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Profiting from Instruction

(Proverbs 1:1-9, 20-23; 8:33-36)

Lesson 11 -- second quarter 2009
September 6, 2009

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2009

Introductory questions to chew

What profit can I earn from receiving instruction?

Have I become so wise that I need not listen to another's instruction?

I have knowledge; on what foundation shall I build with it?

What develops beauty in my character?

Is there anything that would cause me to turn from wisdom's reproof?

How may I win God's favor?

Follow-up to the questions

Instructions are not for robots. The instruction of wisdom trains the heart and directs the life. This instruction allows her recipient to cast off the chains of simplicity, foolishness, and ignorance.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the wise person is an openness to instruction. When I think myself beyond the need to listen to another instruction, I am declaring myself unteachable as well as satisfied with the certain level of ignorance. We always have room (and need) for further instruction and wisdom.

The best, most sure foundation for knowledge is a right concept of and a right relationship with God. Knowledge unshackled from the fear of the Lord is a catastrophe in the making.

God-oriented obedience and submission are jewels of grace to those who hear and latch onto godly instruction. Proverbs 4:9 makes this promise to those who pursue after and lay hold of wisdom: "She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee."

When I am on the wrong track, wisdom will call after me to turn back toward her. Why would I ever choose not to respond correctly to that? Stubbornness. Dullness of hearing. Rebellion. Carelessness. Those four are bad enough; there surely are other reasons. Here's one more than really pricks my sensibilities: the messenger. Yeah, the messenger. If I don't like the one bearing the message of reproof, or if I don't like his attitude or his hypocrisy, I too easily reject wisdom's message. (But I don't think of it that way, of course.)

To win God's favor, find wisdom. "For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD" (Proverbs 8:35).

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