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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Skewed Reality (Proverbs 16:2, 25)

 "All a man's ways seem innocent to him,
but motives are weighed by the Lord."
"There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death."

Twice in Proverbs 16 Solomon addresses those with a "skewed" reality. Those with a 'skewed reality' focus:
  • On appearances rather than the heart
  • On the external rather than the internal
  • On the temporal rather than the eternal
Those who build their lives on what they can see, understand, and figure out by the natural mind invite destruction because they don't trust in the Lord. The writer of Proverbs has already said, "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart" (3:5).

Walking by appearances is exactly the opposite of trusting the Lord with all of your heart. It seemed impossible to cross the Red Sea when Pharaoh's army was pursuing. It appeared impossible for water to come out of a rock. It seemed impossible that manna would feed 3 million people every day for forty years. But, the impossible is precisely the domain of the Almighty God. He gets glory when we trust Him, because in His domain He reveals His power and makes His purposes known.

God sees and knows the human heart. What may seem like an altruistic deed may actually be self-serving. What may appear to be a good and right thing may, in the long run, end in total destruction. It seemed right to Pilate to put Christ to death. It seemed right to Eve to eat the luscious fruit. Many decisions appear right at the time but end poorly proving again and again how desperately man needs the wisdom of God.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading: Proverbs 16:1-18:24
  • How does Solomon describe righteous kings in Proverbs 16?
  • Throughout Proverbs Solomon describes the "way" of the wicked and the "way" of the righteous. How does Solomon describe the way of the righteous what principles does he give that will assist the righteous to develop a righteous "way"?
  • What guiding principles does Solomon give regarding the use of the tongue and words?
Turning truth into prayer:
Ask the Lord to reveal areas in your life where you rely upon the way things "seem" instead of trusting in the Lord.