Proverbs 1:2-5 – For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young – let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – This (Proverbs) book has valuable information for both the simple and wise. You are never too simple to learn these lessons and never too wise that you do not need them.
My Advice – You would do well to make this a book in your Bible with pages that are unusually worn. The advice is timeless, practical and true. Consult it often. No matter how wise you think you’ve become, always be willing to listen.
Psalms 119:71 – It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn from your decrees. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We do not think of affliction as good, but there are so many things we learn from it that we could not learn any other way. Much more of our character comes from rough waters than it does from smooth sailing. We must try very hard to learn from these situations. How sad to think that we might go through them and learn nothing.
My Advice – Learn from adversity. In every hardship, there is something that God can and will teach you if you look for it. So whenever the going is rough, ask God what He is trying to teach you – and He will.
Psalms 89:32, 33 – “I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take My love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Just as certain (“I will”) that God will deal with our unrepentant sin and continued unfaithfulness is the certainty (also “I will”) that He will not stop loving us or being faithful to us.
My Advice – Never mistake God’s discipline and correction for a lack of love and faithfulness on His part. Rather, the very fact that He does correct us and discipline is evidence of how great His love and faithfulness really are.
Psalms 30:5 – For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (NIV 1984)
My Musings – Anger and weeping seem to go on forever, when we are in the midst of them. But when we look back from the vantage point of heaven, we will see just how brief they were and we will not remember the pain or the sorrow.
My Advice – You are favored by God because you are saved. Accept correction from Him when it comes. It lasts only for the moment but His favor carries into eternity. Look past your tears to the joy that will undoubtedly come.
Job 6:25 – “How painful are honest words!” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – The truth does not always come sugar-coated. Often it is the other way around – lies are sugar-coated to hide the bitter taste.
My Advice – Sometimes the truth will hurt. But it will still be the truth. Listen to and follow the truth, no matter how painful. Often we have to endure the pain in order to achieve the gain.
Genesis 2:9 – Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” (NIV 1984)
My Musing – Where are we, and how did we get here? Questions we need to ask ourselves periodically. Sometimes because we fall hard and quick and sometimes because we drift away ever so slowly. Maybe our response is to cover it up, ignore it, evade it, or just hide. But we really cannot successfully do any of these things.
How much does God want to know? He already knows all of it. But He wants us to know it too. He knew full well where Adam was. The point was, He needed Adam to know it too. And Adam did know, why else would he have tried to hide. We know it too. We need to face it, admit it, confess it, repent of it, ask forgiveness for it and get back to where we belong – walking with God in the garden in the cool of the day.
My Advice – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, NIV 1984). Okay, so it’s John’s advice. But it’s good advice. Aren’t you tired of “hiding” from God?
1 Kings 19:13, 15 – Then a voice said to Him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” The Lord said to Him, “Go back the way you came.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – We often find ourselves where we should not be. Sometimes we fall suddenly and others we wander away gradually over time. But God pursues us and asks through the conviction of the Holy Spirit “What are you doing here? Go back the way you came.” We would do well to heed Him.
My Advice – Ask yourself on a regular basis, where am I at, how did I get here and what am I doing here? If you don’t like the answer, ask God to show you how to get back the way you came. He will gladly help you.