Wisdom's Cry

Posted on 03/20/2011 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:


My friend is being bullied. I pray for justice to the bullies.
    -Lizzie

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Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.

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JEHOVAH JIREH

Jehovah Jireh, my provider
    His grace is sufficient for me
        (repeat)

My God shall supply all my needs
    according to His riches in glory
He gives his angels charge over me
    Jehovah Jireh cares for me,
        Jehovah Jireh cares for me

SING A NEW SONG

Sing unto Lord a new song
    sing unto the Lord all the earth
        (repeat)

For God is great,
    and greatly to be praised!
        (repeat)

IT IS YOU

As we lift up our hands
    will you meet us here
As we call on your name
    will you meet us here
We have come to this place
    to worship you
God of mercy and grace

It is you we adore
It is you praises are for
Only you, the heavens declare
It is you, it is you

Holy holy is our God Almighty
Holy holy is his name alone (yeah)
Holy holy is our God Almighty
Holy holy is his name alone

As we lift up our hands
    as we call on your name
Will you meet us in this place
    by your mercy and grace


*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***


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.


Today's message is titled, "Wisdom's Cry."

As we look around us, it can sometimes seem 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 has 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.

It is a feast, and it is not lacking. The secular world often portrays Godly wisdom as lacking, whether that lack is scientific or a matter of general intellect. But it is the fool who says in his heart, "There is no God," and as Romans 1:20 says, the evidence of God is made obvious in what He has made, so that they are without excuse. Wisdom has prepared a feast, and has invited everyone to come and dine.

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 to 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 leave, like a lunch buffet; 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 your spark of life 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 uncertainty 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 try to cause division and turmoil, and sometimes we need to realize they are not here to accept wisdom, but to mock it.

People live in the ways of the world, and sometimes we need to realize that 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 so we 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 that You are the supreme judge, that You have made the way for us 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 the more we 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 everywhere we go?

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 you 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 into deeper and deeper 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, through the Spirit, you put to death the deeds of the body, you will 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, even if they speak many of her words and principles. You will find the true source and fullness of wisdom only in the Lord, in his presence, in his Word, and in daily intimate fellowship with him.

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?

You're invited to get out of your seat and come gather at the front for a time of seeking God and surrendering to Him.

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'd like someone to talk or pray with you, feel free to instant message me or Mariposa. Whenever you need to leave, you're dismissed, and I pray you have a week that is filled with the presence and the wisdom of God.

In a few minutes we'll meet in the Fellowship Room to your left for a time of fellowship, and if you can stick around, I hope to see you there.

Let's gather at the front, and let's seek the wisdom of God, as we answer Wisdom's Cry.