This is part fifteen in my 31-day study through the book of Proverbs. The purpose of the study is to learn wisdom and discernment from this portion of God’s Word. Today we turn to chapter 15 of this book of Wisdom.
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.”
There is so much truth contained in this one small verse! This verse speaks of a doctrine we know as God’s omniscience which says that God sees and knows everything. He knows everything about every person and every event that has occurred in the past or will occur in the future. He knows the possibilities arising from those events that will never take place as much as He knows the results that will, in fact, occur. He watches over the godly as much as the ungodly.
This serves as a great encouragement to believers, for we know that God is always watching over us. We know that nothing can happen outside of His control. We have assurance that nothing that happens to us will surprise God.
This knowledge must terrify the unbeliever who really understands it, for he must realize that God’s eyes are continually upon him, seeing his sin and taking note of all he does. He will have to realize that he cannot hide himself and his unworthiness from the God who sees and knows everything about him.
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves him who follows righteousness.”
Only a true believer can offer God praise and worship that He loves and accepts. When an unbeliever, one with a wicked heart, seeks to bring honor to God, God sees this as an abomination for the wicked are themselves an abomination to God for they have continually rejected their Maker. It is for this reason that God is required to send them to hell. It is only when we have been reconciled to God that we can delight Him. When we have had our hearts transformed we can express our love to Him by bringing him praise. Though our praise is still flawed, God sees it as beautiful and delights in it.
“Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, Than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.”
Joy is not found in possessions or material matters. It is better to have little and to be content than to have lots and have a troubled heart. It is better to be part of a family where the meals are small than to feast with a family filled with hatred. The quality of a family is determined not by wealth but by the relationships the family enjoys. I have seen many families that have so little money and so few possessions, yet have great joy and their families share a bond of deep love and affection. How much better this is than having all the world can offer but not loving one another!
“Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established.”
A mark of wisdom is the understanding that we still have so much to learn. A wise man knows that his knowledge is limited and thus values correction and counsel. This proverb shows us that no one is capable of making all decisions himself, but should rely on wise counselors to help him. Where a man forsakes the counsel of his wise friends, he can expect his plans to awry. When he listens to his counselors and humbly acknowledges his own limitations, he can expect his plans to succeed.
“The ear that hears the rebukes of life Will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility.”
Proverbs continually turns to the theme of accepting rebuke. Every chapter seems to contain a warning about the folly of hating correction. This chapter closes with several verses that speak to that theme.
In order to be considered wise, I need to open myself to rebuke. I need to settle in my heart that I am lacking in knowledge and that sin still dwells within me. My heart then needs to accept that I can and should consider the rebuke of those who love wisdom. Heeding this correction will allow me to increase in wisdom. If I turn my back on the knowledge that has been imparted to me through this rebuke, I prove my folly. When I hate the understanding that comes through correction I hate my own soul, for I send it towards destruction. Before I can become wise I need to become humble. Only with an attitude of humility can I learn wisdom and only through wisdom can I come to know the Lord.
Humility allows me to prepare myself to heed correction. Correction allows me to increase in instruction, which in turn allows me to grow closer to God.
Here is a brief summary of a few of the important pearls of wisdom contained in this chapter:
- God is omniscient. He sees and knows everything. What a comfort this is as I can rest in the knowledge that nothing happens outside of God’s knowledge.
- Only a believer can offer praise to God that He will accept and delight in.
- A wise man surrounds himself with counselors and heeds their wisdom.
- I need to be humble and allow myself to be rebuked by those who are wise. This rebuke will allow me to increase in wisdom and bring me closer to God.