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At the crossroads

Listen as wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice! She stands on the hilltop and at the crossroads. — Proverbs 8:1-2

A bright red sports car screeched to a halt at a country crossroads, and the driver shouted to an old man sitting on a bench, “Can you direct me to London, please?”

“No, I can’t,” he replied.

“Then which road to Oxford?” he asked.

“Can’t rightly say,” answered the old man.

“You don’t know much, do you?” asked the young man sarcastically.

“No, I don’t know much,” replied the uncommunicative local man. “But at least I’m not lost!”

The problem with crossroads is that they present choices and require that they be made. And unless you make the right choice you end up being hopelessly lost. It is at the crossroads that we need somebody who, unlike the old man, has a word of wisdom to impart.

Life is full of crossroads; it’s all about choices. When we are young they are made for us, hopefully by wise, loving parents. But as young people grow up they need to learn how to make good choices for themselves. Often they fail to do this, and they suffer the consequences for a lifetime. And even in the golden years, there are still crossroads to be faced—choices which become increasingly difficult as faculties decline and fears increase.

The need to make choices never ends; there’s always a crossroads around the corner.

Fortunately, there is a word from the Lord on the subject: “Listen as wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice! She stands on the hilltop and at the crossroads” (Proverbs 8:1-2). This wisdom is also called “common sense” and “understanding” (8:5), “excellent things” and “right” (8:6), “truth” (8:7), and “advice [that] is wholesome and good” (8:8).

This wisdom is more than knowledge. There are learned people who lack wisdom, and uneducated people who display the wisdom of which Scripture speaks. The key is found in Proverbs 9:10“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding” (9:10).

True wisdom is available to those who “fear the Lord.” This does not mean living in mortal terror of a cold, merciless Deity, but rather loving with reverence and awe a great and gracious God who longs to be deeply involved in life’s journey and consulted at life’s crossroads.

The Lord does not even wait for us to ask directions. “Wisdom calls out… understanding raises her voice” (8:1); “Listen to me! For I have excellent things to tell you” (8:6).

It takes a wise man to listen to the right voice and make the right choices. This way he’ll find the right road; this way he takes the high road.

For further study: Proverbs 8:1-11

Content taken from The One Year Book of Devotions for Men by Stuart Briscoe. Copyright ©2000. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.