This Week's Gospel Sermons
Jackson Drive 2012 Fall Series
"Early Parables Of Jesus From Matthew"
Wednesday @ 7:00 PM
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Please Come And Be With Us For A Series Of Lessons From God's Word!
Presented By Paul Earnhart
October 21-26, 2012
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October 7, 2012
Working for Wisdom (2):
For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. (Proverbs 2:6-9)
Immediately preceedingour above text, in Proverbs 2:1-5, we find a conditional “if … then” statement relating to wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. IF you DO these things, THEN you will find success. If you — RECEIVE God’s words; Treasure His commands; make your ear ATTENTIVE to wisdom; INCLINE your heart to understanding; CRY for discernment; LIFT your voice for understanding; SEEK her as silver; SEARCH for her as for hidden treasure. Then you will — DISCERN the fear of the Lord and DISCOVER the knowledge of God.
The question then arises for some, “Why?” Other than just getting wisdom for wisdom’s sake, why should I get wisdom, understanding, and knowledge? Why should I turn to God to get wisdom? Can’t I just figure it out for myself? Can’t I just take care of myself? The book of Proverbs not only gives us the conditional statement, it gives us the “why we should want it,” too. Just notice what God does for us:
2:6 — He GIVES wisdom. He is the source of wisdom. One may gain many things by experience, but we do not have the capacity by trial and error to know everything. Regardless of what we think, we can’t know it all. Remember, when we ask God, He will give: “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.” (James 1:5).
From His mouth COME knowledge and understanding. Men often change their philosophy after seeing the results of some particular experience. God’s word has never changed. It has always been and always will be. Newspapers tell yesterday’s news; TV and the internet contain today’s news. They can’t tell me what will be important tomorrow even when they try to do just that. Conversely, the Bible is always relevant. God gives us what we need and what we need has not changed.
2:7 — He stores UP sound wisdom for the upright. God has a treasure house, or store house, that never runs empty. For those who seek Him and walk with Him uprightly, there is always an abundance. He will never withhold His wisdom and care. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11).
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity. Notice the recurring theme from the previous verse—God is our shield and He takes care of those who walk uprightly. As our shield, He provides strength to face all the troubles of life. “Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.” (Psalm 33:20). “My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken. How long will you assail a man, That you may murder him, all of you, Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence? They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position; They delight in falsehood; They bless with their mouth, But inwardly they curse. Selah. My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.” (Psalm 62:1-6).
2:8 — He is GUARDING the paths of justice. The righteous and the wicked are taking different paths. God is a God of justice and will not treat the righteous and the wicked alike (Genesis 18:25). Moses knew it, too. The conclusion of his blessing for Israel shows it: “Blessed are you, O Israel; Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, Who is the shield of your help And the sword of your majesty! So your enemies will cringe before you, And you will tread upon their high places.” (Deuteronomy 33:29). Hannah knew it. Her prayer of thanks for God blessing her with a son shows it: “He keeps the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail.” (1Samuel 2:9). God educates us, too. The best educated person in this world is the person who knows God’s word. Through it one gains a path of right and justice for life in the home, at work, and in relationship with others (Psalm 119:98-104).
He PRESERVES the way of His godly ones. Those who love God have the promise of His care and help. God has established a way and those that follow it can be assured of the outcome. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-31). Without fear of man or even death, faithful ones live with a sense of security, (Hebrews 13:5-6; Philippians 1:21).
The “why” having been established, the book restates again for us the “then” segment of our conditional statement as a part of the “why”: “Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course.” (Proverbs 2:9). How wonderful to be able to “separate” right from wrong, condemnation from acquittal, equity from insincerity, and to recognize the “good course”! “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17). “Thus says the LORD, ‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.’ But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” (Jeremiah 6:16). Work for the paths of God’s wisdom. Do not be one who says, “I will not walk in it.” See what you will gain by following God’s way:
For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you, To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things … To deliver you from the strange woman … So you will walk in the way of good men And keep to the paths of the righteous. (Proverbs 2:10-22)
—S. Scott Richardson Sr.