Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coming in Unarmed


"Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
and apply your heart to my knowledge...
So that your trust may be in the Lord;
I have instructed you today, even you."
~Proverbs 22:17-19

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated,
full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality,
and without hypocrisy.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
by them that make peace."
~James 3:18

Proverbs is so full of instruction in wisdom. It's full of relational advice, and moral advice, and financial advice. But these few verses stood out to me because they indicate that the whole point of listening to wisdom and hearing the wise, and applying your heart to knowledge is so that your trust may be in the Lord. Not in your wisdom.

I included the James verse because it is such a contrast to wordly wisdom. Wisdom from the Lord is pure. It's innocent. It's clean, first. But then it is peaceable. Not provoking. Inclined toward peace. It's gentle.

Wisdom from the Lord makes it past the security forces of the resistant because it comes in 'unarmed'. His kindness leads us to repentance. Does it speak the truth? Yes. But I think about how Nathan approached David in his sinful state. He came and told him a story about a lamb. David was tender-hearted about sheep. So Nathan got to his heart through sheep. And David was broken.

I was reading a news story the other day about the increased numbers of 'no-knock warrants' that have been issued lately. There was this sad story about the police breaking into a man's home in the middle of the night, guns drawn. The man, no doubt feeling himself the victim of a home invasion, came into the hall with a golf club, which the hyped-up law enforcement officers thought was a sword, so they shot him dead. I don't know what the offense was they wanted to arrest him for, but the approach to the arrest resulted in his execution without a trial. If they had knocked and spoken to him through the door, it's quite probable he would have come to the door and been arrested. But instead they busted the door down, came upon him in his sleep, and in his reasonable attempt to defend himself, they killed him. I think wisdom would have considered what the aim of the warrant was. If the aim is to apprehend the man, and not to kill him, a softer touch would have accomplished that.

Wisdom does not bust down the door with gun drawn, hyped up on adrenaline, likely to kill in misjudgment.

And that last line in James would seem to indicate that the kind of seed-spreading that results in righteous fruit is planted by peacemakers in peaceable ways.

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