The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
August —the beginning of a new school year for many. Time to sign up for classes, buy books and supplies, and maybe to prepare for dorm life. Students are excited and some are even anxious. Parents are excited to watch their children learn and grow. They might also be anxious about the many challenges their children will face. Maybe parents will be taking classes too and will share doubly in the preparations for the new year. Students and parents alike are aiming for positive, enriching experiences. To that end, much advice will be given and received before the classes begin.
Christians know where to look for the best advice—God’s Word. The book of Proverbs contains wise advice for facing the challenges of the world. It also strongly warns against the dangers of falling into foolish practices. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fear God—that’s the best way to show love for God and to lead a life pleasing to him. This month let’s take a closer look at these ancient, inspired words of wisdom and realize how they can guide us today.
King Solomon’s wisdom was an astounding, world-renowned gift from God. The Bible records the depth of his wisdom and the breadth of his writings.
God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore…. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He spoke about plant life….He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom. (1Kings 4:29-34)
The book of Proverbs only contains a fraction of Solomon’s wisdom and includes additional ‘sayings of the wise.’ In fact, the division of the chapters fits perfectly with this month’s devotional plan. There are 31 proverbs and 31 days in August—a chapter a day! Take this as a challenge and read a chapter each day. Follow us on FaceBook and get a daily reminder from Proverbs during August to keep you on track. Every day during August we will post to FaceBook a truth from the corresponding chapter of Proverbs. Our FaceBook page is WELS Europe. Please note: it is not the WELS European Civilian Chaplaincy site. That was a previous site for this ministry which is now an orphan.
Chapter one states the book’s theme. Its purpose is to instruct the young to lead a ‘disciplined and prudent life’ and the wise to ‘listen and add to their learning.’ The book’s introduction focuses on advice for the young man starting out in life. He is encouraged to make God-pleasing decisions and to avoid worldly temptations. Although this section targets the young, its scope is much broader. We know that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for …training in righteousness.” (2 Ti 3:16) Since our training never ends, all age groups will benefit from a journey through this section of Scripture.
In the opening pages of Proverbs, we first meet Wisdom personified. Solomon declares that following her advice will lead to a prosperous and happy life. Then he warns against folly–‘the things the Lord hates.’ (6:16) The main collection of Solomon’s proverbs starts in chapter ten. In this section, we picture how Old Testament believers applied those verses to their lives and then try to make a parallel application to our life. Some of the verses will remind us that we are not loving parents, faithful students, or honest workers. Others will remind us of the attitudes and actions that constitute God-pleasing, sanctified living.
Ultimately, this study of Scripture should point us to the wisdom that saves. In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul reminds us that “you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” (1Cor 1:30) Knowing that we have this gift leads us to take to heart the guidance from God’s Word we find in the book of Proverbs.
May God bless our study to the strengthening of our faith and to glory of his name!
O Word of God incarnate, O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth unchanged, unchanging, O Light of our dark sky,
We praise you for the radiance That from the hallowed page,
A lantern to our footsteps, Shines on from age to age.
News From Our Worship Groups
Livia Tamsin Regel, the daughter of Valerie Kohler-Regel and Ben Regel, was baptized in London on 29 July.
London Worship On Again
God willing, we will have face-to-face worship in London again in September. This is long overdue. The last time we worshipped together before the restrictions of the pandemic came into effect was March 1, 2020! We plan to have our service on September 5 at Northwood Methodist Church at 13:00.
Our Offerings in July
€150.00 and CHF260.00 were received in basket offerings. €2,631.07 were received as direct deposits.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7,8
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