“Incline thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thy heart to my knowlledge. For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall be altogether fitted on thy lips. That thy confidence may be in Jehovah, I have made them known to thee this day, even to thee.” Proverbs 22:17-19 (Darby)
We have been working with this passage for several weeks and I am continuing to be caught by its truth. It is in a bit of a different form as well as version today. As to form I am using my iPad with an unfamiliar keyboard. Hence all the tools that are normally available to me are not yet discovered. I am certain they are here, but I must spend some time to discover them in this program. As to the version, it is by J.N. Darby who completed his work in 1890. I enjoy reading it as it has many Hebrew and Greek helps in his notes. So I have chosen to use it as I write our letter. It is Friday morning and very, very cold outside. I am sitting in my easy chair in the bedroom with an extra heater going so my feet can stay comfortably warm. Such are the joys of living in Central NY this winter.
Our understanding of the above passage continues to unfold. The reason the writer wants us to incline our ear and hear the words of wisdom, then to apply to our heart knowledge is because when we do so our inward man is exposed to things that are exceedingly thought-worthy and pleasant and then they will be “fitted” to our lips. We will begin to speak them, not so much as quotes, but as our own processed thoughts. But wait, there is more! All of this has been so that we will take great confidence (trust) in the Lord. I am reminded of Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” So not only does the sayings and knowledge of the words of the wise make me a wise person, but they also give me faith – confidence in our Father!
So we all need to be deep students of the Word. If we want our words to mean something and we want deeper faith/trust to take “walk on water” confidence in the Lord, we need to be thinking on His wisdom. I know we are all busy, but many times we all want the best of life from the Lord and we want to say meaningful things, but we give little more than lip service to His marvelous Word. Lord we place ourselves before you to be a willing student of your heart – your Word. Thank you for the printed page, and we see you as you manifest yourself to us through and in the pages – then unfolded from the Sacred Page into our life shared intimately with you. Thank you
“Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.”
Proverbs 22:17-18 (KJV)
I used the first part of the above quote a couple of weeks ago, but wanted to return to it to see what else is in the text. I have purposely chosen to use the KJV simply because it reads differently in the last line than any of our modern translations. All the modern ones I have read recently read something like this, “Let them be fixed upon your lips.”(NKJV) or “That they may be ready upon your lips.” (NASB) While these give us one meaning, (that of speaking the word purposely – our effort in doing so) when I read the KJV I understood another meaning. When I keep the wisdom of the Book within me and ponder it often and much, then its words, thoughts and concepts become much of my conversation. The Words are “fitted” to my lips. It becomes natural to me. I not only learn to speak them, but they sound like me when they are spoken. They are fitted to me. This is so like our Father. He lives within us through the power of Jesus and the person of the Holy Spirit, yet it is His greatest joy when my heart has so embraced HIs words that when I speak, my words not only reveal Him, but reveal me as well. He wants to express Himself through us, not as robots – sounding just as if we did not exist at all, but He wants those words, concepts, dreams, ideas which we have received and embraced to be reflections of our time in Him thinking with those words etc…. It is not intended to be “me and Him” but to be “us.” So in this I see a deep longing in HIs heart that our fellowship in Him would become so real and vital that the “us” is evident. This walk as “Him in our world” is all about “being” in Him and Him in me – true infusion of His life into mine and mine into His. Such wonder. There is much, much more to be discovered, I think.
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear:but now my eyes seeth thee.” (Job 42:5) He that hath my commandments, and kept them, he it is that liveth me: and he that liveth me shall be loved of my Father,and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21 KJV)
I often get taken by surprise by our Lord Jesus. Part of that is very pleasant and part of that is very humbling and well, surprising. His Word is so alive and the Spirit continually blows it within us as we choose to think, read, meditate and study what is written. Yet, he holds little secrets that occasionally pop up to “blow me away” and bless me. He does say “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” (Psalm 25:14 KJV) He is so very faithful!
I believe it delights Him to have more and more to unfold for us and yes, surprises for us. I have been very aware lately of His delight in giving us His presence is such knowable ways. He is always with us, but there is a knowable aspect to His presence that in the past few years I have become aware of more and more. He loves to show up in tangible ways and delight us with Himself. Yet, I believe, there is so much more in this “seeing” aspect. We too often are content to know through reading and study (and those are so very essential), that we forget that He wants to actually show up – with us individually as we take time for Him, and with us in a meeting with the Body. Oh how He loves us and wants to reveal more and more.
The immediate response in me, and I suspect in you, is how do we provide a platform for such a meeting? While the question is valid, I believe it misses what He intends. He is calling us personally and corporately to expect Him and to allow Him to be present in ways we have not known before. It is called – believing the Word! This will call for some discomfort and many shy from this – both personally and corporately. May I urge us to embrace the scriptures above and expect them to continually take us to more and more “seeing” and “being” in Him and with Him. Moses said, even in the Old Covenant, “…If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” (Exodus 33:15 KJV) Moses knew that if there was no manifestation of presence, there would be no distinction between them and the other people around them. (v. 16) The presence of the LORD was to be the mark of the Israelites belonging to HIm. If that was true in the Old, how much more in the new. It goes with the glory given to us (John 17:22)
So LORD we receive your Word, and we expect encounter; an encounter that will unfold your person more and more to us. We give ourselves to being with You and in You in such a way that the revelation of you is clearly known and seen.