It is possible that the eighth chapter of Proverbs is the apex of wisdom literature. Wisdom is personified as one who has the keys to meaningful life and is eager to give them to those who recognize the value of wisdom. It points to a time in Solomon's future when ultimate wisdom is fully demonstrated in the person of Jesus the Christ. In this chapter, wisdom rehearses the...Keep Reading
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Everyone wants to be blessed. The problem is that we often view blessings as our gain at other’s loss. We are blessed if we win the lottery. Of course, that means that everyone else did not, and we got their money. We even tend to think that for God to bless us, others must not be blessed. And even further, we begin to feel that we are only blessed when we have more good things happening to us than are happening to others....
In marriage, the role of the husband is different from that of the wife, but the perspective and attitude are the same. Peter’s use of “likewise” or “in the same way” is common to both his instructions to the wife and to the husband and is probably referring to 2:13 where believers are exhorted to place their explicit trust in God by properly submitting to his delegated authority structures....
Since the new order has been launched in the resurrection of Jesus, every aspect of life is affected, including marriage. As all married people know, marriage can turn out to be not only different than expected, but difficult to navigate. For marriage to be anything like what God intended in the beginning, we need a new perspective. Peter is describing that new perspective in this whole section of his letter. He has already said that we have been freed and empowered to submit to God’s order by honestly respecting the delegated authority structures that allow society to function best. But just exactly how does the resurrection of Jesus affect the wife’s role in marriage?...
While many in our culture are arguing over family values and some are insisting that we abandon all restraints to sexual desires, we have the testimony of Wisdom for an anchor. Wisdom teaches us that God ordained families to train us how to view such powerful dynamics as sex and fidelity. We learn by models more than by lectures, and what we see modeled in our early life g...Keep Reading
Does the God of love hate? Actually, his love demands he hate that which threatens those he loves. The great news of the gospel is that his love is so great that God in Christ became the sin that is so destructive to his creatures and condemned it in the flesh (Romans 8: 3)....Keep Reading
In a day when the value of human labor is debated, we need clarification about why and how we work. The emphasis for many in affluent societies is on less work and more play. It seems we only work when we absolutely must. The real objective is not to work. Of course, for some who have not found work, a job is desirable. Even then, however, many would not work if they could...Keep Reading
Fatherly wisdom encourages us to embrace the gifts that God gives us and to refuse to settle for the substitutes offered by the deceiver. This is especially true in relation to marriage and the alternatives that compete with it. The temptation to adultery appeals to our selfishness. After all, we shouldn't be expected to be limited to just one sex partner, should we? There...Keep Reading
I often hear wealthy people talk about guarding their money. Some people arm themselves, their homes, and their cars with multiple defenses. They are preparing to guard what is theirs. Likewise, there is a multi-billion dollar industry built around guarding our physical bodies. We try to eat the right foods, exercise, relieve stress, monitor blood pressure, etc. Yet I wond...Keep Reading
The voice of wisdom describes both the path of the wicked and the path of the righteous. The first leads to anxiety, mischief, fear, desolation, and violence. The first few steps look inviting---like the proposition the serpent offered Eve in the Garden. "You will be like God knowing good and evil." (Paraphrase: "You will be somebody and you won't have to listen to or depe...Keep Reading
Paul prayed for believers to be built up in the inner man. The Epistle to the Hebrews says that those who live by faith do so by seeing something others don't see. They have inner eyes and ears. Shockingly it says that without faith it is impossible to please God. If faith comes as a result of seeing something in the inner man, it would seem that being able to see like tha...Keep Reading
On several occasions I have heard older preachers refer to divine discipline as being taken to the woodshed by God. In a previous time when people used wood as a source for heat, the shed was a good place to find a good paddle for spanking a wayward kid. No kid looked forward to a visit to the woodshed with mom or dad. Actually that is an unfortunate and misleading metaph...Keep Reading
The previous proverbs have already said that wisdom is more valuable than gold or jewels. They have declared that God created all things by wisdom. It only seems natural that anyone wanting to make sense out of living in this wisdom-created world would want to embrace wisdom with all their might. So, where does one start?...Keep Reading
Everyone prefers to be blessed rather than cursed. This desire often leads some to try foolish shortcuts to get some special blessing. They long for a special person to favor them, or they look for lucky charms...Keep Reading
My father had not read the contemporary books on rearing children, nor was he influenced by the politically correct crowd that is willing to put parents in prison for corporal punishment. He had not been informed about "time out." He kept his parenting instrument with him at all times, since it was holding up his trousers. My nickname was "Buddy." My normal name was Dudley...Keep Reading
It is foolish to trust those who aren't trustworthy. It is a sure path to disappointment. There is a mounting heap of broken hearts because of it. "Con men" still get away with millions because people want to believe. In fact, we want to believe so badly that we will trust things that have no capacity to produce what we expect. We trust money to make us secure. It can't. W...Keep Reading
Traditionally various people find a way to feature what is important to them by wearing a symbol of it, like a necklace. Sometimes the physical symbol is given the power to bring good luck or to ward off evil influences. Wisdom says that if you are going to value something that much, it should be steadfast love and faithfulness. These two virtues should not only hang aroun...Keep Reading
God has always been faithful to provide what we need. He designed the family so that we could trust the wisdom available through the perspectives of both father and mother. Just like there was a serpent in the Garden, there are enticing peers out there, tempting the young to break the apron strings and try out their wings. It is alarming to see just how powerful peer press...Keep Reading
It is what we don't know that scares us. Since the serpent's first temptation, Adam's entire race has longed to know everything. When we don't know, everything is risky. Humanity has taken various approaches to this dilemma, including the ridiculous presumption that not even God knows---or worse, that there is no God and no fixed truth. That is a high price to pay intellec...Keep Reading