Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from the Scripture
Prov. 30.29 Three things are stately in their tread; four are stately in their stride: 30 the lion, which is mightiest among beasts and does not turn back before any; 31 the strutting rooster, the he-goat, and a king whose army is with him.
We now reach the last of our 5 lessons in wisdom from Solomon. These are master lessons, foundational truths that help form an entire viewpoint from which we are to interact with the world.
By way of a quick reminder – a. There are UNFILLABLE voids in the souls of men. Do not be surprised at the lengths to which any of us will go to satisfy those voids should we not find our true satisfaction in Christ. b. There are UNFATHOMABLE mysteries in life. We cannot explain or find reasons behind why we or others do some things. We cannot let such mysteries have too great a claim upon us. c. There are UNFITTING realities in life. Justice is not always served here. Some things around us will always seem off kilter – until Christ comes. We cannot right them all. We cannot be overly distracted or dispirited by them. And yesterday we saw d. There is UNTAPPED wisdom in the creation all around us. Gospel truths reinforced and painted for us on the canvass of God’s handiwork. We do well to study what God has made, and draw great insight by how things are made by His hand.
Lastly, we want to consider the fact that there are UNLINKED similarities in life. In other words, not every thing rises to the level of a conspiracy, even though there might be great and startling similarities.
Our driving need to make sense of the things we experience in life, can easily lend itself to drawing connections between dots that ought not exist. It is one of the prevailing reasons why we are so quick to jump to conclusions about people’s motives. Especially in regard to things we are offended by. We very quickly imagine a failure to shake hands, a missed thank you note, an unacknowledged phone call, or a passing glance of the eye to be filled with all sorts of sin and menace. Shame on us.
Our text gives us four wonderful examples. Lions, roosters, he goats and king’s with their army with them. All indeed strut. But in all truth, they do not do so for the same reasons. Yet how quick we are to assume reasons behind the actions of others, with nary a moment’s trouble at finding out the truth by means of asking a simple question or two. And by that I really mean asking – not accusing BY asking. Which is a great temptation in itself, isn’t it?
How many relationships would be spared if people would only assume the law of love. Love assumes no sin in the other person, unless the facts prove it to be otherwise. It begins with an assumption of innocence, even as the legal system in these United States is supposed to. Many a time I’ve agonized over what I “thought” someone else thought – and even built mental arguments against the things I was certain they held against me. Only to have been nothing but a fool in finding out nothing of the sort existed at all. It was the way I took the other person’s facial expression. And rather than asking to find out what the truth was, I constructed an entire scenario that wasn’t rooted in thimble full of reality. Haven’t you done the same?
And note too that in our present day, conspiracy theories for just about everything exist. Is it any wonder that sinful men think similarly about certain things? Of course not. Does that mean they somehow instigated a global conspiracy that includes more people in more countries under more different cultural biases than we can shake a stick at? Probably not. Are there some conspiracies? Sure. But history has shown that large ones are almost impossible to sustain very long. People’s sin can be counted upon to make them brag and leak information at enormous rates. But we simply MUST have THE reason behind anything we cannot fathom normally.
D. A. Carson in his excellent little book: “Exegetical Fallacies” cites the following poem as an example of how we can make these terribly unwarranted connections.
Why are fire engines red?
Because they’ve got 8 wheels and 4 people on them
8 + 4 = 12
There are 12 inches in a foot
One foot is a ruler
There was a ruler named Queen Elizabeth
A ship named Queen Elizabeth sails the seas
In the seas are fish
On the fish are fins
The Fins fought the Russians
The Russians are red.
Fire engines are always rushin’.
Therefore – fire engines are red!
What unwarranted connections have you been plagued by? And then made equally unwarranted conclusions because of? The lion struts. The rooster struts. The he-goat struts. A king appearing with his army struts. Not a one of them is connected to the other. They are, but – similarities. And similarities are not truth simply because we can observe those similarities.
Better to occupy our hearts and minds with a real conspiracy. The Divine conspiracy of the Triune God to bring saving grace to a lost race.
Now THAT’s worth contemplating.