Proverbs 24:32 “Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.”
George Santayana said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That is a timeless statement that should pierce our hearts to action. We read in the Bible of those who lived before us and the mistakes made. Yet we do the same. Why is that?
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “In my walks, every man is my superior in some way, and in that, I learn from him.” Emerson was a ‘meditator.’ He mused over the things he saw and took from it what most men could not see. He thought deeply and used what he learned to grow.
We can all see the same thing but, there are some gifted with the ability to recall minute details of everything they see. Some will see all the flaws. Others will see unique information. But, when it comes to others’ lives, we often compare their life to ours and take very little.
Our comparison pits our strengths against their weakness, and we miss learning from others. God has given us the history of those gone before us to glean from their successes and failures.
David was a special and revered king. The Messiah was to come through his bloodline. He grew from a keeper of sheep to king of the mightiest nation at the time. God chose him because he was a ‘man after mine own heart.”
1 Samuel 13:14 “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.”
Acts 13:22 “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”
David was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. So, what earns him the title of a ‘man after God’s own heart?’ Was it his strength? Was it his prowess in battle? Was he more courageous because he faced Goliath?
David sought God in almost all that he did. Whether it was battle or presiding over Israel’s nation, David submitted his decision-making to the Lord.
David was a repentant man. Psalm 51 stands as a clarion call to all Christendom to turn their heart over to God in utter and complete repentance.
We can learn that David took months for his heart to turn to God after his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah. If David’s heart had turned sooner, he may not have lost the kingdom, his family, and kept his integrity intact.
Yet, David finished well. His legacy in Solomon built the kingdom to greater things. He left his son as a seeker of wisdom. Those seeds planted in Solomon’s heart gave us the wisest man ever to walk the face of the earth – next to the Son of God.
Many of us will hear messages and sermons of biblical truth that can transform our lives. Yet, for some, it will pass with us saying, “I already know that,” or “I’ve heard that before.”
The writer of today’s proverb tells us to consider well what it is we see. So, let us take heed and watch, listen, and take notice of all that comes our way today. We may learn something we never even considered, and it may come from the most unlikely of sources.