Well, it’s all over. The last day of class has come and gone, and now I’m typing up this post in the audience watching the Godspell rehearsals. For just a half day, we sure covered a lot of stuff in Proverbs and Ruth.
1) The promises of Proverbs are perfectly true, just not necessarily temporally true. Looking at some of the proverbs (“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” Prov. 3:7-8), it seems that they are wrong. I know plenty of people who fear the Lord and shun evil, and they are in terrible health. How do we reconcile the inerrancy of Scripture with this apparent untruth? Mr. Chick said it well (I hear include four separate quotes that all state different aspects of the issue):
Proverbs promises great things - these great things are true - yet their full enjoyment is often to be experienced in the future. We can trust God’s word knowing that we might not always see the big picture or experience immediate reward, but we know that we will not be disappointed in the end.
Proverbs are different from the rest of Scripture in the way we experience them, not in the truthfulness of God.
They speak a truth, but not the whole truth at once. They make one point while ignoring equally valid counter claims – this doesn’t mean they are unaware of ‘fuller’ truth - just as the writer in Hebrews in chapter 11 likely was aware of the shortcomings of many he listed in the ‘Hall of Faith.’
Proverbs is written for youth. These are the fundamentals of life. They don’t deny reality, but present a positive view ((e.g. “The righteous falls, but gets up again”).
2) The Christian life is all about pursuing wisdom. Mr. Chick said this was the whole point of Proverbs: The successful Christian life is a constant, ongoing, tenacious pursuit of wisdom and godliness, by way of child-like dependant humble trust, all subsisting and emanating from the empowering grace of God. I think that’s a pretty good summary.
3) Memorizing one or two pithy proverbs will not do if we are to successfully navigate the challenges of life. Mr. Chick quoted a professor of his who, when asked which proverbs should be memorized to give a good feel for the book, replied “All of them.” I need to have all of the book available to me because life is so complicated.
4) God moves as we move. As we studied Ruth, we saw that it was when Ruth stepped out in faith to ask Boaz to be her kinsman-redeemer that God blessed both her and Boaz. Though God has been working well in advance, His sovereignty is often apparent as we step out in humble reliant faith in his promises. He gives us the opportunity to take an active part in his plan for our lives.
There, that’s the shortest one yet, and most of it wasn’t even my own writing. Hope you have benefited from just these little tidbits of all that we learned over the past week.