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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 18:14-18

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SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

Wisdom and Foolishness – A Contrast: Life Principles: Proverbs 18:14-18

 
14) The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
15) The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
16) A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
17) [He that is] first in his own cause [seemeth] just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.
18) The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.

In this text, Solomon compares the principles that we rely upon to help lead us in determining our earthly lifestyle and our service to Christ…

EXPOSITION:

14) The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
Value #1 – Retaining our unhindered relationship with God is to take first priority in all of our decision making.
1.  When we have a clear conscience, knowing that our hearts are right with God, we can bear up under any pains and hindrances that may come upon us.
2.  When our heart is not right with the Lord, none of us can be encouraged or strengthened until we deal  with the sin in our lives.

In these we see the ultimate importance of never allowing sin to hinder our relationship with the Lord. no matter what temporal gain may be offered as a replacement with us.

And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”   (Romans 5:3-5)

LORD, why castest thou off my soul? [why] hidest thou thy face from me?  I [am] afflicted and ready to die from [my] youth up: [while] I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.  Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.”   (Psalms 88:14-16)

15) The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
Value #2 – The acquisition of Godly truth is to be a prime goal of life.
1.  Those who possess a Godly understanding desire to acquire the truths of God through His Word.
2.  Those who are wise actively pursue to the point of self-sacrifice these great truths.

God’s truth is needed for us to sustain our relationship with the Lord.   Because of this the wise and understanding choose to give anything necessary for its acquisition.

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”   (2 Timothy 3:15-17)

 

16) A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
Value #3 – Giving of ourselves for others will bring benefit to the giver as well as the receiver.
1.  When we are willing to give of ourselves for the benefit of those around us will be find favor in their sight.
2.  When we develop a testimony that reflects a kind, giving, helpful lifestyle, we will be recognized and desired by those in positions of honor.

When we put others first, the Lord blesses us with the favor and blessings of other honorable men.

And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob [is] behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.”   (Genesis 32:20)

 

17) [He that is] first in his own cause [seemeth] just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.
Value #4 – To retain a Godly testimony we are to not rely on our sinful heart for guidance.
1.  When left to our own judgment, we are blinded to our sinful choices and practices.
2.  However, our neighbors can see our sins and errors, and our testimony is tarnished.

How important it is to follow the dictates of God’s word in opposition to the dictates of our fallen heart.  It is only His Word, applied by the indwelling Spirit, that can be unquestioningly followed in our pursuit for holiness of living.

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.  Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”   (Colossians 4:5-6)

 

18) The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.
Value #5 – Reliance upon the sovereign intervention of the Lord brings about peace and contentment in our earthly walk.
1.  The casting of lots (which was controlled by the Lord) was one way that was used to settle disputes.  It would be the final word on the matter and accepted as God’s will for the situation.
2.  The answer given by the lots was one way of solving differences between those of great human authority and power.

When we understand that the Lord controls the events in our life that we cannot control, it allows us to:
a. accept them without anger or resentment
b. recognize they take place for our good
c. and be content in the midst of them.

The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD.”   (Proverbs 16:33)

SUMMARY:

We have just seen 5 life values that, when integrated into our life, will ensure a life of Godliness, honesty and peace….
Value #1 – Retaining our unhindered relationship with God is to take first priority.
Value #2 – The acquisition of Godly truth is a prime goal of life.
Value #3 – Giving of ourselves for others working for our benefit.
Value #4 – Retaining a Godly testimony by not relying on our sinful heart for guidance.
Value #5 – Reliance upon the sovereign intervention of the Lord in life situations for peace and contentment.

”… that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”     (1 Timothy 2:2)

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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8 Comments

  1. Terry says:

    great lesson this morning. thanks so much

  2. Thank you for the devotional Pastor, a blessing.

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    Appreciate this

  4. Adherence to those five life values would certainly make a difference – especially the first, an ‘unhindered relationship’. If we maintained that, the others would fall into place.
    Thanks for the challenge Rob.

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