Day 23: Buy the truth (23:23)
“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, instruction, and understanding”
These sayings of the wise do well to complement those of Solomon, touching on many key themes seen earlier and provide fresh insights into others. We have a warning against gluttony, especially if in influential company (23:1-3). We are told not to spend our energies getting rich (23:4-5). We need to beware of the tight-fisted person (23:6-8). We are told not to waste our time engaging with fools (23:9) We must not stealthily move back the boundary lines or cheat orphans out of their property (23:10-11) tying in with one idea behind “Remove not the ancient landmark” (22:28), that of preserving the godly heritage passed down through generations. We must give yourselves to disciplined instruction (23:12), not be afraid to correct our young ones (including if needed the use of corporal punishment) – for a wise child will make one happy parent (23:13-16). We are not to envy “sinners” but rather to fear God (23:17-18) (something we will return to tomorrow). We are (or at least “my son” is) told again to avoid the loose woman (23:26-28). Then there is some graphically illustrated counsel of why we must not drink too much wine and get drunk (23:19-21) and (23:29-35).
Which leads us to our text for today “Buy truth – don’t sell it for love or money; buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight” (23:23 MSG). The follow on to this is also relevant given that the writer is keen to pass this onto his children and as a thought for those who are parents this should be our priority too: “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice” (23:24,25). Truth is up there with wisdom and righteousness in terms of importance as far as Proverbs is concerned and, interestingly, is linked three times with mercy, reminding us there is a balance to be had and of the one who was full of grace and truth (John 1:14). We noted in the previous chapter the importance attached to truth: “That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?” (22:21) Earlier on in Proverbs we were told: “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart” (3:3). While wanting to keep with the non-moralising tone of Proverbs, we still do well to take up the challenge to seek truth in all aspects of our lives make truth our priority in everything we do and follow Him who is the Truth.
Prayer: We are so grateful Jesus you are the Truth, are full of truth and you told us that the Truth will set us free. May we seek after and live out truth, whatever the cost, and in a world full of falsehood and deception, help us discern truth.