Pursue at any cost

Pursue at any cost

5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
 6 “Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you.
 7 “The beginning of wisdom is: acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding.

 8 “Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her.
 9 “She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty.”

 18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.

In the 1980, the smash American film, “The Blues Brothers,” Aretha Franklin performs one of her most memorable songs. The Blues Brothers come to talk to her husband. They have a mission from God and want to get the band back together. They want him to join them.

Matt “Guitar” Murphy, tells his wife that he is going to go along with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.

Aretha snaps back with a warning and responds, “You better think about which you’re saying. You better think about the consequences of your actions.

Murphy simply replies with a smile, “Shut up woman.”

In response, Aretha shouts out her marvelously entertaining song, “Think.”

Think (think) think (think) think (think)

Think (think) think (think) think (think)

You better think (think) think about what you’re trying to do to me

Yeah, think (think, think), let your mind go, let yourself be free

Let’s go back, let’s go back, let’s go way on way back when

I didn’t even know you, you couldn’t have been too much more than ten. (just a child)

I ain’t no psychiatrist, I ain’t no doctor with degrees

It don’t take too much high IQ’s to see what you’re doing to me

There ain’t nothing you could ask I could answer you but I won’t (I won’t)

I was gonna change, but I’m not, if you keep doing things I don’t

You better think (think) think about what you’re trying to do to me

Yeah, think (think, think), let your mind go, let yourself be free

People walking around everyday, playing games, taking scores

Trying to make other people lose their minds.

Well be careful, you’re gonna lose yours.

Yeah, think (think) think about what you’re trying to do to me

Yeah, think (think, think), let your mind go, let yourself be free

Oh freedom (freedom), freedom (freedom), freedom, yeah freedom

Freedom (freedom), freedom (freedom), freedom, ooh freedom

Thinking and reflecting before we act is very helpful. It can prevent many stumbles and falls, not to mention utter shipwrecks. We can take the wise path and be safe or take the path that leads to hardship and destruction.

3000 years ago, Solomon answers an unstated similar challenging question. He wants us to contemplate and think: Is anything in life worth seeking at any cost? His answer written in beautiful Hebrew poetry is unequivocally yes! Wisdom is worth it all!

Wisdom can lead us wisely, keep us from stumbling, and raise us up and provide us with honor (Proverbs 4:8-12).

Do children of the King desire to have the best possible life? How can it be obtained? Solomon shows the way. He provides wise timeless instruction, which is reasonable, logical, and extremely encouraging. It is nothing like the Ten Commandments which is essentially a list of do’s and don’ts.

Solomon’s proverbial advice is all about the acquisition of wisdom. We are to seek wisdom at any cost. Solomon personifies wisdom as a woman who is precious. She is of great value and worth. She is to be pursued no matter what. No price is too great. She is priceless. If we are true to her, she will guard us and watch over us. We become inseparable and devoted friends; we acquire understanding. But it gets better. As we prize and embrace wisdom; she will lift us up and give us honor. We will be transformed and become tender, gracious, altogether lovely, even beautiful.

The wisdom which the Father provides from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, it shows no favoritism and is always sincere (James 3:17).

REFLECT & PRAY

If we refuse to seek wisdom, we only hurt ourselves and those we care most about.

Father encourage my heart to desire and pursue wisdom and train my feet to walk in it.

INSIGHT

If you step back from Solomon’s words and reflect for a moment, it sounds like he’s talking about a real woman with whom he is very much in love. He enjoys being with her and being close to her and communicating with her. She supports and envelops him in all of his endeavors.

The takeaway is to fall in love with wisdom and spend much quality time with her as possible.

In all of his wisdom, Solomon states succinctly that there are two ways to live: the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked.

He poetically contrasts the two ways of living.

Proverbs 4:18-19

 18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.

 19 But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over.

Simply stated Solomon likens the way of the righteous to bright shining light. He compares the way of the wicked the total darkness. It is so easy to walk in darkness. It is the way of the world. People love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.

John 3:19-21

 19 People loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.

 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.

 21 But those who do what is right come to the light.

Children of the King always have a choice between two paths. Solomon unequivocally proclaimed that the Father’s way is the best way. His path is the best path to take throughout our lives. This is all very practical. “God’s way is the best route to take through life. It offers the fewest potholes, detours, and dangers. God’s commands are similar to the lines on modern highways. They help travelers stay on the proper part of the road so they do not have accidents and hurt themselves and other people” (Constable).

James 3:13-17

 13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.

 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.

 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom which comes down from above. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.

 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

James is pretty hard on children of the King. He forces us into a deep dive within our soul and spirit. He solicits a self-check within each of us. What kind of wisdom do we have? Has it come down from heaven? Is it the wisdom from above? Or is it earthbound wisdom that we are going after? The wisdom which does not come down from above “is ultimately earthbound, absolutely sensual as opposed to spiritual, and its origin is in the cosmic powers of darkness” (ESV).

“God’s wisdom leads to harmony and peace, while human wisdom leads to arrogance and dissension. What kind of wisdom do you tend to rely on?” (Stanley)

¯\_()_/¯

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