North Point 
Alliance Church 
English Ministry

Rev. Stera Chan
Pastor Lawrence Choy
+852 2807 5200

2/F Phase 2, Maximall
233 Electric Road
North Point, Hong Kong

The Light of Wisdom

By Rev. Arnold Chow

July 7, 2024

       Living in societies with advanced technologies, our perception of light is one of love and hate. Outdoors, we try to avoid the sunlight as we are afraid of getting tanned. Indoors, we try to filter out the blue light of PC screens as we are afraid of getting eye diseases. But many centuries ago, light used to be very important to both humankind and communities, especially when illumination devices were not readily available. That was why the oil lamps at home, the torches on the roadside, beacons on the coastline, the lights from castles – they all provide much-needed guidance for people so that they know the path to take.

       As a book of wisdom, the Proverbs also likens the right and wrong directions in life, and whether our choices are good or bad, to light and darkness. For example, “The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.” (Proverbs 13:9)

      Very often, the Book of Proverbs draws contrasts between the wise and the fool, the righteous and the wicked. The message is that although environment, wealth and destiny are all very important to the journey of life, the crux of the matter is truly what we say and do, and how we live with the people around us. Wisdom is knowing how to make the appropriate choice.

      When does man find the world bright and beautiful? Take a photograph for example. A captivating countryside with blue sky, white clouds and green pastures does soothe the nerves and delight the mind. But what if it is the scene of dreadful acts by some vicious people? That will take away the luster and the glamor of the scenery. On the contrary, a picture of a rustling and bustling marketplace may show an untidy alley or street corner. There may be nothing special about it. But what if it is where a good man does good? The grey composition will instantly become beautiful as it conveys the brightness of human nature. As such, whether we can see the good and the beautiful side of life really depends on the people in there.

      Therefore, the wise choice by a righteous man will not just be for his own good. His bright words and acts will shine on those around him.

      The Book of Proverbs can be divided into five parts. The first part from Chapter 1 through 9 comprises coherent passages. It is a prologue explaining wisdom. The most familiar verse in this section would probably be 9:10, which says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” It points to a choice that both believers and non-believers have to make on the path of life. It points out that the more we get close to the origin of wisdom, the more often we will receive the provision of wisdom to discern right from wrong, and to understand what is really good or bad for our lives.

      The passages in the second part of Proverbs (from 10:1 to 22:16) are not coherent. Some verses in this part can be classified as a small section according to theme. Some others just stand alone. Even so, the Proverbs can capture the wisdom of life in the span of two to three sentences. Skillfully crafted sentences convey the principles of life. They make it easy for us to pass on teachings to future generations.

      That will be what we are studying this quarter. May God shine on our lives with the light of the Book of Proverbs so we can live out the light and bring more goodness on earth.