Proverbs – Life Skills
The world says to walk with those who are powerful. Don’t follow failures. Run with those who everything they touch seems to turn to gold. Attach yourselves to them in order to be like them. Watch how they do it and imitate them in all they do. Learn to think like them, behave and even walk like them. Then you will be rich and powerful, too. The world also says to seek justice (what is fair in their eyes) at all costs.
God says, “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8, NIV) Jesus, being God in human form, was the example of what pleases God in our walk, so by walking and talking like Jesus, with a sincere heart to please God, God is pleased.
1 Peter 2:21, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.”
What does it mean to walk humbly with God?
What does our proverb of the day mean to “walk with the wise”? Who are the wise?
We need to know God (synonymous with wisdom) and know that God’s justice will always triumph because of Jesus, our Deliverer. True justice and peace will prevail when Messiah reigns. The relationship between social ethics and spiritual integrity is underscored by Micah. He summarizes what God wants to find in his people. God wants His people to love Him and follow Him. True justice and equity tempered with mercy and compassion is the result of a humble and obedient relationship with Him.
No one can act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly and fail to please God. Before these conditions can be met, every person must seek peace with, and forgiveness from, God.
John Wesley’s comment on what God’s prophet says, “God has already told you in his word with what you ought to come before him. To be equal to all and oppress none in body, goods, or name. To be kind, merciful, and compassionate to all, not using severity towards any. Keep up a constant fellowship with God by humble, holy faith”.
Proverb 13 shows us what “holy, humble faith walking” looks like and teaches us that learning wisdom brings its own rewards, including honor and life itself. The mocker or arrogant person who refuses instruction solicits poverty and death. Words have power. The wise use them judiciously and gain by them. Misuse brings violence and ruin.
Proverb 13, The Message
Walk with the Wise
Intelligent children listen to their parents;
foolish children do their own thing.
2 The good acquire a taste for helpful conversation;
bullies push and shove their way through life.
3 Careful words make for a careful life;
careless talk may ruin everything.
4 Indolence wants it all and gets nothing;
the energetic have something to show for their lives.
5 A good person hates false talk;
a bad person wallows in gibberish.
6 A God-loyal life keeps you on track;
sin dumps the wicked in the ditch.
7 A pretentious, showy life is an empty life;
a plain and simple life is a full life.
8 The rich can be sued for everything they have,
but the poor are free of such threats.
9 The lives of good people are brightly lit streets;
the lives of the wicked are dark alleys.
10 Arrogant know-it-alls stir up discord,
but wise men and women listen to each other’s counsel.
11 Easy come, easy go,
but steady diligence pays off.
12 Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
but a sudden good break can turn life around.
13 Ignore the Word and suffer;
honor God’s commands and grow rich.
14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
so, no more drinking from death-tainted wells!
15 Sound thinking makes for gracious living,
but liars walk a rough road.
16 A commonsense person lives good sense;
fools litter the country with silliness.
17 Irresponsible talk makes a real mess of things,
but a reliable reporter is a healing presence.
18 Refuse discipline and end up homeless;
embrace correction and live an honored life.
19 Souls who follow their hearts thrive;
fools bent on evil despise matters of soul.
20 Become wise by walking with the wise;
hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
21 Disaster entraps sinners,
but God-loyal people get a good life.
22 A good life gets passed on to the grandchildren;
ill-gotten wealth ends up with good people.
23 Banks foreclose on the farms of the poor,
or else the poor lose their shirts to crooked lawyers.
24 A refusal to correct is a refusal to love;
love your children by disciplining them.
25 An appetite for good brings much satisfaction,
but the belly of the wicked always wants more.
Whether in the OT or NT, true religion before the Lord means a right relationship with the Lord and each other. Justice is the basis of all moral law and life. Mercy is God’s goodness to the redeemed, which must be shown to all his creatures. Humility is the “low, sweet root from which all heavenly virtues shoot,” and it must be the characteristic of every true believer in walking before God.
To walk with God is to seek Him first with a desire imitate His character of unconditional love, peace, eternal joy in all circumstances, long-suffering patience, gentleness, kindness…all the fruits of His Holy Spirit! (Galatians 5) We must attach ourselves to God, in the Name of Jesus, to acquire the developing gifts of His Holy Spirit that leads to a more humbled, holy walk with God.
So how’s our walk? It depends on our relationship with God.
Who are we listening to for advice these days?
Who are we imitating?
Our walk matters to God.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Jesus came to earth and did everything according to what He heard from You. You are God and we are not. Help us to hear your voice above all others. Help us to walk humbly with You in the lead and in control of every detail of our lives. Help us to know when we don’t know and ask for your wisdom for you are wisdom. Help us to follow you in all that is just with minds of mercy and grace and behave accordingly. Oh Lord, we need you every hour. The waters are stirred and getting deeper. We rely on your promise to lift our heads above the troubled waters. Thank you for being with us.
In Jesus Name, Amen