(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
Well, I feel such a great sense of privilege that I get to live in this portion of God's Word and dig deep and mine the beauty of the content that is there. And I have come to see that the Proverbs is way, way, way, more than I thought it was. It's way deeper, it's way more beautiful. And one of the places where I think that beauty is seen is in the theme of redemption that is in Proverbs.
There really is a theme of fresh starts and new beginnings in the Proverbs. Never ever, in the Proverbs, do you get the sense that we’re trapped in our sin and there is no hope for us. I mean, think about this, if we were trapped in our sin and there was no hope for us, why would you have the Proverbs? Why would you have the Bible? Why would you have any of this? You don't want to read the Proverbs and read it like you're sitting in front of the doctor that is announced that you have terminal cancer and there's nothing he can do for you.
The whole cast of the Proverbs is there is the possibility of redemption or the Proverbs doesn't make any sense and there are particular passages that get at this. Let me read a verse to you that I think is one of those that you have to dig deeper in to see the powerful theme of redemption here. This is Proverbs 20:12, I love this verse, this is one that you ought to put on the mirror that you look at every morning, “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both.” Now you may read that and think that we’re just talking about God as Creator here, and He creates your ear, and He creates your eye, and they wouldn't exist without Him. That's surely true!
But I don't think that that's what this passage is about. The Hebrew word for hearing here is ‘shema.’ That's, “Hear, O, Israel, the LORD your God, the LORD is one.” It means something deeper than hearing. The Hebrew use of that word ‘hearing’ is a term for listening, for paying attention, for submitting, for obeying.
Seeing expresses, in the Hebrew mind, it's a metaphor for insight, for understanding. You read this and it makes me think of Deuteronomy 29:4, “The Lord gives to the heart eyes to see.” Or, Psalms 119, “Open my eyes, that I may (see) wondrous things out of your law.”
The picture here is God, in the glory of His redeeming grace, doesn't leave me deaf and blind. Sin makes me deaf and blind; I can’t hear what I need to hear, and I can't see what I need to see. It's one of the curses of sin; it’s a horrible thing! It’s a horrible thing to live blind and deaf, and not know it.
You know, the Proverbs says, “God moves toward us, and in grace, He grants us a heart that hears, that sees.” And because we hear and see, conviction comes into our heart, and conviction is followed with confession, and confession is followed with forgiveness, and forgiveness is followed by a whole brand-new way of living, acceptance into the family of God, identity as a child of God. It all starts with God granting hearing and God granting understanding. That's redeeming grace. Apart from that grace we would never know God and we would not have any hope. The Proverbs presents to us redeeming grace!