September 7, 2017
Scripture Reading – Proverbs 22
Our scripture reading today is Proverbs 22 and is, like all chapters in Proverbs, a treasure trove of wisdom that southern folk of my youth applauded as “good old common sense”. Unfortunate for our society, we have strayed far from God and His Word and the bits of wisdom that were guiding posts for generations of youth are unfamiliar to most in our day.
For today’s devotional commentary, I am selecting one verse especially applicable to Floridians preparing for the possibility of Hurricane Irma making landfall this weekend. Having watched from afar the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, Floridians are being prudent and exercising an abundance of caution. Of prudence, Solomon writes:
Proverbs 22:3 – “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”
We live in a dangerous world far from the “Mayberry” world portrayed in the old Andy Griffith Shows of the early 1960’s. You and I do not have the joy or luxury of raising our families with the naiveté’ of Barney Fife and Goober. Of necessity, believers need to be prudent, wise and cunning in a world that is no friend of the Christian or his family.
Proverbs 22:3 draws a contrast between two men who are polar opposites when it comes to discernment—the Prudent and the Simple.
Proverbs 22:3 – “A prudent [cunning; sensible] man foreseeth [perceive; understands] the evil [sin; wickedness; adversity], and hideth [conceal; hide; shelter] himself: but the simple [foolish; silly] pass on, and are punished [condemn; inflict a penalty].”
The Prudent man is a learner. He is a student of the Scriptures [the Wisdom of God] and human nature. His senses are exercised by a lifetime of experiences and he is wary of the wiles and ways of the world. Prudence dictates he foresee the ways of the wicked and withdraw himself from the consequences of their sinful ways.
The Simple are not learners. They are stubborn, ignoring the admonitions of their parents and godly counselors. They pursue the pleasures of sin and the company of the foolish giving no thought to their tragic end. The Simple rush past moral restraints and headlong down the path of self-destruction.
This same proverb is repeated in Proverbs 27:12, thus magnifying the need to read and heed its truth.
Proverbs 27:12 – “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.”
Be wise. Seek and heed godly counsel; after all, you cannot afford to wear “rose-colored glasses” in a sinful, black and white world!
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith