I have enjoyed reading every Sunday afternoon over the last few months Proverbs : Wisdom that Works by Raymond C Ortlund. It is part of the “Preaching the Word” commentary series. Although he does takes a somewhat topical approach after Chapter 9, it still rich in depth.
The only quibble I would have is that the Ortlund sometimes moves too quickly in connecting the text to Christ. But I suppose that is a good problem. Otherwise this is a very rich and practical reflections on problems as illustrated by this helpful excerpt from the book :
The Lord Jesus Christ who died for you also claims you, all that you are from head to toe. The gospel calls you to deploy your very body for him: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).
If we are distracted from real-time connection with the mercies of God, so that our hearts grow cold and our mouths become reckless and our eyes wayward and our feet wandering, we are only one misstep away from life-shattering catastrophe.We do not have to give ourselves to raw evil to end up there; we only have to un-guard our hearts, we only have to stop being vigilant. Every one of us is always five minutes away from total disaster. But if we are receiving by faith the outpouring of Christ’s love in constant supply from his Throne of Grace, we cannot lose our way.Let’s make this concrete. If you are right-handed, hold your right hand in front of you so that you can look at it. If you are left-handed, hold out your left hand. You do a lot with that hand, both good and evil. But now dedicate that hand to Christ. He can make you wise all your life long with that hand.Here is what you need to remember: Jesus died for your hand. Yes, your hand. And he did not die only for the sins you have committed with that hand. He shed his blood out of love for your hand, to redeem your hand, to make your hand wise in the present and immortal in the future, to the praise of the glory of his grace.Someday your hand will be powerful for God such as you cannot imagine right now. Your hand will no longer feel pain. Your hand will no longer be able to sin. Your hand will touch the hand of Christ. In fact, everything you are will be redeemed.Still more, the whole creation “will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). If you are in Christ, that massive liberation will include you, all of you, everything about you.How can you give yourself over to stupidity now? That is not your path. That is not your destiny. Christ has set you apart to himself. Christ will have the final say in your life, and his purpose of grace is dawning in you right now.Will you consecrate your hand, and everything you are, to Christ and his wisdom? If you will keep your heart with all vigilance for his sake, Christ will fill you with his springs of life. With a heart filled by Christ, you will not lose your way.