The first of the verses of this chapter of Proverbs that caught our eye as real wisdom is verse 3:
When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin,
his heart rages against the Lord
Don’t misunderstand this post. As the Book of Job eloquently points out, man’s troubles are not always brought about by his own actions. But most of us have known someone – maybe you even know someone now – who fits the description of this verse. The person I am speaking of has either done something foolish, or lived a life of sin – or often, both of these. Now their deeds have caught up with them in their life, and the consequences they are having to live with are great. Perhaps it has resulted in trouble with the law, their marriage, financial devastation. Maybe their health is bad due to a life of fast living and sinful self-indulgence.
But instead of recognizing that most of what has come to pass in their life is self-inflicted, they instead rail against the Lord. I have known people in this position who loudly proclaim that no just God would allow such things to happen to them, and they shake their fists at the heavens. How tragic and ironic that we are inclined to blame our Creator for such trials in our lives, when He is precisely the one we need at those times – not to mention the fact that such trials will not have the opportunity to have their effect of building our strength and character as James advised (James 1:2-4) in that frame of mind. It is a lose/lose situation.
We begin to overcome our own folly only after we come to recognize it for what it is, resolve to change, give ourselves over to serve the Lord, and allow Him to strengthen us day by day.
Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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