How does a person gain wisdom? Let’s turn to a person whom God gave wisdom and listen to some words of advice. We will walk through some of the passage of Solomon to gain godly wisdom.
A. Have you ever gone jewelry shopping, or maybe I should say “window shopping?” It is amazing the cost of rings, earrings, necklaces, broches, bracelets, watches and the like.
B. In 2014 the overall US fine jewelry sales was $68.8 billion, with $21.7 billion of that coming from the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
C. Many of us have a fascination with jewelry because jewelry represents wealth. In and of itself, that gold has no value to my life. I cannot eat it, I cannot wear it as clothing, I cannot use it for shelter unless I had an exorbitant amount. In and of itself, jewelry is simply a symbol of wealth or value.
D. But Solomon had the opportunity to ask from God for anything he desired. It could have been great wealth or great power, but instead Solomon choice great wisdom. In that wisdom Solomon would write short essays about wisdom and sometime he would write sentence sermons, points to ponder, quips to quote. Listen to Prov. 2:1-5 and hear what Solomon says about seeking wisdom. Wisdom is more valuable than fine jewelry. Is wisdom something YOU desire?
I. Using Fear Appropriately
A. Let me come back to our text in Prov. 1. The compilation of the Proverbs was done simply to help us look at them a little more thematically. So the first several chapters of Proverbs centers on the topic of wisdom.
B. Our text summarizes the proverbs in verse 7.
C. “The fear of the Lord.” Think about that for a moment. The concept of fear connected to knowledge, wisdom and instruction. Fear can be a good thing when used appropriately.
D. Jonathan Edwards was known as “fire and brimstone preacher” of the Puritan age and persuasion. So much so that it is said that some gasped and others clutched the pew lest they fall into the pit of Hell while he was speaking.
E. Is that the fullness of the idea of fear when connected to God? No. Yet is it important of have some sense of dread of what God can do? Yes.
F. Luke 12:4-5. Did you hear those words? Jesus, who is God and understands eternity, boldly stated that we should have some abject fear of the one who can cast us into hell. Absolutely this type of fear is important. But let Jesus finish his statement (READ Luke 12:6-7). The balance of fear is the respect that comes from knowing what God can do, and also knowing that you are so loved that he DOES NOT WANT to do that to you.
G. So let me make this as practical as I know how. Do you believe the Bible gives you the guidelines to answer every question pertaining to life and godliness? If you answer “yes,” then what does wisdom do? Wisdom listens, understands and then obeys.
H. Do you find it frustrating when someone comes to you seeking advice and then refuses to heed it? Don’t you want to look them in eye and ask, “Then why did you ask me if you weren’t going to listen to me?” Is it any different with God and His word that we call the Bible? Solomon says “Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
I. Listen to Prov. 1: 20-29. WOW! Is that a slap in my face or what? I cry out to God, he gives me the answer, but because I don’t like his answer, because I don’t want to change my way, I continue to face certain doom. But when that time comes for me to “pay the piper” and I find myself facing eternal judgement away from God, then I will cry out again, but this time God will not listen to me, but allow me to suffer the consequences of leading a life without fear, without knowledge, without wisdom.
II. Godly Wisdom
A. So that brings us to the type of wisdom we desire. Listen to Ex. 28:3. You may ask, “What does this verse have to do with wisdom?” Glad you asked.
B. The Hebrew word translated “wisdom” in the Bible is a bit more colorful than our English word. The Hebrew word is “chochma,” and it usually refers to some kind of skill or ability. It is first used here in this verse. The NIV translates the second word as “wisdom.” The KJV translates both words as wise. The idea is God used the wisehearted to make the garments for He gave them wisdom.
C. The weavers’ ability to follow God’s design for manufacturing the garments was labeled “wisdom.” From that point on, the Israelites equated wisdom with a skill for living, and wisdom has since been defined as “the skill to live life according to God’s plan.” The wise person is one who patterns his finances, his goals, his relationships, and every aspect of his life according to the specifications revealed in God’s Word.
D. Wisdom is what you need to fulfill God’s purpose for your life. God has a design for each of us. We need wisdom to fulfill that design.
A. Next week we will finish the topic of wisdom by looking at Job. But I want to leave you with James 1:5-8. Ask yourself this morning, “Do I desire Godly wisdom?” Do you ask that of God? When you ask, do you heed what he says or are you simply looking for God to affirm what you already believe? If you simply want God to tell you that your thinking is good when it’s not, then you unstable in all your ways.
B. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. If we can help you walk in way of God’s wisdom, then come as we stand and sing.