Sunday, July 3, 2011

Proverbs 21:22 commentary; wisdom versus strength

22 ¶ A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.

The essence of this Proverb is that wisdom is better than strength.

In Ecclesiastes, a book that presages all of the philosophy that the overrated Greeks gave us says in 9:16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength:

Arrogance and pride are also vastly overrated in our culture. The confidence and cockiness of the athlete is legendary. The arrogance of generals and emperors fills books. But, God and history tell us that wisdom far exceeds strength.

God has warned us not to depend on the arm of flesh for our victory. But to trust in the Lord.

2Chronicles 32:8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

Psalm 118:9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

The weapons of our warfare as Christians are not of the flesh, not dependent on the strength of sinew and ligament.

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The city of the mighty that we stand against are the strongholds within us. As I have pointed out before in verses that Christ is our wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:24). And the only offensive weapon we have in the arsenal that God has given us is the sword of the spirit, the word of God (Ephesians 6:17), which we are to use in prayer with persistent determination (Ephesians 6:18).

Most Christians don’t avail themselves of this wisdom or of this word. I have been reading a book entitled Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation by Richard J. Foster. While I don’t agree with him on what constitutes a Bible he makes some very valid points about how to read the Bible to let God speak to you through it and change your life.

If we are wise in Christ and rely on His word to change us; praying to Him, speaking to Him, in all assurance that He will do that very thing, reading His word and asking Him to transform and change us with it, then we can take those strong cities that our sin has built inside of us to resist our efforts to destroy the flesh’s efforts to draw us from eternal life with Christ.

Christians have experienced failure in the hunger to be changed by God. They go from one emotional fix to another, spiritual high after spiritual high, but nothing changes permanently. The roots of their sin still cling desperately to their mind and body like some kind of wild vine trying to strangle their walk with God, keeping them from growing. They neither feed themselves on God’s word nor hear what the preacher has for them those few times a week that they are in front of one.

They should be reading God’s words every day. They should be reading them as literal except when they obviously can’t be taken as such. They should be reading the Bible, expecting God to change them with it. They should be asking the Holy Spirit to show them God’s will in His Bible, to show them Christ in His Bible, to show them Satan in His Bible, to rewire their mind, to renew their mind.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Read God’s word expecting Him to give you wisdom, His wisdom, to help you pull down the strong city and to overcome the confidence of your enemy, the Devil. That wisdom will overcome the strength and confidence of the flesh, the Devil, and the world.

God will speak to you through His word and remove the root of those sins that so easily beset you, making them not even interesting anymore, not desirable, and taking away your hunger for them so that if your carnal mind does try to go back, just to see, there will be nothing there but a dusty, dry husk, with nothing but tasteless death inside. He used it to take away alcohol from me, a passion for horror movies, and many other things, and, in spite of my weakness and sin, is constantly changing me with His word.

Why don’t you let Him do that with you? Scale that city. Cast down that strong tower. Let the Spirit of God lead you in all victory through His words in His Bible.

No comments: