The other day my son Carter (who’s 18 months) tried fresh strawberries for the first time. His facial expression was priceless. With his mouth full, his eyes seemed to shout what small patch of heaven did these red nuggets of deliciousness come from and why have my parents been holding out on me? Now, Carter is much like his daddy in that he loves food, and he especially loves anything sweet. If we leave a bowl of candy out on the table, Carter will find it, and go to town until we make him stop. I’m not a doctor, but any parent can tell you that letting your small child eat tons of candy never ends well, so we always stop his candy-robbery efforts. In this case, we gave him a strawberry to try, and we had a bowl of them on the coffee table. We wanted him to have some strawberries because they were good for his little body development. The sweetness of the strawberries must have fooled him into thinking that we gave him straight candy because his eyes went back and forth from the bowl to us, like… Do they know what they just gave me? Oh, man, I better eat quick before they take this goodness away from me… Over the next few minutes, my wife and I smiled and laughed as we watched Carter race back repeatedly to the bowl and down seven to eight strawberries as fast as he could!
As parents, we want our children to be healthy, and we really enjoyed watching our son delight in eating something that was good for him. In the same way, I believe God enjoys watching his children delight in what’s good for them. However, I don’t think we view following God’s bible as tasting sweet in our life. Many times, I’ve deceived myself into thinking that my choices are between pleasure and sacrificing for God. In reality, choosing God’s wisdom over the world ultimately leads to joy, where the world never fully satisfies. We know that God’s Word is good for us, but His Word also tastes sweet when we apply it into our lives.
Wisdom is applied knowledge of God in everyday life.
The book of Proverbs uses the word ‘wise’ or ‘wisdom’ 125 times throughout, and we can define wisdom as applied knowledge of God in everyday life. We learn in Proverbs 1:7 that “fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” We must not forget that fear leads to something greater in the future. Proverbs 3 is filled with challenges and commands, such as do not forget, keep my commandments, trust in the Lord, honor the Lord with your wealth, do not despise discipline, etc… But along with these challenges, Proverbs 3 also shows what we get when we follow Him:
- 3:2 – for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
- 3:4 – so you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
- 3:6 – and He will make straight your paths.
- 3:8 – it will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
- 3:10 – then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
- 3:12 – for the Lord reproves Him whom He loves, as a father the son in whom He delights.
- 3:14 – for the gain from her [wisdom] is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.
- 3:15-18 – She [wisdom] is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.
As Christians we’re called to live a devoted life to God, and we must remember that while the path may be narrow and difficult, it is one that ultimately leads to joy! Today, don’t focus on your obstacles, but on your objectives. Be encouraged by one final passage and read Psalm 34:8:
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”