Grace & Truth Chapel
131 Fardale Avenue ~ Mahwah, New Jersey
Phone 201-327-6226 ~ E-mail

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"The Purpose of Proverbs" (posted November 1, 2009)

   The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. And further, my son, be admonished by these. ...
   Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
   - Ecclesiastes 12:11-14

   The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
   - Proverbs 1:7

In these words we have the divine reason for the book of Proverbs. God would save all who heed what is there recorded from the heartbreaking experiences and aimless wanderings of the man who was chosen to write them.

There are two ways of learning the emptiness of the world and the true character of sin. One, and by far the commonest way, is to tread the thorny path each for himself. To do so is to taste to the full the bitterness of departure from God.

The only right way is to learn it all in His presence, accepting His word regarding it, and thus enabling the obedient disciple to say, “Concerning the works of men, by the word of Your lips I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalm 17:4).

The bitter disappointments, the skeptical darkness, and the weary heart of Solomon as a result of trusting to his own wisdom-- so strongly delineated in the record of the tempests of his soul-- need never be the portion of the child of God who orders his steps in the truth.

Human collections of wisdom and instruction are but the thoughts of men like ourselves. In the wisdom literature of the Bible, we have, as everywhere else in Scripture, the very breathings of the Spirit of God. And this is amazing grace: to think that He who spoke worlds into being, who wrought redemption when man had fallen, who shall eventually bring in a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness; to think, I repeat, that He, the high and lofty one that inhabits eternity, should stoop in grace to give instruction for the very details of His creatures’ lives down here-- this is cause for worship and admiration forever.

What an importance attaches to all that I do if the God who created me and redeemed me does not consider it beneath His notice to instruct me concerning my behavior in the family, my place in society, and my methods in business. All are under His eye; and if I act in accordance with the book of Proverbs, I shall “behave myself wisely in a perfect way” (Psalm 101:2) in every relationship of life.

Harry A. Ironside

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