Listening to Wisdom

“The fool says in his heart, ‘God does not exist.‘ They are corrupt; they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the human race to see if there is one who is wise, one who seeks God.”  Psalm 14:1-2


More than just an idiom or a line from an Elvis Presley song, this is a quote from the 18th century, An Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope.  This lengthy read is full of satire and rhyme, with an interesting perspective on those who write–and the influence they can have on the culture. Though written in 1711, it speaks of pride and foolishness and morality in a way that sounds sadly familiar.

Foolishness is so much more than just being silly.  Proverbs uses the term frequently (Bible Gateway lists 81 times in Proverbs alone) and is very easily determined to be the opposite of wisdom.

While no one wants to be called a fool, or foolish, the Bible is clear on the subject; foolishness is not just an action, but can be the absence of reason or morals.  Choosing to ignore God’s truth, we often rush in to a situation using our own judgment rather than the wisdom of our Creator.

“The one who gives an answer before he listens–this is foolishness and disgrace for him.”  Proverbs 18:13

I’m writing this post as I wait for my third in a series of spinal injections for pain. The problem with the third one is, I already know exactly what is going to happen–and it’s not fun.  I was told by the doctor. “More pain means more relief”, and while that might sound contradictory, what he was saying is, “the deeper I go into the nerve, the greater your results.”  And so I submit to being poked for a third time in anticipation of that hope being realized.

At the root of foolishness is a disregard for the things of God. The deeper we are in sin the more severe the consequences–and our only hope for escape is the pain of surrender.

So where am I going with this? Reading through these 31 Chapters of Proverbs I am reminded of the stark contrast between foolishness and wisdom–between a life that walks in darkness and the one that runs to light, or truth.

“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10 [NIV]

Pain is a part of this fallen world. How we respond to it determines the trajectory of our life.  We might think we have it all together and can go our own way, but when days of darkness come, we can choose to run toward the light or continue down a dark path.

I choose to run to Him.

I am so thankful for Proverbs 18 today and a fresh reminder that I can run to Him when I am weak or when I am feeling strong.  He is a strong tower.  A refuge. I can testify that it is His power and presence that makes all the difference. I read this chapter before my injections, and the Holy Spirit filled my mind with verse 10 and during my procedure, He brought to mind the words of this song to get me through it:

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You’re the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life
In You death has lost its sting

I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign.

[Forever Reign, Hillsong Worship]


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