How to get wisdom without drinking Vitameatavegamin
by Lenny Esposito
Recently I was asked what my favorite scripture is. Now, this is a hard question, because I tend to approach the Bible not as a monolith, but apply different passages to different circumstances. I like to keep the context of the passage in focus, so there really is no “one size fits all” for me.
However, if I had to point to one passage that has spoken to me most strongly in my ministry – the one that I feel is how God calls upon me to do his will – I’d have to point to Proverbs 22:17-21. Most people are surprised by this, figuring that 1 Peter 3:15 (the classic apologetics passage) would define an apologist. But I think this Proverbs passage is pretty strong. Let me just touch on it for you:
Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.
So that your trust may be in the LORD,
I have taught you today, even you.
Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?
Just a couple of points here:
v 17 – “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise And apply your mind to my knowledge;” – We are first commend to apply our minds to the knowledge of God. We need to study! Learn about God’s Word. Learn the arguments.
v 18a, 19a “For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you”, ” So that your trust may be in the LORD” – There is a blessing for us if we have looked into these issues. I know everyone goes through trials. The absolute WORST time to intellectually wrestle with the tough question about the existence of God, the problems of evil and such is when you are in an emotionally vulnerable state, Yet, trials force us to think about these issues! However, because I’ve spent time previously thinking through these issues in a calm, rational manner – my faith isn’t overthrown. I may not understand why God doesn’t answer my prayers, but I know that God exists and that He will provide a way through it all. Those are already settled in my mind, so I don’t have to rehash them when I’m the most frustrated or scared.
v18b “That they may be ready on your lips.” –We need to be ready. 1 Peter 3:15 shows up in Proverbs. Amazing…
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