Thursday, 14 May 2020

Proverbs 14:15-18

How would you characterize a simple person? Typically, we think of a simple person as one who is easy going. Of course, that has its benefits and blessings. Sometimes, the more simple-minded people are happier than those who are sophisticated. They tend to appreciate life more. However, in this passage that we are reading, the author offers a different perspective of “simple” for us to see.

In verse 15a, we are told that “the simple believes everything.” Especially living in an age of social media, where any fake news can spread just with a tap from the finger. Against a simple person, the author tells us something about a prudent person, “but the prudent gives thought to his steps.” Compared to the simple person, the prudent one would think or give thought to his steps, rather than just doing things “with the flow.”

Verse 16 continues with the comparison, the verse says “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.” Building upon the idea from verse 15, those who are wise are more “alert,” especially pertaining to evil. But the fool is the exact opposite, he is reckless and careless. He does not give a second thought to all of his actions. This seems to give the idea that a fool would be reckless and careless in their conduct, falling into evil.

Interestingly, verse 17 draws out something that relates to all of us, especially when our “blood boil.” The verse says “A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated.” Whenever we act too hastily when we are angry, we can be sure that our folly would be shown. With that, it certainly does affect the way people perceive us. It is a terrible result of our own folly.

Lastly, verse 18 tells us that “The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.” Now the question ends with this, how do we inherit knowledge or folly? The author provides us with an answer here. The author reminds us that being “simple,” we would inherit folly. That is not to say we cannot be simple-minded in certain things. However, the “simple” here is speaking about the mentality of not exercising wisdom. Whenever we do not exercise wisdom, the only thing we would reap is folly.

However, as God’s people, we ought to be prudent in every way we can. To be prudent in everything we do is to exercise the wisdom God has given to us. By doing so, we would acquire knowledge. Not just “head knowledge,” but also the knowledge that will help us navigates through every area of our lives as God’s people. Even more so living in the 21st century, when life is significantly faster paced. It forces us to slow down to think prudently about our responses to the crazy circumstances around us.

As you reflect and pray, ask God’s Spirit to help you apply this wisdom in your life. In your own prayer, ask God to help you to be prudent in every area of your life, especially in the way you respond to the crazy circumstances. Times are indeed hard. It is in these hard times when we need even more of God’s wisdom and prudence in our lives, and not be the “simple” person who is reckless and careless.

Hon Sir Neng


箴言 14:15-18

15 愚昧人什么都信,
16 智者小心谨慎,远离恶事;
17 急躁易怒的人做事愚昧,
18 愚昧人得愚昧作产业,

你会如何描述一个愚昧人? 我们一般会认为他们个性随和。 当然, 有时候所谓的愚昧有好处和福气。’头脑简单的人‘ 比见多识广的人更快乐。 他们更能体会人生的可贵。 然而,当我们阅读今天的经文,作者提供不同的角度去看待 ’愚昧‘。

第15a节:”愚昧人什么都信“ 。尤其是社交媒体时代,我们只需轻触屏幕就能传播假新闻。 以愚昧人为对照,作者在下文描述明则人:”明哲人步步谨慎“。与愚昧人相比,明则人会思考或计划该采取的步骤,而不是让一切顺其自然。

16节继续进行一番比较:”智者小心谨慎,远离恶事;  愚人骄傲自负,行事鲁莽“。基于15节所表达的概念,智者提高警惕,特别是对邪恶的事物。 但愚昧人却完全相反,既鲁莽又粗心。他总是轻举妄动。因行事轻率马虎,愚昧人将陷入恶事。

有趣的是,17节提出了一些引起读者共鸣的细节,特别是当我们怒火中烧。 经文说道:”急躁易怒的人做事愚昧,阴险奸诈之人遭人痛恨”。每当我们怒气之下仓促做决定,我们肯定会露出愚蠢,也因此影响人们对我们的看法。这可怕的后果都是自己的愚蠢所造成的。

最后,第18节告诉我们,”愚昧人得愚昧作产业,明哲人得知识为冠冕“。现在的问题是,我们如何继承知识或愚昧? 作者在这里提供了答案。 作者提醒,愚昧人将继承愚昧。 这并不代表我们不能在某些事情上有着简单的想法。 然而,这里的愚昧是指不运用智慧的心态。 每当我们不运用智慧,那唯一的收获就是愚昧。

作为神的子民,我们应该尽一切可能保持谨慎。 谨慎就是在我们所做的一切事上,运用上帝给我们的智慧。 这样,我们将获得知识。这里所指的不仅仅是 ‘头脑上的知识’,也是指能引导神国子民生活领域的知识。再说,我们活在21世纪,生活节奏明显急促。 它迫使我们慢下来,谨慎地思考我们对混乱环境的反应。

当你反思和祈祷时,求神的灵帮助你在生活中运用这智慧。 在祷告中,求神帮助你步步谨慎,特别是在应对混乱不堪的环境。 我们确实活在一个艰难时代。 但正是在艰难时刻,我们的生活更需要神的智慧和谨慎,而不是愚昧人的鲁莽和粗心。