Laying foundations of wisdom

I’ve been a bit quiet on here of late, because I’ve been writing a daily blog (in tandem with my curate) on Proverbs.

https://dailyproverbreflections.wordpress.com

The plan is to write the blog through the year, going through Proverbs (which conveniently has 31 chapters) 12 times through the year.

We’re halfway through February and I’m both loving it and feeling stretched by it already, its going to be a marathon to keep mining this book for fresh and readable messages through the year.

Alongside this I’m continuing to try and read through the Bible each year and today I read the first few chapters of 2 Chronicles, where Solomon starts building the temple.  One phrase struck me. ‘Solomon broke ground’.

So much of what we do as leaders of God’s people is laying foundations.  We preach, we serve, we pray, we listen and care, we pray some more, we teach God’s Word.  So much of this is to shift the culture of our churches and help individuals build their lives on solid foundations.

I love this phrase ‘break ground’.  To lay foundations, we have to break up what’s already in place.  That means breaking through the hard, down-trodden ground, uprooting the weeds and plants which would ultimately destabilise what we’re building.  Its also essential to ‘break ground’ to enable one another to open our hearts.  We can’t build the kingdom where there is buried pain, bitterness or anger.

Daily reflecting on Proverbs is helping me to break ground in my life in so many ways.  Observing the way folly leads to ruin, helps us reflect on our actions in an unjudgemental but challenging way.  And wisdom always points back to a relationship with God built on submission and trust, secure in His fatherly love.

Proverbs 2 – storing or seeking?

Proverbs 2

v1 My son, if you … store up my commands within you…

Part of my daily reflection on Proverbs is facing up honesty when God’s Word, clashes with my own preconceptions. That’s particularly challenging when I have to wrestle with something in God’s Word which challenges something else I’ve come to believe from pondering the Bible. So let me explain.

Over the past few years, I’ve reflected and taught quite a lot on not ‘storing stuff up’ for ourselves, but living by God’s daily bread of fresh revelation and truth for us. This keeps us connected with Him and walking with Him, not just dipping into the storehouses of knowledge when we need it. This isn’t a casual, half baked thought of mine, but something I’ve preached on and even written a whole chunk about in my book.

Storehouse

So I found Proverbs 2v1 a bit of a stumbling block, here’s the Bible using the language which directly challenges what I hold passionately. Its so annoying when God makes me think!!

But reading it afresh, I realise that there’s more here.
In v1-4 the son is urged to: grasp, store, bend his ear towards, extend his heart towards, call out for, seek and search for wisdom and understanding

Most of those verbs are about seeking and listening, storing up is just packing his case with core commands to begin the journey.
where does this quest lead him?

To the fear of the Lord. As we seek Wisdom, we find God.
We don’t find a storehouse full of good ideas, lessons from mistakes, information and statistics, answers to pub quiz questions and expertise in God’s commands. We find God.

We find that bowing the knee to Him as Lord, embracing Him as our trustworthy Father, honouring Him as our teacher, that’s the path the life.

This year, along with many in my church family, I am reading through a chapter of Proverbs for a day. As we settle into our second month of daily reading Proverbs, none of us are becoming experts, we’re being called back to be students, because that’s what a disciple is.