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Wisdom For All

The Old, the Young and All Those In-Between

   Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, explaining a point, and he says: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Can you give me an example?” Certainly you must have and perhaps more than once. Yahweh has given us His Word by which we are to live. The patriarchs of old are a living example as to how we should live, as are the lives of the members of the apostolic assembly. Even we, in living our lives, are to be an example for others so that they may learn of the path that leads to everlasting life. Almost for any topic one can discuss, an example can be found in the Scriptures which touches that subject – either on a positive note or on a negative note. We must let the Scriptures tell us how to live our lives and not let life itself dictate the principles by which we stand. It may be true that one can perhaps learn best by experience, but in such learning situations one may not always find a bed of roses at the end.

Lay Up Knowledge
   Timothy, the friend and convert of Sha’ul (Paul), was the son of a Jewish mother and a Gentile father,
Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek, Acts 16:1.
   Because of his parentage (a Gentile father), he wasn’t circumcised as an infant but as an adult by Sha’ul (Paul),
Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek, Acts 16:3.
   Also, because of his parentage (Jewish mother and grandmother), he was brought up and trained to know the Scriptures “which are able to make one wise unto salvation,”
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also... And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Messiah Yahshua, 2 Timothy 1:5 and 2 Timothy3:15.
   Timothy was especially suited for missionary work as an evangelist,
This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare...Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery... But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry, 1 Timothy 1:18, 4:14 and 2 Timothy 4:5.
   Apparently, Timothy was more than willing to learn from all who were able to instruct him. He even had a special gift of comforting and teaching,
And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of Yahweh, and our fellow labourer in the good news of Messiah, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith, 1 Thessalonians. 3:2.
   Timothy’s life is certainly an example of Prov. 10:14a,
   Wise men lay up knowledge.
   Also, in the life of Paul, one can find persons who exemplify Proverbs 10:14b,
   But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
   To find examples of persons who fit this category read about Hymenaeus, Alexander, Philetus and Elymas in Acts 13:6-11; 1 Tim. 1:19-20 and 2 Tim. 2:16-18 and see what became of them.

Hymenaeus and Alexander
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme, 1 Timothy 1:19-20.

Hymenaeus and Philetus
But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some, 2 Timothy 2:16-18.

They ended up in Paphos, where they found a Jewish sorcerer and pseudo-prophet named Bar-Yahshua. He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. Now the governor had called for Bar-Nabba and Sha’ul (Barnabas and Paul) and was anxious to hear the message about Yahweh; but the sorcerer Elymas (for that is how his name is translated) opposed them, doing his best to turn the governor away from the faith. Then Sha’ul, also known as Paul, filled with the Ruach HaKodesh, stared straight at him and said, “You son of Satan, full of fraud and evil! You enemy of everything good! Won’t you ever stop making crooked the straight paths of Yahweh? So now, look! The hand of Yahweh is upon you; and for a while you will be blind, unable to see the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over Elymas; and he groped about, trying to find someone to lead him by the hand, Acts 13:6-11 CJB.

Jealous For Power
   One of the most widely told stories concerning the lust for power is given to us in the classic story of Daniel and the den of lions, Dan. 6:1-24. The ruling monarch had set Daniel over the princes of the realm and because Yahweh’s Spirit was with Daniel, the princes sought to upset the applecart. To do this, while well knowing Daniel’s habit of praying, they exacted from the king a decree that anyone caught praying to someone other than the king should be cast into the den of lions. Daniel, being observed praying to Yahweh, was then sealed in a den full of lions much to the displeasure of the king. However, the king was exceedingly glad to find out that Yahweh protected Daniel by sending an angel to shut the mouths of the lions because Daniel believed and had trust in his Creator. As the result, the king ordered Daniel’s accusers and their families to be placed in the den of lions where they all died. This story fully illustrates the expectation and the end of both the righteous and the lawless and exemplifies the two sides spoken of in Proverbs 10:24-25,
   The fear of the lawless, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted. As the whirlwind passeth, so is the lawless no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.

The Lawless Try Also
   The lawless are rather bold in their attempts to undo Yahweh’s work and will go to all measures to unseat His chosen People. But Yahweh has promised us His protection, if we remain true to the end. But for the lawless, they will never be gainers – always losers in the end – because of their willful rejection of the way of life as prescribed in the Book of Life. There are many other examples of persons who exemplify not only the above Scriptures, such as Cain and Abel, Noah and the antediluvian world, but also what Proverbs 10:27-30 says,
   The fear of Yahweh prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish. The way of Yahweh is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

The Fateful Outcome
   Those who attempt to ensnare the upright in heart is shown to end up being the prey caught in their own trap, for it is most assuredly true that
Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap, Galatians 6:7.
   This point is brought out quite vividly in Proverbs 11:7-8,
When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of the unjust men perisheth. The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.
   Yahweh knows our hearts and the very thoughts that end up in our mind. We can not pull the wool over Yahweh’s eyes – only fools attempt to do that. All of our actions, whether thought of or carried out, will be brought into our judgment, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14,
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Yahweh, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For Yahweh shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
   It should be easy to recognize that lawlessness and deceit go together. We have seen that such will be the undoing of those people who practice them because they are an abomination to Yahweh.

   About the seventh century B. C. E., Sennacherib inherited his position of reigning monarch of the Assyrian Empire from his father, Sargon. Since he did not inherit his father’s boldness, daring or resources, he spent most of his time trying to hold together that which he had received. Sensing his shortcomings, many of his mandated territories began attempting to secede from the Empire. One of these nations was Judah, under the leadership of Hezekiah. Hezekiah led a reform of his country intending to fortify the moral and spiritual defenses by rebuilding the fortifications and reforming the country’s religious life to conform to the Scriptures, including the celebration of the Passover, 2 Chron. 29 and 30.
   At a time when Hezekiah was prosperous and the Assyrians had difficulties elsewhere in their realm, Hezekiah led a revolt against the Assyrian Empire. Sennacherib’s army, composed mainly of men from many different nations, took up the fight against Judah. The events of his campaign against Judah are written in 2 Kings 18:13 – 19:37 and 2 Chronicles 32:1-12. In his siege of Jerusalem he tried to convince the people of Jerusalem not to put their trust in Yahweh because the Assyrians had conquered so many people who believed in many different false mighty ones. Since the people were not persuaded, Yahweh heard the prayer of Hezekiah and routed Sennacherib and his army.
And it came to pass that night, that the Angel of Yahweh went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses, 2 Kings 19:35.
   The attempt to take over Jeusalem by Sennacherib sets forth the principles found in Proverbs 11:18– 21:
   The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward. As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death. They that are of a forward heart are abomination to Yahweh: but such as are upright in their way are His delight. Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.
   This attempt by Sennacherib to usurp Yahweh’s people is just another example in a long list of examples recorded in Scriptures which should indicate to us the many pitfalls which befall those who go against Yahweh.

Give Cheerfully
   We indeed have a great commission to perform in spreading Yahweh’s Word throughout the world. Many times, to do this, sacrifices must be initiated on our part. Sometimes it may be that we have to pull in our belts a little tighter in order to give of ourselves. Without our fully realizing it at the time, Yahweh is pleased with such sacrifices and has promised us rewards for doing so. Just as a farmer finds joy and satisfaction in the increase given him at harvest time after he has sown the seeds in the springtime, so we will find true joy and satisfaction in the increase in His Word by scattering the rewards of our talents now. Yahweh loves a cheerful giver ─ one who gives of himself from the heart because he wants to and not because he has to. And, the more we give of ourselves, the more we are promised to receive as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:6 and 7:
   But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for Yahweh loveth a cheerful giver.

   If, on the other hand, we are not willing to give of ourselves or the rewards we receive because of our talents, we can take the example of Nabal, written for us in 1 Samuel 25. Nabal was a man of great wealth (verse 2), whose servants David had befriended (verse 7). At the time of shearing, David sent his servants to Nabal requesting him to “give whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David,” verse 6. Verses 10 and 11 give Nabal’s response:
   Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? There be many servants nowadays that break away every man from his master. Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearing, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?
   Because of Nabal’s refusal and reaction to David’s servants (verse 14) David was all set to avenge himself. However, Nabal’s wife, Abigail, pleaded with David not to shed blood to which David replied in verse 33:
   And blessed by thy advice, and blessed be thou, which has kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.
   But, what became of Nabal? Not long after we find that Yahweh smote Nabal and he died (verses 37 – 38).
   The giving of what you have and the being too self-occupied with greed for one’s own possessions and the rewards of each are brought out in Proverbs 11:24-25:
   There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
   It is interesting to note that Nabal lived up to the meaning of his name, as Nabal means foolish.

The Rich Man
   The New Covenant (Testament) also provides an example for us along the same line.
And He spake a parable unto them, saying, “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?’ And he said, ‘This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.’ And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ But Yahweh said unto him, ‘Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’” (Luke 12:16-20).
   The examples of Nabal and the rich man, both, point to the statement that it is much better to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”

-Elder Roger G. Meyer

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