“Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” (Proverbs 23:23 NIV)
Solomon advises us to get truth, wisdom, discipline, and knowledge. The last time I went shopping, I didn’t see these treasures flying off the shelves. If they are so important, how do we get them? And what happens when we don’t?
It’s a cloudy day on the Garden of Eden Golf Course. On the front nine, Eve sets up her tee shot. The hole is a straight-forward par three. If she obeys God’s command to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she stays in the fairway, hits the green, and putts out for par or better. Her caddie recommends truth as her club of choice. God says don’t eat the fruit ‘cause if you do—death. (Not so good for the scorecard.) Let’s take a seat in the gallery and watch the action unfold.
“The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), . . . or you will die.’” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. (Genesis 3: 4-6a NIV)
There’s a sand trap in the way and a lying hiss in her ear. The light shimmers off the luscious fruit as she breathes in its fragrance. And the voice whispers, “You will be like God.” She takes the club back and . . .
Used correctly, the club of truth can keep Eve out of the bunker:
- Gen. 2:9 tells us goodness surrounded her. This fruit wasn’t her only option.
- Gen. 1:27 tells us Eve was like God, made in His image.
- Eve desired wisdom, but wisdom is not the knowledge of good and evil.
Scripture tells us the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Though the hole and the truth are in plain sight, this lack of fear sends her shot to the sand.
Lessons from the Sand Trap:
1) Sand traps sit between the hole and the golfer in plain view. Have you ever known the truth but still wrestled with making the right choice?
2) The ground is firm on the fairway and green. The sand trap is, well, sandy, and it’s a hard place to get your footing. How do your shots differ from each spot? Likewise, how do your spiritual decisions change from a position of truth versus lies or half truths?
3) A golfer adjusts his drive to avoid the bunkers. When has fear of consequences or a respect for God helped you adjust your choice?
4) Solomon tells us to get truth. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am . . . the truth.” Is He in your bag?
5) What should you do when you can’t see the hole (or the truth) from your tee? Stay in the fairway and consult the Course Director.