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Bible Reading: Proverbs 23.13-23

Proverbs 23:13-23
13 Do not hold back discipline from the child, Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall strike him with the rod And rescue his soul from Sheol.
15 My son, if your heart is wise, My own heart also will be glad;
16 And my inmost being will rejoice When your lips speak what is right.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But live in the fear of the Lord always.
18 Surely there is a future, And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise, And direct your heart in the way.
20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.
22 Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old. 
23 Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

There is much in today’s verses about living wisely and raising children. I can really relate to verse 15 and 16 as nothing approaches the joy I have received when I see my children making right decisions and obeying Jesus as His disciple. But as I read through these verses, I was drawn to verse 23.

You need to go shopping and you must buy four things. But no stores carry them, not even Amazon. You need all four, or you are not prepared for success in life. Without them you will surely get in trouble. They are truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

Truth is that which is right, honest, and real knowledge about any subject.  Wisdom is the ability to discern and to know what is right.  Instruction is directions and teaching from others wiser than you.Understanding is comprehending the value and use of truth and wisdom.

There is only one way to buy something - you have to pay for it. You spend your limited resources (time, money, etc) by the priorities you set. Here Solomon tells you to put truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding at the top of the list.

What do they cost? Truth will cost you friends as most prefer lies, superstition, and tradition. Wisdom will cost you more work, because only fools believe and do anything they wish. Instruction will cost you pride, as you must accept correction from others. And understanding will cost you time as it requires much study and time with God. These four things come by hard work, dedication and consistency, so you will have to pay the price of effort and time.

Once you buy them, others will try to take them away. How? By offering you pleasures or distractions. The world will do what it can to get you to play their games until you are a fool like them. Do not let anyone propose higher priorities than these four things.

This book of Proverbs we are studying is all about acquiring these four things.  Consider this simple step today and every day. Read a proverb daily.  A daily habit will be a refusal to sell what you have bought.  

Memory Verse: Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always. Proverbs 23.17