For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
What good is it for someone to gain all the fame, all the money and all the power in the world if he cannot extend its life even for a second? God is the giver of life and only He can decide how long each person can live. To he who is wise and prudent God grants long life, provided that wisdom and prudence are used with obedience. Obedience without wisdom is plain arrogance but a wise man can discern what comes from God and therefore avoids deviating from the straight path of justice, which would bring him many problems. A rash person does not even know which way to follow. All roads look good to him because he has never bothered to know what God expects of him. When something goes right or wrong he says it was due to good or bad luck and he does not have the slightest idea of God’s plan for his life. If he gets to hear the message of salvation he ignores it because he thinks it has nothing to do with his life.
Wise King Salomó also put it this way: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” Hence the inexperienced is much more exposed to danger that the wise man, which reduces considerably the life expectancy of the inexperienced. Enough of stumbling through life without a fixed destination and no target! God is calling everyone, wise and inexperienced to be reconciled to him. Enough of living a life full of mistakes and sins which only separate us more from God. He can forgive you but are you looking for His forgiveness? He can save you but do you crave His salvation? Seek God with all your heart, for once you find Him, you will know the true meaning of love. Only to God be the glory!
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you.
Humans classify people around them, known and related, in two broad categories: enemies and allies. All is seen in terms of war and we look at everybody else as people who support us or as people who oppose us. Those who think like us and therefore are friends and those who assume positions different from ours automatically become our greatest adversaries. We see everything from the utilitarian point of view. If a person is useful for our purposes we consider him as an ally and if the person does not contribute towards achieving our goals we consider him as a personal enemy. The way we treat our neighbor depends on which category he belongs, all in accordance with this simplistic classification to which we subject him.
This is not the way that God has taught us to behave through his word. He has shown us something profoundly more radical that flows counter-current to the practices of the world. According to what God teaches us, our love can not be oriented according to our understanding of the world or to the rationale we use to classify people as enemies or friends. Treatment should be equal for both because God commands it. As with all of God’s commandments, obedience brings blessings and rewards but they do not come until we have fulfilled our part of the agreement which is to obey God. Let’s not see our neighbor through the glass of the categories and let us share with them the love God has poured into our hearts, regardless of the position they hold in relation to ours. Enough of hatred, envy and war. Let us obey the Master. To God alone be the glory!
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will reward them for what they have done.
What a wonderful opportunity we have to serve the Lord by serving the poor! It is a shame that we often look at them with contempt and arrogance. We believe that their poverty is the result of who knows what evil deeds that were done by them in the past. And even if it is so, we act as ruthless judges condemning them with disdain, when we should be giving them a hand if possible (it always is) and giving them another opportunity. Instead of acting with compassion as our Lord Jesus would do, we refuse to lend a hand to help them out of the deep hole they have fallen into. Egocentrism silences any remorse that our consciousness may bring out of our hearts. Instead of seeing it as an excellent opportunity to serve the Lord we see it as a nuisance that gets in our way and makes our life less bearable.
Let us follow the wise guidance of the Holy Spirit so we can serve our poor neighbors the same way that Jesus would do, but taking care not to usurp the rightful place of God as provider. We are mere pawns in the hands of the Universal Grandmaster placed on a cosmic chess board, carrying out God’s strategic moves that will lead us to victory. We don’t have to go too far to find opportunities to serve the poor. We can find them everywhere and just in case we have not noticed, they happen to be a majority, so we can’t say we do not know where to find them. Make sure that our help to them is not something done as a mere formality. Our actions must spring straight from our hearts and they must be at all times carried out for the glory of God and not for our own glory. Let us find where is the need so we can help with our hands and resources (which are ultimately God’s resources) to improve the lives of the dispossessed. Thus, we will be doing what the Lord expects of us. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, faith, God, kindness, obedience, poor, Proverbs 19, reward, righteousness, wisdom, works
The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
Many people turn to God for help but they refuse to acknowledge their wrongdoings neither they understand that much of what is happening to them is precisely the result of their objectionable behavior. In many cases, God intervenes on behalf of those who cry out to him and rescues them. The problem arises when the person that has been rescued goes back to his/her previous behavior and once again he/she gets into serious trouble. These people often blame God for everything bad that happens to them but conveniently ignore him when things go fairly well. That attitude can only be described as contempt and disrespect for God. For these people, justice is whatever turns conditions to their favor, as if they were the center of the universe and everything else existed exclusively for their welfare.
Obviously, this kind of attitude can not be pleasing to God. God does not treat us as we deserve only because his mercy and his love balance and complement his righteousness.
We exist to carry out God’s plans. Many people behave as if God exists only to fulfill their personal plans. No wonder they live mired into all sorts of problems. Let us not imitate this unacceptable behavior. Our minds must be focused in God at all times, seeking his direction and trying to find ways to serve him. Let us put aside our fleshly interests and let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. Our Father will do the rest and we will be able to navigate the road ahead, attached to the principles and mandates of God, fulfilling his wonderful plans. To God alone be the glory!