There’s much concern these days in the Country for our security. Terms like “domestic terrorism” and “radicalized” have become all too common. Despite our best efforts to be on guard, all too often, we’re hearing of incidents that remind us of how hard it is to protect ourselves from those determined to randomly harm us. Dwell on it too much and it can be kind of scary. Become overly focused on it and paranoia becomes just smart thinking. After all, who doesn’t want to be secure?
This morning I’m starting in on the book of Proverbs. Always a heightened anticipation when I start reading here. The book “sells itself” as a means to “know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity,” and “to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth” (1:2-4). I’m in! Always a little extra prayer when I’m reading Solomon’s book, “God, let this stuff stick as I read it and understand it.”
After all, who doesn’t want to be a little more knowledgeable . . . to be a little wiser . . . to have a greater understanding of how life works? I do! But as I’m reading the opening chapter this morning, what stands out is that by investing in this book . . . and allowing this book to infiltrate me . . . I’ll also be a little more secure.
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “. . . behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you . . . whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Proverbs 1:20-21, 23, 33 ESV)
Listen to me, says Wisdom, and you will dwell secure . . . you will live in safety (NIV) . . . you shall live securely (NASB) . . . you will live in peace (NLT) . . . you will dwell confidently (YLT) . . . you’re in good hands (MSG). It’s either an outlandish and reckless claim or, it is heaven sent truth.
The security alert level is orange for those who refuse Wisdom’s voice. The greatest degrees of risk are assumed by the simple you love being simple . . . and the scoffer who delights in scoffing . . . and the fool who hates divine knowledge (1:22). For those whose own might is right . . . and who think that their own thoughts are above that of the Creators . . . and who lean unto their own understanding and see no need to acknowledge Him in all their ways . . . for those, the warning lights are flashing and calamity is not a matter of “if” but of “when” (1:24-32).
But for those who heed the Voice, “they will dwell secure and will be at peace.” And while that Voice is that of personified Wisdom in Solomon’s book, on a grander scale it foreshadows the One whom God has made our wisdom, Jesus the Christ.
He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. (1Corinthians 1:30 ESV)
Jesus, in a very real and present day sense, is the One crying aloud in the street . . . the One raising His voice in the markets. “Come to Me,” He cries, “all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Heed my voice, says Jesus, and I will pour out My Spirit upon you and make My words known to you. And in that divine knowledge, in those eternal truths, you will dwell secure and be at ease, without dread of disaster.
He cries out to the sinner and to the saint alike. The sinner because they are in need of a Savior. The saint because they are in need of a Shepherd . . . and they need to know His voice . . .and, despite all the craziness in the world around them, they need to lie down in the green pastures prepared for them. And as they rest beside the still waters of His ever-present, unfailing love and care, they can know what it is to be truly safe and secure.
Oh how I look forward to hearing Wisdom’s voice over the next two months of mornings as I hover over the book of Proverbs. Might it repeatedly direct my heart to the One God has made our wisdom, that I might hear His voice as well . . . and know afresh that, because of Him and in Him–even though this world seems out of control at times–I can be a little more secure.
Secure in Him by God’s grace . . . Secure because of Him for God’s glory.