Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Skilll for Living

    Skill for Living

     "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning"  Prov 1:5a


     A wise man will hear, and a wise man by doing so will increase in learning.  It is a sorrowful man who thinks he has nothing to learn.  If a man believes that his feet have already touched the highest peaks of knowledge then he is destined to never grow.  A wise man is a skillful man.  The original word for "wise" is the Hebrew word "châkâm" and it simply means skill. We all need skill for living.  Not just any ones advice will do. No, we need God's instruction.  Who better to know the created better than the Creator?
     To increase in learning we must hear.  To hear we must be willing to abase our pride and put ourselves under those who have something to say.  The first verb "hear" advises the wise in what actions to take.  The purpose statement "increase learning" is why we should listen.  Those who diligently study the scripture and put it forward plainly and clearly are our friends and gifts of God to the church.  These teachers are our targets we aim to be around.  Solomon is being such a teacher but in a way so much more than we could ever be.  He is writing for his son inspired proverbs, Scripture from the breath of God.  And what is his advice?  Listen and learn!  Solomon knows God's wisdom is full of such relevance that by obedience and practice, the reader will be led to prudent and skillful living.  The results of skillful living are no self inflicted consequences because of personal folly.  What a treasure we have to be ever learning from our Lord in this way.

     Those who stop up their spiritual ears produce little or no fruit.  As the Proverbs indicate, such a person is not wise.  One of the greatest tragedies the devil has succeeded in is convincing even Christian people that listening and learning is irrelevant or even a bad thing.  People like this are satisfied in wading in the shallow end of the pool.  It is more comfortable there.  It is safer there.  We never have to face reason there.  Some are there because of deception.  They have been adamantly told there are dangers in the sea.  Others are there because they have little interest in going any farther.  And some are there because they don't yet know God's Word has great depths.  They have never been around anyone who has opened His Word in such a way that takes them past the foundational things of Christianity.  Yet it is in the deep things of God where we build our muscles swimming to new depths.  As Charles Spurgeon stated, "Those who travel into the deep behold the mighty works of God."  It is true we must be forever carful of who we listen to.  After all the devil has his teachers also.  However just as a craftsmen is always honing his skill and perfecting his craft so should we be always "increasing" by God's Word.