Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, October 12, 2016
“Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:5–7, NLT).
Listening has become a rare form of communication. I know it seems odd that I would include listening as communication, but the fact is most people misunderstand one another because we are too busy formulating our own views and rebuttals while others are expressing themselves. We don’t listen for word choices. Sometimes we miss what might be intended by what was said. In our listening, we miss the physical cues and don’t hear the accompanying voice inflection. We don’t listen for what was not said. I could go on, but I think you get the point.
If we invested double the time listening as we do speaking, we would be far better off. After all, the Lord did give us double the number of ears and eyes than He gave mouths, right? Not listening to the hearts of our fellow human beings fuels racism, hatred, malice, family dysfunction, war, and a host of other evils.
How To Become Wiser
Solomon said that we should listen to holy proverbs and become wiser. He said that we should devote ourselves to exploring their meanings. But get this: he continued by saying reverencing YHWH is foundational to true wisdom and knowledge. Do you realize that the fools who reject and despise wisdom and discipline are not mere idiots in the Proverbs? This is not a discussion of intelligence. The fools who turn their backs on knowledge and discipline are evil (that is what the term here actually means). They lack judgment and repentant hearts.
In light of today’s words of wisdom, our focus should be to listen actively, explore the meaning of God’s Proverbs, reverence Him and embrace the foundation of all wisdom and discipline. If we all do this, we will make the areas of our influence safe places where abuse, racism, political bickering, malice, and evil have no place.