Finding Wisdom (18-01-23)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 102:25-27
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.
But you remain the same, and your years will never end.
Bible Reading: Proverbs 3:1,13-18
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour.
Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
I wonder what your thoughts are about speed restrictions on our roads and motorways. I appreciate the smiley faces on the speed signs in our villages and I understand the need for changing speed restrictions on our motorways depending on the traffic and any maintenance work. But I do get frustrated with the signs that slow me down, warning of an obstruction further down the motorway that, many miles later, seems to have cleared sometime before.
What are my feelings about the restrictions? Fear at getting a speeding fine or respect for the reminder to drive safely? And maybe disrespect for the notices I suspect are way out of date.
King Solomon, the author of the book of Proverbs, says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. More modern translations use the word ‘respect’ or ‘awe’ rather than ‘fear’, and I think they give a better description of our relationship with God who is both loving and almighty.
Just as respect for speed restrictions encourages me to make wise decisions in my driving, so respect for God encourages me to make wise decisions in the choices I make in my daily life, choices that also impact on the lives of others.
I wonder if many of the problems that we face in life today, both personal, national and global, result from unwise choices made out of a lack of respect or awe for God, decisions made instead out of expedience and with short term selfish motives.
What decisions do you need to make today or in the days to come? Will you make them wisely, out of respect for God and of their impact on others?
Wise decisions are often not easy decisions. In a world of strife and strikes, let us pray that the leaders of countries, businesses and organisations will make wise decisions out of respect for God and for the good of everyone.
God of all wisdom, I recognise that there are times when I have acted unwisely.
I ask you to forgive me, and to give me the gift of wisdom.
Meekness and majesty