Wisdom and Discernment


Dr. Tim Keller, founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, prolific writer and renowned Theologian – along with his wife Kathy penned a Daily Devotional titled: “God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life.”

Our good friend Jan sent us a copy for a friend and we ordered one for ourselves it was so good. I’ve always had great difficulty making any sense out of Proverbs. The meter and rythym of the writing always seemed odd to me and it’s propensity to leave the door open to different view points seems to me to be different from the rest of the Bible.

Dr. Keller points out in the introduction that Proverbs is difficult for English speaking people to fully grasp because it is written in a style of Hebrew poetry using “parallelism” or using two or more thoughts or phrases to reinforce each other. As a redneck from Between, GA I prefer for my “Books” to simply say what they mean and leave it at that. Dr. Keller points out that unlike the rest of scripture – which is composed of “absolutes” and “commands” Proverbs uses Hebrew Poetry to express thoughts about what life is really about – choices. For example when King Salomon writes about “discernment” in 1:2 he is not speaking of simply having the wisdom to know right from wrong but also to understand the difference between good, better and best. Real discernment/wisdom comes when we can choose from multiple options and discern the impact of those choices.

“God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life” is available on Amazon for $13.52 – about the same as an appetizer in most of Palm Beach Counties restaurants.

I particularly enjoyed The Keller’s perspective on “The Troublemaker” in chapter 6: 12 to 15. Here is the text:

A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet
and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart —
he always stirs up conflict. Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant;
he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.” Proverbs 6: 12 to 15

The Keller’s observe that troublemaker’s “corrupt mouths produce decptive omissions, half truths, and inneundo.” When I read this line my mind immediately thought of the Media age we live in today. Depending on your perspective and political leanings theirs might be an apt description of CNN, MSNBC, NBC, The NY Times and God Forbid even on occasion on my favorite Fox News.

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