Proverbs 22:17 – Incline your ear, and hear my words, and apply your heart to my teaching. (NRSV)
What did the writer of Proverbs have in his mind when recording these words? Why should we read them today? Why should we hear them and place them in our hearts?
It seems that God was using the writer of Proverbs to encourage us to read his Word and apply its principles in our daily lives. In our darkest skies, God gives us opportunities to read what he has said, which will help us to get through our hard times and understand more about what is happening to us. Numerous are the ways God tugs at our heartstrings. We might be hard of hearing, or our hearts unreceptive to the wisdom of these words. But unwillingness on our part does not lessen God's concern towards His creation. He invites us to turn to Him in time of trial. He invites us to open our hearts to his teaching.
Think of it this way: from a kitchen come the aromas of good home cooking, those tantalizing smells that make the palates jump. We rush to the table to receive, enjoy, and be satisfied. Now let's look at God's Word as a great table filled with rich foods and wonderful aromas. God invites us to his table. We rush to be satisfied eternally, to be fed forever, and to be filled with teachings of eternal value for each situation in our lives here and now. He invites to walk and talk and sup with him at his table. God grant that each of us will be successful in answering God's invitation, and being part of his great plan.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to fulfill the purpose of creation. Establish for us a place at your table, and help us to become willing participants in your wonderful plan. Amen.