The Cry of Wisdom

Posted on 01/21/2007 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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TRANSCRIPT:

King David wrote, "I was glad when they said unto me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord today!'" Are you glad to be in the "house of the Lord" today, together with his people, here to glorify his name, to tell of his mighty deeds, to revel in his love, and to feast at his table?

As the praise team comes to the front, let's all stand to our feet and enter his gates with thanksgiving in our hearts, and let us enter his courts with praise. This is the day the Lord has made, let's rejoice and be glad in it!

Lord God, thank you for this brand new day. Thank you that you love us, that you sent your only begotten Son to pay the penalty for our sins so we could be in your presence today and for all eternity.

We praise you for all you're doing in the world today, and for what you're doing in our lives and the lives of those around us. We thank and praise you that as we continue to seek a closer walk with you, and as we continue to pray for you to prepare hearts and send more laborers into the harvest, we will see an ever-increasing harvest of souls into your kingdom, snatched out of the jaws of hell, saved by your precious blood, and gloriously transformed by the righteousness, peace, and joy of your Holy Spirit and by the power of your Word.

Be here with us today as we praise and worship you, and open our minds and hearts to what you are going to speak and do in us today.

And it's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen!

Click-touch the pulpit for a notecard, as we worship God with song.

I WILL ENTER YOUR GATES

I will enter your gates
    with thanksgiving in my heart
I will enter your courts
    with praise
I will say this is the day
    that the Lord has made
I will rejoice for
    you have made me glad!

You have made me glad,
    you have made me glad
I will rejoice for
    you have made me glad


NOBODY LIKE YOU

(There's) Nobody like you Lord
Nobody like you
Nobody like you Lord
    You are worthy

(repeat)

You alone are King of Kings
You alone are Lord of Lords
You alone are worthy there is
    No one else like you

Every knee on earth will bow
Every tongue confess that you are
Lord above the heavens,
    There is no one else like you!


THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU

There is none like you
No one else can touch my heart like you do
I could search for all eternity long and find
There is none like you

Your mercy flows like a river wide
and healing comes from your hands
Suffering children are safe in your arms
There is none like you


Lord, there truly is no one else like you! Your love is so deep, your power so high, your knowledge so endless, your mercy so present, your wisdom so complete; and we worship you Lord.

As we stay in an attitude of worship, you can take a seat if you like, and we will open up the Word of God and hear him sing over us.

Let's read from the book of Proverbs, chapter nine.

1. Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven  pillars.
2. She has slaughtered her cattle, she has mixed her wine, and  she has prepared her table.
3. She has sent forth her maidens, and she cries out from the  high places of the city,
 
4. "Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!" and to him who  lacks understanding she says,
5. "Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have  mixed.
6. "Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of  understanding."
 
7. He who corrects the arrogant is put to shame, and he who  rebukes a wicked man receives insults.
8. Do not correct the arrogant, lest he hate you. Correct a wise  man, and he will love you.
9. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will become even  wiser. Teach a righteous man, and he will increase his learning.
 
10. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the  knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11. For by me your days shall be multiplied, and the years of  your life will be increased.
 
12. If you are wise, you will be the one to benefit; but if you  are arrogant, you will be the one to suffer.
 
13. Foolishness is boisterous; she is naive, and knows  nothing.
14. For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the high  places of the city,
15. Calling to those who pass by, who walk upright in their  path,
 
16. "Whoever is naive, let him turn in here," and to the one who  lacks understanding, she says,
17. "Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is  pleasant."
 
18. But he does not know that the dead are there, and that her  guests are in the depths of hell.


My message today is titled, "The Cry of Wisdom."

Sometimes it seems as though wisdom is in short supply, as though wisdom is simply lacking in the world today. And yet we see that wisdom is everywhere, crying out in the busy streets, sending her messengers to point to the paths of life.

In verse one, wisdom has built her house, and put in place seven pillars, symbolizing a complete and perfect foundation.

Do you realize how perfect, complete, and secure the foundation built by wisdom is? In Proverbs 3:19 we read, "The LORD by wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding  has he established the heavens."

The universe and all it contains, all its laws, it workings, the order by which it continues, in all it complexity, to prosper. From the continual orbiting of moons around planets and planets around stars, to the intricate workings of the body and mind, from the dew which prepares the earth for the rising of the sun, to the perfect balance of nature, all we see around us created by God was founded upon wisdom.

In the second verse of chapter nine, wisdom has slaughtered her cattle, mixed her wine, and prepared her table. Wisdom has prepared a feast for you and for me -- this is something that has already been prepared.

In verse three, she has sent forth her maidens, her messengers, those who declare the paths of wisdom, saying,

"Whoever is naive, come find wisdom! And if you have any confusion, or if there's anything in your life or the world you don't understand, come eat of wisdom's bread, and drink of her wine; forsake foolishness, and live, walking in the ways of understanding."

Don't we see an aweful lot of confusion in the world today? And aren't there so many things that cause men and women to stumble, things they just don't understand and can't reconcile?

Wisdom cries out to them, urging them to step off the path of confusion and destruction, and walk instead on paths of peace.

The pricelessness of living by and seeking after wisdom is impossible for us to comprehend.

Over in chapter three, starting with verse thirteen we read,

13. Happy is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who aquires  understanding.
14. For her worth is more costly than silver, and her value is  greater than fine gold.
15. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you can  desire cannot be compared with her.

16. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand  are riches and honor.
17. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are  peace.
18. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her, and  happy is every one who keeps her.
 
19. The LORD by wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding  has he established the heavens.
20. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds  drop down the dew.
 
21. My son, do not let them depart from your eyes; keep sound  wisdom and discretion.
22. They will be life unto your soul, and grace to your neck.
23. Then you will walk in your way safely, and your foot will not stumble.
24. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie  down, and your sleep will be sweet.


Do you want to be happy? Then find wisdom, for "Happy is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who aquires understanding."

Do you want a long life and full days? Then find wisdom, for "Length of days is in her right hand."

Do you want pleasantness and peace? Then find wisdom, for "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace."

Do you want be full of life and joy? Then find wisdom, for "She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her, and happy is every one who keeps her."

Do you want stability in your life, and be able to stand through the most terrible storms? Then find wisdom, for "The LORD by wisdom has founded the earth, and by understanding he has established the heavens."

Do you want to live life in safety? Then find wisdom, for "Then you will walk in your way safely, and your foot will not stumble."

Do you want to sleep soundly, to lie down without fear, and have sweet, peaceful sleep? Then find wisdom, for "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down, and your sleep will be sweet."


We tend to think of wisdom as something we can either take or do without, but all these things that wisdom brings, the absense of wisdom takes away.

Do you want to be robbed of happiness? Then don't seek after wisdom, for "Happy is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who aquires understanding."

Do you want your time, the precious few days of your life, to slip away like sand through your fingers? Then don't seek after wisdom, for "Length of days is in her right hand."

Do you want turmoil and unnecessary pain? Then don't seek after wisdom, for "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace."

Do you want always feel drained, have your passion and spark dwindle, and never be able to hold on to lasting joy? Then don't seek after wisdom, for "She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her, and happy is every one who keeps her."

Do you want an unstable life, not being able to stand through the storms of life? Then don't seek after wisdom, for "The LORD by wisdom has founded the earth, and by understanding he has established the heavens."

Do you want to live in unsurity and dread, falling to trials and temptations over and over again? Then don't seek after wisdom, for "Then you will walk in your way safely, and your foot will not stumble."

Do you want to have your sleep robbed from you, to toss and turn at night, to lie awake in fear? Then don't seek after wisdom, for "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down, and your sleep will be sweet."


Starting in verse seven of chapter nine, we read, "He who corrects the arrogant is put to shame, and he who  rebukes a wicked man receives insults. Do not correct the arrogant, lest he hate you. Correct a wise  man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will become even  wiser. Teach a righteous man, and he will increase his learning."

I don't know about you, but it just seems so easy to try to force wisdom down someone's throat. People come to cause division and turmoil, and sometimes we need to realize they have not come to accept wisdom but to mock it.

People live in the ways of the world, and sometimes we need to realize preaching at them isn't going to change their hearts, only God can do that, rather preaching wisdom to them will result in insults and shame.

But someone whose heart seeks after wisdom, someone who is searching for the truth, that person will accept that wisdom and incorporate it into their lives, and they will gain insight and understanding.


So where does wisdom come from? How can we gain wisdom so we will be teachable, and can gain even more wisdom with all her untold riches?

Verse ten tells us, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."

When we think we can go through life putting God on the back burner, pretending we don't hear his voice, and putting off seeking him until tomorrow, we show that we are lacking in the fear of the Lord.

When we think we can live another moment without surrendering our lives to Jesus and becoming a part of his family, we show that we are lacking in both the fear of the Lord and in wisdom and understanding.

Lord, teach us to fear you -- not to be afraid of you in terror, but to have deep reverence and awe of you, remembering you are the supreme judge, that you have given us the way to be made holy, and that you are coming for a bride who is without spot or wrinkle.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the deeper we walk with him, the more we will know him and will gain understanding.

So we've talked about the call of wisdom. But doesn't foolishness call to us as well? Don't we see her peddling her wares from every direction?

In verse thirteen we see that "Foolishness is boisterous; she is naive, and knows nothing. For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, calling to those who pass by, who walk upright in their path, 'Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,' and to the one who lacks understanding, she says, 'Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.'" But he does not know that the dead are there, and that her guests are in the depths of hell."

Notice here that foolishness uses the same call as wisdom, but her message is very different.

Wisdom says, "Come eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mixed."

Foolishness says, "Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."

Can you see that all around you?

One voice says, "Come to me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Another voice says, "All you need is in yourself, you don't need anyone else -- after all, you're not some weakling who needs a crutch."

One voice says, "Rejoice in the wife of your youth, and let her breasts satisfy you."

Another voice says, "Nothing keeps a relationship alive like a little bit of flirting with someone else, or by having a secret affair. Isn't the forbidden so exciting and irresistable?"

One voice says, "You need to report that income on your taxes and bring 10% of it into the church."

Another voice says, "The government gets enough of your money, and so does the church. You don't need to tell anyone about it, because it's yours!"

One voice says, "Bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, for if you think about it in your heart, you are guilty of doing it."

Another voice says, "It doesn't hurt to think about it as long as you don't do it."

One voice says, "Take care of your body, it's the temple of the Holy Spirit."

Another voice says, "Live a little! You have to die some time, might as well have fun doing it!"

Wisdom tells us to turn away from foolishness, from the ways of the world.

Foolishness tells us to turn in the direction that feels right to us.

And finally, verse eighteen tells us, "But he does not know that the dead are there, and that her guests are in the depths of hell."

That phrase "the depths of hell," also translated "sheol," is translated in the Lexicon as:

abode of the dead
place of no return
place of exile
extreme degradation in sin

You see, foolishness, which is any way that is not God's ways, is death, it is a place that traps you and keeps you from returning to the paths of life, it is a place of exile from the presence of the Lord, and it leads those trapped by it ever closer to extreme degradation in sin.

We all do things that are not wise. We have all walked in the ways of foolishness, in the ways of the world, in the ways of our fleshly, carnal nature.

Romans 8:13 tells us, "For if you live after the flesh, you will die; but if you through the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live."

And Proverbs 2:6 says, "For the LORD gives wisdom; out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding."

You won't find wisdom through any of the religions of the world. Buddah can't give you wisdom. Mohammad can't give you wisdom. The Dahli Lama can't give you wisdom.

The LORD gives wisdom; out of HIS mouth comes knowledge and understanding.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One IS understanding.

You won't find the path of wisdom, the path of life, the foundation of the laws and ways of the universe, in any religion or false leader. You will find wisdom only in the Lord, in his presence, in his Word, and in daily intimate fellowship with him.

The ministry team can come to the front now.

Scripture tells us that those who seek for wisdom as for hidden treasures will find her. As God says in Jeremiah 29:13, "And you will seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart."

Do you want more wisdom? Do you want more understanding? Do you want to grow in righteous fear of the Lord? Do you want to know him better? Do you want to search after wisdom and find life?

This altar is open.

If you want a closer walk with Jesus, and wish to dedicate yourself to searching after his wisdom, come to the altar.

If you realize you've been walking on some foolish paths and you're ready to turn aside from those paths of death and seek after God's wisdom, come to the altar.

Or perhaps you have not yet given your life to Jesus, or you're not sure, and you want to begin walking on his paths of life, come to the altar.

If you need prayer or ministry, instant message one of the ministry team.

In a few minutes we'll meet next door for a time of fellowship, so please don't leave. Come to this altar now, and let's seek the wisdom of God. Come!