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 14:31-35 He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him. The wicked is thrust down by his wrongdoing, But the righteous has a refuge when he dies. Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, But in the hearts of fools it is made known. Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people. The king’s favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, But his anger is toward him who acts shamefully.
“Better to remain silent and be thought of as a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt”. Ever heard this quote before? It is frequently attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Some say it was uttered by Mark Twain. Either way, it’s a pretty profound statement which points to the biblical truth that we are called to be “quick to listen and slow to speak” (James 1:19). Today’s Proverb proclaims that “Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, But in the hearts of fools it is made known” (Prov 14:33). Idle babbler comes to mind in regards to the fool who must share every thought, make known every feeling, verbalize each and every opinion on all matters.
Matthew Henry States regarding the fool who must make his “wisdom” known, "Openness and ostentation are a mark of folly. If fools have a little smattering of knowledge, they take all occasions, though very foreign, to produce it, and bring it in by head and shoulders. Or the folly that is in the midst of fools is made known by their forwardness to talk. Many a foolish man takes more pains to show his folly than a wise man thinks it worth his while to take to show his wisdom."
One example of the type of foolishness displayed by the idle babbler can be seen on social media. For instance a Pastor, who has studied God’s Word most of his adult life, whose sole job it is to rightfully divide the Word of God, shares a verse of scripture online along with a brief commentary and application, both of which are in accords with scripture and 2000 years of tradition in Church history. Suddenly, every fool with a keyboard chimes in to share their wisdom and tell said Pastor just how wrong and dumb he is for holding that particular theological position.
Another area of life in which this type of foolish talk can be seen is in how oftentimes we are very slow to recognize when we are engaged in casting pearls before swine, and in our sharing of “wisdom”, we wind up looking like the fool we are engaged with. I think of conversations with coworkers with whom I have shared the gospel many, many times. Over the course of 6 years and dozens of conversations, each discussion devolves into an opportunity for said coworker to mock, scoff, twist words, and make a spectacle of the whole affair, while never having a genuine desire to hear the truth or engage in an actual conversation. What ends up happening is that in my own pride to be right and not made a fool of, I wind up trying to tear down strongholds and lofty opinions with my own might and wisdom, rather than the word of God, and as the Proverb tells us: “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).
One last application that may hit close to home, is directed towards us as parents. To be sure, God’s Word is clear that we are to train our children up in the way they should go (Prov 22:6). In Deuteronomy 6, when it states “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (verse 7), there is no ambiguity when it comes to the issue of whether or not we are to teach our children the things of God. However, hand in hand with this doctrine, is the reality that in our teaching, instructing, and disciple, we are to NOT provoke our children to wrath (Eph 6:40. I am reminded of all the times this happens when, instead of applying God’s Word to a situation in the home because I fear for the soul of my Child, I, having been personally offended, browbeat said child with the multiplication of the words of the father, me, rather than lovingly applying God’s Word to the situation, which may mean not saying anything, and allowing natural consequences to be the teacher.
Brothers and sisters, the Proverb tells us that wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding. If you are a child of the Most High, you are indwelt with the Holy Spirit and have intimate access to the One in Whom are hidden ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Why waste an opportunity with your child or an unbeliever sharing your finite wisdom and displaying folly, when you can hold up the wisdom of God found in Christ Jesus? Consider that when we exercise restraint with our words, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we may well be removing a stumbling block from before our neighbor, taking away an opportunity for them to sin with their words. Our Lord Jesus was a lamb led to the slaughter, who was oppressed and afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth (Isaiah 53:7). Let us repent of the ungodly multiplication of our words,and ask our Father to grant us wisdom and restraint in conversation.
If you are able, please kneel as we confess our sins before God Almighty, whose lovingkindness extends to the heavens, and faithfulness to the skies (Psalm 36:5).
Father God, maker of heaven and earth.
We come before You this morning, only by the blood of Your precious Son Jesus, not in our power, strength, or wisdom, but by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.
Father, we oftentimes act and speak with zeal, but no knowledge. We frequently multiply our words in haste, feigning a defense of our faith, when in reality we seek to guard our own pride.
We argue and strive with our neighbor under the guise of advancing the Kingdom, claiming to be doing your will, but in reality we are seeking to build our kingdom and are tacitly saying “Our will be done”.
Please forgive us Father, for our arrogant use of words. Forgive us when we have sought to defend our pride, rather than to give a defense for the hope that is within us. It’s in Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Please join me in standing, and listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Psalms 126:5-6 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
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 03/15/2020 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)