Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Let us look a little further into the book of “Proverbs”, where we find teachings attributed to Solomon, the wise king, son of David. The advice given here is written in the form of a father speaking to his son. We can read it as a historical document, but we can also read it as God, the father, speaking to us, his sons and daughters.
The following part from Proverbs is remarkable in various aspects. There are so many layers of our mind and our life addressed here. But before we go into further discussion, let us read:
Trust in the Lord …
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. 11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (from Proverbs 3)
Key parts of the message touch a) commandments, b) love and faithfulness, c) wisdom and understanding, d) evil, e) money and f) discipline. First of all: we need to learn. We need to talk. We need to listen! Humans alone, without an interaction with God, cannot find the good way. That is the main background of the whole passage and argument. It does not say that we are completely stupid. We are not. But alone, from our own wisdom ONLY, we cannot get to a good way of life.
With him …
I would like to stay with this point for a moment, since it seems to me a very important point on which many others will be dependent. How independent can humans be?
We all know that as humans we grow up as children. We are dependent on our parents. We cannot grow up without them. We need their care. We need to be fed. We need to be talked to. We need to play, to interact, to learn, to grow. Humans are not made to be alone!
The same is true for us humans as adults. We cannot be alone. We need a partner. We need friends. We need company. We cannot work alone. We cannot talk alone. We cannot live alone! Many of us suffer when they are alone. We are not made for it.
We are told that we cannot live without the advice and company of God, the Lord. We just cannot do it well. The whole human life is made to be with him, to talk to him, to learn from him, to trust him. Our life is made for trust and for love.
“In all your ways acknowledge him”. Think of him. Trust in him. Choose your steps in his light and his wisdom. Of course, we are made to be children, for full freedom! But it is a freedom which needs him, to be fully free. A freedom with him, not without him. (Roland Potthast) ... further texts