Are you religious? Is God pleased?

I used to think that Isaiah is such a dreary and weary book until I discovered the treasures in it when I studied it sometime ago at Bible Study Fellowship. BSF is a worldwide bible study class. It is an in-depth, interdenominational Bible study that helps people know God and equips them to effectively serve the Church throughout the world. More about BSF

Today as I start anew reading it from the first chapter, I still find valuable truths – a reminder to discern between religiosity and spirituality; differentiate between talking the walk and walking the talk.

Isaiah 1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. (Who else among the prophets lived thru 4 kings, 4 dynasties prophesying the Word of God? Such a great privilege and a heavy responsibility!)

2 Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth;
For the Lord speaks,
“Sons I have reared and brought up,
But they have revolted against Me.
3 “An ox knows its owner,
And a donkey its master’s manger,
But Israel does not know,
My people do not understand.”

How tragic and sad it is that animals are better at knowing and acknowledging their masters than human creatures understanding their Creator!

4 Alas, sinful nation,
People weighed down with iniquity,
Offspring of evildoers,
Sons who act corruptly!
They have abandoned the Lord,
They have despised the Holy One of Israel,
They have turned away from Him.
5 Where will you be stricken again,
As you continue in your rebellion?
The whole head is sick
And the whole heart is faint.

God is grieved with the sins of His children – of all doing evil, acting corruptly – corruption: a very familiar word in the Philippine setting or anywhere around the world. God’s people have abandoned/despised (looked down)/turned away from Him. They are rebellious – sick to the core of their being – from head to foot, inside out.

6 From the sole of the foot even to the head
There is nothing sound in it,
Only bruises, welts and raw wounds,
Not pressed out or bandaged,
Nor softened with oil.
7 Your land is desolate,
Your cities are burned with fire,
Your fields—strangers are devouring them in your presence;
It is desolation, as overthrown by strangers.
8 The daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard,
Like a watchman’s hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.
9 Unless the Lord of hosts
Had left us a few survivors,
We would be like Sodom,
We would be like Gomorrah.

The consequences of sin are evident – bruises, welts, wounds – not treated nor healed; land is desolate, destroyed and taken over by foreign powers – literally like Sodom and Gomorrah – the cities God destroyed by nature because of their wickedness.
God Has Had Enough!

10 Hear the word of the Lord,
You rulers of Sodom;
Give ear to the instruction of our God,
You people of Gomorrah.
11 “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?”
Says the Lord.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle;
And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.
12 “When you come to appear before Me,
Who requires of you this trampling of My courts?
13 “Bring your worthless offerings no longer,
Incense is an abomination to Me.
New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.
14 “I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts,
They have become a burden to Me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 “So when you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Yes, even though you multiply prayers,
I will not listen.

Such a warning to us – God has had enough of our RELIGIOSITY: our sacrifices in the name of ministries – church activities and programs done for the sake of form and praise of people; done for self-fulfillment rather than pleasing God. God has had enough of our offerings of good deeds done in the name of self-gratification – to feel good about ourselves. God has had enough of our prayers – for our own selfish gains. Be aware and beware that whatever acts of religiosity do not count in the sight of the Lord without the spirituality that He desires of us – the motivation that comes from a clean and righteous heart. Are our hands clean?

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Your hands are covered with blood.
16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil,
17 Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow.

Where do we start to make ourselves clean? What evil do we stop doing? We need to learn to do good to stop doing bad. What good is that? The God of kindness, justice and righteousness ( Jer 9:24) wants us to be just and kind and righteous. How? We are to defend the orphan and plead for the widow. Who are they? They are the marginalized, the despised and the needy of society. They are the people who are helpless and defenseless. This is about social justice. This is about God’s people making a difference in the world.
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18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.
19 “If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;
20 “But if you refuse and rebel,
You will be devoured by the sword.”
Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

God is a God of reason – He is reasonable. What He requires of us, He provided a way for us. Though we are steep in sin, He had made us white as snow – by the power of the blood of Jesus, our sins are washed away. If only we will obey and listen to the word of the Lord, we will reap the benefits of obedience. If we rebel, then we will suffer the consequences. For surely, the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Let us listen and walk the talk!

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Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Do you like to eat good food? I certainly do. Do you like buying good stuffs – handy useful things or beautiful clothes to make you look good? I do too. Do you like watching good movies? So do I. How about having a chat with an intimate friend to share stories, burdens, joys, etc? It makes you feel good, doesn’t it? I know coz I enjoy all these things.
 
Is it hedonistic to want to enjoy the good life? To be hedonistic is to be engaged in the pursuit of pleasure or to be sensually self-indulgent. So am I being hedonistic? Sounds negative, right? Hedonistic sounds worldly and carnal – belonging to the material world… not spiritual.
 
So here’s the caveat… A caveat is a provision or exception or warning of specific stipulations or conditions or limitations against the general application of a principle.
 
From the mouth of the wise Teacher – the author of Ecclesiastes… Here’s what he wrote about enjoying life…
5.18
 
Ecclesiastes 5
18 This is what I have seen to be good: it is fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of the life God gives us; for this is our lot.
 
19 Likewise all to whom God gives wealth and possessions and whom he enables to enjoy them, and to accept their lot and find enjoyment in their toil—this is the gift of God.
5.19
 
The caveat is that it is hedonistic to be engaged in the pursuit of pleasure – to be self-indulgent without God in the picture.
The author of Ecclesiastes again and again pointed the vanity of being rich and wise and working hard because in the end, everyone dies. In death, no one takes anything with him to the grave.
 
Yet in all the vanities (useless pursuit – all for nothing), the teacher found something good: It is good and fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment under the following conditions:
v.18
1) in the fruit of our labor -the fruit of working with our hands
2) in the few days of life that we all have
3) that God is the giver of life
v.19
4) that God is the giver of wealth and possessions
5) that God enables us to enjoy good things in life
6) that we accept our lot (what is ours) and we enjoy from the fruit of our work as Gift of God.
 
It is not a sin to enjoy life. It is not bad to be rich and have the material resources to live a comfortable life. It is good to enjoy the good life that God gives me – knowing that God alone is the giver of life; He enables me to work and enjoy the fruit of my labor. Every good gift is from God – how else and what else to do except to accept and receive and enjoy with gratitude!
 
Go and enjoy today, my friend! Today is a present from God – another opportunity to choose joy and choose gratitude.
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The good in the bad…

Question: Would you raise your hand in class to answer a difficult question for which you are not sure of the answer? If you would, good for you! How brave or how daring. What if you did not even have any idea how to answer? Would you volunteer to do an impossibly difficult assignment? No one would.

I had a bad fall a month and a half after my mom passed away and less than 3 months before my dad died. I had surgery for my broken ankle for which I was immobilized for more than two months. I thought I would have to go to my father’s wake in a wheelchair. In the time that I could not walk, I experienced once more that God does work out all things for the good of those who love him and are called for his purpose.

When I was lying in bed all day, and needing help just to answer nature’s call coz I could not stand on my own two feet, I learned to be patient and to count my blessings. I paid attention to the things I used to take for granted.. like getting up in the middle of the night to go to the comfort room or even to stand and walk anywhere I wanted to without a thought. I was reminded of the little act of love and service my daughters did for me – to be waken in the middle of the night to put on the bed pan for me to pee and to clean the pan for me to use again. I learned to empathize with my caregivers as I conversed with them during the time when they took care of me. I experienced how it was for people sitting in the wheelchair or those using crutches to walk. I am thankful that I had caregivers, helpers and drivers to help me move around and attend to my physical needs. I know how blessed I am to have family and friends support me in word and deed.

Going through weeks and months of therapy, trying to regain use of my legs and feet, I learned to endure the physical pain and the emotional strain of being helpless to help take care of my gravely ill father. God is merciful and always on time. He sent help when help was needed. His grace just enough for each day. I experienced how he listened to the cries and prayers of my sister and I even as he listened to the intercession of my prayer warriors. For many weeks, my father had his dialysis twice a week and I accompanied him as my sister and I took turns taking him to the hospital for these procedures. He went through pneumonia, bed sores, sepsis, bowel obstructions (at one point, he was pooping through this mouth, nose and peg). It hurt so much to watch him going through such suffering (physical and emotional) even as he grieved for my mom.

I learned what it means to pray: Lord, have mercy. Yet thy will be done. I prayed for God to take away my dad so he would no longer suffer. Through the four months and 9 days, God showed mercy and bestowed grace upon my family.

And so in my relatively small hardship and suffering experiences, I empathize and understand what Paul, the apostle was talking about when he said he’s boasting like a fool – recounting his sufferings and challenges he experienced for the cause of the gospel.

2 Corinthians 11

16 Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little. 17 What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also. 19 For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20 For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face. 21 To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison.

But in whatever respect anyone else is bold—I speak in foolishness—I am just as bold myself. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?

30 If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33 and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.

His beatings, stoning, shipwreck, imprisonment, hunger, thirst, anxiety, loneliness, grief, fears… persecutions from the enemies – within and without… all these weaknesses became his points of boasting. Because in his weakness, the power of God’s grace and mercy is most manifested!

2 Corinthians

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Many things in life are beyond our control. Bad things like natural calamities, crimes, sickness, bad relationships, bad people, financial troubles and ultimately death – the unavoidable, yet unpredictable reality of life, all these affect us. We are upset, frustrated, disappointed, sadden and weighed down by these troubles. Yet, there is hope. Children of God overcome the trials and challenges of life because they have a faithful God who always keeps his promises. He loves and sustains us through the dark valley of the shadow of death. Because God is faithful, His words give us hope and enable us to go on and endure. Because He is faithful, He grants us grace to continue in faith – faith to believe and to know God in the midst of our trials – his character and his purpose.

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Joyful and Thankful in Prayer

1 Thessalonians 5
16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is
God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Many wonder about God’s will. When I was young, my friends and I liked to ask – how can I know what God’s will is? Paul taught the Thessalonians in 3 short
sentences what God’s will is for us.

3 verbs and 3 adverbs – rejoice, pray, give thanks; always, without stopping, in all things. Sounds simple yet not so simple…
To Rejoice is actively being joyful – even in difficult times. Being joyful is not the
same as being happy. Being happy depends on happenings. When good things happen, we are happy. I learned that in life to rejoice always – depends on the grace
of God. This does not mean that we suppress our grief, our pain, or deny them. It is a
determined attitude to rejoice defiantly nevertheless. Karl Barth believes that Joy is
a ‘defiant nevertheless’.

To pray without ceasing is to always be in touch with the triune God. As reading
God’s word is our food, praying in the Spirit is our oxygen. We do not stop breathing – praying without stopping gives air to our spiritual life. How often I pray
determines how oxygenated my body is. Aerobics is about air – the more strenuous
the dance, the more air I need to take in. The more difficult life is the more need for
prayer. Let me not forget that I still need to pray all the time – in good times or bad.

Even when God seems to be so silent or when the dark tunnel seems endless!
To give thanks… sure! Surely, to be thankful for the blessings in life, for the good
stuff and the happy events, for the good and the kind people, for family and friends,
that is easy. But to be thankful in ‘everything’? Even in trials and adversities?

Whoa… so difficult! How do I thank God when I am angry? How to be grateful when
people hurt me? How to give thanks when someone died? How to have a thankful
heart when the heart is aching with pain? Anger, grief, pain… these are what make me human as much as love, joy and peace.

It is a hard lesson to learn that gratitude
trumps anger, grief and pain. I can give thanks for the person or event that made me
sad or angry when I recall how I made God sad so many times. I must thank Him for
His grace and mercy, for the opportunity to learn patience; for the opportunity to
experience His comfort; for the experience to know His presence and most of all, in
gratitude, I learn that He is my God who delights for me to know Him.

Rejoice, pray and give thanks… always, unendingly, in everything. This is God’s will for me – but only possible in Jesus Christ – by His grace and mercy!

Choices.. choices..

My mom chose to have their remains placed in this church near our homes – my sis and mine. She wanted us to visit their tombs often. Perhaps she wanted us to remember them long after they’re gone. I surmise this because she used to want us to visit our guama’s tomb each important date – anniversary and All Saints’ Day.

I chose this pic to put on their tombstone coz this is the only one I found among their pics together where both of them were smiling at the photographer. This was also a pic taken from their honeymoon (in Baguio). 😍

I like the tradition of this mausoleum where they put pictures of the deceased loved ones. I chose to put this pic of my parents coz this was how they looked like before I came to be. It was a copy of the reality I could not see in person. But it was still real.

I wonder why my dad chose my mom. 😊 My dad chose wisely – he’s got good taste – pretty, young and smart. I also wonder why my mom said yes to my dad. My mom also had good taste – my dad’s good looking, right? 😅 Perhaps she thought someone so much older would be able to take good care of her and give way to her? She’s right. My father often let my mom had her way – knowing my mom chose wisely.  She chose him, right?  😀

Whereas their dates of birth were so far apart – more than 13 years, their deaths were so close together – less than 5 months.

Neither of them chose when they were born nor did they get to choose when they leave this world. Even so, they chose to keep the promise: Till death do us part… literally… my mom died in the night with my dad sleeping beside her.

Today is not their wedding anniversary – not their birthdays nor their death anniversaries. It is just another day for me to remember them after I dropped off Abi at the hospital for her duty. It is just my choice to visit them whenever I pass by their resting place to return home.

Each new day is another opportunity for me to choose joy. Today is the Lord’s day – let us rejoice and be glad in it. Happy Sunday, my friend. Choose wisely.

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Be Happy not in Misery

Do you want to be happy? To be happy is not to be in misery. To be in misery is just one letter away from being a miser. A miser is a person who hoards wealth and spends as little money as possible. Misery is a great mental or emotional distress; extreme unhappiness; a cause or source of distress. A classic example of the miser is Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge is Charles Dicken’s main character in his well-known novel – A Christmas Carol. Do you know that there are more than 20 actors who played this sad character in movies and TV shows?

Scrooge is a miserly stingy unhappy old man who dislikes Christmas precisely because he loves money and dislikes people. “His last name has come into the English language as a byword for miserliness and misanthropy.” Misanthropy means a dislike for humankind.

How fitting that Dickens created Scrooge in the context of Christmas. In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul encouraged the Corinthians to be generous. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, I find 10 anti-misery principles.. How to be generous? (Note: generosity applies not just to money, but time and effort – acts of love and service!)

2 Corinthians 8

1 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. 3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.

7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. 8 I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 10 I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. 11 But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. 12 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality— 14 at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; 15 as it is written, “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

The principles and basis of being greatly generous…

  1. The grace of God: generosity is a gift from God – only by His grace. It does not follow that if one is wealthy, he will be generous. Is it not true that sometimes, the richest people are the most stingy? I believe this truth inspired stories like The Christmas Gringe by Dr. Seuss and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Interesting that these two stories are related to Christmas!
  2. Richly generous in affliction and deep poverty: Wow, this really blows my mind! The Macedonian churches by the grace of God, gave generously not because they were rich. In fact they were deeply afflicted and deep in poverty! Yet they overflowed in ‘wealth of their liberality’. Aside from being rich in generosity, they were also abundantly joyful in their giving! God indeed loves a cheerful giver – more so one who gives out of their want. Remember how Jesus praised the poor widow who gave everything she had to live on!?
  3.  v.3-4 ‘voluntary’ giving according to ability and beyond: when one is generous, one gives voluntarily – according to own accord. These poor Christians even begged v.4 to be allowed to give or participate in supporting the church.
  4.  v.5 giving as to the Lord: they gave themselves to the Lord. Whenever we give to help fellow Christians, we should think that we are giving to the Lord.
  5.  v.7 generosity is equated to faith, eloquence, knowledge, sincerity and love… as we strive to abound in all these others, we need to abound in generosity. Practice makes perfect. Generosity begets generosity.
  6.  v.8 generosity is proof of sincerity of loving. If I love sincerely, I prove it by giving generously – time and effort; not just money.
  7. v.9 is the model of generosity: Jesus Christ is the supreme example of generosity. By His grace, in His richness (being the Son of God, the Prince of God’s rich kingdom), for our sake, He became poor (born in a lowly manger to be the son of a lowly carpenter) so that through His poverty, we will be rich! Rich in God’s grace!
  8.  v.10-11 from beginning to end: Generosity is a continuing process. Giving completely to the end! Continuous giving is the mark of true generosity.
  9. v.12 giving according to what one has: We cannot give what we do not have. Even generosity is a gift itself. How generous? According to one’s ability to be generous.
  10. v.13-15 principle of equality: Being generous in giving evens out the scale of economics as in the old testament principle: (context of gathering manna in the desert) He who gathered much did not have too much and he who gathered little was not in want. Such is the order of society: there would be always be those richer and poorer than I am. Generous giving is not to ease others or to burden the giver (v.13) but for equality.

Our ultimate example of giving is the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Christmas is ‘the’ story on ultimate sacrificial giving. The Son of God; the Prince of heaven; Creator and owner of all universe came down from His heavenly dwelling to be a helpless baby born in a manger, the son of a poor carpenter.

What lessons can we learn about giving?

Giving is a gift. It is by the grace of God (v.1). The grace of God enabled the poor Macedonians to give in spite of their difficulties, to be generous even though they were poor (v.2). The grace of God made it possible for them to give within and even beyond their means (v.3). The grace of God motivated them: ‘begging us earnestly for the favour of taking part in the relief of the saints’ (v.4)

Giving is a privilege – it is a favor that we should sincerely desire even ‘beg’ for. Whatever wealth or material blessing that the Lord gives me, it is given in stewardship. It is a privilege to be given this trust – to manage His resources and share them with others in need. This thought of giving as a privilege is shown in the grace of our Lord Jesus – grace is a gift given to those who do not deserve it. The Grace of Jesus is given to a sinner like me – that Jesus became poor so that I might become rich – rich not in material things but rich in generosity, in abundance, in a life worthy of His grace – to share with the people around me.

What a way to be happy – out of misery into generosity!

 

Are you wise?

Do you want to be wise? Here’s the secret…

Proverbs 1

1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;

   for understanding words of insight;

3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,

   doing what is right and just and fair;

4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,

   knowledge and discretion to the young—

5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,

   and let the discerning get guidance—

6 for understanding proverbs and parables,

   the sayings and riddles of the wise.

7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,

   but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

As Psalms are mostly credited to King David, Proverbs are to his son, King Solomon.

Solomon was known to be very wise because he asked God for it for the purpose of ruling wisely over God’s people. God granted his prayer and gave him more than wisdom, riches and glory.

As reading Psalms enlighten the soul, reading Proverbs enlighten the mind. Let us learn from the wise king whose wisdom came from the all-wise God. The secret to being wise: start with the fear of the Lord. When I fear God, I will be prudent in behaviour; doing what is right and just and fair. v. 3 What is prudence? the quality of being prudent; cautiousness.  synonyms: wisdom, judgment, good judgment, common sense, sense, sagacity, shrewdness, advisability

Proverbs 1:4 The Hebrew word for simple in Proverbs denotes a person who is gullible, without moral direction and inclined to evil. Gullible is easily persuaded to believe something. Synonym: naive; over trusting; easily deceived. For me, it’s like being childlike and lacking discernment. That’s why v. 4 continues with giving knowledge and discretion to the young. What is discretion? the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offence or revealing private information. synonyms: carefulness, caution

Proverbs are not only for the simple and the young. They are also for the wise. v. 5 says let the wise listen and be wiser even. Let the discerning get guidance. What does it mean to discern? It is to judge well. (in Christian contexts) Discernment is the perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding.

Fear of the Lord = knowledge, wisdom, discretion, discernment, guidance

What is fear of the Lord? To fear the Lord is to honour him by obeying his commands. It is a healthy fear – that values pleasing him. It is not being afraid of his punishment but being concerned of his status – giving him respect and reverence due his nature and character. To fear the Lord is to do things that makes him happy. Because He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (everywhere), omnipotent (all-powerful), when we know him enough to be the person that pleases him, we are on the right track to becoming a wise person.

Fools despise wisdom and instruction. (To despise is to feel contempt or a deep repugnance for. synonyms: detest, hate, loathe, abhor, execrate, deplore, dislike). Proverbs 1:7 The Hebrew words rendered fool in Proverbs, and often elsewhere in the Old Testament, denote a person who is morally deficient.

Reflect:

Am I a wise person or a foolish one? Do I seek wisdom or do I think I know it all already? Am I prudent and cautious in words and deeds? Am I teachable? Or do I dislike being taught? Am I concerned with pleasing God – doing the right thing?

Am I discerning of right and wrong? What is my standard of right and wrong? How do I decide on important matters of being right and doing right when no one stands with me?

Am I discreet with my words and actions? Do I think carefully before speaking? Do I seek guidance to decide wisely? Where do I find help not to be foolish? Do I read the Bible regularly? Do I know God well enough to seek to His ways? Do I fear the Lord?