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20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, So that you may be wise the rest of your days. 21 Many plans are in a person's heart, But the advice of the LORD will stand. (Proverbs 19:20-21)
Be a teachable person, one who will listen to counsel and receive instruction, and you will be on the path to wisdom. If you want to be wise later in life, start now by being a teachable person.
4 "You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. (Deuteronomy 13:4)
Keep close to God, and he can keep you out of harm's way. God never leaves us till we leave him."
6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. 9 "For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.
There is still the possibility of reconciliation and forgiveness. God is greater than man; as such, his thoughts cannot be likened to man’s thoughts. Man’s thoughts are evil for evil, but God can be gracious even when he has been hurt, dishonored, and disobeyed. Now is the day for the people to come to God in faith. The prophet calls on the people to respond by signing the contract and seeking him in the present moment.
“Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect! First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.” (Romans 3:1)
Let us not make the mistake that the Jewish nation made. They assumed their advantage was that they were better people than others because God had given them the law. Not at all. They were selfish, rude, greedy, unkind, and complainers who wandered from God as much as the rest of mankind. If anything, the law of Moses made it clearer to them than any other nation how sinful they really were!
The benefit wasn’t that they were better… but that they knew better. The knowledge that was entrusted to the Jewish nation gave them an advantage over all other peoples. They had a written record of God’s ethical standards and promises. When we know who we ought to be and what we ought to anchor our hope to, we can find peace though we are sinful and in need.
Christians – never forget that your advantage is not based upon your moral superiority. The Word of God is a blessing because it highlights our moral inferiority and needs for the Great Physician. It is a great advantage because it tells you where to find Him.
“You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?” (Romans 2:22b)
During the trials of Jesus, there was a particular type of injustice that was seen. The Jewish people professed to hate the Romans and their idolatrous ways but then turned to them when they needed their help to crucify Jesus. They also gave Judas thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus, but then they refused to accept the money back because it was blood money. Their religious convictions were pliable when presented with an opportunity for advantage.
The above verse in Romans addresses this tendency in all of us. We say we hate sin until it would force us to make a change to our entertainment choices. We profess moral convictions unless our job requires us to do something immoral, and then we hide behind “company policy”. We cry from the housetops against sin, but then we enter those same houses and secretly practice the very things we have just denounced.
Make sure your faith is consistent. Don’t cry against the idols while hiding them in your closet.