Saturday, December 6, 2014
December 4 – Obtaining favor from God
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord. But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death. (Proverbs 8:34-36 NASB)
Wisdom speaks through this whole chapter and the next, calling anyone who would listen, to follow, and seek her out. Interesting how wisdom says that those who watch daily at her gates and wait at her doorposts are blessed with life and favor from God. Wisdom is not something you are randomly born with, or given to the lucky few in this world. It’s available to anyone, regardless of who they are or what they have done. But, they have to actively find it.
Finding wisdom means going to where she resides, at her gates and doorways. Where would those places be? Where God’s word is taught, for one. Going to church should be the most obvious place where wisdom is to be found, but unfortunately not every church prioritizes the teaching of God’s word. Seek out wisdom in a church where God’s word is held as the authority for all teaching, where teaching His truth is predominant, and where the leaders of the church actually live what they preach. Seek wisdom also by reading of His word. Allow God’s Spirit to speak directly to your spirit, and then practice what He says. This is the way that His truth becomes internalized and starts to become a part of who you are. Wisdom is different than knowledge – it’s something that you experience and live, not just know.
Whoever wants to find God’s favor, will love every minute seeking out His wisdom. They won’t need to be told to avoid worldly friends and fleshly activities, because it will be seen as a waste of valuable time that could be better spent seeking Him. When people have to be constantly warned to stay away from unhealthy life choices, it’s because wisdom is of little importance, and God is of little importance to them.
When young Solomon was anointed as king over Israel, he gave a massive sacrifice to God in awe and respect of the serious responsibility of ruling God’s people. God was pleased with his sacrifice, and told him to ask anything he wanted. The young king was humble and requested that he be given wisdom to rule fairly and justly. God was even more pleased with Solomon’s response, that He granted him wisdom along with exceeding wealth and strength for his kingdom. The seeking of wisdom brought Solomon amazing favor with God. Years later he wrote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” (Proverbs 9:10) which was evident in the way he treated God as a young man.
Wisdom is not a commodity that we can demand as if we were equals with God, but as humble servants in total dependence on Him. Seek for her, go to where you can find her, practice what you learn, and just as with Solomon, life and God’s favor will shine on you.