Encourage0gram January 29, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
It is with joy this Monday morning that I write to you. The response to the challenge to pray for our 5 favs was overwhelming yesterday! Our God hears and will answer our prayers. Please let us all keep praying and not give up!
As we continue to study the wisdom of Proverbs, let us ponder the words found in Proverbs 1:2
KJV Proverbs 1:2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
ESV Proverbs 1:2 To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight,
NAS Proverbs 1:2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding,
NIV Proverbs 1:2 for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight;
NLT Proverbs 1:2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.
“to know” (yada) is found 944 times in the Old Testament. It is used in multiple contexts with various shades of meaning. It is used to define God’s knowledge of us and our knowledge of God. It covers the whole process of gaining knowledge from our first recognition to a deep intimate knowledge. So, I conclude that knowing wisdom is a life-long journey, it takes time and we need to remain persistent.
“instruction” is the Hebrew word “musar.” This word is used to describe the whole child training process. The emphasis is in the discipline and correction side of this process. From God’s perspective this discipline is founded on His covenantal relationship with His children. He disciplines those He loves. Together yada and musar are twins in the process of education.
“understanding” is “bina” in Hebrew. This word is used to describe the ability to see very fine distinctions. For example, a person who has understanding can distinguish between what is good, better or best. This ability takes years to develop and is a gift from the Lord Himself. Proverbs 3:5 warns against leaning on our ability to understand in contrast to simple child-like trust in the Lord.
“words of insight” is a phrase that uses bina again. So, the meaning is that we can enable us to see the fine distinctions in the words that speak of fine distinctions. When God repeats a thought, it highlights its importance.
KJV Proverbs 1:4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
ESV Proverbs 1:4 to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth--
NAS Proverbs 1:4 To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion,
NIV Proverbs 1:4 for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young--
NLT Proverbs 1:4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.
Proverbs 1:4 introduces us to another very important word translated prudence. Prudence is the ability to have foresight into the future and to take the right path of God glorifying choices.
We need both understanding and prudence. It is not enough to see the right step to take (the best) we need to take it at the right time and at the right pace.
Tim Keller compares understanding with prudence in these words:
“While discernment (bina) is a form of insight into hearts, discretion (prudence) is a form of foresight, knowing what kinds of behavior will lead to what result.”
Just recently, a brother was commenting to me how powerful our stories are. When we share our transformational stories, God is glorified and others will listen and learn truth! Let me share a transformational story with you.
|The Story of Dr. W. P. Mackay
And the Faithfulness of God
William P. Mackay, was born in the year 1839. At the age of 17, he left
for college. His mother was a very godly Christian woman, who didn't
want him to go, for fear that he was heading down a path of destruction.
But she turned him over to the Lord, and let him go on his way. Before
his departure, she gave him a Bible to take with him, and in the fly-leaf of
the Bible, she wrote his name, her name and a Bible verse. The young
man left for college and then went on to the university medical school but
he began to travel with the wrong crowd. And one day, in a drunken spree,
he pawned the Bible that his mother had given him for money to buy more
He wandered far away from what he had been taught at home. Yet, at the
same time, the young Scotsman went on to become a very successful
doctor, rising to the head of the largest hospital in Edinburgh. Forsaking
his upbringing, he became a committed infidel, and was even elected
president of a society of atheists in the city.
Yet God had a plan for this man. One day, an accident victim came into
his hospital and was under Dr. Mackay's care. The patient, learning that
he only had a few hours to live, asked Dr. Mackay, "Will you please send
for my landlady, and ask her to send me the Book?" The doctor agreed,
and within a few hours the landlady arrived with "the Book." It was the
dying patient's Bible.
Within a short time, the patient died. Dr. Mackay was curious as to what
kind of book the patient wanted. He asked the nurse, "What about the
book that he asked for? Was it his bank book or date book?" The nurse
replied, "No, it was neither of those. It is still under his pillow. Go look."
The doctor reached under the pillow and pulled out "the Book." When he
opened it, his eyes fell immediately upon the front flyleaf. To his
amazement-- it was the very Bible he had received from his mother that he
had pawned years before. He saw his name, his mother's name and the
Bible verse she inscribed.
And so overwhelmed, he slipped the Bible under his coat and rushed back
to his private office. It was there, in that office, that the doctor, who had
become a wicked infidel and atheist, fell to his knees praying that God
would have mercy on him, and save him. He asked God to forgive him
for his sinful life. As he prayed, he remembered a verse his mother taught
him long ago: "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life"
Dr. Mackay immediately contacted his mother to tell her of his salvation,
and how God used the Bible she gave him to dramatically answer her
prayers. In due time, Mackay's life proved that "Therefore if any man be
in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all
things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17).
By the grace of God, William Patton Mackay, a world renowned doctor
went on to become a Presbyterian preacher, well-known author and
songwriter. In fact, it was from his pen that we received the beautiful
1. We praise Thee, O God!
For the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus Who died,
And is now gone above.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again.
2. We praise Thee, O God!
For Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior,
And scattered our night.
3. All glory and praise
To the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins,
And hath cleansed every stain.
4. All glory and praise
To the God of all grace,
Who hast brought us, and sought us,
And guided our ways.
5. Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.
As we ponder these words may our Faithful Heavenly Father stir our hearts with holy fire! May our prayers for our 5 Favs be consistent. May we see the Hand of God at work and stand back in amazement! All glory to the God who sees, hears and acts on behalf of His children!
Love and prayers,