A text transcript of the message preached at Elijah Ministries on 28/02/10
Shall we pray...
It’s the end of February already…! How time flies!…
So how is 20-10 going for you? Has it been better than last year? Are you happier than you were last year? Are you more content? More at peace? Do you have more joy in your life than last year?
These are important questions, because a major part of every man’s desire on this earth is for happiness and satisfaction - all men desperately search for and desire these qualities in their lives. We do not all agree on what brings the greatest happiness, but we do all long and desire to have it.
And let’s face it, without happiness, there surely is no meaning to life, is there? Without happiness, there can be no fulfilment, no satisfaction.
It’s amazing that all humans, even Christians, we always want more. And despite what the Lord has already blessed us with - we are never quite happy with what we’ve got, never quite satisfied.
The beautiful home that you thought was so brilliant 5 or 10 years ago, is strangely, not quite good enough anymore. The job that the Lord blessed you with a few years ago, is no longer good enough. The blessings that were so awesome a few years ago…. are no longer good enough… We always want more.
Unfortunately, we are all too quick to forget our blessings. The ungrateful human heart. It knows know boundaries. And what’s really convicting, is that the Bible confirms this in Ecclesiastes 1:8, it says that the eye of man is never satisfied, and again in chapter 4:8 it says: the eye of man is never satisfied, not even with riches.
And Ecclesiastes goes on to teach us – that life on earth, with everything it has to offer – is absolutely meaningless without a relationship with the Lord. Without the Lord, everything is just vanity. And the reality that faces many of us, is that in many respects, life will be very much the same in 2010 as it was last year, without satisfaction… and why is that?
Because without Godly wisdom - we will never quite be satisfied.
Proverbs 27:20 says: Hell and destruction are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.
Now this is a big problem in the way that many of us measure our happiness.
Often, we pursue the world’s yardsticks for happiness.
How much money are we making? How successful we are in our business? What car do you drive? What clothes you wear? How popular you are at school? How many friends do you have on Facebook? How cool are you amongst your friends?
How many of us measure our happiness in life with the Biblical measures of Happiness?
· with how Jesus would measure it?
with how well we have followed His will?
Shouldn’t that be our yardstick, as Christians?
The point is, that God made us all to be happy. But not happy in the world’s definition. He made us to be… eternally happy.
Eternal happiness should be our goal and our ambition.
Eternal happiness is completely different to the world’s happiness, because it also involves the Peace that surpasses all understanding and the unspeakable Joy of having a relationship with the Lord…
These are 2 things that the world can never bring you. Never ever.
True Peace and true Joy.
It’s because, as Ecclesiastes says, life without the Lord is meaningless, there is no true happiness. No… satisfaction… it’s such an obvious concept that even Mick Jagger realised it!
The Bible says man will never be happy with what he’s got in terms of material goods, in terms of worldly wealth or in the things of the flesh.
But the great Hope, is that there is a way to get true satisfaction in your life, true happiness, eternal happiness … turn with me to Proverbs 19.
Keep a bookmark in Proverbs because we’ll be going there often.
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.
Here it tells us what we need to live a satisfied life…. and Proverbs says, it’s the fear of the Lord…
Go back a bit to Proverbs 9…
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
In order to have peace, contentment and satisfaction in your life, you need to have a reverent fear of the Lord. When you have this fear of the Lord, you begin to attain wisdom. But not wisdom in the worldly sense, it’s the wisdom of the Bible, the wisdom of God… and it’s this wisdom that I want to study today…
Now this a daunting subject, because the whole Bible is just jam-packed with the truths of Godly Wisdom. There are 31 chapters of wisdom in Proverbs alone and the books of Ecclesiastes and Job are also known as wisdom literature, not to mention the oracles of Paul and of our Lord Jesus. To complete a comprehensive sermon on Wisdom is therefore an impossible task, so today, we’re going to take a tiny facet of wisdom and see how it relates to eternal happiness. God willing, I pray it will be a blessing to you.
Everyone has their own favourite Scriptures relating to wisdom and because there are literally thousands of them, I apologise at the outset if I don’t include yours today.
And to begin this study, we would do well to turn to the Book of Wisdom - The book of Proverbs.
In Chapter 1, Solomon outlines the reason that he wrote Proverbs…
Proverbs 1:1 The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel: (2) To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, (3) To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity;
(4) To give prudence to the naïve; To the youth, knowledge and discretion,
(5) A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
(6) To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. (7) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
There is great wisdom for the child of God in the book of Proverbs. It gives the saint practical every day guidance and instruction - godly advice for how we ought to live our lives.
A Proverb is a short, wise, easy to learn saying, that calls a person to action. It doesn’t debate basic spiritual doctrines; it assumes that you already know them. The book of Proverbs focuses on God, on His character and it teaches us how we can live in close relationship with Him.
Some say that a Proverb a day keeps the devil away!
But let’s continue…
Turn with me to Proverbs chapter 4.
Solomon is writing, and he says:
Proverbs 4:1 Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, And give attention that you may gain understanding, (2) For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction. (3) When I was a son to my father, tender and the only son in the sight of my mother, (4) Then he taught me and said to me, Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live; (5) Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. (6) Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you. (7) The beginning of wisdom is: Get wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding. (8) Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honour you if you embrace her. (9) She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty. (10) Hear, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many. (11) I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. (12) When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; And if you run, you will not stumble. (13) Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life.
Go on to verse 20:
(20) My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.
(21) Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart.
(22) For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body.
(23) Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flows the springs of life. (24) Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you. (25) Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. (26) Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. (27) Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.
This is an amazing passage that states some of the benefits of striving for wisdom: and besides including the benefits of Eternal Happiness, they include benefits during this lifetime –
· a long and prosperous life
· favour with God
· a good reputation and solid judgement
· success, health, vitality
· riches, honour, pleasure, peace
· and God’s protection
All these things are possible, when you trust in God alone, when you hear His Word and obey.
Here in chapter 4, Solomon describes a heart to heart conversation between a father and a son. Right throughout this chapter there is the sentiment coming through:
“Son don't forget this advice, it’s critical. It will stand by you all the days of your life. This is the advice that my father gave to me, and I want you to listen to it very carefully. This is wisdom for life”.
And we ought to listen to it very carefully today too, but notice that this wasn't just an ordinary father, and it was no ordinary son.
Now who was Solomon’s father? None other than the great King David - and we know what was said of King David, that he had a heart after God's own heart.
I think we should listen today to a father who had a heart after God's own heart.
Another reason we should take this advice seriously, is that Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived - of course with the exception of our Lord Jesus.
Keep your place in Proverbs and turn with me to 1 Kings 4:
1 Kings 4:29 Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore. (30) Solomon's wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.
(31) For he was wiser than all men, and he gives a list of famously wise men; and his fame was known in all the surrounding nations. V(32) He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. (33) He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals and birds and creeping things and fish. (34) Men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.
So here we have this man Solomon giving advice - the wisest man on earth, who had a truly godly father – this is surely amongst the best advice you could ever get – for free – today, right here in the Scriptures.
The point of this Chapter and of the message this morning is that we should "get wisdom." We should make every effort to become wiser tomorrow than we are today. But instead of seeking the wisdom of the world, we need to seek the wisdom from above, the wisdom of God.
It’s amazing how everyone on earth seeks worldly wisdom. Everyone wants to be known or remembered as a wise person. Just walk into any modern book store, you can find thousands of books on self help psychology programmes, detailing quick and easy steps to success, to winning, to power, to riches.
So many people in this world turn to psychologists and guru’s to try and solve their problems, fix their marriages, to try understand themselves, to become successful in business, to make more money, to make more friends, to try gain wordly wisdom…. But the sad thing is, that without God, all that wordly wisdom is meaningless, it’s worth nothing. Whereas, right here, this book has all the answers - Proverbs is the greatest psychology textbook ever written.
And all the human philosophy and psychology ever written - Whatever it may be, it’s all foolishness in God’s eyes.
But that’s not to say we shouldn’t bother with education and learning.
Learning, reading and education is good, but we need to learn its rightful place, we need to put it into perspective – that any learning, any education, any knowledge - without God…. is worthless, without understanding.
We must recognize that Godly wisdom is absolutely necessary in order to have true understanding.
Formal education is important, because the Bible says that we should study to show ourselves approved, but it’s just one small part of becoming truly wiser…
By learning and becoming well read, you become wise in the world’s eyes, but in order to use that knowledge and education effectively, you need the wisdom from above, which brings it all together in understanding, so that we can effectively apply our knowledge in a way that pleases the Lord.
Turn to 1 Corinthians 3:18
1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.
(19) For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, "He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness"; (20) and again, "the LORD knows the reasoning of the wise, that they are… futile… useless."
So we’re beginning to get an idea now of why it’s so important to obtain this wisdom. We have already seen that all men seek happiness as their goal on this earth, but we have also seen that wisdom and the fear of the Lord are absolutely necessary before you can find that happiness.
Go back to Proverbs 3.
Proverbs 3:13 says, "Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gets understanding."
Proverbs 24:13 says, "My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off."
In other words, by means of wisdom you can make your way into a hope-filled future. It is the key to lasting happiness. Without wisdom, there is no hope.
Go to Proverbs 8 – verse 32 sums it all up beautifully.
Here wisdom herself is speaking and she says: Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, for blessed are they who keep my ways. (33) Heed instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. (34) Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. (35) For he who finds me finds life and obtains favour from the LORD. (36) But he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death.
Do you want life? Do you want favour from the Lord? Get Wisdom!
If we don’t make it our aim to "get wisdom," we will suffer injury and finally death.
This is why the command of Solomon is to: "Get wisdom; get understanding; get insight," – It’s so very important. It’s a matter of life and death. The ultimate, eternal happiness, that all people long for, will only be found by those who first get wisdom. The human thirst for happiness is insatiable, and if we do not have the wisdom to seek that happiness in God, and with God, then you will try find happiness in the world. Unfortunately, this is how the world out there works…
The sources where people seek happiness apart from God, are countless: with alcohol, drugs and sex, being the most common. But the happiness that these things bring, is fleeting, short-lived. They are not true and lasting. Never ultimate and eternal. This is not the joy for which we were made.
And, instead of the fulfilment that true wisdom brings, the trappings of the world leave us unsatisfied, frustrated, incomplete, empty - knowing that there must be something more. Do you remember that empty feeling you had before you found Jesus? Emptiness… without satisfaction.
The ultimate and eternal happiness that we all crave, can only be found by wisdom. It is therefore supremely important that we "get wisdom."
And throughout the book of Proverbs, Wisdom cries out and begs for us to listen… and it goes so far as to issue us with a dreadful warning…
Turn to Proverbs 1
Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square;
(21) At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: (22) "How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge? (23) "Turn at my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.
If we listen to Wisdom, we are promised the Spirit of Wisdom – the promise of the Holy Spirit, and His words will be made known to us… the will of God will be made known to you… what more could we want?
But if we don’t…
Verse 24: "Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; (25) And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; (26) I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, (27) When your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. (28) "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, (29) Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD. (30) "They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my advice. (31) "So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices. (32) "For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. (33) "But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil."
Wisdom cries out in the streets… when she calls you, don’t refuse her…
because when calamity comes into your life… it might be too late.
Today is the day of salvation! Tomorrow might be too late!
Heed the call of wisdom before it’s too late. Amen?
…..Anybody here today?!
So the question we need to ask is: what is true wisdom? What characterizes a person with Godly wisdom?
The first characteristic we know already:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10).
The wisdom that leads to life, to happiness and ultimate joy begins with fearing
So what does it really mean to fear the Lord?
is also a complete sermon on it’s own, so we’ll just briefly touch on this.
A good way to do this would be to remind ourselves of who the LORD really is.
Who is the God of the Bible, this God of Israel?
Turn with me to Exodus 3:
Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" (14) God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (15) God, furthermore, said to Moses, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
Now Hebrew for "I AM" is YHWH and can be pronounced YAHWEH - that is God's name. Whenever you see the word LORD in capital letters in your bible, or the word JEHOVAH, the original Hebrew word for that is YAHWEH – that is God’s name.
And it’s quite important to know what God’s name actually means, because it describes His nature quite perfectly.
YAHWEH means "the self-existent ONE”.
It means that He exists completely independently of anything and anyone. Completely and perfectly self-existent.
It means that the existence of all creatures depends on me.
The existence of all forms of life on this planet depend on me.
Can you comprehend that? The existence of all forms of life on this planet depend on me. How awesome and Almighty is that? That’s a good enough reason on it’s own to fear Him!
Yahweh is the One and Only God.
He is the Creator and Governor of the entire universe.
He is the God who spoke to Job and said:
Job 38:4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, can you even comprehend. (5) Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? (6) On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— Who said to the sea 'Thus far you shall come, but no further; And here shall your proud waves stop'?
Turn with me to Isaiah 40
Isaiah was talking about Yahweh, when he said in:
Isaiah 40:13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, who has advised Him? (14) With whom did He consult, and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding? (15) Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
Verse (17) All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. (18) To whom then will you compare God? Or what likeness will you compare Him with?
Are you getting a picture of how awesome this God of ours is?
But Isaiah goes on…. Isaiah 43
Isa 43:10 "You are my witnesses," declares Yahweh, "And my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. 11 I, even I, am Yahweh; and besides me, there is no saviour.
Isa 44: 6 Thus says Yahweh, the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me, there is no God.
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else;
I am God, and there is none like me,
Notice that the Lord searched the entire universe from 1st to last and found no allah, no buddha, no krishna, no apollo, no zeus, no holy cows, nor mother of God. He found no-one beside Him.
He is Yahweh. And Yahweh is awesome, almighty, holy, glorious, just, infinite, gracious, merciful, invisible, incomparable, completely wise and completely perfect – a whole list of very good reasons to fear Him. And isn’t it amazing that this incredibly awesome God loves you!
Yahweh said: and beside me there is no saviour… and that’s the whole point – that’s why you need to fear Him, because there is no-one else who can save you. You need to fear being without Him. You need to fear not knowing Him. You need to fear being outside the circle of His awesome love.
That’s what the fear of the Lord really is.
In order to fear Him, you first need to know who He is, but more importantly,
you need … to know Him. You need to have a relationship with Him…
You need to know Him.
He is the God, who loved us through His Son Jesus Christ, who died for you and for me.
He is the God who loves us enough to want us all to have eternal happiness,
Who loves us enough to desire a covenant relationship with you and with me.
And fearing the Lord means having a fear of not knowing Him.
It means fearing to seek refuge, and joy, and hope, anywhere else, other than in
God. It means acknowledging what a fearful prospect it is, to stop trusting and
depending on God to meet all our needs.
Can you imagine a life on earth without the Lord Jesus? Now that’s something to be really fearful of…
The fear of the Lord is, therefore, the beginning of wisdom, because all the later characteristics of wisdom, flow from the fear of the Lord.
Once we develop the fear of the Lord, we begin to attain wisdom…
but what happens from there…
Turn with me to James 3:
James 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behaviour his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. (14) But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. (15) This wisdom is not from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. (16) For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. (17) But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. (18) And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
These are the characteristics of wisdom that we should all be growing towards….
Go back to Proverbs 4
Solomon speaks of wisdom throughout Proverbs and we find that throughout the book, he makes wisdom a person.
He doesn't talk about wisdom as an 'it', he talks about wisdom as 'her'. He makes wisdom into a woman and her name is Sophia. The Hebrew word for wisdom is Chokmah, but the Greek word is Sophia. So wisdom is a woman.
Proverbs 4:6 "Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you. Verse (8) Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honour you if you embrace her. (9) She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty. Verse 13: Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life.
For all those young men out there looking for a wife… go find Sophia… she is very beautiful and she is all you need…
Wisdom is a wise woman.
Why are all the ladies smiling…? Now before you all get puffed up by how much wiser you are than men… please go to Chapter 5 of Proverbs, where you will see that Solomon also makes a woman out of…. wickedness.
My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding; (2)
That you may observe discretion And your lips may reserve knowledge. (3) For
the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; (4)
But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword.
Interesting reference to the 2 edged sword. What else is a 2 edged sword?
Hebrews 4:12 says For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.
which speaks of Jesus’ return:
In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword;
The sword is always an example of Divine judgement. And that’s what we see happening to the adulteress…
Proverbs 5, verse (5)
Her feet go down to death, Her steps take hold of Sheol.
(6) She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it. (7) Now then, my sons, listen to me and do not depart from the words of my mouth. (8) Keep your way far from her and do not go near the door of her house, (9) Or you will give your strength or honour to others and your years to the cruel one;
I find that statement in v9 very interesting… if you’ve ever seen someone dieing of AIDS, you will understand exactly what he is talking about here when he says she will give her strength away…
If you commit adultery, the chances are… sooner or later, you will give up your strength to others and your life will be shortened.
And you need to understand that committing adultery doesn’t only happen when you’re married. God has ordained a perfect marriage partner for you, somewhere out there, and each time you sleep with someone outside of marriage, you are committing adultery with someone else’s wife-to-be.
Sex outside of marriage is the same as adultery.
He says don’t do it, don’t fall prey to her…
So far, we have learnt that in order to become wise, we need to have the fear of the Lord, but before we can have the fear of the Lord, we need a special quality that is absolutely essential in every Christian’s life. That quality is humility.
Proverbs 11:2 says, "When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom."
The wise person is characterized by humility. The person who is proud does not fear the Lord, and the Lord hates a proud spirit. But the person who fears the Lord is humble, because he depends on God for everything, and takes no credit for what God does in his life.
Humility is the foundation for the other aspects of godly wisdom. Why?
Because humility is teachable, it’s open to change and it’s open to growth.
The proud person doesn’t admit his errors and doesn’t take correction easily –
he doesn’t recognise his need for growth. But the humble person is always open to constructive criticism, to counsel and to reason, and is always ready to be corrected.
Humility is essential for the advancement of wisdom.
Jesus said "Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon a rock" (Matthew 7:24).
Humble people hear the voice of God, they listen to His words and apply them in their lives. Wise men build their foundations on the rock that is Jesus Christ.
The beauty of the wisdom of God, is that when you really are humble enough to open yourself up in a relationship with Him, the Holy Spirit will direct your ways. This we can rely on. The Holy Spirit, the spirit of Christ living inside us. The still, small voice of God. The infinite wisdom of Christ – always there to help direct your paths. If you allow it. If you have a relationship.
A famous example from Solomon's life illustrates this perfectly. Turn to 1 Kings 3:16.
1 Kings 3:16 Then two women who were harlots came to the king and stood before him. (17) The one woman said, "Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. (18) "It happened on the third day after I gave birth, that this woman also gave birth to a child, and we were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, only the two of us in the house. (19) "This woman's son died in the night, because she lay on it. (20) "So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead son in my bosom. (21) "When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead; but when I looked at him carefully in the morning, behold, he was not my son, whom I had borne." (22) Then the other woman said, "No! For the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son." But the first woman said, "No! For the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son." Thus they spoke before the king. (23) Then the king said, "The one says, 'This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one'; and the other says, 'No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.'" (24) The king said, "Get me a sword." So they brought a sword before the king. (25) The king said, "Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other." (26) Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, "Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him." But the other said, "He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!" (27) Then the king said, "Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother." (28) When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.
There was no biblical command to tell Solomon what to do when the two prostitutes laid claim to the same baby. And so here we see that true Godly wisdom includes a sensitive discernment of the will of God; in allowing Him to direct your path - in all the circumstances of life.
And we have this discernment through the glorious gift of the Holy Spirit.
If only… we had a close enough relationship.
If only… we were sensitive enough to hear the voice of the Lord.
If only… we listened.
How many of us battle to find out what the will of God is in our lives?
You see, we have to have what Paul calls in Romans 12:2 a "renewing of the mind", which is then able to examine and approve the will of God.
Rom 12:2 says And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Paul calls this "spiritual wisdom". Turn with me to Colossians 1…
Colossians 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
It is by saturating our minds and hearts with God's Word that we gain spiritual wisdom, which through the Holy Spirit, is able to guide us in all situations. When this happens, look what follows:
Verse (10) so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (11) strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; (12) joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
What a marvellous hope – to share in the inheritance of the Saints. And it all happens if we are filled with the knowledge of His will…
The knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…
Go back to Proverbs 4
Verse 7 - Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
If I can read it to you in the Amplified Version:
Chapter 4 and verse 7 translates it:
Prov 4:7 The beginning of Wisdom is: get Wisdom - skilful and godly Wisdom! For skilful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing. And with all you have gotten, get understanding, discernment and comprehension.
Understanding, discernment and comprehension are integral parts of godly wisdom.
Then if you look at verse 11: 'I have taught you in the way of skilful and godly wisdom, which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God'.
Comprehensive and complete insight into the will of God in your life?
This is available to all of us!
Through His Word.
Through a prayerful and close relationship with Him.
Through the Holy Spirit that abides in us.
How do we get this wisdom?
Proverbs chapter 2 and verse 6 says:
'For the LORD gives wisdom: out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding'.
If you want Godly wisdom you won’t find it in a man's book. You will only get it if you submit in humility to God, because He alone can give that wisdom.
Turn to James Chapter 1 and verse 5:
James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
And there in this verse is a critical element of Godly wisdom - you're not going to ask God for wisdom unless you know that you lack wisdom.
And if you think that you're wise, then you’ve missed the whole point.
The man who prays for wisdom is the man who knows of his utter dependence on God.
We need to ask ourselves today: Does my life show my absolute dependence upon Him? 'Let him ask of God that gives to all men liberally, and it shall be given him'.
But don’t be under any illusion about this wisdom. You won’t become very popular with the people around you… Instead, in the world’s eyes, you will be classed as a fool.
1 Corinthians 1: talks about how the preaching of the cross is foolishness for those who are unsaved.
You see, by having God’s wisdom in your life, you must know and accept that you
are going to be seen as an absolute fool. The people in the world will think
you’re mad, that you’ve lost your marbles. This is because they don’t
understand, they cannot comprehend or receive the wisdom of God – because it is
John 1:5 says The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not.
Please turn with me to Philippians chapter 3:10.
This is Paul's motto that we know all too well…
In this passage, Paul talks about the desire of his heart, and the desire of his heart in verse 10, reads:
that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; (11) in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Remember in the beginning of this study we saw that Solomon said in Proverbs Chapter 9 v10 that wisdom is the knowledge of the Holy.
Well here in Philippians, Paul is looking for that wisdom… for that knowledge of the Holy… and his desire is…
that … I... may… know Him.
And this is the crux of the matter…
Do you know Him? Do you truly know Jesus?
In closing, please go back to Proverbs 3
Proverbs 3:13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. (14) For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold. (15) She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. (16) Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honour. (17) Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace. (18) She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.
Do you want happiness?
Then Get wisdom!