Thursday, September 26, 2013

Proverbs 24:3-6 Lay a good foundation

Yesterday I ran into an acquaintance, and asked him to give my love to his wife, whom I adore. He said, “You know we’re getting a divorce, right?” I’m sure my reaction was evident as I felt my shoulders droop. Another marriage with two sweet children bites the dust! I was just so sad! As far as I know, this man and his wife are not professing Christians, but there are enough divorces among believers that end in defeat. So, this morning’s verses were a good reminder:

By wisdom a house is built,

    and by understanding it is established;  
by knowledge the rooms are filled

    with all precious and pleasant riches.  
A wise man is full of strength,

    and a man of knowledge enhances his might, 
for by wise guidance you can wage your war,

    and in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs 24:3-6)

If we want our houses to stand, they need to be built on a firm foundation. They need to be grounded in God’s Word, Jesus Christ. How in the world do people make marriages work without the wisdom of God? We face giant obstacles on a daily basis as Satan and his minions work overtime to destroy our families. Their army looks strong, but our God is stronger!

As Jon Courson points out in his Application Commentary, this was the situation David faced when he stood across the battlefield from Goliath. David was the “runt of the litter” in his family - the youngest and least likely to be a warrior. His brothers were enlisted in Saul’s army and were out on the battlefield while David was tending sheep. When his father sent him out to deliver food to his brothers, David saw this giant, Goliath, taunting God’s people. This is the description of the behemoth who stood in front of David:

And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.  He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze.  And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders.  The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. (1 Samuel 17:4-7)

Now that would be a formidable foe! No wonder Saul’s army was “dismayed and greatly afraid.” However, David was astonished that any man, including this lout of a Philistine should dare defy “the armies of the living God.” He offered his services to Saul, who scorned the puny youth. But David told Saul of the times he had killed lions and bears who came against the sheep in his care. So David boldly declared, with confidence in his God, not himself, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:37)

David is the perfect example of the wise man who is “full of strength” and who “enhances his might” by his knowledge. Not the knowledge of military strategy nor the strength of physical might and weaponry. David knew it was God’s strength that would defeat the giant. Indeed, he said as much to Goliath:

“You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,  and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand.” (I Samuel 17:45-47)

If your household is currently under attack or being threatened by giant opponents, remember that the battle is the LORD’s! We are not strong enough in our own puny power to defeat enemies like marital strife, financial disaster, health crises, problems with teens or adult children, etc. If we attempt to use our own wisdom and knowledge, we will be defeated. But we have ALMIGHTY GOD and His host of angels battling on our behalf! Quit trying to manipulate an outcome. Give it over to God and His wisdom and strength! Remember your own “lion and bear” stories - when God has been faithful to preserve you and your marriage against attack. Like David, we need to claim, “The battle is the Lord’s!” 

I’m praying for this couple, that the LORD would speak to this man’s heart, and that God would open his eyes to the true battle that is raging around him and his family. May God draw this family to Himself and preserve this marriage!  

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