Glorified In Hide And Seek

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.

I don’t quite know what it is about this verse that gets me. One of the cross reference verses is about Job where he says:

Job 29:16 I was a father to the needy, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.

In my little mind, I think something like this…

Before the world was created, there was just the triune godhead; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God was glorified it seems to me through the Spirit and the Son. Yet I don’t know how there could have been anything hidden or concealed in the godhead because all three persons are equally omniscient. In other words, I think there was more glory to be had, and it would come in time through his creation.

Ephesians 3:1-6 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Jesus Christ was a mystery. He was seen through the ages by some as they searched out the things God had concealed. Those who were content to leave the stones covered, did not get the glory of kings, nor gave glory to God in the way described in Proverbs 25. But the ones who turned over every stone saw glimpses of the mystery, and therefore received the glory of kings, and gave more glory to God than those content to look on the surface.

This morning my little girl Elsa was hiding from me. I looked around for her not knowing she was hiding. I walked from room to room searching for her and wondering why she was not where she should have been. I asked my wife and she did not know. Finally I had a suspicion she was hiding and called out her name. I then heard a snicker from behind the living room chair. As I went to see her she had a huge smile on her face. She said she was watching me go from room to room looking for her. She said she moved to multiple hiding places as she watched me search. I gave her a big hug and praised her for her ability to hide and conceal herself. She received more glory this morning because she concealed herself, and I searched her out. She received more glory, and I had the privilege of giving it to her. And as I gave her the praise, I also received a new level of joy by giving her what she deserved.

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.

Integrity, Poverty, And Faith

Proverbs 19:1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

Some proverbs teach the general principle that hard work can tend toward prosperity, or financial security. Other proverbs teach integrity and wisdom can lead the same direction. I am not meaning by these statements I think God wants us healthy, wealthy, and happy. I am just acknowledging the scriptures do make general connections between hard honest work, and financial security.

But then there are proverbs like 19:1 which tell us honesty and integrity of speech sometimes lead to poverty. The encouragement from this text is a reminder. It is better to maintain honesty and truthfulness in business rather than crookedness and lies; even if it leads to poverty. The man who chooses to tell the truth with his business partners, and gets fired because of it, is better off than the man who participates in the lies and prospers in his bank account.

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

James reminds us the important thing for us to be rich in is faith. Those who place their faith in Jesus become heirs of God’s eternal kingdom. And better is a poor person who walks in his integrity by faith, then those who are crooked in speech and have no inheritance after death.

Gnarling At Society

Proverbs 18:1 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.

I do my morning studies in a corner of my basement. My office consists of a desk pushed in a nook next to our exercise equipment. I am isolated as I do my study. The sun has not risen, and my wife and kiddos are all sleeping. As I read Proverbs 18:1 this morning, I wonder what is the intended meaning. Am I breaking out against all sound judgement as I pray, read, and type?

The commentaries I looked at tell me this person who isolates himself is more than our cultural catch-phrase antisocial. It is a person who is an enemy of society. A person who gnarls his teeth at everyone around him, not wanting anyone to come near or offer wisdom. This person desires no input from others. They are wise in their own eyes, and show their teeth to anyone who says otherwise. I am not like this person, and I am guessing you are not either. Yet this person lives down the river from where each one of us are at; it is just a matter of how far down. You may arrive on his shore in two days, and I might be there in thirty minutes. The exhortation of the proverb indicates neither of us should let the river carry us to his dwelling place. We should put our ores down and begin paddling in the opposite direction. But what does the other house look like?

This person’s house is like the wise woman’s house of wisdom I mentioned in a previous post HERE. It is a house where the bread is buttered and warm, the wine is in abundance, and the instruction is continual. There is community, fellowship, laughter, and joy. No one in this house is gnarling their teeth in the corner. This house is filled with smiles and sound judgement, or sorrow with simple rejoicing. Life is hard, and pain is real. And this woman’s house has plenty of room for prayerful tears.

The only time Jesus isolated himself was to be alone with his Father. Let’s go and do likewise.

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. -Proverbs 18:1

Turning Over The Embers Of Wrath

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

We have had a number of bonfires over the past fourteen years my family has lived in this house. As the fire begins to die down, I will head inside and monitor it from time to time from our kitchen window. I know when I cannot see anymore embers glowing, it’s time to make a trip back outside. As I approach the fire, I will only see the slight glow of a smoldering piece or two of wood. The fire appears to have died down. Yet when I take the shovel, turn over the embers, and wait a moment or two; a flame inevitably grows once again and begins to consume what remains of the wood. Turning over embers stirs up a consuming fire. Harsh words are much like the turning over of embers.

What happens if I were to take a three foot glass bowl and place it atop the fire? The fire would slowly die down because it now lacks the supply of oxygen. A soft answer is much like placing a bowl over a fire.

I have many examples of this happening in my life. Two months ago I showed up on a job site to start a customer’s cooling tower. It was scheduled the week earlier. When I arrived the maintenance person was very mad. His boiler had shut down, a person doing demo work had cut into a water line, and I was there asking questions regarding the job I was there to do. He was slamming doors, cursing, and so frustrated. As I followed him around at warp speed, I kept saying to myself “a soft answer turns away wrath, a soft answer turns away wrath”.

As time passed, and my soft calculated words covered the fire; the man began to soften. He never apologized to me mind you. But he did begin to speak kindly and explain his frustration. And even expressed a hint of thankfulness for me being there.

The softest words I can think of that turned away the greatest amount of wrath was when Jesus at Calvary said “it is finished”, and then bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. -Proverbs 15:1

Feasting On The Scriptures

Proverbs 9:1-6 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”

Do you read your Bible every day? Do you think of your time in the Word as if you are seated at a table eating warm buttered bread, and drinking a large glass of wine in a room filled with the bustle of people, and instruction coming from a wise woman behind a podium? This probably has not crossed your mind to picture your morning devotions this way, but it is how Proverbs chapter 9 pictures it. The woman teaching from the front is named “Wisdom”. She sends out young women into the streets to call foolish men and women to a feast of insight. Those willing to leave their simply ways come into a large house filled with folks eating, drinking, and soaking in instruction. What a sweet picture. How much more delightful does it sound to come into this type of setting as you open the Scriptures today.

“Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”

Faith Is The Beginning Of Fear

Proverbs 1:1-7 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

How did the world begin? How did I get here on this earth? How do I play baseball? How do I build a house? How do I drive a car? How do I know where I will go after death?

All of these questions are beginning questions. How you answer these questions will determine what road you will travel, and what your destination and outcome will be. I am reminded of Christian heading through the wicket gate to get to the celestial city. If Christian did not begin by entering this gate, he would not gain access through the door of the city at the end. Beginnings matter.

How do I become wise? How do I learn righteousness, justice, or equity? How do I gain real knowledge, or find discretion? The Proverb tells us the beginning of all these things is the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is a a reverential submission to the Lord’s will. It is placing oneself under the authority of God and his Word, and then acting accordingly.

The first step in having reverential submission to the Lord’s will is taking God at his Word as to who he is and what he is like. Then it is believing what he says about the state we as humans are in. We are fallen, depraved, and sinful. Then we believe that God sent his Son to earth as the remedy for our sinfulness. And finally we turn from our sin, and trust in Jesus as our only hope because that is the Lord’s will for each one of our lives.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and faith is the beginning of fear^.

^note: faith in the right object (Jesus), and not simply faith

Too Stupid To Be A Man

Proverbs 30:2-4 Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!

Men typically don’t sit around and discuss how stupid they are, nor of how little they actually understand. But when I sit here with Agur the son of Jakeh in the quietness of the morning, I agree with him wholeheartedly. This man pens thirty-three verses that are written in Proverbs chapter thirty, and he tells me that he is too stupid to be a man, nor has he the understanding of a man. He has not learned wisdom, nor gained the knowledge of the Holy One. Yet the words from his pen are filled with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. If he is too stupid to be a man, how much farther down the scale am I.

There was a season in my Christian walk where I found it easy to boast about what I knew. I fed myself the Scriptures, christian books, and multiple sermons every day. I wouldn’t have thought of myself as proud back then, but looking back I do see it now. My family was young, healthy and had never endured a season of suffering. Today we are a much different family, and I am a different man. We have suffered the loss of miscarriage, and carrying a baby girl with trisomy 13 for eight months named Mercy. It has been two years since her birth and death, and my family has yet to recover. We have gone through the darkness of horrific rebellion, physical sickness, disunity, and tasted evil. We are still in the valley, and I have not wanted to write for the past year. I have not wanted to search my heart, and process what is carved on the trees in the valley of the shadow of death. It’s dark in the darkness, and sometimes much easier to just be alone. O the world keeps spinning, and life must happen, but that doesn’t mean darkness cannot become somewhat comfortable.

Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

It is time for me to rise up and look for the One holding the rod and the staff. I have seen the hand of God amidst our trials, but I have not looked deeply and truly seen what I think I am meant to see. I write so that I know what I think. I have been uncertain as to what I think because I have not been writing. I intended to begin writing again when all was good, but now I don’t think that is what I am meant to do. I have been too stupid to be a man, and have not gained understanding. I have not learned wisdom, nor truly gained the knowledge of the Holy One. But I will look to the One with answers. I will open my eyes in the darkness and look for the “Son”. For he has ascended to the heavens. He has gathers the wind in his fists, wraps up the waters in a garment, and has established the ends of the earth! Where else can I go?

Broken Beyond Healing, Yet Repaired Beyond Destruction

Proverbs 29:1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.

Ten or so years ago I was playing on the floor with two of my children. I was on my back on the living room floor with my knees facing upwards. My oldest daughter was sitting on my feet while I was lifting her up and down by my knees. Again and again I would flinging each daughter over my head, flip them, and land them on their feet. It was great fun. Then one time I went to fling my kiddo, she did not let go of my knees because she was worried she would land on her little sister. I was not ready for that and my neck crunched as it was pushed into my chest. I screamed. I stood up and knew something was very wrong. We ended up calling an emergency chiropractor and spent the next hour having them try to snap and move my neck back into place. Ever since then, my neck has never been the same, and I often make trips to the chiropractor to help loosen up the stiffness. If the chiropractor places me face down on the drop table and attempts to make an adjustment while I resist and stiffen, my neck may not shift as intended and potentially could be broken beyond healing. Being loose and relaxed during the adjustment helps so that I can be bent and shifted towards an ideal neck curve.

Unfortunately when we are reproved by another person, or by God through his Word; our hearts can often be more stiff than my neck. We hear the rebuke but will not submit to the truth. Why? Jeremiah tells us the reason is not due to an injury, but rather a sickness.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Jeremiah’s hypothetical question silences me from presuming to understand why our hearts are sick. But sick they are nonetheless.

I do however know there is a person who does understand this rancid sickness of the human heart, and his name is Jesus. He was tempted in every way like us, yet did not sin. At Calvary, he was rebuked for the sin (the stiffness of neck) of his people, and treated as if he was hard hearted and desperately sick. It appeared as if he was broken beyond healing. Yet he could not be kept in the grave after his death, because his wounds brought justification and hope for mankind. We who need constant reproof because of the stiffness of our heart, are suddenly treated as if we were repaired beyond destruction. What can be said about these things?

Romans 8:31-34 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

The gospel tells us we were broken beyond healing, but now are repaired beyond destruction.

Plans Of A Servant Or A King

Proverbs 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

Seasons of suffering have a way of teaching us things we did not formerly know. One day we make our plans, and the next day our plans come crashing down in a heap on the floor. Why? Well only God truly knows. But he tells us in his word that he does not want us to boast about what we think we will be doing tomorrow. He wants to humble us by encouraging us to remember we do not actually know what tomorrow might bring.

“Do not boast about tomorrow” is a command. The verb boast can have a negative or a positive meaning. Positively it means to praise, and the form and direct object give further explanation. The Lord here commands us not to boast or praise about tomorrow. But it’s not the actual day of the week that concerns the Lord, rather about what we think we know about tomorrow. We are not to boast about what we presume to know will happen the next day, the next month, or the next year. The reason? Because the Lord reminds us “we do NOT KNOW what a day may bring”. In other words, you and I are not prophets, fortune tellers, sovereign, or omniscient. God is the only one who rightlyfully knows what tomorrow may bring. This is why James tells us “all such boasting is evil”.

James 4:13-17 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

We ought to hold the knowledge of our plans humbly, like a servant and not like a King. James encourages us to have a submissive attitude of heart when speaking about tomorrow’s plans. “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that”.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 that “heaven and earth will one day pass away.” He goes on to say neither the angels in heaven, nor himself knows the day or hour this will happen. This is humility. If Jesus himself would not boast about the plans of tomorrow, who do we think we are to attempt such a thing?

The Heart Of The Wise Acquires Knowledge

The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out. -Proverbs 18:15 NIV

A person walking down the wise path (the path that leads to eternal life), will have certain qualities which will mark their life. These qualities are not the things which earn a person favor with God. Those who have been placed on the wise path through salvation have certain characteristics which mark their walk. The first quality I will mention today is that those on the wise path will seek to acquire knowledge.


Most everybody learns some things in their life. I mean, even the fool doesn’t always remain ignorant regarding subjects of their choosing. But an overarching banner over the life of the christian should be that they are a learner, they are a person who acquires knowledge. They are never content in remaining ignorant of God, nor of his world.

This principle looks differently in each and every person. Some will make great leaps, and some will take baby steps. Some will have access to millions of resources with unlimited time to learn. And some will have only have ten seconds to glance at a scrap of the scriptures. Whatever circumstance the Lord has placed you in, if you are on the wise path, you will acquire knowledge of God and his world.

Christians should be the greatest theologians. But they should also be the greatest doctors, lawyers, nurses, plumbers, veterinarians, bankers, athletes, home makers, and students on earth! What can you learn today? When you look over the past month of your life, do you see a pattern where your hearts desire was to learn? Or do you see a pattern where your heart desired to remain ignorant? Do you think you know enough? Or do you have a holy kind of restlessness because you know you don’t nearly know what you should?

Do the sign posts of your life show that you are currently on the path of the wise, or the path of the fool? Both paths have destinations. One leads to eternal life, and the other to eternal destruction. Are you really on the one you think you are on?