – II Timothy 1: 7
When we apply the rightly divided Word of God by our renewed mind efforts, fear will be uprooted from our lives. In contrast, when we get away from the basics of God's Word, we begin to get under the influence of the adversary. In my life, I have seen this happen to believers of a great magnitude. Myself and my wife stand alone with this website. I was involved with hundreds of thousands of believers at one point. When the founder of this great ministry passed away, everything slowly fell to pieces. We saw it coming and we got away quickly.
One day, in a large shopping mall, I saw three women who were at one time, strong women of God. They were involved in an offshoot of the original ministry that was not true to the basics of God's Word. Instead, many of these believers were worshiping the teachers and not the Word of God. This is how the Ministry I once studied with fell apart. It has happened many times in the past and is even mentioned in the book of Acts where people started to worship the leaders and not God's Word.
These three women saw me and knew that I had separated myself from their so-called ministry. I was about to say hello to everybody, but do you know what they did? They got all flustered and ran away trying purposely to avoid me. It was designed only to hurt me and hurt always comes from the devil himself. I turned around as they passed me by quickly and I quoted them Proverbs 28:1.
So if you are standing strong on God's Word, things may happen that may seem unexplainable to you. Certain people who you once knew and who were strong believers may have stopped renewing their minds and are now way off in left field. If they run away from you and avoid you, God has assured you that this is a normal behavior. He told you that the wicked will run away when no one is even pursuing them, but the righteous, which is what you should be, are bold or fearless as a lion. It was this Scripture that took the hurt away from me in the above situation. So don't ever forget that Scripture - you're going to need it.
Let’s move on to a different type of situation, but similar in some ways. This is really an interesting Scripture not only from a spiritual aspect, but from a psychological point of view. It talks about the ‘yes’ people who'll kiss up to anybody who are in positions of power. Let's go to the Scripture.
They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. – Proverbs 28: 4
This is a magnificent Scripture because it talks about everyday life in this present world. It talks about the personality differences between a believer who studies God's Word and also about the unbeliever who forsakes the Word of God.
How many people do you know that flatter and patronize the wicked? They do it at their jobs and especially in any type of political situation where they may need a favor. They may do it in a social situation such as dating someone just because one has a lot of money. They have no common sense -- those that forsake the Word of God. They operate with half thoughts in their mind every day. From the Word’s point of view, they are functionally insane. The adversary has complicated so many simple things that people cannot think straight any longer. The only way a person can think clearly is if they flood their mind with God's thoughts. But as the Scripture says, those who turn their back on God's Word, will praise wicked people. They think that by doing so that's some great gain will come to their life, but eventually they will reap destruction. It's only a matter of time.
But the second part of the verse says something different. We that respect and apply God's Word must contend with or struggle in opposition with the wicked. How do we do this? God will show you how. I have had situations where I turned to my own heart to come up with a solution. I failed. It is written clearly in Proverbs and in Part One of these teachings, that we are to hide ourselves or avoid wicked people. When I finally learned to do this and applied it in my life, my peace began to return to me and I knew I had found the correct answer and solution to practically all of my problems. But to make the change was a struggle at first, but slowly became easier. The right way is always easier than the wrong way. I may have to struggle in opposition, at times, with wicked people. But what natural man doesn’t know won’t hurt him. I stay out of sight and ‘hide’ myself from the wicked and I live my life doing what I know is God's Will for me. You need to think about this verse and the need to ask yourself: “Am I praising the wicked?” Do I hang out with wicked people because I want to be accepted? Well, the Word says that we are to stand approved only before God. So what is your choice?
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. – II Timothy 2: 15
The following is a simple verse, but since so many of us have children, I believe there will be great profit in studying this verse.
Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father. – Proverbs 28: 7
The first part of the verse is speaking of a man's son who lives his life by the Word of God. This particular son is referred to as being wise. The word ‘but’ in the Bible means in contrast to what was said before. So in contrast to being a wise son who keeps the Word of God and lives by it, there are others who do not do this. Instead they keep company with riotous men and this brings shame to a father. The father tries his best to raise his son correctly and the son hangs out with a bunch of unbelievers who are troublemakers. Those unbelievers are controlled and influenced by the god of this world. We should know from second Corinthians 4: 4 that the god of this world, at the present time, is the devil. This wayward son often fellowships with the enemy's people without even knowing it. This is the trick of all tricks. You should know by now if you've been studying these teachings, that the secret to Satan's success is the secrecy of his moves.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. -- II Corinthians 11: 14
Satan does not come right out and show a person that he is evil. He seduces that person and he makes himself appear like he is an angel from the true God. This goes on countless times every second of every day. That is why you must know the genuine Word of God to be able to detect and deter the counterfeit way of life. Otherwise, you may be fellowshipping with darkness and not even know it. In this type of situation, the father may know better and he may be able to see through the counterfeit, but he is having a hard time convincing his son.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? -- II Corinthians 6: 14
There is another verse in Ephesians that also talks about and forbids a believer to fellowship with darkness. But look at the common sense of the above verse. Look at the word ‘unequally’. In other words, we true believers have nothing in common with unbelievers. Why? God answers the question. What fellowship is there between righteousness and unrighteousness? There is none. There can't be. What communion hath light with darkness? This is very clear and concise. We all know that if we come into a dark room and we turn on a light that the darkness dispels -- it just goes away. That is because darkness and light are opposites -- they have nothing at all in common. But again, you need to know the accurate Word of God to be able to discern truth from error. Let us go over another Scripture that is most accurate in its detail and talks about basically the same subject. This following Scripture has always been one of my favorites.
Be not deceived: evil communications [associations] corrupt good manners [morals]. -- I Corinthians 15: 33
Evil associations (the people you hang around with) will corrupt and destroy good morals. Morals are the innermost part of a person's mind and actions that shape that person’s personality. If they have a good morals, they will have obtained them by renewing their mind to God's Word. But if that person hangs around with evil people, those people will corrupt that person’s morals. So Proverbs 20 8: 7 becomes much clearer now as it is backed up in at least three different places in God's Word. God will, most often, use this same method of teaching so that we can drum it into our heads. We learn by repetition and that is why we should keep reading God's Word over and over again. If you do not understand something, just keep reading. God will never let you understand more than you can handle in your mind and your life. Some day you will read that Scripture that gave you so much problems and it will be clear to you. That's how God works.
So again, we took one Scripture in the book of Proverbs and we were able to make a short lesson about what it teaches us. What the verse is really saying as clearly as possible is that we are not to fellowship with darkness or our lives will become corrupted and destroyed. This may not happen immediately since the adversary will come to you as an angel of light, but eventually he will either steal, kill or destroy your life.
I have decided to lead to a conclusion in this teaching studying four Scriptures near the beginning of Proverbs that are most dynamic and extremely important and often times, ignored. You have probably heard about these Scriptures and now we are going to go over them in detail. First, I will group the four Scriptures into one long Scripture and then we will examine each Scripture for its accuracy. Again, as with God's many promises, these Scriptures can possibly be the most important Scriptures you will ever learn to apply in your life if you are striving to achieve the more than abundant life.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear [respect] the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. – Proverbs 3: 5 – 8
Since there is so much wisdom and Godly guidance in each one of these four Scriptures, we shall study them one by one and pay attention to detail.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. – Proverbs 3: 5
How often do we make decisions and decide to take a certain course of action in our lives? Then after we do this, we go to God and we ask Him if what we already did was okay to do. You see this is the renewed mind working backwards. And how many times does our course of action fail and fall to pieces? Why? It has been said that if we don't want to spin our wheels, we should always go to God first and ask Him if we should do what we are about to do. It's that simple. We are to trust in the Lord with all thine heart. Now look at the second part of the verse. God is telling us not to trust our own understanding. If God knows everything and surely he does, He also has foreknowledge to see the future, then it is almost ridiculous to argue the point. He knows what's going to happen with our plans, so why not ask Him for permission to do so before we spin our wheels. I mean seriously, how many of us truly turn to the Father before we make a decision? In simpler terms, it's called prayer and it's one of the best habits you can never acquire if you want to master the wisdom of the Word.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. – Proverbs 3: 6
How many ways does God want us to acknowledge Him or to go to Him for wisdom in making decisions? He says ALL of our ways. You must understand that the spiritual realm is greater than the natural realm. The natural realm is run uncontrolled by the five senses and we should know by now that the five senses are often erroneous and unreliable. So we turn to a much greater power and that power is God. And then what does God say if we do this? He says He shall [absolutely] direct our paths. What greater guarantee can we have to live the more than abundant life? God simply wants you to go to Him and ask Him and trust Him and He will direct your paths. God is all light and in Him is no darkness at all, so you can always trust in God. He will never let you down, but He wants you to go to Him. He made, formed, and created us so that He would have someone to keep Him company and someone to talk to. Isn't that beautiful? So go to Him and ask Him and acknowledge Him and He, God Almighty, will direct your paths. If we learn to do this, we can never go wrong and we can never fail in any one of our endeavors in this life. Is that not a great promise? That's one of the almost 1000 promises in the Word of God. So these four Scriptures are just loaded with positives and promises.
Now in the next Scripture, God, because of His great love for us, warns us about something. He warns us not to do this or we are going to get involved in some type of evil.
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear [repect] the Lord, and depart from evil. – Proverbs 3: 7
Do you see how your Heavenly Father watches out for you? After He gives you such great instruction, He then warns you about something. Man likes to rule his own life and this is one of man's basic problems when it comes to walking by the revealed Word and Will of God. He wants to walk by his five senses and God refers to this as to ‘be not wise in thine own eyes’. This means in your own mind, you may contradict the Word of God. God then says to give Him some respect and notice how this is worded. First, you give God respect and then you depart from evil. It's different in the world -- it's backwards. Most often, you would depart from evil and then you would respect the Lord. But God says to respect Him first and THEN depart from evil. If you think about this from a spiritual aspect, you will see that if you give God the respect that He deserves, you will have more power in your life to depart and to resist evil. It's not that hard -- we just need to think about what we’re thinking about.
I need to add something to the above study. It is a note that I have in my Bible. We may wonder what it means in totality to “depart from evil”. To depart from evil means to depart from RELIGION. If we can accomplish this, believe me, we have departed from evil. Religion is man's interpretation of what the Bible should say. We, in this website, teach the opposite of religion. Religion is of the world and it is of the devil himself. True Christianity is the rightly divided Word of God and a way of our Heavenly Father with His children. I told someone once that God can't stand -- he can't tolerate, religion. It is in the book of Isaiah. Possibly you can look it up yourself. It is in the beginning of the book. God cannot stand religion.
Now this next verse sums up the previous three Scriptures and tells us the benefits that we will receive if we adhere to God's Words of wisdom. There is no greater writer or author in the universe than God. He knows just where to put things in His Word so that we can understand what He is saying clearly and concisely. In verse eight, he sums up the benefits of everything that He said in the previous three verses. He tells us why we should follow His guidance and He gives us assurance to try to motivate us to do what He is asking us to do.
It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. – Proverbs 3: 8
This is an unexpected figure of speech referring to our physical health. Applying the Word of God in our lives results in excellent physical health. Isn't this another promise that we may not have been aware? You see everything that God does and tells us to do is clean and pure. It even helps our physical bodies to be more healthy and to prosper as far as our health is concerned. And notice that the word used is the word “shall’ and this means it will absolutely come to pass.
Again, in Part Two of these teachings, we covered only 7 Scriptures from Proverbs and uncovered a wealth of information. We need to renew our mind and APPLY these principles. We will continue in Part Three.
[ END OF PART TWO ]