ODJ: Avoiding Mean Streets

August 11, 2016 

READ: Proverbs 1:20-33  

In [Christ] lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).

In 2015, a 70 year old woman and her husband were headed for a day by the ocean. Following the directions from their SatNav, the woman unexpectedly drove her car into a dangerous area. Instead of finding a beautiful Brazilian beach, the couple ended up in Caramujo, one of the most notorious slums in Niteroi. Someone opened fire on the car, and the woman was struck by a bullet. She later died in a local hospital. Sadly, following unwise directions led to her death.

Solomon knew the importance of following directions that lead to life, not spiritual (or even physical) demise. In Proverbs 1:20-33 he used the metaphor of a woman shouting “in the streets” to illustrate the importance of listening to wisdom (v.20). With God-given insight, he noted that there are three types of people who aren’t following His wise ways. Simpletons lack direction, but are still open to advice; fools have heard God’s truth, but have continued to push it away; mockers actively resist and scoff at His wisdom (v.22).

We can avoid being found in this deadly trio by coming and listening to the wisdom God provides. He will truly “share [His] heart with [us] and make [us] wise” (v.23). Following and fearing Him in reverence leads to “the foundation of true knowledge” (v.7).

In verses 24-27, note how the words reflect God’s loving and active call for us to draw close to Him: “I called you so often”; “I reached out to you”; “[You] rejected the correction I offered.” Where are we today—finding delight and wisdom in Jesus (Colossians 2:3) or pushing Him away as we choose our own way?

Let’s avoid the mean streets of the unwise. As we turn to and learn from Christ, we gain wisdom, peace and freedom from fear (Proverbs 1:33).

—Tom Felten

365-day plan: Luke 13:22-35

Take a look at Proverbs 3:7 and meditate on what it means to live out God’s wisdom and not be wise in our own eyes. 
In what ways have you been entering deeper into God’s wisdom or moving further away from it? How will you seek God’s insight for the decisions you need to make today?