The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 1:1-7 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Here we see in the Proverb, the purpose and necessity of Godly wisdom. Godly wisdom gives understanding. It teaches us the path of righteousness, justice, and equity. This wisdom transforms us from naive thinkers, into those who are shrewd, capable of discerning good from evil. Godly wisdom teaches even the oftentimes childish youth to exercise sound judgement. The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, and without hypocrisy (James 3:17). Godly wisdom will drive one to Christ, in whom are hidden ALL the treasures of true wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). True wisdom is found in those who fear the Lord.
Worldly wisdom is not so. James in his letter paints a dark picture of worldly wisdom. It is characterized by: bitter jealousy, selfish ambition, arrogance, lies, and disorder. It is demonic (James 3:15,16). The wisdom of the world reduces one's thinking to absurdity, leading to belief in things such as big bangs, evolution, and a broad spectrum of genders. Worldly wisdom contains a worm which weaves its way into our thinking and shapes our whole life. “Did God really say?". Because of pride and arrogance, we doubt God's Word, exchange the truth about God for a lie, worship the thing created rather than the creator, and God gives us over to depraved thinking. Fools, those who say "no God", despise wisdom and instruction. They are above being corrected. Fools will not endure sound doctrine. They will not submit to the teaching of God's Word, only to the authority of their appetite.
On page 20 of the book titled Always Ready, Dr. Greg Bahnsen says this regarding the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge:
“To make God's word your presupposition, your standard, your instructor and guide, however, calls for renouncing intellectual self-sufficiency - the attitude that you are autonomous, able to attain unto genuine knowledge independent of God's direction and standards. The man who claims (or pursues) neutrality in his thought does not recognize his complete dependence upon the God of all knowledge for whatever he has come to understand about the world. Such men give the impression (often) that they are Christians only because they, as superior intellects, have figured out or verified (to a large or significant degree) the teachings of Scripture. Instead of beginning with God's sure word as foundational to their studies, they would have us to think that they begin with intellectual self-sufficiency and (using this as their starting-point) work up to a "rational" acceptance of Scripture. While Christians may fall into an autonomous spirit while following their scholarly endeavors, still this attitude is not consistent with Christian profession and character. "The beginning of knowledge is the fear of Jehovah" (Prov. 1:7). All knowledge begins with God, and thus we who wish to have knowledge must presuppose God's word and renounce intellectual autonomy. "Talk no more proudly: let not arrogance come from your mouth, for Jehovah is a God of knowledge" (1 Sam. 2:3).”
So, in our passage we can clearly see two paths: a path of wisdom, with Christ as the foundation, and a path of folly, with our appetites leading us along. Which path do you find yourself on this morning?
Let us kneel if able, and ask God for Grace, forgiveness of our sins, and wisdom.
Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Father, though we are Your children, we frequently find ourselves led along by our appetites, walking down paths of foolishness. We do this in our arrogance, believing that we can be wise apart from You, and in those moments lack the Fear of You that true wisdom demands. Father please forgive us when we forget Who You are. Please forgive us for when we doubt Your hatred of rebellion and pride. Father we ask for Your mercy and grace. Please grant us eyes to see, and ears to hear. Please help us to hear the voice of Your Son, our Good Shepherd, and follow Him onto paths of righteousness. Father, please grant us wisdom, to discern good from evil, and the courage and strength and love for You and neighbor that we will need to exercise it. It’s in the name of Your Son Jesus we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Ephesians 1:7-14 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 6-23-19 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)