PROVERB PRACTICALS  

 

Proverbs 1:1,  The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel.

On my office wall I have a professional engineering license, signed by Governor Bob Martinez of Florida..

This license attests that I have the proper schooling, sufficient experience in the profession, and that I have passed the required tests given by the State of Florida.

The State thinks it necessary to license professions that serve the public in the interests of public safety.

When you drive over a highway bridge you are assured that bridge was designed by a person who was licensed to design bridges.

When occupying a building during a hurricane the state assures you that the building's structure was designed by an registered engineer.

It is in the public interest to restrict the design of bridges and buildings to those whom the state is assured are qualified to design a safe bridge and a safe building.

And therefore the state gives those who have met those qualifications, credentials for all to examine.

It is wise to examine credentials because credentials promote confidence.

I want your confidence in my engineering abilities so I present credentials that have been issued by someone you can trust.

Does not wisdom caution that a man's word is not to be accepted or trusted unless there is reason to accept that man's word?

In other words the wise man examines the testimony of a man before committing his trust to that man.

As a new Christian I visited for the first time a home near our church with another individual attempting to win souls.

I got down to business. I did not get involved in the amenities.

Time was a wasting.

I opened the Bible and presented the Gospel.

I asked for a decision. "Wait a minute," I was told.

We need to get acquainted before we discuss such serious matters.

What you say can come after we get to know each other.

I thought, Oh he's just putting off getting saved.

He's just politely getting rid of us.

I never went back to his house thinking I had served the Lord.

Hadn't I preached the Gospel? Hadn't I done right?

But upon thinking of this incident during the last 20 years I have come to the conclusion that the man was right.

Why should he have believed me, a stranger coming to his door?

He did not know me from Adam. I had no standing before him.

I had no testimony before him which would encourage him to accept what I said as true.

He was right to be cautious, he was right to be suspicious!

I had no credentials to show him. He had no reason to trust me.

He invited me to show him those credentials over a period of time but I did not respond by giving the time.

I was not interested in credentials or taking time with the man to establish a testimony.

I was careless in my zeal to win him to the Lord.

But thanks be to God that God is not careless about credentials.

God does not expect you to believe the word of God without him providing credentials.

The Gospels show the lives of the apostles and their testimonies validated by the Lord Jesus Christ so that when we read the epistles we know the credentials of the authors.

We are told that they could not speak but what they had seen and heard. They had credentials, they had a testimony!

Webster's 1828 Dictionary under the definition of credentials says this: So the power of working miracles given to the apostles may be considered as their credentials, authorizing them to preach the Gospel, and entitling them to credit.

Peter reminds us that he is a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

He tells us that the disciples have not followed cunningly devised fables, but were eyewitnesses of Jesus Christ's majesty.

Even the apostles when they were to choose a 12th apostle confined their choice to those who had credentials.

The 12th apostle was to be selected from those who were with Jesus Christ from the baptism of John until Christ was taken up.

Does not the book of Acts present the credentials of Paul whose epistles provide us our manual on Christian living?

Even Jesus Christ presented his credentials to us so that we would not have to exercise blind faith.

The world exercises blind faith, the Christian is not asked by Jesus Christ to exercise blind faith! He provides credentials!

We are told by John the Apostle in John 14:11 that Jesus Christ said,  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

My works are my credentials he told his disciples.

And not only that, Matthew, Mark and Peter record the Father's voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Paul teaches Timothy, a type of all young Christians in 2 Timothy 1:8,  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

Paul is saying to Timothy, to you and me and to all Christians:

Get credentials, get accredited in the halls of heaven, get a testimony that makes way for you as you serve Jesus Christ.

Be a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel.

Get off the sidelines and partake of the afflictions that serving the Lord will bring.

Having credentials then is the norm in the Bible and God desires that you have credentials, a testimony, as you serve him.

And God confirms this in the first verse of the book of Proverbs.

Before we are to trust the words of this book he presents the credentials of the author of the book.

He says that these are:  The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

So we are told that this book consists of proverbs of a king.

Not any king but a king whose father was David, a man after God's own heart. Not any king, but the king of Israel,

Family credentials, royal credentials and credentials based upon the testimony of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived according to the scriptures.

For God records for us Solomon's credentials in 1 Kings 3:3-12,

And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: ....... In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.

And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

1 Kings 4:29-34,  And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. ......... And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.

So Solomon, the tenth son of David, is accredited by God as one to whom to listen.

Solomon has the credentials of God to present 851 verses in 29 chapters of holy scripture for our learning and for our benefit.

We are justified in studying the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon because these books were written by one who is certified by God himself as one to whom to listen.

As the Queen of Sheba said in 1 Kings 10:8 as she addressed Solomon,  Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.

And that same condition still exists when God's children stand continually before the proverbs of Solomon because they are the wisdom of God. happy are these thy servants

Given at a Teacher Training Session

"The Purposes of Proverbs"

All of you are here to teach and have credentials to teach.

Parents trust that you have credentials and that trust causes them to place in your care their most loved of possessions, their children.

They place their children in your care and expect them to take heed to what you have to say for you will be talking to them for the next 9 months.

Most of the time, I trust, and their parents also trust, that the children will be listening.

One of your main tasks it to see to it that they do!

Therefore you must take heed as to what you say for what you say is most important in validating your credentials.

All of you are here to bring children forward in their education.

Some are here to take the little ones throughout the year in a class together and teach them many subjects.

Some are here to teach individual courses like algebra or

Science or English.

Each of your students will have a time of Bible training each day and many will learn new verses each week.

But as far as I know there are no formal classes in the study of wisdom, instruction, understanding, justice, judgment, equity, subtlety, knowledge and discretion.

But according to the wisest man who ever lived, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, that is the curriculum that is most important.

There is no book named Math in the Bible, no epistle called geography in the Bible, nor science or English but there is a book called the Proverbs.

God has given us the Proverbs of Solomon in order for us to have a basis for teaching these important subjects such as wisdom, instruction and understanding.

Solomon in the very first chapter of Proverbs carefully lays out his purpose in recording these proverbs for they are given to us that we know wisdom and instruction.

That we perceive the words of understanding, and receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity.

They are given to give subtlety to the simple, and to the young man, knowledge and discretion.

These purposes may not be clearly defined in the curriculum that you are assigned to teach but as a Christian teacher they must be woven within each subject you instruct.

If this is to be in truth a Christian School this must be done.

As a matter of fact you should look at your subject matter as incidental to the training in the important purposes of Proverbs.

Look at your subject matter as simply vehicles that you can use to teach wisdom, justice, judgment and equity, subtlety and discretion for these are what is important for your students.

Ask an adult out of school for a number of years, what the quadratic equation is, how do you diagram a sentence, what is the name of the important river in England and you will be given a demonstration in dumbfounded ness.

Perhaps you will even hear the word "duh!"

For math or English or science does not shape the man or woman but the word of God as found in the proverbs will.

The proverbs are designed to bring about a definite result in the lives of those who hear them, with the kind of hearing that produces obedience!

The book of Proverbs is not a curriculum that produces fruit in the casual reader.

God has told us in the Psalms to taste and see that the Lord is good.

He has said: Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.

It requires a student that takes a mouthful and employs every taste bud to enter into the evaluation of seeing that the Lord is good.

It is like a wine taster that fills his mouth with wine and gargles the wine throughout every part of his mouth as he measures the taste of the wine.

The wine maker does not want his wine to be judged based upon a casual taste and neither does God when it comes to his book!

His book promises much and as such requires much of the student if fruit is to result.

But the result is worth any effort because the result is better than the merchandise of silver and the gain thereof than fine gold.

But Solomon requires a diligence worthy of such treasure.

It takes a workman to benefit from the Proverbs because the purpose of the Proverbs is so consequential, it being a matter of life or death.

Look at what Solomon promises to result from the Proverbs.

The proverbs of Solomon to know wisdom.

to know instruction.

to perceive the words of understanding.

to receive the instruction of wisdom.

The proverbs to receive the instruction of justice.

to receive the instruction of judgment.

to receive the instruction of equity.

to give subtlety to the simple.

to give to the young man knowledge.

to give to the young man discretion.

to understand a proverb.

to interpret a proverb.

Only a book that is inspired by God can deliver what Solomon says the proverbs will do.

Knowing wisdom and knowing instruction.

These are the first grand results that Solomon purposes.

It is obvious, man does not come into this world with wisdom and it is obvious that many men and many women go out of this world never having wisdom.

Man may gain much knowledge but unless he knows the right use of knowledge he does not have wisdom.

Wisdom uses knowledge to chose the right things and determine the right means to accomplish them.

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge for the advancement of the plan and program of God.

The knowledge of the world is not used for the advancement of the plan and program of God.

But the knowledge that God gives is to be used rightly.

One of Solomon's proverbs tell us that: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

This is because fearing the Lord puts you upon the foundational truth that knowledge is given for the advancement of the plan and program of God.

To fear the Lord is to know that you are accountable to God and as such you are to use knowledge rightly and using knowledge rightly is wisdom.

Using knowledge outside of those boundaries is the mark of a fool.

Jesus Christ had perfect knowledge and he only used that knowledge for the advancement of the plan and program of God.

I must be about my Fatherís business.

Perfectly using knowledge to advance the plan and program of God gives Jesus Christ the right to be called Wisdom personified.

To know wisdom then is to know Jesus Christ and Solomon's first purpose for his proverbs is to know wisdom, to know Jesus Christ.

This truth is the foundational truth upon which all other purposes of the book must rest.

The second purpose of the proverbs of Solomon is to know instruction.

As with wisdom man does not come into this world knowing instruction.

The word instruction of verse two of chapter one is from a Hebrew word for chastisement or reproofs.

So a result of the proverbs is to know chastisement.

It means when to know that instruction applies to you and not only to another.

It means to perceive with certainty, to understand clearly that the truth applies to you and to welcome the instruction or chastisement since it brings you closer to wisdom.

Unless you know this you do not know instruction.

You may know about instruction but you do not know instruction.

You are wise if reproof is welcomed.

You are wise if chastisement is received with gladness because instruction is designed to conform you to Wisdom himself, the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Heb 12:10-11 says he chastens us for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

The proverbs to know instruction, that is to know chastisement, reproof, or correction, will lead the young man to welcome instruction as a friend.

He will welcome instruction as a friend because instruction is designed to increase him in wisdom, that is to conform him to Jesus Christ.

This is partaking in his holiness!

Shunning or despising or turning off instruction by oneís attitude is a sign of a fool for the Bible tells us that fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The man that refuses to hear instruction despises his own soul because hearing instruction, hearing reproof is healthy for the soul.

If I refuse to hear instruction, that is correction or chastisement, I am saying that I am not interested in a soul that can be all God wants it to be!

Solomon further describes his intention for his proverbs that they give to the young man the ability to perceive the words of understanding.

There are multitudes of words. The world is full of words.

But how does a young man or young woman know what words are words of understanding?

Solomon intends for his proverbs to provide tools by which words of understanding can be known.

Understanding means standing under.

The sense of the word understanding is to support: it means a holding.

It means to hold in the mind. I've got it! the student cries.

My mind knows the real state of things presented to it.

One of the marks of wisdom is whenever wisdom instructs she uses words of understanding.

Wisdom's words are not designed to confuse but they are always designed to enlighten, to clarify, to separate.

Wisdom uses words that advance the knowledge of the holy because the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Without the knowledge of the holy all understanding is built on shifting sands pushed by the winds of change.

And as on sand there are no absolute foundations.

Wisdom presents foundational principals upon which understanding is built.

And unless those foundational principals are received there will be no true understanding.

So a purpose of the proverbs is for the young man, the young woman, to perceive these words among all the words that he hears.

What are the right words, what are the right ideas to focus on?

What are the right causes and who is speaking words of understanding?

The proverbs will give him the wherewithal to separate the words of understanding from those that are not the words of understanding.

He will have an understanding of that which is right from that which is wrong.

He will learn the power of separation.

He will know the demagogue when he hears him speak on the radio, television or on the street.

He will recognize the words of a false preacher or a false leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises, to gain personal power and standing.

He will perceive words whether they are words that contribute to his knowledge of the holy or whether they cater to his flesh.

The proverbs are designed to give him discernment as to what knowledge or words will give him understanding.

The proverbs are designed to give him the ability to distinguish, the ability to discriminate, the ability to know what contributes to understanding or what takes away from understanding.

In other words Solomon's proverbs will provide him the tools to answer the questions,

Who and what should I allow my ears to listen to?

Where should I spend my time?

What words shall I allow to enter my mind?

Who shall be my teacher?

Where shall I attend school?

Who will be my friends?

Who shall be my mate?

The proverbs are designed to give the man of Psalm 1:1:

the tools to walk not in the counsel of the ungodly,

the tools to not stand in the way of sinners,

the tools to not sit in the seat of the scornful.

That does not just happen, there must be a preparation, there must be a time of training.

And Solomon sets out the curriculum for that preparation and that training in his proverbs.

Continuing in verse three of chapter one Solomon gives us proverbs which will provide the young man the ability to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment and equity.

The word 'receive' in this verse indicates an active participation in a process.

It is not like simply receiving a gift, for many gifts simply gather dust.

But the word 'receive' describes the act of getting a gift and fully making use of that gift.

The Hebrew word translated 'receive' in this verse is translated "take in" in many other verses of the Bible.

Solomon purposes his proverbs such that the instruction that the young man receives "takes" in the young man.

It is to be instruction that makes a difference in the young man's life.

It is what the Christian teacher hopes for in the life of his or her student.

Did Santa Rosa Christian School "take", in the graduate's life?

Did what he learned at our school make a difference in his life?

Am I making a difference in the lives of my students?

In other words is my instruction 'taking' in their lives?

Now four things that Solomon purposes to cause sticking or taking in the young man are Wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity!.

Solomon knows that the young man is out of kilter.

The young man, comes into this world out of order.

He needs correction, he needs reproof, he need chastisement.

And Wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity are to be his instructors they are to be his correctors; they are to put him in order.

The word wisdom in this third verse is not from the same Hebrew word as the word wisdom in the second verse.

It is a word more clearly defined by our word circumspect.

Circum means circular. Spect is the same spect that is used in the word "spectacles".

So spect means to look. Therefore circumspect means to look around.

Circumspect literally means to look at all sides.

It means to be cautious, prudent; watchful on all sides.

It means to examine carefully all the circumstances that may affect a determination, or a measure to be adopted or a decision to be made.

It means to know in the mind before the mouth is engaged.

So Solomon's proverbs are purposed to put into the young man a correction from looking at things from a narrow self centered direction to looking at all sides of the issue.

Look around young man and examine all things that should affect your decision making and your speech.

This instruction of wisdom is to 'take' or 'stick' to the young man and to be a part of his nature.

He is admonished to receive the instruction of wisdom and then he is also told to receive the instruction of justice.

What does justice have to teach? What is the instruction of justice?

The instruction of justice is to DO RIGHT BY ALL MEN!

People of the world like to quote their Intelligence Quotient, their IQ.

But God looks at your JQ, your Justice Quotient.

Here is a test of your justice quotient?

Maybe we are not as just as we think!

Jesus Christ said in Matthew 5:44,45, .... Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

But what do we do? We love those that love us.

We bless them that bless us. We do good only to them that don't hate us.

We pray only for them who treat us well.

We are respecter of persons.

We are not 'just' persons if we do such things.

God does not withhold the sun or the rain from those who are unjust and only shower his benefits upon those who are just.

God is no respecter of persons: He shares his benefits with all.

They are there for the taking.

God is just and he expects those who call him Father to be just also that you may truly be the children of your Father which is in heaven.

Justice demands that if you love them which love you you are also to love them that don't love you.

That is justice, that is fairness.

We are not to even be a respecter of persons with our love.

Matthew 5:46,  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

Who do you greet each morning or show kindness to each day?

Matthew 5:47 .. if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Are you only kind to your own?

Do you greet those who are in a position to affect your life or be profitable to you and ignore those of lesser standing who make no contribution to your welfare?

This is justice that hits close to home. This is Biblical justice.

So young man, young woman, receive the instruction of justice Solomon admonishes.

Justice instructs you to:

Love your enemies because you love your friends,

Justice instructs you to: bless them that curse you, because you bless them that are kind to you,

Justice instructs you to: do good to them that hate you because you do good to them that love you,

Justice instructs you to: pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you because you pray for them who don't use you and who treat you kindly.

Why? Because you are made in the image of your Father and he expects his children to project that image in their walk.

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Solomon's continues with his purpose for the proverbs to receive the instruction of judgment:

Judgment is a result of wisdom applied.

A judgment in a court of law is not rendered until the evidence has been presented.

Prejudice on the other hand is judgment formed without examination of the facts or arguments necessary to a just and impartial decision.

A juror is not expected to judge until all the facts are heard.

Prejudice is judging before the time for judgment.

Prejudice rejects wisdom. Prejudice desires to bypass wisdom.

Prejudice rushes to judgment when judgment calls for slow measured progress toward a conclusion, toward a determination.

Prejudice is lazy because it wants to arrive at a conclusion without effort or thought.

Prejudice caters to the flesh because prejudice reinforces the ideas of the flesh.

Prejudice is the mark of a loser and not a winner!

Prejudice played a part in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

If the Jews had been interested in truth they would have been interested in Jesus Christ.

He was judged guilty without due examination of the facts.

The flesh wars against the spirit without proper foundation because the flesh is prejudiced against anything that crucifies the flesh.

The flesh is not interested in truth and therefore loves prejudice.

But the child of God ought not to engage in prejudiced thinking or prejudiced acts because God his Father never judges without knowing every fact of every issue.

So Solomon purposes for the young man to receive the instruction of judgment thereby not receiving the instruction of prejudice.

Judgment requires the wisdom of circumspection, judgment requires justice.

Judgment instructs that the young man look around and examine all sides of the issue.

Judgment instructs him not to respect men and lean his decision toward the man who will profit him most.

Men are not to be his standard by which judgments are made.

His judgments are not to be made considering who they will please or not please.

Judgment instructs him to compare ideas, facts and arguments to determine a just and impartial decision.

Judgment instructs the young man to reject lazy thought processes of the mind.

Processes that arrive at conclusions without giving fair hearing to sufficient evidence to make a wise and informed determination.

Judgment instructs that a just man will give a fair hearing of the facts of all sides of an issue before concluding the matter.

The man who will not do that is not a just man.

God is just and he expects those who call him Father to be just also that you may truly be the children of your Father which is in heaven.

So Solomon purposes that the young man receive the instruction of judgment and also the instruction of equity.

All men have the right to claim equity in the administration of justice.

Justice is to be blind because when the eye enters into the process the possibility of corruption of justice takes place.

Equity is a level playing field for all the players.

Each player is to have an equal opportunity for justice.

The instruction of equity to the young man is to be impartial in the distribution of justice.

Equity instructs that all must be treated justly.

Equity instructs that justice is not reserved for one individual or one group to the exclusion of another individual or another group.

Justice is not to be exclusive but to be inclusive and available to all.

Justice is to be dispensed with equity, with an evenness, with a fairness, conforming with established rules as applied to all.

Fairness implies eliminating one's own feelings, prejudices and desires.

Fairness is achieving a proper balance of conflicting interests.

The phrase "All men are created equal" comes into play when one thinks of equity.

All men are not created equal in the physical sense or in the matter of talents and abilities.

But as far as the dispensation of justice all men are to have equal opportunity for justice regardless of their physical attributes or their worldly connections or lack of worldly connections.

This is the instruction of equity.

In summary Solomon intends for the young man to look all around him, be circumspect, take advantage of all the facts and knowledge at his disposal.

Apply that knowledge with justice, not being a respecter of men in his application of that knowledge

He is to "DO RIGHT BY ALL MEN!"

Solomon continues with his purpose for Proverbs by telling us that they are: To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

That is a purpose of the Proverbs.

To make the simple subtle; to make the simple to know; to make the simple be discrete.

Now Proverbs 14:15 says:  The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

This indicates that the 'simple' does not have the right tools in his toolbox.

His elevator does not stop at all the floors.

The 'simple' lack that which it takes to separate words of truth from words of error.

This indicates that the 'simple' trust without reason to trust.

It also indicates that trust and believing must have a sound basis.

The simple believe every word because he has no ability not to.

He is simple! But God is not satisfied to have simple children except in the matter of being simple in that which concerns evil.

He is not satisfied to have children that are not subtle to the wiles of the devil.

God gives his children tools to use against the devil's wiles and he expects those tools to be used.

As Eph 6:11 says we are to: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

and Psalm 19:7,  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

and Psalm 119:130,  The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

and Psalm 119:9,  Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Now Solomon intends for his proverbs to give to the simple a subtlety of thinking, a subtlety of perception.

The proverbs are designed to give the simple a refinement of reasoning.

They are designed to give a sharpness of the mind, an understanding of the character or meaning of thought and speech.

Subtlety means to go deeper than the surface of things.

It means a critical penetration of the mind in minute accuracy.

Subtlety brings a fineness of discrimination.

Subtlety is the ability to draw a fine distinction in reasoning and thought.

The subtle person perceives slight impressions.

These impressions accurately reveal the smallest faults, errors or irregularities in an argument or a position.

The subtle person distinguishes and judges with exactness.

The subtle person does not believe every word because he is equipped to perceive the finest of distinctions.

It is like a person who is expert in the weather.

Every small change communicates to that person a message of future weather.

This person prepares for the coming storm while the weather simpleton enjoys the sunshine and lulls away the time in pleasurable pursuits, simply enjoying the warmth of the sun.

The weather simpleton feels the sunshine and believes all is well but the weather expert is equipped to read the subtlest of weather signs.

The weather person is equipped to perceive the finest of distinctions.

Did we not hear of the elephants in Indonesia who fled the tsunami because they were wise and not simple concerning tsunami signals?

God desires that his children be subtle to the coming storms of life, to the storms that are coming to the church.

He wants his children to perceive the finest of distinctions.

He wants his children to be subtle to the smallest faults, errors or irregularities in an argument or a position.

Isn't this what Paul preached to the Ephesians in Eph 4:14?

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

How are we to be no more children?

How are we not to be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine?

What is our defense against the sleight of men, cunning craftiness, and deception?

The visible church is full of slighting, cunning, crafty and deceiving men!

Solomon says to look to his Proverbs for subtlety and Jesus Christ says in a broader sense to look to the Word of God.

This is not something that God reserves for the highly intelligent of the well educated.

College won't give you what I'm talking about!

Remember the account in Acts concerning Peter and John.

They were perceived as unlearned and ignorant men but their testimony caused those around them to marvel and they were noticed.

Why, because they had been with Jesus.

Simply because they had physically been with Jesus?

No, because they listened to Jesus and heard his word.

It caused them to change from the simple to the subtle.

They became bold for Christ because the Word of God imparted to them subtlety, knowledge, and discretion.

They heard the Word and it made the difference.

Solomon says, hear these proverbs and they will give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

So what is your curriculum to be this year?

Is it simply to be reading, math and science, English, or is it to be wisdom, instruction, understanding, justice, judgment, equity, knowledge, and subtlety.

Make sure that whatever the age of your students is, weave the Proverbs in so that our students will be armed with that which is necessary to fight the good fight of faith.