Applying the Truth

"My son, keep my words, and treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye." Proverbs 7:1-2

"Because I said so, that's why?" What kid hasn't heard those words sputtering out of the mouth of a frustrated parent. Then and there, they vowed that they would never say them to their own children. What kid who became a parent hasn't been surprised at hearing those same words come spewing out of their mouth in a moment of desperation. As the sayings go

  • "Easier said than done."
  • "Practice what you preach!"
  • "Don't just talk the talk. Walk the walk."
  • "Talk is cheap."
  • "I hear you cluckin' Cleo, but I don't see no egg." (This is my personal favorite. It comes from my father-in-law Bill Clements. He has been in Heaven since November of 2005. I smiled when I wrote these words. I miss him alot.

Solomon's words of wisdom are a great source of protection if they are applied. They would have helped him too. Seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines turned his heart away from God. I have a feeling Solomon played the blame game alot. It is not enough to know how much good they can do. They must be kept. To be kept, they must be kept close until they do some good.

When Dana and I were dating, she used to come and watch me play softball. I was forever trying to stretch a single into a double. Week after week, I was making hard slides on a harder surface. The red clay playing fields of Texas rival the roughness of concrete during the month of August. The result was a huge strawberry on my right calf. It just couldn't heal because of the constant repetition of ripping it open game after game. As you can imagine, it was very painful and when Dana took a look at it she gasped. One night after the game, she invited me to her house, and she said she had something to put on my leg. I was desperate to apply her solution. She had a small bathroom. I could put my right leg in the tub and hold on to the sink with both hands to balance myself. She took out of her medicine cabinet, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, and gauze. She said this might hurt. I wasn't about to let her know it if it did. The next thing I know, I was hit with a blinding pain in my right leg, and the jolt went through me like a bolt of lightning. I almost ripped the sink out of the wall. She kept pouring peroxide and rubbing in iodine with the gauze. I was sweating, biting my tongue and losing my resolve about not letting her know it hurt. IT HURT. IT HURT ALOT! She kept saying, that it won't do any good unless the medicine got in deep enough to get rid of the infection. If it stayed on the surface then it wouldn't do any good.

We survived that first encounter with first aid, but I have never put my leg in a tub since. I have thought about that night for the past 34 years. If Dana had taken me to her medicine cabinet and told me all about the treasure trove of healing elements it contained, my leg would have not been impacted by the knowledge I obtained. If she had taken out the healing agents, and had handed them to me for in depth study and analysis, I would have not been helped. Researching the English names, and delving into the scientific, or Latin derivatives would not have touched the infection. If I had memorized the label, or meditated on the virtues of the directions there would have been no change in my condition. If I had sung a song to the cabinet, and all it contained, and faithfully returned to do the same thing week after week, there would still be no change in my leg. The point of the story and the message of Proverbs 7: Apply what God supplies.

Proverbs 7 describes application of the truth as keeping, treasuring, and writing, and compares wise teaching as the source of sight. Application of the truth may be painful to our own pride and personal preferences. Desperate people are those who have come to the end of themselves, and delivered people are those who come to the beginning of God. Solomon was a man filled with good advice, but he also became full of himself. The wise will learn from his mistakes and not repeat them. Today, keep his truth close enough to walk in His light and avoid "descending into the chambers of death." Prov. 7:27