The final week of the year is under way and today we glean some more wisdom from the book of Proverbs. Here are a few thoughts from Proverbs 30 in the Message Bible.
Vs.8-9. Give me enough food to live on, neither too much nor too little. If I'm too full, I might get independent, saying, 'God? Who needs him?' If I'm poor, I might steal and dishonor the name of my God.
The value of moderation and contentment are reinforced. When is enough enough? There is much more to life than riches. Jesus echoed this warning when he said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions (Luke 12:15)."
Vs.13. Don't be stuck–up and think you're better than everyone else.
Pride repels people, as does arrogance. In contrast, humility is attractive. Humility is not thinking less of ourselves but thinking less of ourselves less. It acknowledges that God and others play a huge part in anything we achieve or become.
Vs.24-28. There are four small creatures, wisest of the wise they are: ants - frail as they are, get plenty of food in for the winter; marmots (a coney or rock badger) – vulnerable as they are, manage to arrange for rock–solid homes; locusts – leaderless insects, yet they strip the field like an army regiment; lizards – easy enough to catch, but they sneak past vigilant palace guards.
All of God's creation speaks - stars, burning bushes and animals. Which animal speaks to you today - the ant, rock badger, locust or lizard? God's wisdom is all around us.
We are told of Solomon that he was the wiser than anyone else who lived at his time. The writer of the historical book of 1 Kings tells us, "Solomon composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish. And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen." Notice that wisdom was not just a gift of God that he received without effort but also something he acquired through observation and reflection on God's world.
Slow down a little today. Look around you. Observe God's world. What is he telling you today?