God’s Word for You
Proverbs 27:12 A prudent faith
by Pastor Timothy Smith on Saturday, May 16, 2020
12 A prudent man sees danger and hides himself,
while the simple keeps going and will suffer.
This proverb is almost identical with 22:3 (there are some insignificant differences in the forms of the Hebrew words). Just as a wily man can see danger coming and avoid getting hurt, so also a wise Christian can see the dangers of temptations coming and hide himself from those things. It might be as simple as a drunk avoiding alcohol, or it might be as difficult as, well, a drunk avoiding alcohol.
On the other hand, a “simple” person, one who has not yet learned the ways of the world or of the devil, will not see the danger, and will easily fall into a trap. Without any experience, a boy might try to feed grain or a hunk of apple out of his hand to a goat, but he will soon learn that, unlike a horse or a mule, the goat is either too clumsy, too stupid or too uncaring not to bite the boy’s hand as well. If the boy tries to feed the goat with a container, like a small pail or bucket, he will find that if given the chance, the goat will try to eat the pail, too. Then the boy will learn the wisdom of using a manger or a very heavy container.
The simple Christian does not yet know that the devil hates him, despises him, and that the devil even tries to murder Christians, which we learn in the Gospels (Mark 9:22). The devil is never our friend, and he will stop at nothing to trip us up and cause us to fall into sin. He would be happier if he could somehow destroy our faith through false preaching (2 Timothy 2:17-18), or to somehow cause our failures to destroy the faith of others. This is how one lazy father can ruin the faith of his children by never giving them the good habit of going to church, of reading their Bible or their catechism, or of wanting to take the Lord’s Supper. He might not even realize what he has done, but it is done, nevertheless. “If they are brought low, he does not see it” (Job 14:21).
Pray for a prudent faith, a faith that sees danger and takes refuge in the arms of Jesus our Savior. And model your faith for the people you love so that they will develop a prudent faith, too.
Pastor Timothy Smith