They say…you’ve heard it before…quotes…statistics…comments…advice. In the news no matter what side you lean THEY are there. THEY have a lot to say. Of course I have NO clue who these THEY’s are. Do you? Have you ever used the line yourself? I know I have…well, THEY say I have.
Are THEY a known group of people? An elected committee? Does a real THEY even exist? Are WE the THEY? Are THEY good or bad? Well, what do THEY have to say about it?
More importantly, what does GOD say about the THEY? Well, it seems He uses THEY a lot Himself. Let’s look over some passages where God uses it to share wisdom with us.
We start with a basic preface for what Proverbs is about…how to use it…who it is for. It is an amazing book for practical living. Read through it and then you will see what I mean about THEY….
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; 3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young 5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance- 6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 9 They (instructions) will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck 10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.
FIRST set: BAD THEY’s (we’s, us’s…)
11 If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for someone’s blood, let’s waylay some harmless soul; 12 let’s swallow them (preyed on) alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit 13 we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder, 14 throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse”- 15 my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; 16 for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood.17 How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds! 18 These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!19 Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.
Wisdom’s cry to the BAD THEY’s:
20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; 21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech: 22 “How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23 If you had responded to My rebuke, I would have poured out My heart to you and made My thoughts known to you. 24 But since you rejected Me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out My hand, 25 since you ignored all My advice and would not accept My rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you-27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
SECOND set: BAD THEY’s get their dues
28 “Then they will call to Me but I will not answer; they will look for Me but will not find Me. 29 Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, 30 since they would not accept My advice and spurned My rebuke, 31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them 33 but whoever listens to Me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
We see how some THEYs aren’t good for us to listen to…and God has judgement for those who follow in those paths. BUT are there GOOD THEYs? SURE! Here are some familiar passages to many of you that share some more THEYs…GOOD ONES.
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
We find in Matthew some more THEYs…Jesus, himself dealt with some THEYs of His own:
1 Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, 2 and He began to teach them saying: 3″Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11″Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
It seems then we might be right back where we started…NOT knowing who all the THEY are for we are ALL THEYs but what needs to be determined then is what kind of THEY are WE? Are we selfish and self-reliant setting ourselves up for destruction drawing others in with us (or more like it, down with us) OR are we the kind that fights the good fight and relies fully on God for our strength? The contrast is laid out for us to see…what is your desire? What kind of THEY are you?
So often I battle between which THEY I am going to be. Often I bring others down with my selfishness. Then there are the other times I just want to collapse away from myself into the comforting arms of God’s arms…renewed in strength to take flight for Him instead of fight against Him.
I prefer to be the one that THEY say “fought the good fight”…the THEY God calls a “good and faithful servant”!
Who do THEY say YOU are? Who do THEY see in you?
Do remember in the center of either THEY is HE.
HE is faithful to complete the work HE has begun in us.
Be Bold. Be Blessed,