If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you. – Proverbs 1:23 ESV
Let’s dig in:
This proverb has 3 parts:
If you ______________,
Behold, I will _________________;
I will _________________.
This is conditional language, with one part that is our responsibility, and two parts that are God’s instructions to us about what He does in response. However, there is no “because” in this statement, there is no telling us that our fulfilling the “if” has earned us the “I will”. No, this discussion is not about outward works to receive worldly rewards, but this is a discussion of things of the heart – of spiritual things.
This old testament proverb in whole matches quite closely to Peter’s call at the end of his sermon at Pentecost:
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. – Acts 2:38 ESV
Let’s remember all of this as we dig in deeper.
“If you turn at my reproof,” this bears witness and is in full agreement with James from the New Testament that we in fact bear a part in this newly revealed covenant between God and man:
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. – James 1:22-25 ESV
And our verse in Proverbs continues:
“Behold, I will pour out my spirit to you”
And John also speaks of this, again in a conditional way regarding the Holy Spirit being given:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. – John 14:15-17 ESV
So the first part told us what we should do, and the second part tells us what we will behold that God does. In fact, the”behold” means “look and see” — so these things are not hidden or secret or cryptic, but should be readily evident, “easy to see”.
Yes, when God’s Holy Spirit is present in the inner heart of a believer, it should be quite evident in the oars life of the believer. The Holy Spirit is not timid and shy hissing in the shadows, but is a bright burning due that gives light to all around us.
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
for our God is a consuming fire. – Hebrews 12:29 ESV
And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” – Zechariah 13:9 ESV
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV
“I will make my words known to you.”
Yes, He reveals not only His work through you that can be seen, but He pulls back the veil and reveals more of himself through the written Word of God even as He brings Christ manifest as new life in your flesh. In fact, the two are unified in purpose.
We should remember the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:1-15. If we are good fertile soil, we turn from our wicked ways in response to his reproof — we don’t ignore it, we don’t just get excited for a moment, and we don’t just turn back to the vomit of the world — we persevere to the end.
If you wonder how you might have the strength to persevere, He doesn’t call you to bear the burden of the journey in this verse. He bore the burden at the cross already. Your job is to turn to the way, the truth, the life.
He simply says,
“Truly turn to me, surrendering your whole life, and just watch what I will do. I will pour out my Spirit onto you and you will be a new creation, a Child of God.”
Be sure of your choice today.
Hear His correction and turn.
Behold God at work in your life today.