The Cry of Wisdom

Posted on 08/26/2012 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 ***


*** There are no public prayer requests this week. ***



EVEN THE MOUNTAINS

We praise you Lord because you're worthy
You are Lord and King of the earth and sky
Let us lift you up and declare your glory
Let us lift our hands and our voices high

Even the mountains praise your name
the rocks and the stones cry Holy!
Whoever seeks for your face
will never be the same
Let your kingdom come
in Jesus' name

I'm an instrument, I am only a vessel
Help me open up to receive your love
Let us put to death thoughts of opposition
Let me step aside and point the world to above


I WILL BLESS THE LORD AT ALL TIMES

I will bless the Lord at all times
I will bless the Lord at all times
His praise shall continually
be in my mouth


BLESS THE LORD

Bless the Lord, O my soul
And all that is within me
bless his holy name

God is so good
God is so good
God is so good
He's so good to me

He saved my soul
He saved my soul
He saved my soul
He's so good to me

He is coming soon
He is coming soon
He is coming soon
Bless his holy name


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


Today, I'd like for us to review a topic we discussed five years ago. Now, I'm sure that YOU remember every single word from that message five years ago, but I just turned 40 yesterday, so I need a little refresher.

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

Proverbs 9:1-18 (KMV)

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.


And the title of today's message is, "The Cry of Wisdom."

Now I don't know about you, but looking around at what's going on around us, it's easy to suspect that wisdom is in short supply, as though wisdom is simply lacking in the world today. And yet this passage tells us that wisdom is everywhere, crying out in the busy streets, sending her messengers to point to the paths of life. The world is FULL of the wisdom of God; most people simply aren't listening.

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 its 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.

I recently watched a video in which a biologist was describing the relationship between us and bacteria (which is an interesting side-note that we are about 10% human cells, and the rest of us is bateria)... But she described a type of squid, I believe it was, that depends upon a certain kind of bateria to survive. These bacteria glow in the dark, and allow this nocternal creature to see at night, and to find its prey.

I'd like to play a little portion of the audio from that video, just to make a point about wisdom.

*** audio clip ***

The speaker made it plain she believes all of this happened by the process of evolution. I played only a small clip of the entire presentation, but she believes the squid evolved from a single-cell organism, and that all these ways in which it interacts with the glowing bacteria came about by random mutation. Basically, all this is the result of a bunch of accidents. Not wisdom, just chance. It's the fool who says in his heart, "there is no God."

If you really want to believe there is no God, I supposed you could make yourself belief this sounds reasonable. But let's be honest here... Doesn't it sound rather rediculous? This highly-complex design is FULL of brilliant wisdom, and someone's eyes have to be blinded or tightly shut to not see the wisdom of God crying out the glory, majest, and wisdom of an all-powerful creator.


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, and walk 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 the 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 we should consider that all these wonderful 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 tempting to try to force wisdom down someone's throat. People sometimes come among us for the purpose of causing division and turmoil; and sometimes we need to just realize and accept that 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 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. It's like throwing pearls before swine.

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 from where does wisdom come? How can we gain wisdom so that we will be teachable, and so that we can gain even more wisdom, along 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 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 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 type of 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 religious 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 a portion 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 to follow our own foolish heart.

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 way, 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 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 true 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. And if anyone else says anything wise, God said it first.

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.

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 the righteous fear of the Lord? Do you want to know Him better? Do you want to search after wisdom and find life?

If you want a closer walk with Jesus, and wish to dedicate yourself to searching after His wisdom, then you're invited to get out of your seat right now and make your way to the front.

Or 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, you can instant message one of us. And if you're listening at another location, you can go to almcyberchurch.org and click the Pastor's offices or prayer room and contact us there.

In a few minutes we'll meet next door for a time of fellowship, if time permits, so stick around if you can. But for now, come to the altar, and let us seek the wisdom of God, as we answer The Cry of Wisdom.


*** listen to the audio for the closing prayer ***