King David teaches his son who became King Solomon who now writes down proverbs to teach his sons. Wisdom does not develop in a void but in the relationships that challenge us in our lives and drive us to express dreams for future generations. In chapters 1-4 of Proverbs we read the heart of a father reaching out to the future, sharing lessons he has learned. Foremost we see his commitment that wisdom comes from his “fear of the Lord.” I suspect this is not fear of the “big man in the sky with the big stick” but the deep awe and respect of lessons learned from “the master mentor.” Reverence, obedience and trust have characterized his relationship with the Lord and resulted in the tremendous bounty of his life.
Solomon opens in Proverbs 1 encouraging his sons to flee the intentions of evil friends that ultimately lead to death. “My son (or daughter), if sinful men (or women) entice you, do not give in to them.” We hear the words of Proverbs 2 echoed in the writings of Paul, Hebrews 12:7, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves.” Our best lessons are learned in loving, trusting relationships.
One of the proverbs we are encouraged to memorize is 3:5,6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your oaths straight.” Wisdom leads to happiness and health – eventually. That is different than prosperity and all the goodies of this life. Wisdom is long vision thinking.
“Above al else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (4:23)” A commitment to learn and follow God’s ways is not easy but it leads to a future Solomon desires for his children and grandchildren.
So I suppose that begs the question of what is our long-range vision? Are we so busy getting from day to day that whatever works for the moment is worth trying? In my marriage counseling, the pastor advised setting 5 year, 10 year, and 20 year goals. I had no idea how much life would change in those time periods. My husband who just turned 75 and I sat and pondered the life transitions in each decade of his life. Wow. Wisdom doesn’t look for achievement goals but for character goals that we would like to characterize our lives.
Blessed are those who find wisdom,
Those who gain understanding,
For she is more profitable than silver
And yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies’
Nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways,
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
Those who hold her fast will be blessed. (3:13-18)
Blessings as you journey to your goals.