The Principles for Man to Live a Proper Human Life
Our natural man is just a bush (Exo. 3:2); it is not only useless. It is also leprous (Exo. 4:6), rebelling against God. Thank the Lord that we were regenerated, and we are now on our way to becoming a proper man for Godâ€™s economy. For this, Proverbs will help us. The principles in this book are laid before us for us to live a proper human life. These principles are part of Godâ€™s Word. We should see that we are in the New Testament age. Therefore, we should approach these principles not in the Old Testament way like the Pharisees and the Sadducees, who separated their reading the Scriptures and their coming to the Lord (John 5:39-40). We should read them the way the Lord Jesus and Paul read the Old Testament, a way which is full of light. This is how to get life from the Proverbs and by this life, we apply these principles. But how can these principles be applicable and practical to us? As an illustration, the internet is invisible, but when we plug into it, we can use it. Likewise, these principles can be practical to us only if we exercise our spirit. Our spirit is the key. We need to practice these principles through the exercise of our spirit. At the beginning, it may seem artificial and mechanical, but as time goes on, it will be spontaneous and organic. This is like learning a musical instrument, we need to practice daily so that we can become used to it. Â Proverbs gives a picture of what a proper human life is so we need to practice the principles in it.Â
This message can be considered the summary of the book of Proverbs, focusing on four items: revering God, needing wisdom, honoring oneâ€™s parents, and holding marriage in honor. Each item is a principle for man to live a proper human life.
Revering God. This is to admire and respect God greatly. This entails caring for His feelings in everything that we do, as well as looking unto Him in everything. This also covers fearing God, trusting in Him, not criticizing others, and giving our material offerings to Him. As seen in the life of David, we will be stopped from doing evil if we revere God. Though King Saul tried to kill him, he did not take revenge against King Saul because he revered God. He was careful in doing things before Him to the point that he did not care for his own feelings anymore. This principle will also cause us to genuinely care for others.
Needing wisdom. Proverbs tells us very much to gain wisdom. We need wisdom. Paul prayed that God would give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation (Eph. 1:17), indicating that wisdom is related to our spirit. Actually, when we exercise our spirit, we find wisdom. We need wisdom for us to live a proper human life. Thus we need to go to the right person to gain wisdom. We need to go to Christ. First Corinthians 1:30 says, â€śBut of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God.â€ť Wisdom is a person â€“ Christ, and Christâ€™s being wisdom is to us. There is a transmission of wisdom from God to us. We can pray for wisdom. Matthew 7:7 says, â€śAsk and it shall be given to youâ€¦â€ť We just need to ask for wisdom for us to gain wisdom
Honoring oneâ€™s parents. To honor oneâ€™s parents is nearly equal to revering God. God is invisible but our parents are physically present with us. How can we respect someone whom we cannot see if we do not respect the ones whom we see? The Lord Jesus was a pattern by submitting to His parents when He was still 12 years old (Luke 2:42-51) and by still caring for Mary, His mother, when He was about to die on the cross (John 19:26-27). Colossians 3:20 says, â€śChildren, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing in the Lord.â€ť If we revere God, we will also honor our parents.
Holding marriage in honor. If we are careless about this matter, this will cost us our birthright, a top blessing, given to us by the Lord. In our society today, people treat relationships toward the opposite sex as just a game. But we young people need to pray to be preserved from such an evil age for Godâ€™s economy. We need to guard our eyes from the things in the billboards, internet, and etc. We must apply the death of Christ to our members as well as flee youthful lusts. Moreover, Revelation 19:7 says that Â the wife of the Lamb has made herself ready. In the same way, young people must make themselves ready for marriage at the proper time in the future. Preparation for marriage includes finishing school, getting the top education, and enjoying the Lord.
We need to build up these matters in our life. We were already regenerated, but it is one thing to possess the divine life and it is another thing to have a proper character. As believers, we need to develop a proper character. Thus, we need Proverbs. As we approach these principles, we should not receive them in an ethical way. We need to approach these matters in view of Godâ€™s economy. We need to pray these matters back to God.