Bible Reading: Proverbs 16.26-33
A worker’s appetite works for him, For his hunger urges him on. 27 A worthless man digs up evil, While his words are like scorching fire. 28 A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends. 29 A man of violence entices his neighbor And leads him in a way that is not good. 30 He who winks his eyes does so to devise perverse things; He who compresses his lips brings evil to pass. 31 A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness. 32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. 33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of chapter 16! Sorry to spoil it for you, but it's not all flowers and butterflies.
The start of this last section is a pretty simple concept, we work so we can eat. I know that’s probably a little over simplified, but the basic truth is there. I think in the same way we should read God’s word to satisfy our hunger for a closer relationship with God’s only son, Jesus.
As we continue to read, we are given many of what I will call “decisions that lead to destruction” warnings. Example, “a worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.” Fire is one of the most destructive forces. It can wipe out acres of land, and everything within it, in a matter of minutes. Like fire, something so simple as careless words can cause strife and devastation to others. We’re given more “decisions that lead to destruction” warnings as well regarding dishonesty, violence and what we’ll call the wink of lies.
Next, there’s a word out there for, well I’ll just say it, older people. Not to worry, as verse 31 says, “gray hair is a crown of glory!” I don’t have gray hair yet, but when I do you’d better believe I’ll wear it with pride. Now we’ve all probably heard the phrase “growing old gracefully”, but how about we change it around a bit to “growing old full of grace”? Growing old should mean growing up in the knowledge and understanding of Christ. In today’s digital world, information is right at our fingertips with the click of a mouse (or tap of the screen for you iPeople), but my challenge to you is to find someone who is older (for you older guys, someone who’s younger) and talk with them, maybe ask if you can meet once a week? Google can tell you facts and opinions, but mature believers can depart wisdom gained from experience.
After reading the previous verses, the last little part is very comforting. Just as God provides for the birds of the field, it’s comforting to know that he is in control of everything in our lives. Things don’t just happen, they are molded and shaped by the Father’s hand.
Dear God. Thank you for loving us though we do not deserve it. I pray that everyone attending the Ridge Church will develop a hunger for your word. May the words that we speak lift one another up and not tear each other down. Give us wisdom as we “grow-up” as believers and the opportunity to share that wisdom with the next generation, so that they might mature in their faith as well. Continue to mold us more to your image. We are forever grateful that things don’t just happen, you had a plan for us even before we were in our mother’s womb. Thank you for your patience, thank you for your grace and most of all thank you for sending your son Jesus to die on the cross for us. Amen!
Memory Verse: Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16.3