The Mystery of the Kingdom of God
“A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.”(24)
The Book of Proverbs contains the essence of Israel’s wisdom. It provides a godly worldview and offers insight for living. Proverbs 17 is a collection of twenty-eight individual wisdom sayings. While various verses might speak of similar topics, the sayings do not seem to have a single theme. However, these sayings do provide valuable insight on topics related to our lives within the kingdom of God.
Since we are focusing specifically on the theme “the Mystery of the Kingdom of God,” we should focus our attention to verse 24. This verse speaks about the difference between a wise or discerning person and a fool. Here we see that the foolish person is one whose life is without a specific purpose or direction. The foolish person is characterized as one who may wander aimlessly throughout life. However, the wise person always has a divine perspective on life and keeps himself or herself in line with the will of God.
God desires and calls us all to be a part of his kingdom. Being a part of the kingdom of God requires complete submission to God. Members of this kingdom are those who have accepted the reign of God in their lives and are those who make the attempt to live according to God’s direction. This entails humility in the sight of God as well as surrender to his will. Without meeting these basic prerequisites, life in the kingdom of God would be quite difficult and meaningless.
Those who ignore the call to the kingdom or those who avoid partaking in the life of the kingdom are foolish. They are under the impression that they are able to direct their own lives without the intervention of God. They believe that they can make their lives blessed without relying on God’s grace. For fools, emphasis is placed on individual effort to achieve some sort of rewarding goal. While fools may be able to accomplish certain feats and gain worldly appreciation and rewards, they end up gaining nothing from a spiritual point of view.
The wise, on the other hand, are able to make spiritual strides in their lives because they choose to be under God’s reign and choose to solely rely on God’s grace and mercy to lead them. Thus, God will enable them to experience his great presence and also to experience true satisfaction, that is, spiritual satisfaction. This spiritual satisfaction is characterized by immense joy, peace, and comfort which can only come from God. And only those who are part of the kingdom can truly come to experience such a state of blessedness.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you have called us all to be a part of your kingdom. Help us, O Lord, to strive for your kingdom and to be molded by its values and virtues so that your blessed presence may rest and abide with us all the days of our lives. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Our human endeavors that are devoid of God are foolish and deprive us of living under God’s reign and prevent us from taking part in the blessedness of his kingdom.
Rev. Christopher Phil Daniel, St. Stephen’s MTC, NJ