Friday, January 3, 2014

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 17:1-3

He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

The Wisdom of The Lord: Man’s Inheritance: Proverbs 17:1-3
1) Better [is] a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices [with] strife.
2) A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
3) The fining pot [is] for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

The Lord, through the pen of Solomon, now continues His instruction on the way of Wisdom.  In this section of Scripture, He compares wisdom and foolishness in three different types of inheritances: family life, earthly blessings and eternal blessings…

Why can we consider earthly blessings from the Lord as one aspect of the inheritance He gives to us?  An inheritance implies something that is received that is:
1. normally, given out of a heart of love
2. always given based upon the death of the giver.
All of our blessings from the Lord come motivated by His love to us.  No matter how faithful and obedient we may be to Him, we do not deserve ANY of His blessings.  The channel of every blessing from the Lord is His death on the cross and an act of grace.    

1) Better [is] a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices [with] strife.
The Lord takes a look at our family life as an inheritance that is determined by our desires and actions….
1.  It is far better to be content with a small, broken, dry piece of bread when it is accompanied by peace, harmony and contentment in the home life than…
2.  to be enriched with multiple edible animals that can make up a very pleasant well-rounded diet but is accompanied by an argumentative, discontented home life.

A calm, peaceful happy home life brings far greater satisfaction and value than pleasantries that satisfy our flesh have no lasting spiritual value.

Better [is] a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.   (Proverbs 15:17)

A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!  (Psalms 133:1)

2) A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
The Lord takes a look at rewards for faithful service as a part of our earthly and eternal inheritance…
1.  A wise servant is characterized as being faithful to the responsibilities he is given.  Because of his wisdom, he is chosen by his master to exercise authority and watch care over a child that is shamefully disobedient. 
2.  Due to his faithfulness, he will be exalted to equal position with the biological children and receive an equal share of the father’s inheritance to them.

Faithfulness in service results in the blessings of promotion and rewards for their faithfulness, resulting in an equal standing with the children of the master.  This can apply to physical blessings from their earthly master, as well as, eternal blessings and rewards from their Heavenly Master.

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.   Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?  Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;  And shall begin to smite [his] fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and in an hour that he is not aware of,  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint [him] his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
 (Matthew 24:42-51)

3) The fining pot [is] for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
The Lord finishes His teachings on the inheritance that comes to a man, by explaining a often forgotten criteria, that determines the amount and type of inheritance that is received… the motives found in a man’s heart.
1.  In this earthly life, we find a wonderful example of testing that is used to reveal value.  It is the purification of precious metals.  Just as fire will bring out the pure uncontaminated metal, so too….
2.  The Lord can thoroughly examine the heart (desires, motives and thoughts) of a man.  These criteria are used by the Lord to determine the blessings for faithfulness we will receive on earth and throughout eternity. 

It is very important to note, that the motivations behind the actions of man are used in determining God’s blessings of inheritance to man. If we are simply “going through the motions” in our service for Christ, we are missing the mark He has set for us by living hypocritical lives.

O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:  Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.  For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.   (Psalms 66:8-10)

[Ye] hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.  And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:  Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
(Matthew 15:7-11)


A few of the criteria that our inheritance of blessings is determined is:
1.  setting Godly priorities in life by understanding the true value of our life pursuits.
2.  faithfulness to the responsibilities that we are given.
3.  actions that proceed from Godly motives and desires.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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