This post is a part of a series, Listen.
So many secular voices beckon us today. People around me. Television. Social Media. Telephones. The internet. Books. Magazines. Billboards. Bumper stickers. Yard signs. Even t-shirts speak messages.
In the spiritual world, there are also voices that speak: Religions. Denominations. Teachers. Preachers. Rabbis. Television and radio shows. Religious books and magazines.
We live in a unique time. Never have there been so much information and so many views at our fingertips. The internet has made that happen. We are blessed to live at such a time as this. We are also responsible to know and act on the Truth.
With all of these voices speaking, it can be very difficult to discern the voice of Adonai, and to know what is true and what is not.
Proverbs Chapter 9 caught my attention this week. It is a study in contrasts between the wisdom of Adonai and the voice of the world (the wisdom of man). In the beginning of the passage, wisdom is personified as a woman. She lifts her voice to say:
4 “Whoever is unsure of himself, turn in here!”
To someone weak-willed she says,
5 “Come and eat my food!
Drink the wine I have mixed!
6 Don’t stay unsure of yourself, but live!
Walk in the way of understanding!”
7 “He who corrects a scoffer only gets insulted;
reproving a wicked man becomes his blemish.
8 If you reprove a scoffer, he will hate you;
if you reprove a wise man, he will love you.
9 Give to a wise man, and he grows still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will learn still more.
10 The fear of Adonai is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of holy ones is understanding.
11 For with me, your days will be increased;
years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, your wisdom helps you;
but if you scoff, you bear the consequences alone.”
Now let's look at the contrasting voice -- the voice of the world (foolishness)
16 “Whoever is unsure of himself, turn in here!”
To someone weak-willed she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet;
food eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he doesn’t realize
that the dead are there,
and that those who accept her invitation
are in the depths of Sh’ol. (Hell)
The two voices offer the same invitation - if you're looking for the truth, turn in here. But the end results are not the same. One is life, the other death. One is G-d's Torah - the Living Word, the other is turning away from and rejecting that Truth.
I must ask myself:
Is the voice telling me, "I know the Bible says that, BUT..."
The Sabbath is a good example.
Does the voice. tell me to accept some verses of the Old Testament, and disobey the others? Tithing is a good example.
Does the voice teach against sin? Or is it all about me "feeling good"?
Have I heard a preacher/teacher talk about Hell lately? Yeshua did.
Is repentance taught? To repent means to turn away from sin and to Adonai and His Ways. It is the same in the New and the Old Testaments. Adonai abhors sin, but loves us. He provided the blood of Yeshua as payment for our sins, but He still desires obedience. He desires this because His ways are the ways of blessing.
The only way to know the Truth is by what is written: The Holy Scriptures preserved through thousands of years. This post about Bible versions is helpful: HERE
Another contrast in the verses is the results of my choice. The blessings of choosing wisdom are many, in verses seven through twelve, above. The results of choosing any way other than G-d's are in verse eighteen.
I like to call the Torah, Bible 101. It is the beginning of understanding the remainder of the Bible. If one doesn't know what the Torah says, one cannot fully understand the teachings of Yeshua and many other puzzling passages in the New Testament.
In light this, I must ask myself, "Does the voice I'm listening to agree with the written Word?"
Then the ultimate question is the same: will I LISTEN?
Next week, I'll write about listening to G-d's voice.
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