Friday, 1 May 2020
Proverbs 1:1-4 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Beginning of Knowledge
1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Dear brothers and sisters, We have been locked down for the last 45 days. It is my joy and privilege to daily pray for all of you and to share from Proverbs. Since the beginning of April, Pastors Wallace Ong, Cheong Cheng Cheung, Soong Kok Kee and Hon Sir Neng helped to write once a week. I am very grateful to Pastor Yang Siew Choo, of Bethel Seria, Brunei and her translating team members, Shirley Moo, Sharon Moo, Tan Yueh Fei, Jed Yong and Fu Fui. I am ever grateful God is encouraging us to learn from Proverbs to live wisely for His glory and praise. We are back to Proverbs Chapter 1. One of our church goals this year is to read a chapter of Proverbs a day.
It is amazing God created us and now teaching us how to live and what to pursue in life. The primary purpose of Proverbs is to teach WISDOM which guides us to live meaningful and purposeful lives. Proverbs is a book of comparisons between common observations of nature, concrete life images and profound truths for living. Proverbs provide simple, moral statements or illustrations, that highlight and teach fundamental realities about life. These Proverbs are short and catchy sayings which express timeless truth and wisdom. They capture our imagination and cause us to reflect and apply these divine principles to our daily living. King Solomon seek and received wisdom and knowledge from God which led him to wealth, honour and fame.
Solomon reveals to us two key principles to obey in order to be wise. The first one, is to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart’ (Pro. 3.5), and the second is, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Pro. 1.7, 9.10).
The book of Proverbs 1.1-4, will teach wisdom, justice, judgement and equity.
Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise. Pro. 1.2
Wisdom is the keyword in the Book of Proverbs. Here Wisdom refers to living a successful life. It is the ability to make the right judgement. Wisdom looks beyond the surface of things to go to the real nature of a thing or a given situation.
Discipline or instruction refers to moral values.
Understanding means the capacity to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, foolish or wise, what matter matters most, and what does not matter at all. To the Hebrew mind, wisdom was not knowledge alone, but the skill of living a godly life as God intended for man to live. To be wise, we need knowledge that enables us to have spiritual discernment. The book of Proverbs is not about lofty theological truths. Preverbs deal with how one makes moral choices. In the light of God’s truth, we must think, live and manage all of our daily affairs as God intended.
Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. Pro. 1.3
Generally, those who are wise or righteous, live longer, prosper, and experience the goodness of God and fools will suffer shame and death. However, this general principle must be balanced by the reality that the wicked sometimes prosper too, at least temporarily. The life of Job shows us that the righteous or wise or godly can experience disaster and suffering too.
Justice is translated as “doing what is right”. Justice always condemns the wicked and justifies the righteous. It knows what is right and lives it out with faithful integrity. In Proverbs, the writer teaches justice by defining what is right and wrong.
Judgment is closely linked with justice. The wise simply has the ability to make good judgment. He has the ability to differentiate right from wrong; and what is true or false.
Equity or fair: it means thinking and acting without bias, fair, impartial and even-handed. A man who is fair is not easily moved by emotions, friendships, or compensation to compromise. He doesn’t practice double standards.
You notice there are some overlapping and repetition in these four goals. It is interesting these important ethical aspects of wise living are not taught or emphasized in the world. Wise living always brings us back to the fear of God. By doing so God gives us the power to think and live rightly before God and man. DO NOT STOP reading Proverbs!
Prayer for today
Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 10.12
I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel;
For He is the living God and enduring forever,
And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed,
And His dominion will be forever. Daniel 6.26
O Lord, God, let all the earth fear the Lord, Let all the people of the world in awe of You. Lord, we want to ascribe to You all glory and praise due to your Holy Name. We stand in awe in your Holy presence.
We confess to you that it takes us a long time to recognize you as the Lord of the universe and as the Lord of our lives. We have so quickly forgotten what miraculous grace you have showered on our lives. We ask for your forgiveness. Help us to remember daily to count our blessings and name them one by one.
Lord, we come to beg of you to teach us to fear you. With humility, we come to you with fear and you promise us that is the beginning of knowledge that makes us wise. Lord, our pride and arrogance often stand in the way, to seek you. We go into wandering in the desert of life. Fools ignore you but Lord we seek after you. Grant us your wisdom and strength to follow you closely today.
Lord, we bring before you all our senior citizens. Many feel the loneliness of isolation from children, and grandchildren and friends. Some of them are facing health issues, Lord, stretch out your hands and heal them. Grand them your peace and comfort, may they experience your presence daily.
Lord, we want to bring before you many of our single moms. Pray that you will give them added wisdom, strength and patience as they carry the heavy load of being both dad and mom in the home. Give them good rest that they can carry on day by day. Lord, you invite them, “Come unto to me and I will give you rest”.
Lord, I thank you for the church where we try to be on the lookout for one another during this lockdown. We are thankful you have given us the burden to look beyond our walls to see the many poor and needy in Malaysia and beyond. We thank you for those who are serving the poor among our people in the remote areas and villages in Sabah, Sarawak and in West Malaysia. We are grateful for mission partners together we are able to meet the needs of many of the poor and needy. (Mission Board and Benevolent are working with El-shaddai, HISTEAM, foreign students, mission partners in Sabah etc)
We thank you for all the dedicated frontline medical personnel and other essential workers, Lord, protect and provide for them and their families.
We want to just thank and praise you. “Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good”. Psalm 107.8-9
Pastor Isaac Yim
1:1 以色列王大卫儿子所罗门的箴言． 1:2 要使人晓得智慧和训诲．分辨通达的言语． 1:3 使人处事．领受智慧、仁义、公平、正直的训诲． 1:4 使愚人灵明、使少年人有知识和谋略．
亲爱的兄弟姐妹们，目前为止已经是封城的第四十五天。每天能够为你们所有人代祷并分享箴言是我的荣幸和喜乐。自四月初以来，张祯祥传道, 王振威传道，韩思能弟兄, 宋国基牧师，都各自每周一次分享灵修。我也非常感谢文莱伯特利教会的杨秀珠牧师及翻译团队梁玉萍，陈月妃，巫惠如，杨仕涵和胡斐。我非常感神鼓励我们从箴言中学习，用智慧来荣耀祂及赞美祂。我们回到箴言书第一章。今年我们教会的目标之一是每天阅读一章箴言。
一般来说，那些有智慧或有公义的人，寿命更长，成功，并能够经历上帝的恩典。相反的, 愚昧人通常会蒙受耻辱和死亡。可是，也不能完全这么说, 因为那些作恶的人虽过得繁荣，但只是暂时的。约伯的生命也向我们表明，义人、智慧者或虔诚的人也可能遭受灾难和痛苦。公义被定义为“做正确的事”。公义总是谴责恶人，为正义辩护。它知道什么是对的，并以诚实正直地活出来。在箴言中，作者通过定义对与错来教导公义。
以色列阿、现在耶和华你 神向你所要的是甚么呢、只要你敬畏耶和华你的 神、遵行他的道、爱他、尽心尽性事奉他。申命记10：12
现在我降旨晓谕我所统辖的全国人民、要在但以理的 神面前、战兢恐惧、因为他是永远长存的活 神、他的国永不败坏、他的权柄永存无极。 但以理 6：26
但愿人因耶和华的慈爱、和他向人所行的奇事、都称赞他。因他使心里渴慕的人、得以知足、使心里饥饿的人、得饱美物。（诗篇 107： 8-9）