4 Aug 2013 by Rev Dr Steven Kau-
Psychology seeks to teach us lessons about man. Theology, once called the prince of sciences, seeks to teach us about God. In a few more weeks this month I will reach my 64th birthday. For a good part of those years, I have been tremendously blessed as I studied and read the Book of Proverbs. It is not without reason that it is often referred to as part of the “Wisdom Literature.”
There are 31 chapters in Proverbs and over the years it has taught me some principles about God that have been a great source of blessings and guidance in my ministry. In this article I would like to share with you just 12 principles I had learned about God from the Book of Proverbs.
1. God Owns Everything, I Own Nothing. (3:9-10)
Many today try to “corner the Lord” with their substance rather than “honor the Lord.” We are stewards and not owners. Everything we have come from the good hand of God. God through Job remains, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.” (1:21) Sticky fingers are often a sure sign of a dirty hand.
2. God Chastens Us Because He Loves Us. (3:11-12)
The Puritans would often speak of “kissing the rod” of correction. A sure sign that God is your Father and that He really does love you, is when He corrects you. The Book of Hebrews says that if you be without chastisement whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards and not sons. We tend to like the loving but hate the licking. He licks you because He loves you. God will not leave any of His children to a rebellious life and cold heart for very long.
3. God sees Everything You Do. (5:21)
Sometimes we sink into a practical atheism when we willingly do that which grieves the Lord. The believer never has to wait on getting caught because he is already caught. The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord. The old timers used to talk about practicing the presence of Christ. The question is not “what would Jesus do?” but rather, “what would I do if Jesus were here?”
4. God Hates Some Things More Than Others. (6:16-19)
Most of the things mentioned in this text are not on the “twenty taboo” list of many churches and Christians schools. You may not smoke and chew and run with those who do but what about “sowing discord among the brethren?”
5. God Should Be Sought Early And Daily. (8:17, 34)
Most of the obvious things in the bible are often the most neglected. For many people going to the Lord is a last resort, when it should be the first. God should be your first choice, not your last chance.
Years ago, as I visited a man in the hospital I asked him if I could pray for him. His response was, “O my, has it come to that?” Those who seek God early and daily will not find it necessary to reintroduce themselves to the Almighty.
I have often said that one of the greatest casualties of our spiritual life in our churches is the prayer meeting. Sometimes we couldn’t even get 10% of the general membership to come. If we honestly believe that where two or three are gathered, the Lord is present, then your perpetual absence is noticeable by the Lord. We neglect this great source of comfort, wisdom and direction to our own peril.
6. God Can Promote You Better Than You Can Promote Yourself? (13:7)
When you find a paradoxical statement like this in the Bible, then pull over and park a while. The text is speaking about poverty of spirit, or biblical humility. Refer the Beatitudes and the concept of meekness (or power under control). Self-promotion will only lead to ruin and regret. Let the Lord promote you when He knows you are ready, willing and able.
The Bible says promotion comes from the Lord. If you use a crow bar to open a door, then don’t blame God for the consequences. The steps (and stops) of a good man are ordered by the Lord.
7. God Has Made Everything For Himself. (16:4)
The God who made the roses is also the God who made the thorns. The God who created your sense of smell is also the God who created the skunk. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
8. God’s Will Cannot Be Changed. (19:21)
When we go against His counsel, His will stands. When we go without His counsel, His will stands. When we go unlike His counsel, His will stands. We need to get with the program of a sovereign God.
There were times when men like Abraham tried to negotiate with God concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and God tolerated it; there were also times God in His grace and mercy reversed his decision like in the case of King Hezekiah, after informing him of his pending death. But those cases were extremely rare.
9. God Can Exact Vengeance Better Than We Can. (20:22)
The wheels of divine justice grinds exceedingly slow at times but they do grind exceedingly fine! Many of us have heard or read of much injustice, persecution and murder of Christians worldwide. We often wonder why God let these murders get away. In our own country, we are not unfamiliar with criminal elements that seem to get away with wickedness. I assure you that their mug-shots are on the bulletin board of heaven and there will be payday someday. You really don’t want to mess with the living God. No one can escape the justice of God. You will never find it a waste of time to wait on God.
10. God Does Not Promise Tomorrow. (27:1)
People are always asking, “If I die will you do my funeral for me?” My reply is, “What do you mean if?” The death rate in the human race is running at 100%. There are things you ought to do and do right now. Never put off until tomorrow what you ought to do today.
11. God’s Word Is Pure, All Others Are Suspect. (30:5)
A.T. Robertson said, “Our preaching and teaching of God’s Word is always less true than God’s Word.” If you find yourself reading more things about the Bible than reading the Bible itself, then beware. Lester Roloff would always say, “We don’t need to rewrite the Bible, we need to reread it!”
12. God’s Second Greatest Gift To A Man Is A Godly Wife. (31)
Proverbs teaches us that the greatest curse is an ungodly wife and the greatest blessing is a godly wife. Love your wife even as Christ love the Church and gave Himself for her. There is only one other person who should claim your attention and affection more than your wife and that is the Lord Himself. By the way, if you love your ministry more than you love your wife, then you no longer have a ministry. You have an idol.
Conclusion: Many well meaning Christians seem to be supremely concerned about discovering who they are. The Bible teaches us to be supremely concern about discovering who God is. Proverbs is one of the best places to start that learning process.
My son, if thou will receive my words and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom and apply thine heart to understanding….Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. (2:1-5 KJV)
Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed by the columnists are solely their own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Christianity Malaysia.com
References for pictures: