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  • Instructions of the Wise

    찬송 : 찬송가 94장 (새찬송가 96장)

  • 2021-06-12   [잠언(Proverbs) 22:17 - 22:29]


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  • 17 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,
    18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.
    19 That your trust may be in the LORD, I have made them known to you today, even to you.
    20 Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge,
    21 to make you know what is right and true, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
    22 Do not rob the poor, because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate,
    23 for the LORD will plead their cause and rob of life those who rob them.
    24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man,
    25 lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
    26 Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts.
    27 If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?
    28 Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set.
    29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
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Thinking & Understanding
A wise person, declaring that those who carve into their hearts and keep within them his words and instructions will be able to live trusting in God, delivers a list of teachings (vv. 17-21). Respecting weak neighbours (vv. 22-23) and not robbing the poor of the opportunity to begin anew are specific examples of living wisely before God, the righteous judge (v. 28). We must also stay away from those who bring hardship upon themselves by becoming captive to greed (vv. 24-25) and not make careless promises about things that are beyond our means (vv. 26-27). When a person of God hones and refines specialised skills through honest effort, God will use those talents for his kingdom in the most wondrous way (v. 29).


Who is God?
Vv. 22-23,28 God relieves the weak of their grievances. We must care for and serve the poor and the powerless. If we do not consider their needs and become their voice with the compassionate heart of God, we will be like accomplices to those who inflict suffering. Am I approaching those among my neighbours who are socially outcast with the heart of God?


What lesson is God teaching me?
Vv. 26-27 Those who carelessly give pledges can end up losing everything they own. Wisdom means first carefully examining one’s own situation and rejecting a request for something that is beyond one’s means, even if it may be difficult, rather than making a hasty decision that can lead to unmanageable consequences. Considering what might happen in the case of an emergency is not an act of disloyalty but a wise way of thinking that will benefit both parties.


Prayer
Lord, help me to honestly acknowledge when something is beyond my means and to diligently carry out the things that I can manage.