Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

19 August 2021

Proverbs 21:22

One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty
    and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

Wisdom is stronger than physical strength. In sports, the smarter team is more likely to defeat the better athletic team. So it is in the military. In business, it is the company that is cleverer that wins over the company with more money and resources.

And so it is in the spiritual life. It is not the amount of Bible knowledge that causes growth in sanctification, but the ability to discern biblical truth. One can memorize these proverbs and learn little from them or even misapply them. The wise are discerning about what these proverbs mean and how they apply.

How is it that Christians can know the Gospel and know much Scripture and theology, yet have troubles in their relationships with others? Because they do not exercise wisdom. They try to bring down the stronghold of others by yelling at the wall or beating it with their fists. And they wonder why they cannot succeed. Jesus said, “The sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light” (Luke 16:8).

Be wise; be discerning; think through your goal and how to achieve your goal. Being a Christian does not mean giving up your ability to think wisely. Strongholds can be scaled and even brought down. All that is needed is wisdom.

 

Psalm 44

We have heard it with our ears, O God;
    our ancestors have told us
what you did in their days,
    in days long ago.
With your hand you drove out the nations
    and planted our ancestors;
you crushed the peoples
    and made our ancestors flourish.
It was not by their sword that they won the land,
    nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
    and the light of your face, for you loved them.

You are my King and my God,
    who decrees[c] victories for Jacob.
Through you we push back our enemies;
    through your name we trample our foes.
I put no trust in my bow,
    my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
    you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long,
    and we will praise your name forever.[d]

But now you have rejected and humbled us;
    you no longer go out with our armies.
10 You made us retreat before the enemy,
    and our adversaries have plundered us.
11 You gave us up to be devoured like sheep
    and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your people for a pittance,
    gaining nothing from their sale.

13 You have made us a reproach to our neighbors,
    the scorn and derision of those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations;
    the peoples shake their heads at us.
15 I live in disgrace all day long,
    and my face is covered with shame
16 at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me,
    because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.

17 All this came upon us,
    though we had not forgotten you;
    we had not been false to your covenant.
18 Our hearts had not turned back;
    our feet had not strayed from your path.
19 But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals;
    you covered us over with deep darkness.

20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
21 would not God have discovered it,
    since he knows the secrets of the heart?
22 Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

23 Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
    Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you hide your face
    and forget our misery and oppression?

25 We are brought down to the dust;
    our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up and help us;
    rescue us because of your unfailing love.