If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. Proverbs 9: 12
From the very beginning of the Book of Proverbs we are instructed to get wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). Incline thou ear to wisdom (Proverbs 2:2). Get wisdom, get understanding (Proverbs 4:5). Wisdom is the principal thing; And with all thy getting get understanding (Proverbs 4:7).
“If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself.” Although God’s precepts are universal they have a direct and specific application to each individual. This comes from a personal relationship with God. And as our relationship grows the application of his wisdom widens and deepens. It takes on new and greater meanings.
“Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?” (Job 22:2)
Of course we are “profitable” to God in the sense that he loves us. God is married to us (Jeremiah 3:14) and, “the LORD’S portion is his people” (Deuteronomy 32:9). But all wisdom and knowledge comes from him. We have nothing we can teach God.
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” Psalms 139:6
But the person who ignores God and disregards his precepts will find himself isolated in the consequences he must bear. There is a consequence to all sin. Ignoring God’s way will not absolve you from the repercussions of it.
“Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.” Ecclesiastes 10:3
If Thou Be Wise
Sin separates us from God.
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2
So we are cut off from God because of our sin. Isolated and having to bear the full impact of sin which is the sting of death. But this is why God bestows his wisdom to us. Through his love (Jesus) towards us He gives us his word (Jesus) as a bridge from sin to him.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105
“God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.” 2 Samuel 22:33
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
But let’s take this onto a parallel track. “If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.”
When we know God’s word and see someone sin it can be rather difficult not to judge, condemn or scorn that person. Although you maybe in the right all that you’ll get back from them is condemnation and scorn multiplied. You also will have a greatly offended sinner who will probably avoid you and God’s word.
The basis of God’s word is love. We should only reach out to a sinner in love. Remember, sin is falling out of God’s way. And we know that the eventuality of sin is death. So it is the sinner’s life that is our concern, not that they have broken some rule.
Pick up the fallen sinner and dust them off. Offer them the road map called God’s word. Let them know that God is love and that you have their best interests at heart.
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