Read: Proverbs 13:1-25
Consider: The writer of Proverbs uses the device of contrasting good and bad aspects of things they wish to share as wisdom. This method is used to get the reader to think about each wisdom saying and to measure themselves against what is said. The conclusion should be to ascertain if they are wise or foolish. Of course it might be that the reader may deceive themselves, believing they are wise, when really they are foolish. While it might not be kind to describe someone as a fool, it might be necessary to point out to someone that what they are doing, or intend to do, is foolish (not wise). Unfortunately as the writer of these proverbs says: A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes (Proverbs 13:1) and ‘… wisdom is found in those who take advice’ (13:10b).
If I was to ask you if you have ever been rebuked, or been given advice by someone and you have not been willing to receive it in good grace? If you and I are honest, we will acknowledge that there have been times when sound advice from others has fallen on deaf, recalcitrant ears.
Notice from today’s reading what it says in Proverbs 13:25 – The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry. The writer may be thinking of actual food, but if there is a spiritual meaning in what is said it may refer to soul food. This made me think of something said in the book of Isaiah: Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon (Isaiah 55:1-2, 6-7).
Food for the soul cannot be found in material things such as wealth, status, possessions, etc., as these things are physical and although they may give temporary satisfaction, they will have no lasting effect on the soul. True food for the soul can only be found in a life that is devoted to and focussed on God. Do not neglect the health of your soul by concentrating your life on the physical world and its attractions.
Pray: Father, our material world values physical things above spiritual things. Help us to avoid putting our trust in material things, but to gain food for our souls in a relationship with your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen