OUR DAILY BREAD DEVOTIONAL FOR OCTOBER 8, 2023 (WISDOM WE NEED)
TOPIC : WISDOM WE NEED
Bible in a Year: Isaiah 30–31 Philippians 4
Memory Verse: The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. Proverbs 4:19
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 4:10–19
In Proverbs 4, a father instructs his sons to “get wisdom” (v. 7) by contrasting two paths or ways of life—“the way of wisdom” (v. 11) and “the path of the wicked” (v. 14). The path of being led by God’s wisdom is described as the lifestyle that leads to a steady, confident journey—one in which “your steps will not be hampered; . . . you will not stumble” (v. 12). But a lifestyle of evil is one of “deep darkness” (v. 19); those who walk in it “do not know what makes them stumble” (v. 19).
Unable to walk confidently themselves, those who choose evil can only seek to harm others (v. 17) and to make others stumble as well (v. 16). Those living by God’s wisdom and justice can flourish through walking down “the path of the righteous . . . like the morning sun, shining ever brighter” (v. 18).
In his monumental book The Great Influenza, John M. Barry recounts the story of the 1918 flu epidemic. Barry reveals how health officials, rather than being caught off guard, anticipated a massive outbreak. They feared that World War I, with hundreds of thousands of troops crammed into trenches and moving across borders, would unleash new viruses. But this knowledge was useless to stop the devastation. Powerful leaders, beating the drums of war, rushed toward violence. And epidemiologists estimate that fifty million people died in the epidemic, adding to the roughly twenty million killed in the war’s carnage.
We’ve proven over and again that our human knowledge will never be enough to rescue us from evil (Proverbs 4:14–16). Though we’ve amassed immense knowledge and present remarkable insights, we still can’t stop the pain we inflict on one another. We can’t halt “the way of the wicked,” this foolish, repetitive path that leads to “deep darkness.” Despite our best knowledge, we really have no idea “what makes [us] stumble” (v. 19).
That’s why we must “get wisdom, get understanding” (v. 5). Wisdom teaches us what to do with knowledge. And true wisdom, this wisdom we desperately require, comes from God. Our knowledge always falls short, but His wisdom provides what we need.
Reflect & Pray
Where do you see human knowledge falling short? How might God’s wisdom instruct you in a better, truer way to live?
Dear God, I wrestle with pride. My human knowledge can’t save me. Please teach me Your truth.
Our Daily Bread 2023 Devotional is written by Winn Collier and published by Our Daily Bread Ministries.