Discretion and Understanding

Day 143

Prayer for the day

You have made me glad by your acts, O LORD; and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.

Scripture for the day

1 Chronicles 22-24, John 8:28-59

If you have children like I do, you probably pray for them a lot! I know that I pray for my kids every day, that they would grow to love Jesus, that they would follow him all the days of their lives, that they would become beautiful men and women of God, and that they would be faithful in all their dealings with God and humanity. I pray they would be wise and discerning.

David had a similar prayer for his son, Solomon. David knew that God had conferred kingship on Solomon, and because of that knowledge, David begged God to give his son discretion and understanding, which are two attributes in short supply, both in First Testament times and today. Discretion is the ability to discern truth from lie, and understanding is the ability to take the truth and see its application in practical ways.

Jesus’ criticisms of the religious leaders run along similar lines as David’s prayer. His most biting words were that they did not really know the God they claimed to serve. They did not have discretion, in that they couldn’t discern the truth from the lie, and they lacked understanding. God’s emissary, God himself, was standing in front of them, telling them the truth about God the Father, about his plan, about his sending, about his mission, and about his character. And these men stood unbelieving in the presence of Jesus, claiming that he was all sorts of things (a Samaritan AND demon-possessed).

The lack of discretion and lack of understanding leads Jesus to charge the leaders with illegitimacy. He claims that they are not children of Abraham, children of God, as they claim, but are instead children of the enemy, because they refuse to recognize the things of the Father.

Blessed are those who have been gifted with discretion and understanding.

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