# 138 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 35 (6) This too we must take seriously.

sheep and goat

We all love a good story. In reality, we spend much of our lives telling stories and if not telling them, then reading them or listening to them or watching them on TV. When I was living overseas I discovered that Middle Eastern people are great story tellers. In fact, where we, “Westerners”, would try and explain something with facts and figures they would illustrate it simply with a story.

Jesus was such a “Middle Eastern man”! The Gospels are full of the stories of Jesus. Not stories to entertain, but stories with a purpose. They are called “Parables” and many are well known and appreciated. But some are also somewhat disturbing!

Consider the one found in Matthew 25:31-46 titled “The sheep and the goats” in the NIV.

The first part is surprising and challenging. Jesus said:

31 “When the Son of Man [meaning Jesus himself] comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

It is the second part though that is really surprising and disturbing.

Jesus continued:

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I don’t know about you, but if I was there listening to Jesus when he told this story I would have been lost for words. Maybe that was the case for his listeners on that day long ago because the Gospels have no record of people’s responses.

The third of six “suggestions” that Wilcock has regarding what we can learn from this Imprecatory Psalm 35 concerns the fact that, “David is in illustrious company – Moses, Isaiah, Paul, Jesus – both in his prophetic status and in the object of his denunciations. There are, alas, those who have wilfully and finally rebelled against the loving plan of God, and these mouthpieces of the voice of God tell us plainly that such willing instruments of Satan not only are, but ought to be, doomed to destruction.” Referring then to the words of Jesus above (in bold type), he continues, “not even David goes as far as the ‘gentle Jesus’ does in such an imprecation. This too we must take seriously.”

Father, enable us to “take seriously” the truth as expressed by Jesus in this challenging parable. May our lives be pleasing to you, seeking to do good to all, and in serving them we recognize that we are serving you.  Amen.

# 137 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 35 (5) Right anger and proper hatred.

angry tiger

I felt really very angry! These people did not deserve the treatment they were receiving right before my eyes, and I said so. It was the early 1990’s and whenever the Hindus in neighbouring India did something to upset the minority Muslims then the reciprocal activity would take place in Pakistan. I can’t remember what happened in India but in UM, where we were living, the Muslim students were marching down the main road protesting. The minority Hindu shopkeepers, wisely, had closed their shops and were keeping out of the way, but this did not stop the students from looting and burning as they went. Although keeping a low profile, I said angrily to my Muslim friends nearby who were laughing at the student’s activities that only a short time ago these Hindus were their friends and neighbours. It was all so unfair!

So, in a sense, I can understand a little just how David felt as he prayed to God in the words of Psalm 35 when he said:

22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent.
Do not be far from me, Lord.
23 Awake, and rise to my defence!
Contend for me, my God and Lord.
24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God;
do not let them gloat over me.

Although, in my situation the injustice was not being done to me but to others.

So, can we use this psalm today, in our own personal devotions or in communal worship?

Commentator Michael Wilcock suggests that we can. He says that we can use it “without embarrassment, even with profit”! He then gives “six suggestions” as to how we can do this. We shall check out two of these today.

Firstly, David was obviously and naturally upset about what his enemies were wrongly saying about him and accusing him of, and “even if David did feel vindictive…he would have been doing the right thing with his feelings: not taking the law into his own hands but committing the matter to God in prayer.” Wilcock emphasizes that “both Testaments make this point” quoting the following verse:

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.  (Romans 12:19 quoting from Deuteronomy 32:35)

Wilcock continues, “All the imprecatory psalms are prayers, in which God is being asked to do what only he, and not the psalmist, has the right and power to do.”

Secondly, David was right to feel angry at the injustice surrounding him, as I think I was also right, on that day in Pakistan, to stand up for those who were being treated so unfairly. Wilcock reminds us that “there are such things as right anger and proper hatred” quoting both the Old and New Testaments as follows:

In your anger do not sin. (Ephesians 4:26 quoting from Psalm 4:4) and

Hate what is evil. (Romans 12:9 quoting Amos 5:15)

“In a world where much really is hateful and where many things, and people, richly deserve our indignation,” says Wilcock, “easy-going Christians could learn something from David’s passion.”

Father, we remember the words of Micah 6:8 – “What does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” – and ask you to help us to be passionate towards others who are being treated unjustly that they may be vindicated and delivered from the hands of their enemies.  Amen.

# 136 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 35 (4) Who is being cursed?

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In my youth I never thought much about having “enemies”. Maybe the “bill collectors” that we hid from occasionally, or the “truant officer” who came to our house regularly wondering why we were absent from school again. But, soon after becoming a follower of Jesus at the age of 19 I began to make a few “enemies”, well sort of. They were people (friends and family) who didn’t particularly appreciate the new Rod and his talk of God and the Bible and other such annoying topics. At one time I even received a “death threat”! It was from an older family member who had a long-standing problem with anger, most probably related to our rather dysfunctional upbringing (his worse than mine). At the time I was very excited about my new-found faith in Jesus and was keen to share this with whoever would listen. But one day he couldn’t take it anymore and stood over me and said, “If you talk once more about your religion, I will kill you!” I confess to having taken him seriously and so stopped! For 7 years anyway, until he also became a follower of Jesus!

When we look at Psalm 35 we realize very quickly that David had much more serious problems than me with some very real enemies. Let me remind you about them from David’s own testimony, as he cries out to God saying:

17 How long, Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their ravages,
    my precious life from these lions…
19 Do not let those gloat over me
who are my enemies without cause;
do not let those who hate me without reason
maliciously wink the eye.
20 They do not speak peaceably,
but devise false accusations
    against those who live quietly in the land.
21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we have seen it.”

So, Wilcock asks the question, “Who is being cursed” by David? And we looked at some of those “curses” last time (verses 8 and 26). Well, the obvious answer is “his enemies”. If we have never really thought about this question, then, Wilcock suggests that “of course we are likely to find [David’s] attitude offensive and spiteful.” But, as we study the “curses” in the Bible stories, prophets and Psalms, we begin to understand that “all these imprecations have a similar object. They are directed against those who reject what God has said”, and this, says Wilcock, “sheds new light on Psalm 35.”

He continues; David “identified with the Lord, and with no other God (v. 10). So, the conflict was between one who accepted the Lord’s authority and others who rejected it.” In fact, “they were the Lord’s enemies…it was really the Lord with whom they were at odds.” And, “if this is all about David and Saul…it makes the theological point clearly. God had spoken through his prophet Samuel to both Saul and David [I Samuel 13-31]. Saul had disobeyed the word that had come to him and had refused to recognize the word that had come to David.” Saul had therefore become the enemy of God and then turned against David.

Of course, we would love if everyone we know would be amongst those who accept the Lord’s authority over their lives and live according to His ways. What a different world it would be! But, the reality is that many reject the Lord and therefore find themselves at odds with his people. A clear example being in the life of Saul of Tarsus. Remember the words of Jesus to Saul on the Damascus rode?

He [Saul] fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4)

And yet who was Saul persecuting? In his own words:  I persecuted the followers of this Way [i.e. followers of Jesus] to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison. (Acts 22:4)

So, David’s words in Psalm 35 were against those who not only opposed him but also opposed the God whom he loved and served. The One of whom he said:

“The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.” (verse 27).

May we all be those who accept God’s authority over our lives and live according to His ways, exalting His Name and being delighted in by Him.

Father, no one wants to have enemies, but at times it seems to be unavoidable in this world. Teach us to appreciate the truth of Jesus’ words that we are “Blessed … when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” (Matt. 5:11) Amen.

# 136 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 35 (3) “Brainstorming” or “thought showers”?

brain storming

“The term political correctness is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society…avoiding language or behaviour that can be seen as excluding, marginalizing, or insulting groups of people considered disadvantaged or discriminated against…”   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness

In an article entitled “Examples of Political correctness gone mad” on   www.hitc.com, there are some ‘interesting’ but rather extreme examples, including:

“A UK council has banned the term ‘brainstorming’ – and replaced it with ‘thought showers’, as local lawmakers thought the term may offend epileptics.”

“A UK recruiter was stunned when her job advert for ‘reliable’ and ‘hard-working’ applicants was rejected by the job centre as it could be offensive to unreliable and lazy people.”

What a linguistic minefield! I have no problem seeking to “avoid offence” or not “excluding, marginalizing or insulting”, but we do appear we have gone overboard with it all in our day.  No wonder the Bible is under attack by so many politically correct “modern thinkers” in our day. And possibly none more than the so called Imprecatory Psalms such as Psalm 35.

And, being influenced by this “political correctness’ all around us, one can understand some of the reactions when people open this psalm and read such things as:

may ruin overtake them by surprise—
may the net they hid entangle them,
may they fall into the pit, to their ruin…

26 May all who gloat over my distress
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
be clothed with shame and disgrace.

In my study of this psalm I have found Michael Wilcock’s commentary (The Message of the Psalms) very helpful and will refer to his book often. He has a section concerning Psalm 35 called, “The bigger problem”, where he says, “the reaction of many people to words like may ruin overtake them (35:8) is not only distaste, but some such remarks as ‘typically Old Testament”. He adds, “The cursings are thought to be of a piece with the rest of that ‘primitive book’, a portrayal of the bad old days of Jewish religion before sweetness and light came in with Christianity and the New Testament.”

Obviously, he disagrees with this and reminds readers that although it is true that the OT (not only the Psalms) does contain “cursings” (e.g. Deut. 27-28, Isaiah 13, Jeremiah 18-19, etc.), “the Old Testament also contains stern warnings against vindictiveness and gloating and teaches a very ‘New Testament’ ethic of love even for enemies (e.g. Prov.24:17-18; 25:21-22).” But then Wilcock suggests, “to the surprise of the uninformed”, that “It is surely with a conscious echo of the cursings of Deuteronomy that Jesus sets ‘woes’ alongside his blessings of Luke 6:24-26, and Paul’s anathemas simply follow his Master’s lead (e.g. 1 Cor. 16:22; Gal. 1:8).”

Now, I realize that this may raise more questions than answers for you? Which is alright. (Jesus seems to have done this all the time!) But just “stay with me”, as one preacher friend of mine often says after he says something ‘challenging’. In fact, Wilcock also asks a number of questions, and over the next posts we will look at these. Let me finish here with his words following the above statement:

“In other words, the real problem is how the Old and New Testaments alike can approve both charity and ill will towards one’s enemies.” He then suggests that, “the question is not, Wouldn’t the Psalms make better sense if we left out all this cursing? But, What sense do they make if we keep them in?” (#5) To try and answer this, he asks yet another question, which we will look at in the next post.

Just maybe, we may need to do some “brainstorming” concerning all this. Or should I say “thought showers”?

Father, we confess our lack of real understanding of some of the truths in the Bible, and so, like the psalmist we ask that you would ‘Open our eyes to see the miracle-wonders hidden in your word.’ (Psalm 119:18 TPT). Amen

# 135 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 35 Slandered-mocked-hated!

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It wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience. There I was at home with my family in the rural town of UM in Pakistan and the police came knocking at the door. They asked me to accompany them to the police station as a complaint had come in as regards us and what we were doing there, which was running TB clinics to help mainly the poor of the district suffering from this killer disease. When I arrived, there sitting with the police chief was the religious leader from the local Mosque, someone who had never been particularly friendly towards us. Straight away he began to make false accusations about us, suggesting that our medical work was useless and just a cover up for the real reason we were there, i.e. to lead people away from his religion. To his first accusation about our work I suggested they asked the many patients who had been cured of TB due to our treatment. As regards his second accusation I simply took out my passport and showed him the visa granted to us by his government. It said “Missionary Visa”!  I said, “Your government is obviously not worried about out religious activities or why would they allow us in the country?’ The ‘case’ was dismissed! But it is never enjoyable to be disliked, falsely accused and slandered. In fact you could say, it is very stressful!

In Psalm 35, I think we can safely assume that the psalmist is David because “many points of correspondence between the statements of this psalm and the experiences of David in Saul’s day can be suggested if one compares 1 Samuel 20, 23-26.” (Leupold  # 43) This was a tough time in David’s life and the sorts of descriptions he uses in this psalm concerning his “enemies” tells all. Among other things he says about them that they are:

 those who contend with me…
 those who fight against me…
those who pursue me…
those who seek my life…
those who plot my ruin…
they question me on things I know nothing about.
They repay me evil for good…
They slandered me without ceasing…
they maliciously mocked
those who hate me without reason…                                                                                                 
devise false accusations…

I think it is safe to say that David was stressed! And who could blame him?

Now, compared to living in days like David lived, or even living in our own days in a war zone like, for example, Syria, most of us (particularly in Australia) know little about stress related to enemies attacking us either verbally or physically. So, I think it is fair to suggest that this would be an extreme situation for the majority of us. But, on the other hand, we all experience stress in some way, and so can enter in to some extent.

So, a key thing we can learn from this psalm is simply that David dealt with this stress by talking about it. Something suggested by any good therapist. But, even more important, by talking about it to God. Sadly, not the normal suggestion of most therapists! And David didn’t gloss over things, he told it like it is. He didn’t consider that there was anything God couldn’t handle, or might be offended by, or wouldn’t be interested in. Everything was poured out to God – all his suffering, his frustration, his anger, his pain and importantly, what the cause of all this was.  He knew what to do and he did it.

I’m not suggesting that this is the only thing we can do in a stressful situation, but this one is vital. Don’t leave it until all else fails!  Prioritize spending time talking to God about all that is happening.

Then, in time, as David says here:

…my soul will rejoice in the Lord
and delight in his salvation.
10 My whole being will exclaim,
“Who is like you, Lord?

Father, in this world we will have times of stress and even opposition because we belong to you. Help us to always come to you in such times, trusting you to meet our needs at such times. In answer to David above, Lord, there is none like you! Amen.

 

# 134 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 35. Omitted from public worship.

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I wonder when was the last time you either read or sang any part of Psalm 35 in church? Or maybe the right question is, have you ever read or sung it in church? We have our favourites and, I imagine, this psalm is not one of them. So then, I guess we need to then ask, why not? And you might say, well Rod, just read it for yourself and then you will understand!

Historically, at times, Christians have had a problem with psalms like this, sometimes called “imprecatory psalms” which are described as those that “invoke judgment, calamity, or curses, upon one’s enemies or those perceived as the enemies of God.”  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imprecatory_PsalmsUsing images of conflict and hostility, right from the beginning this psalm reveals this truth as it petitions God to “engage himself as a warrior…to match the hostilities of the opponents.” (Broyles). The psalmist (probably David) passionately and desperately cries out:

Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me;
    fight against those who fight against me.
Take up shield and armour;
    arise and come to my aid.
Brandish spear and javelin
against those who pursue me.
Say to me,
“I am your salvation.”

May those who seek my life
    be disgraced and put to shame;
may those who plot my ruin
be turned back in dismay.
May they be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them away;
may their path be dark and slippery,
    with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.

Since they hid their net for me without cause
and without cause dug a pit for me,
may ruin overtake them by surprise—
may the net they hid entangle them,
may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord
and delight in his salvation.
10 My whole being will exclaim,
“Who is like you, Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them.”

Wilcock quotes C.S. Lewis in his book Reflections on the Psalms when in his chapter on “The Cursings”, he says: “The Church of England’s Alternative Service Book of 1980 marked passages in thirteen [Imprecatory Psalms] which…’may be omitted’…in public worship. In one case (Psalm 58) the entire psalm was so marked.” Thankfully, says Wilcock, “their successors were less swayed by the spirit of the age, and Common Worship, published in 2000, contains no such editorial high-handedness.”

He also quotes Wenham who referred to “a study some years ago which concluded that on the grounds of their ‘bloodthirsty threats and curses’ no fewer than 84 psalms (out of 150!) were ‘not fit for Christians to sing’!”

Such is the problem some people have with these particular psalms. What about you?

Bit by bit, over the next weeks we will look at this psalm and see (with the help of some better qualified than me) if we can find some possible answers to the questions we may have with this particular type of psalm, and hopefully find ourselves having a new appreciation for why these psalms are included in the scriptures.

Father, thank you, even if we don’t always understand everything we read in the Bible, we know that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that [we] the servant[s] of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). And that even includes these “difficult” psalms! Amen.

Note:  to listen to Psalm 35 as a song go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfoyhlSJ9f8

 

# 133 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 34 Come…listen…I will teach you…wisdom.

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I hope this doesn’t upset you, but, believe it not, even though,

“For thousands of years, from Ancient Greek legend to modern literature and TV, humans have portrayed owls as sage and wise [and] the wise owl appears in everything from The Iliad to Winnie the Pooh…it turns out, though they’re excellent hunters, owls probably aren’t any smarter than a lot of other birds.

In fact, they may be significantly worse at problem solving than other big-brained birds like crows and parrots. One study found that great grey owls repeatedly failed a simple cognitive test—pulling a string to get a treat—that had been successfully solved by several other bird species.”  (http://mentalfloss.com/article/69941/are-owls-actually-wise)

But, don’t despair, wisdom can still be found in other places.

So-called ‘wisdom literature’ has been around a very long time and continues to be written.

For example, Socrates (490-399 BC) wrote,

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

And Confucius (551-479 BC) said,

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

But, some of the most famous and well-known examples of Wisdom Literature are found in the Bible, namely in the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon).

In Psalm 34 we find an example in verses 8-14:

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

Kidner comments:

“The lessons of this part of the psalm are chiefly that the true good is to be in concord [i.e. harmony] with God. It is the answer to the hardest times (19f.) and to the most ultimate questions (21f.). Almost every word [from verse 11 -14] is in the style of the wisdom instructor, as in Proverbs 1-9, with his fatherly tone and the stress on the fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom. This continues with the teaching that the good you enjoy (12) goes hand in hand with the good you do (14). It is an emphasis which answers the suspicion (first aroused in Eden) that outside the will of God, rather than within it, lies enrichment.”  (# 29)

Let’s do as suggested 2500 years ago and learn some wisdom by ‘reflection’ on what we have read above.

  • ‘true good is to [found] in concord [harmony] with God’ – The psalmist says in verses 8-9,Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The advice given is for a very intentional moving towards God with the desire to know him intimately and to enjoy the goodness of God as a daily experience. To ‘hide ourselves in God’ (TPT) and experience a peace and security available only in relationship to him. To have a reverent ‘fear’ or awe and wonder of our God and discover in him is all we need for real deep life satisfaction. The reality is that nothing else we ‘taste’ will ultimately satisfy.
  • ‘it is the answer to the hardest times’ – The psalmist says in verse 19, The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. David knew about troubles from experience, and I’m sure none of us have been exempt ourselves. But, says David, the Lord delivers us. Now his deliverance may come in various forms, depending on the type of trouble itself and just what God is up to in our lives. Paul wrote about such a situation in one of his letters. He wrote: In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
  • ‘It is the answer to … the most ultimate questions’The psalmist says in verses 21-22, But the wicked commit slow suicide. For they hate and persecute the lovers of God. Make no mistake about it, God will hold them guilty and punish them; they will pay the penalty!
    But the Lord has paid for the freedom of his servants, and he will freely pardon those who love him. He will declare them free and innocent when they turn to hide themselves in him
    . (TPT). Paul summarizes it as follows:  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)
  • ‘the good you enjoy (12) goes hand in hand with the good you do [and speak] (14).’ – The psalmist says in verse 12-14, Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Because God is good (verse 8), then it is only natural (or supernatural) that his people (in his strength and with his help) should also live good lives and speak that which is good and helpful to others.
  • ‘It is an emphasis which answers the suspicion (first aroused in Eden) that outside the will of God, rather than within it, lies enrichment.’ – And, the author’s point being that ‘the suspicion’ has and always will be proved to be false. True and ultimate satisfaction can never be found in any substitute for a right relationship with our Creator. As the psalmist puts it here in verse 5, Gaze upon him, join your life with his, and joy will come. Your faces will glisten with glory. You’ll never wear that shame-face again. (TPT).  

So, asks the writer of the Book of Proverbs (written “for learning wisdom” 1:1), How then does a man [and a woman] gain the essence of wisdom?

He then answers the question for us with the words, We cross the threshold of true knowledge when we live in obedient devotion to God. (Proverbs 1:7 TPT)

Father, our lives are full of everyday choices and decisions. We need wisdom from above to navigate our way. Thankyou for your promise that ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.’ (James 1:5) Amen.