The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
Knowledge and wisdom; this is the focus of Proverbs. As we begin our journey through the Book of Proverbs, the author and collector of these sayings lays out a dichotomy. In this world, one can walk the way of a fool or walk the way of a Godly person. The path taken depends upon “fearing” the Lord. A better translation might be “reverent awe” of the Lord. The proverbs we use as our devotional reading this summer are meant to bend us toward wisdom and away from foolishness. It begins with entering God’s presence with holy wonder.
Prayer - Holy One, help me to lean into your wisdom this day. Instruct me and lead me in your good path. Amen
Written by Stacy Ikard, Senior Associate Pastor at WHPC
Hear, my child, your father’s instruction, and do not reject your mother’s teaching; for they are a fair garland for your head, and pendants for your neck.Proverbs 1:8–9
Many of us have mixed feelings about the lessons we learned from our parents. Some lessons have been useful to us. Maybe a parent taught you how to have faith or how to persevere; how to be gracious toward others; or how to be true to yourself. But our parents, not being perfect, have usually taught us at least a few things that we need to un-learn. Perhaps you learned that you were not good enough, beautiful enough, strong enough, or smart enough. What I love about this proverb is the implication that good teachings, like flower crowns or necklaces, can be put on and worn proudly. But if you follow the metaphor, teachings can also be taken off and laid aside if they do not reflect the love of God.
Prayer - O God, Source of all Beauty and Love, help me today to remember and live by the good lessons I have learned, and to lay aside all that keeps me from the knowledge and love of you. Amen.
Written by Claire Berry, Associate Pastor at WHPC
. . . making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding . . . Proverbs 2:2
If I am sitting outside, I hear the birds; if in my car, music; if on a walk, a podcast; if at the dinner table with my family, maybe laughs, maybe groans (you can imagine, I am sure). Even today as I write this, what have my ears been attentive to? What has my heart been inclined toward? This proverb has the ability to make me do a 180 degree turn in the focus of my day. And so in an effort to make my ears attentive to wisdom, I will take several deep breaths and listen for God’s wise voice in everything I hear around me. Every chirp, every tune, every laugh and every (one more deep breath) groan, may I be inclined to re-focus on the goodness and love of God.
Prayer - Gracious Lord, no matter what has happened up to this point in my day, and no matter what is to happen from this point on, may your Holy Spirit be my center. Help me to lean in to your wisdom and understanding, over and above any that the world or my flesh might offer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Emily Wright, Senior Pastor at WHPC
For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
This passage seems like a pretty simple statement. You would think that it makes closely hanging on to every word from the Lord a no-brainer. But we often seek our wisdom from other sources and depend on our own knowledge and understanding, which often leads to a skewed worldview. True wisdom comes from the excellency of Scripture, which enlightens our heart and mind to knowledge and understanding of the truth. No doubt, God is the only fountain of true wisdom.
Prayer - Lord, thank you for being the source of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Help me to draw from your fountain instead of relying on my own arrogant pride. Amen.
Written by Mike Ussery, Elder at WHPC
Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3
When I looked at today’s proverb, I first wondered if the writer was warning us not to forget to faithfully show love to others. But now I wonder if the writer is primarily pointing to the more necessary goal to remember God’s steadfast love and faithfulness to us. Without our real internalization of God’s covenant devotion to us, can we fully reflect that love back into the world? It is sometimes hard to feel God’s loving presence when we experience pain and death. Let us fervently seek to feel and be comforted by God’s steadfast presence.
Prayer - Comforter, thank you for your covenant of unshakable love and forgiveness. Please help us to feel and believe in the truth of these promises so that we can ardently serve others through you.
Written by Dawn Scott, Assistant Librarian at WHPC