by Ruth Olsen
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If you accept my words and treasure my instructions … (Proverbs 2:1).
What a rich passage of Scripture! An invitation to sons and daughters – to anyone who will take notice. There are three ‘ifs’, a ‘then’ and a ‘for’ in the NIV translation. If = conditional, that is, available to all who act on this. Then = consequence, with something following. For = the reason, explaining ‘why’ the invitation and offer are made and from whom.
How often do we stop to think about what we do or say and why we do or say it? The ‘if’, ‘then’ and ‘for’ words are principles God has placed into the gift of life he has given us, repeated in his word. Whether we ignore or berate God’s principles, this doesn’t stop them from following through. But, thankfully, likewise, with the promise of God’s love for us – absolutely nothing can separate us from his love (Romans 8:37–39). And because of his great love for us and creation, he came to us in human form, Jesus, to open the way for any who trust him to discover new life and, by the Holy Spirit working within, a deepening acceptance of the Lord’s words, will and ways.
Seeking wisdom from the Lord, wanting to understand, asking him for insight and understanding – these are heart attitudes that lead us to a better ‘treasure’ than the world can offer. And the ‘ifs’ invite us to open our hearts, to hopefully pursue rather than ignore the invitation. For it’s an invitation to grow in knowing the Lord, to let him draw us closer into a deepening relationship with him.
Thankfully, the Lord continually works to draw people to himself and Jesus, who is the Truth (John 14:6). He wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). And by the power of his Spirit, God works in us to will and to act according to his good purpose, giving us the desire and power to do what pleases him (Philippians 2:13).
Lord, we call to you for insight, wisdom and understanding. Teach us your ways so that we may walk in your truth. Amen.
Ruth has been the other half of her husband Steen for 48-plus years. She has lived in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, New Zealand, and now again in Adelaide, South Australia. Together with their children and grandchildren, they number 11, so Ruth says it was rather sad when lockdown caps were 10 per household! Among many other activities, she is often reading or learning French. She is grateful for open borders now, with more caravan trips beckoning.