A few weeks ago, we addressed the six ULTIMATE QUESTIONS. These can be reviewed at QUESTIONS.
Our focus today was on the sixth of these, MORALITY: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO LIVE? The special focus was on the concept of WISDOM or the PRACTICAL MORAL LIFE in Proverbs 7-9.
The book of Proverbs can be viewed as a guidebook for right living. It personifies WISDOM and considers such vital and essential attributes as: knowledge, shrewdness, training, good judgment, reflectiveness, right values, prudence, and skill. All of these are in contrast to FOLLY (lack of sense; wickedness) and its attendant dangers.
Proverbs 7 gives us the example of the ROOTS OF FOLLY. The person described:
- Lacks judgment ( see v. 7); demonstrates a life of drifting
- Is led astray (see v. 21); bases decisions upon emotions without sufficient thought; operates on impulse
- Ends in the grave (see v. 27); does not consider the consequences of a decision
INSTEAD, the person is called to live in the context of WISDOM — THE ANSWER IS:
- get committed
- make choices guided by the Word of God
- stop living for the moment and start living in the light of eternity
The concepts of WISDOM (Proverbs, I Corinthians) and LOGOS (see John 1) were considered. The respective uses of personification and anthropomorphism of these two terms was discussed.
The challenge of WISDOM was summarized in the great hymn by B. Mansell Ramsey
Teach me Thy way, O Lord, teach me Thy way!
Thy guiding grace afford, teach me Thy way!
Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
Lead me with heav’nly light, teach me Thy way!
When I am sad at heart, teach me Thy way!
When earthly joys depart, teach me Thy way!
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
In failure or success, teach me Thy way!
When doubts and fears arise, teach me Thy way!
When storms o’erspread the skies, teach me Thy way!
Shine through the cloud and rain, through sorrow, toil and pain;
Make Thou my pathway plain, teach me Thy way!
Long as my life shall last, teach me Thy way!
Where’er my lot be cast, teach me Thy way!
Until the race is run, until the journey’s done,
Until the crown is won, teach me Thy way!