Okay, it’s probably just me, but I couldn’t help reading this chapter as if it was a message for the church in America. I know I’ve got the 4th of July festivities on the brain and all that, but as I read Solomon’s words of instruction, it felt as though this was a message to the body of believers here in America.
Solomon repeatedly said to listen. That’s one thing I’ve noticed about myself and the believers I know – we are too busy to listen any more:
1 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, And give attention to know understanding;
10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, And the years of your life will be many.
20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.
Solomon exhorts his readers to seek wisdom. As an educator, I feel that America is seeking knowledge, but real wisdom is something that seems to have been deemed too difficult to obtain and forgotten. Budget restrained educational systems produce teachers whose goal it is to do well on their school’s FCAT tests (here in Florida) so they can get more money. These teachers have been stripped of any authority in the classroom to deal with unruly students, so they resort to busy work and emphasize rote memorization versus understanding. Look what Solomon has to say about understanding:
5 Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. 9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”
Want to be honored? Want to be promoted? Seek understanding. Want our kids to get ahead in life? Teach them to seek after true wisdom and understanding, not just how to take tests well.
Want America to be blessed? Encourage people to seek understanding. Real wisdom comes from His Word. Pray for God to sweep through this country like a wildfire and give people a hunger and a thirst for His Word. He’s already doing it – there are dBrags and blogs like this springin up all over the place. My church, Real Life Church in Tampa, FL just launched a two-month summer series that hopes to establish a daily habit of reading the Bible. Check it out at Reality Check. Other churches and whole youth groups are doing it together. Go God!
Lord, I pray for America on this day as we celebrate independence from tyranny. Make us dependent upon You, Lord. Send Your Holy Spirit across this land and show people the wisdom that is found in Your Word. Send people to get excited about reading the Bible and give them bold new ideas to encourage others to do the same. As we take time to listen to You and seek wisdom, bless our country. Renew a sense of hunger that would lead to revival, Lord.
America: Bless God!