7 Master Lessons for Life
Proverbs 30 – Part 2
Lesson 1: There are UNIVERSAL & UNRELENTING temptations we need to look out for. Do not be surprised when you face some things over and over and over again.
We tend to forget:
(4) God. WHO & WHAT God really is -and that His love for me is displayed in the Cross by the One who fully unfolds Him to us.
(5) God’s Word is the only SURE source of truth – it needs to be trusted above my logic, or my perceptions.
(6) Adding to what God has said, is as dangerous, and MORE tempting than leaving things out.
(7-9) Left to myself, I am unreliable. I know my fallenness & cannot trust myself.
Lesson 2: 15-16 / There are UNFILLABLE VOIDS in the souls of people. Do not be surprised at the lengths to which men will go to try and satisfy such voids.
There ARE unfillable voids in the souls of men and apart from Christ as our true satisfaction – all sorts of other things stand ready to rush in to fill the void.
People do what they do to try and fill those voids.
The GRAVE – Relentless
The BARREN WOMB – Mournful
PARCHED LAND – Insatiable
FIRE – Lust
We were made only to be truly satisfied with Christ. – Eph. 1:15-23
OUR FULLNESS – IS IN HIS FULLNESS.
Augustine said, “O Lord, you have made us for thyself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
Blaise Pascal: “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
When this void remains men will try to fill it – sometimes in extreme, horrific and bizarre ways.
When men’s actions do not make sense, you can be sure they are trying to fill some deep emptiness.
BUT – Such deep, deep voids can only be met in Christ.
When human beings as created specifically be God’s image bearers, lose that image, they are left with the haunting reality that something is horribly wrong, something essential has been lost.
And without the special revelation of the Scriptures – they misidentify that missing something every time.
As long as we try to meet this reality by other means than being restored to our original purpose in Christ, the futility of it, and the inward gnawing and aching only increases.
Sometimes we drown it out. Temporarily.
Amusements – Hobbies, Sports, etc.
Drugs & Alcohol
Causes – Good and bad Much so-called “activism” is driven by this need.
These desires and unfillable voids we often cannot even discern for ourselves.
In another of Solomon’s works – the Book of Ecclesiastes, he addresses this phenomena with marvelous clarity.
He recognized that this gnawing ache in the human heart is tied to our sense of purpose in life.
Solomon says he began to search for meaning and he looked in the same 4 places all of us look.
- Pleasure – selfish enjoyment – but pleasure is fleeting
Ecclesiastes 2:1–11 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.”
But behold, this also was vanity. 2 I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” 3 I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.
- Productivity – satisfaction in work but it has no eternal aspect to it
4 I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5 I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. 6 I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees.
- Possessions – all of which will one day perish
7 I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem.
- Power – Which is an illusion. For in the end we have very little true power over anything.
8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.
9 So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil.
Conclusion: 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
Proverbs 20:5 “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
The perversity of men’s hearts seems to have no bounds.
Need proof? The Holocaust!
How do we explain such things? MAN WANTS.
And man will do whatever he thinks he can get away with to fill his wants…
Until we find our soul’s satisfaction in Christ.
If you are being driven by compulsions of any kind – this passage is diagnosing the problem – the disease.
And the Gospel is extending to you the sole cure – being restored to God through Jesus Christ.
30:17 – WARNING: Those who do not recognize this – Will act out in the most grievous ways, and ultimately pay the price.
Lesson 3: 18-19 / There are UNFATHOMABLE MYSTERIES in life. – Do not be surprised there are things you will not be able to figure out. You will not get all the answers you seek.
Some things we will never be able to explain adequately.
And if we do not accept this fact and shift our gaze elsewhere, our perplexity may well (and does in many) shift itself over into endless obsession and hopeless despondency.
4 Examples: EAGLE in the SKY – Invisible thermals
SERPENT on a ROCK – No feet
SHIP at SEA – Currents
MAN & VIRGIN – Invisible means – who knows how love and attraction actually work?
It is the tendency of man’s fallen condition to let the reality that we truly CANNOT know some things, overflow into a fear that we cannot know anything for certain – and thus the soul faints in despair.
Nowhere is this seen more than in great evils done to us.
A driving need for many. An obsessive and destructive need for some. Look at our virtual NEED to blame someone for every pain, heartache or suffering we endure.
Our legal system thrives upon this drive.
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This is one of those deep, unfillable voids we were introduced to in the first section.
Suffering MUST make sense if it is to be bearable to us.
Truth is there are a vast number of things in this life we may never be able to explain.
And if we are not able to give those things up to God, and to trust that HE knows both why, and has our best interest at heart in allowing us to experience them – we will sink into some form of madness.
Colossians 2:1-3 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, sto reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
In the words of Ira Stanphill:
I don’t know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from it’s sunshine,
For it’s skies may turn to gray.
I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.
I don’t know about tomorrow,
It may bring me poverty;
But the One Who feeds the sparrow,
Is the One Who stands by me.
And the path that be my portion,
May be through the flame or flood,
But His presence goes before me,
And I’m covered with His blood.
Refrain: Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand;
But I know Who holds tomorrow, And I know Who holds my hand.
Perhaps we could slightly alter that refrain to read:
Many things about my SORROW, I don’t seem to understand;
But I know Who holds my sorrow, And I know Who holds my hand.
30:20 – WARNING: Those who perpetrate evil, justify it to themselves.
Lesson$ 21-23 / There are UNFITTING REALITIES in life.
Don’t be surprised at injustice here.
EXAMPLES: A SLAVE made KING – The unfit in leadership. Men who are unfit for leadership, ruling over the lives and destinies of others.
A FILLED FOOL – Foolish men and women, when they have come to enjoy great wealth and satisfaction.
A GOTTCHYA GAL – A woman who was long unloved, will become so obnoxious to her former friends when married at last.
A REPLACEMENT WIFE – When a maidservant displaces her mistress. In our day, when the boss leaves the wife who put him through college and raised his kids, runs off with the secretary.
REALITY: Entertainers earn more than Doctors and Educators.
We cry with loud voices to protect endangered fish, birds and other animals, while murdering 1-plus million children in their mother’s wombs each year in America.
Pedophiles can run public websites, and Christians can’t pray at public events.
And as my friend Tony Bartolucci sent in an email to me, in America we are expected to – to “be against capital punishment, but support abortion on demand. Believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.”
The truth is, we live in a fallen world. And such a fallen world will be filled with such unfitting things.
Criminals at times will be treated like victims, and victims like criminals.
Laws will be passed to hinder good and protect evil.
This is sin at work. This is what happens when the creature wants to usurp the Creator’s place.
We are unfit. And all we do will result in unfitting things.
– Don’t despair.
– Life doesn’t end here.
– This will not always be the way it is.
– Christ IS coming.
– One day, all of these wrongs will be made right.
– All that is so far from what it ought to be will be brought back into line.
– He will judge the world in righteousness. His wisdom will prevail. His truth will govern all.
– Everything will be in its right place.
– Every relationship precisely as it ought to be.
– The fullness of Christ’s redemptive work will permeate and characterize all of creation.
There will be all sorts of unfitting realities in the intervening years.
But not a one that will not be made right in Christ.
Don’t go mad, go Biblical – in the hope that is to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:13 “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
There will always be unfitting realities in life.
Injustices we cannot right. Things that just aren’t “right” but nevertheless – are existential realities.
Christ is Lord of these as well.
- 15-16 / There are UNFILLABLE voids in the souls of men.
- 18-19 / There are UNFATHOMABLE mysteries in life.
- 21-23 / There are UNFITTING realities in life.
Only Christ can fill the voids
Only in Christ can the mysteries of life be explained – for all of God’s wisdom is summed up in Him.
Only in Christ at His coming will the unfitting effects of the Fall be righted.