The Call of Wisdom

Scripture: Proverbs 1:7, Exodus 19:16, Proverbs 11:30
Date: 01/03/2015 
Lesson: 1
"From Eden onward, the root of human tragedy lies in wrong choices. ... The book of Proverbs is all about helping us to make right choices, to choose the way of God and not that of the deceiver."
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Hello friends, I'd like to welcome you back to a fresh installment of 'Sabbath School Study Hour.' I'd like to welcome our local audience here - the members of the Granite Bay church. This is our Tuesday evening prayer meeting and we're meeting here back in the Amazing Facts studios. Also, a very warm welcome to those joining us across the country on the various television networks and also watching online. We're starting a brand-new study series dealing with the book of Proverbs. It's the lesson quarterly entitled 'Proverbs' and we're going to start with lesson #1 today.

If you would like to follow along with our study, you can download this week's lesson at the Amazing Facts website. Go to the Amazing Facts website, click on the Sabbath School Study Hour and you'll be able to download the information right there. Also, you can go to the Granite Bay church website, '' and you can download this week's study and study along with us - share it with your friends as well - encourage them to get into the word - just really looking forward to this study on the book of Proverbs. We have a free offer we'd like to let you know about. It's entitled 'the ultimate resource' - a little book written about the Bible, by Pastor Doug Batchelor, and we'll send this to you for free.

All you'll need to do is call our resource phone number, that is 866-788-3966 and ask for offer #728, entitled 'the ultimate resource' and we'll be happy to send that to you or anybody who calls and asks for it. Before we begin our study, let's just ask the Holy Spirit to come and guide our hearts and minds. Let us pray. Dear Father, once again we are grateful for the opportunity to gather together to study the Bible. As we look at this important book filled with wise counsel, we do ask for the Holy Spirit to come and guide our hearts and our minds and lead us into a deeper and fuller understanding of your will for our lives, for we ask this in Jesus' Name.

Amen. I'd like to welcome Pastor Doug Batchelor who will be leading us in our study today. Thank you Pastor Doug. Thank you Pastor Ross and hello friends that are part of our class here in the granite bay area and I want to welcome those who are watching online. To our extended class, we're very excited, as Pastor Ross shared, because we're beginning a new lesson.

And I told him earlier, I said, 'you better teach some of these because I don't feel qualified to talk about wisdom. But that's our subject for the next thirteen weeks. We're going to be talking about the Proverbs. Now, if you take your Bible, you'll notice something right away, if you turn to the book of Proverbs - we'll get to the memory verse in just a minute - it's just in the middle of the Bible and Proverbs is a book that was written by Solomon and - maybe first what we'll do is the memory verse and then I'll delve into a little more about the author of the book and some of the content that we're going to be studying. What we're going to try and do as we go through this quarterly together, is the goal is to get all the way through the book of Proverbs.

There are 31 chapters in Proverbs and I know some people that say if you read one chapter you can do it like monthly - and - for the months that have 31 days in it. Hopefully we'll get through chapters one through three. I'm sure we won't be able to read every verse, but that's what our mission is, to try and cover the principle teachings in chapters one through three. Our memory verse today is from Proverbs chapter 1, verse 7 and Proverbs 1:7, if you'd say that with me here in our lesson, it's out of the new king James version. Are you ready? "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and Instruction.

" And so the real source of all true wisdom is having that relationship with God and having it grounded in the Word of God. Now, when you look in the book of Proverbs - right at the very beginning, the first verse, "the Proverbs of Solomon The Son of David, king of Israel:" - now I probably ought to say something about the author. Was Solomon qualified to write a book about wisdom? Only one other person I can think of that might be more qualified and that would be Jesus. Solomon's name is really related to the name 'peace.' And it means saloamon and it means 'his peace' or 'the peaceful one.' Solomon is a type of Jesus in the Bible. For one thing, he is The Son of David; Christ is called The Son of David.

And nathan the prophet, who probably was Solomon's tutor, so - and there's good reason for believing that - nathan the prophet comes to king David one day - this does all segue into the book of Proverbs - and David is praying, he wants to build a temple to the Lord, and nathan says God's told me to tell you that you will not build the temple personally' - even though David amassed all the money for building the temple - and materials from all of his conquests, he said, 'your son'll do it.' And here's that prophecy: 1 Chronicles 17, verses 11 through 15 - by the way, I'll attach the notes so that when you go to the amazing facts Sabbath school website, you'll also find the notes there. And you'll also find you can look at the lesson online as well and even the free offer that we mentioned. Chronicles 17, verse 11, "and it shall be, when your days are fulfilled," - nathan is speaking to David - "when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me a house, and I will establish his throne forever." - Who is this son of David who was to build a house for the Lord that was to last forever? Is that talking about Solomon? Or is it talking about Jesus? Or could it be this is an example of what you would call a dual prophecy, in the Bible, where David's thinking about literally building a temple for God. David's son Solomon did build the temple of God - the permanent temple - but beyond that, it's much bigger.

Jesus said, 'destroy this temple made with hands and in three days I'll make one without hands.' And so there it's speaking about the church of God. And so Solomon is a type of Christ. So when you read the book of Proverbs, just remember you're reading from the mind of somebody who was as close to God as anyone could be at that time. When you look at the history of Israel, from the time God called Abraham, you'll see that it's just a roller coaster. Everything from the captivity - Abraham had his ups and downs and Isaac and the children of Israel and Moses made a lot of promises to the children of Israel.

'When you get into the promised land, you'll be, you know, the head and not the tail.' 'You'll be the leader. I'll bless you from heaven.' The actual zenith the climax of all the blessings God had ever promised to Israel was experienced for a few brief years - probably 25 - years, during the reign of Solomon. Matter of fact, you may have heard me mention before - it's very interesting, you find the number 6-6-6 twice in the Bible. Once, of course, Revelation, the other time is during the reign of Solomon it talks about when the queen of sheba came - all the nations were coming to hear of his wisdom and the queen of sheba comes and, it mentions, '666 talents' - and after that number then it says, 'but Solomon loved many foreign women.' Right after that number is mentioned the Kingdom just starts to take a dive and - I just - I don't know, that always struck me as interesting. But the book of Proverbs was written during the time of Israel's zenith - during the time when they were at their golden, glorious moment.

He was just pouring forth this wisdom and you can't really read the book of Proverbs without thinking about the experience with the queen of sheba - all these nations are coming because they hear of this great wisdom of Solomon and among the nations that come, of course, this queen comes with her caravan just loaded with gold - she brought gold and she brought spices and animals and servants and all she wanted - she says, 'I've heard of your great wisdom and I wanted to see if all of the extraordinary things I've heard are true. You know, usually rumors are much bigger than reality. So he spends some time with her and there's nothing in the Bible that said they had any kind of romantic relationship - that's all hollywood - and, I mean, he had lots and lots of wives, he didn't need the queen of sheba - and so he answered her questions and was very respectful. She represented another kingdom - but when she got done looking at the Kingdom and the temple and his house and his servants and their clothing and gold everywhere, the Bible says 'silver was like stones' in Israel at that time because there was so much of it in the kingdom - that that's where you get the word 'breathtaking.' You've heard the word 'breathtaking?' She said there was no more spirit left in her and the word there is 'breath.' And she said, 'half of what they told me about you - I've only heard half of it. I couldn't believe it until I saw it for myself - your wisdom.

Blessed are your servants. Blessed are those who serve before you.' And that's really a type of Christ. How blessed we will be. So this is the time when he's writing all of these Proverbs. Now something else I should say about Solomon before I leave that and we're still talking about the author - Solomon, how did he get his wisdom? Supernaturally and physically.

Supernaturally because it says in 1 Kings chapter 3, 'Solomon loved the Lord, walking in all the commandments of the Lord and when he became king he went and he made this great sacrifice to the Lord and God appeared to him in a dream by night and he said, 'ask what I can do for you.' And Solomon asked for wisdom. He asked for an understanding heart that he might know how to discern between good and evil. He had a humble attitude. He said, 'I'm just a child. I don't know how to go out or to come in and here you've made me the ruler of this vast kingdom.

' He said, 'give me an understanding heart that I can lead your people. I need wisdom.' And because he asked for that - and really, you know what he was asking for? It's the Holy Spirit. When you ask God for wisdom, that's one of the attributes of the Holy Spirit and James says, 'if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally.' Of course, we studied James for thirteen weeks just before this. So he was praying for the Holy Spirit. And did God answer his prayer? God said, 'because you've asked this thing and you didn't ask for riches, you didn't ask for long life, you didn't ask for vengeance on your enemies, I'm going to give you everything else but I'm going to also give you wisdom.

And then it goes on and it begins to say, 'there was nobody as wise as Solomon.' And we'll get to that in just a minute. So one thing is he supernaturally was given the gift of the Holy Spirit. But how wise was Solomon when he turned away from the Lord? 'The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.' After Solomon began to disregard God's commandment about don't multiply wives, and then you see it says, 'he multiplied wives.' God said, 'do not multiply silver and gold.' He multiplied silver and gold. It said, 'do no multiply horses from Egypt' - meaning armaments - and it says, 'he brought all these horses out of Egypt.' Three things Moses said that they weren't to do, Solomon started to do. And then he began to compromise because his wives began to press him in his latter years saying, 'oh, it's not fair.

You know, we miss our homes. We weren't raised with this religion. Can I just have one little God to keep in my - in my room?' And he said, 'alright, I won't make a big deal.' And then the started wanting the little Gods in the hallway and the next thing you know the little Gods were in the palaces and all their Gods from the different kingdoms, eventually they were in the temple. And I'm sure it didn't happen overnight. It happened by little compromises that were made, and constant pressure.

And so when his fear of the Lord began to wane, his wisdom began to wane. But, fortunately, we believe that Proverbs was written, not so much Ecclesiastes, Proverbs was written during his best years. But he also, genetically, I think, had some advantage. Who was his father? David. Now, you remember how Solomon came to be is - Solomon, who is his mother? Bathsheba.

Bathsheba and did David and bathsheba go through a regular courtship and marriage or did it have all the wrong beginnings? Did David have - did Solomon have an older brother that died in his infancy because of the sin of David and bathsheba? And then it's interesting that after that it says, in 2 Samuel , 'David comforted bathsheba, his wife.' - First God pronounces a judgement on David and he says, 'you took the wife of uriah.' And after David thoroughly repents - as much as anyone can - I mean he was on his face praying for seven days - God forgave him and then it says, 'David comforted his wife.' So in spite of the fact they got a very bad beginning, did God ultimately accept that bathsheba was his wife? David comforted his wife, he spent some time with her, there was another baby that came along, his name was Solomon. Now, did you know that Solomon had three other brothers? Yeah, the Bible says he had three younger brothers as well and that - well, let me see here, there names - and that, by the way, is in 2 Samuel 16:23 - not that this relates to Proverbs but being an older brother might sharpen your skills. Shimeah, which was named after Solomon's uncle - David's brother - shobab, nathan - named after Solomon's tutor, the prophet - and Solomon - did I say them? Yeah, shimeah, shobab, nathan, and Solomon was the fourth. Now who was bathsheba's - now tell us who was bathsheba's father? He was someone named eliam. Eliam had a father named ahithophel.

Now do you know what it says in the Bible about ahithophel? This is 2 Samuel 16:23, now the advice - that ahithophel was one of the counselors of David - David was pretty smart - and ahithophel - it says when someone asked advice from him, "...which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of ahithophel both with David and with absalom." So brilliant grandfather, a brilliant father - David was a musician, he was a wise administrator - look at all the Psalms he wrote - and so Solomon naturally and supernaturally had great advantages of wisdom. So he was declared to be one of the wisest men. What's the story the Bible uses to illustrate his great wisdom? What stands out in your mind? Cutting the baby. Yeah, dividing the baby, which never really was actually divided - but threatening to divide the baby, the two women were arguing over and he knew right away what the response of the real mother would be and to do that on the spot, your wheels have to turn pretty fast.

So that's a little bit about the author of Proverbs. Now talking about a proverb, in particular, what is a proverb? A proverb is - and this is some of the definitions you're going to find in the commentaries. 'A proverb is a pithy - pithy is a short and quick concise sentence, expressing some well-established truth - susceptible of various illustrations and applications.' The word in the latin derivation, it means, 'for a word or a speech; proverb' or proverbium, is how you would say it in latin. In Greek it's 'paramaei' but in Hebrew, which, of course, Proverbs was originally written in, it's 'mashal' and mashal means 'a comparison; or superiority in mental action; a pithy maxim or of a metaphorical nature or a simile - adage, a poem, a discourse, a byword.' Now what happens a lot in Proverbs is he'll contrast wisdom with foolishness in short sentences. It talks about, you know, the diligent man and it always then will contrast that with 'the sluggard.

' It'll talk about the wise man in one verse and the next verse will say, 'but the fool' and so a lot of the Proverbs you're just going to see it going back and forth between extremes. And so, Jesus used a lot of Proverbs and parables in his teaching. Alright, and with that, if you look in the first verse, of course, it says, the Proverbs of Solomon The Son of David, king of Israel:" - do we have to question who the author is? It's pretty clear there. How smart was he? Kings 4, verse 31, "for he was wiser than all men" - now I really wish that - when I get to heaven, I want to go through the database because then it lists several people that were known for their wisdom and we don't know who they are. It says, "for he was wiser than all men - than ethan the Ezrahite, and heman, chalcol, and darda, The Sons of mahol; and" - I'm going, 'who are these guys?' But, evidently, they were known as very wise people.

It says, 'Solomon's wiser than all of them.' And we're all going, 'who are they?' But they're kind of lost to history for us, but evidently, when it was written, they were known as just the wise of the wise - "his fame was in all the surrounding nations. He spoke" - here it is - "three thousand Proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five." Now somebody's going to read for me, in a moment, Proverbs 25:1 - who? You'll have that? Okay, we'll get you set up for that. Now, besides the Proverbs that were written by Solomon, it tells us that a number of others were consigned - were written out or - compiled is the word I'm looking for. A number of other Proverbs were compiled by somebody in particular. Why don't you go ahead - you're going to read, I think, Proverbs 25, verse 1 for us.

"These are also Proverbs of Solomon, which the men of hezekiah king of judah copied out." Alright, thank you. If you look through all of the Proverbs that we have, how many did it just say that Solomon wrote? Three thousand. 'Three thousand Proverbs and his songs were a thousand and five.' Now, in the Psalms, they've got a hundred and fifty Psalms of David. Some of those may be songs of Solomon, we don't know - or songs of Solomon - we know there's 'The Song of Solomon' but that's different from other songs that may be there. But, evidently, during the time of hezekiah, the temple had been neglected, the books had been neglected, and he - he set some scribes to the task of compiling and coordinating and maybe putting in the forms that we have them now, the Proverbs of Solomon.

I guess they weren't organized as well. It doesn't mean that hezekiah wrote them. They were still the Proverbs of Solomon. Someone said, 'well, hezekiah probably wrote them. Solomon wrote the first few, but we don't know who wrote the rest.

' I think they all were written by - or the majority of them were written by Solomon, anyway. "These also are Proverbs of Solomon, which the men of hezekiah king of judah" - or the scribes - "copied:" alright, let's go to chapter 1 of Proverbs. And the first section in our lesson is talking about the beginning of wisdom. Now this is our memory verse: "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge," - or king James says 'wisdom' - "but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Do you see the contrast there? Fear of the Lord - fool. 'The fool has said in his heart there is no God.

' And so it's making that contrast. Moses, when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt, he said the Word of God is going to make you wiser than all of the other nations around you.' So what Solomon's saying is not original with him. For instance, if you look in Deuteronomy chapter 4, verses 5 and 6, it says, 'surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land where you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'" So how many of the people in the nation could be wise? They could all be wise if they did what? He said, 'if you listen to the statutes of the Lord, if you follow the counsel of God, your perceived iq will go up automatically. First of all, you'll stay out of a lot of trouble.

Have you found that as you get older you don't make as many mistakes? Other than misplacing your keys or glasses or something like that? Yeah, we won't go there. But, yeah, when you're following the Word of God, it's the foundation for genuine wisdom. Something else, Daniel describes a category of wisdom in Daniel , verses 3 and 4, "those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." Now that begs the next question - first of all, part of wisdom is turning people to righteousness. So one thing is you live the wisdom of God in your life, the other thing is you share the wisdom of God and you bring people to righteousness by your example - by Your Words.

But Daniel said one of the characteristics in the last days is that knowledge would increase. Is knowledge increasing the same thing as wisdom increasing? Has there ever been a generation, even if you go back and include everybody from 15 years ago all the way back to the beginning of history, that has more knowledge at their fingertips than this generation? In fact, I think that it's handicapped our brains - no, really, because when I was a kid we had to remember math tables and spelling words and - I never did do very well with spelling - but I remember we had to do a lot of memorization. We'd read vast chapters and then get quizzed on things with no cheating notes and we had no calculators back then and had to do the - had to work the problems and leave the answers there. Yeah, well, they started showing up during your school time, but I had no calculators during my school time, dear. I think the first one came out like $100.

00 and we didn't have calculators in school. But we have more knowledge at our fingertips now but you wonder, do we have more wisdom? Are people in the world still using the technology to kill each other? And so, I mean, great - I am so thankful for the medical advances. I am so thankful that it doesn't take six months anymore to get from New York to California. I mean, that's what it used to take. And, you know, you'd lose twenty percent of your party on the way.

So I mean, I'm very thankful for some of these advances that we have. We have a lot of knowledge now. But the human heart is desperately wicked. And so the problems with wisdom - wisdom is the application - the right application of that knowledge. And so you can be living in a generation that has almost - I mean, you cannot search the wisdom on Google faster than it is compiling.

You - it is just mounting up like an avalanche all the time. The knowledge of these search engines - stuff just pouring out there - and they're building servers that are as big as entire southern states right now. Really, there's just a massive - you go to Arizona and some of these places, they've just got acres and acres of computers that are whirring with knowledge and facts and data and a lot of it is your personal information. You think the cloud's up there somewhere? The cloud's on the ground in computers all over the country and they've got all your statistics and all your data there. But that's a lot of knowledge, but that's not what makes wisdom.

And so, when we're studying Proverbs we're going to be talking about practical things and some of them are going to seem like just very simple statements of truth. Alright, so it's the beginning of knowledge - of wisdom - 'fear of the Lord - beginning of wisdom.' Let's go right to Proverbs and I'm going to read - let's read some of them here. Go to verse 3 - oh, I'm sorry, verse 2, "to know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding," - so here, you notice, it's got wisdom, instruction, perception, and understanding in one verse. You're going to find that it's talking about all these different aspects of cognitive realization. To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment and equity; to give prudence to the simple," - so it can make a person who's simple minded or even gullible, wise by these things - "to the young man knowledge" - that'd be young men and young women - "and discretion - a wise man will hear and increase learning," - in other words, those who are young who don't have it, they become wise.

The ones who are wise, they increase in their wisdom by listening - "a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck." Now, you know when Solomon first became king, before - unlike some Kings, before you can become king the former king has to die. But something unusual happened with Solomon. He co-reigned with his father.

Matter of fact, his father ordered his coronation because Solomon's older brother adonijah, tried to seize the throne. And so even - even David sat up on his bed and - he was sick at the time - and he recognized Solomon as king. David recovered, briefly, from that and it talks about them kind of walking and talking together and he gave his son a lot of instruction. He said, 'here's some advice and some things you need to follow through with. Here's some people you need to take care - here's some that you need to keep an eye on' - and he just - he gave him a lot of wisdom, but Solomon was told by David, almost the very things that he's now passing on to his sons.

Now, when Solomon talks to his son about paying attention to wisdom, who was The Son of Solomon that took over the throne? Jeraboam. Rehaboam - it sounds like jeraboam - it's easy to confuse. Matter of fact, there's a jeraboam and a rehaboam at the same time. Rehaboam is The Son of Solomon. Do you know what happened when he became king after Solomon had reigned for forty years? The people came - the Kingdom was just thriving, but he had heavily taxed them.

They were strong militarily, they were strong economically, but they had - he had a big work force building all the time. He just told the people, 'this many months of the year you're in a work force.' And when rehaboam became king the people came to him and they said, 'you know, we know that things are going well now, the Kingdom's at peace but, boy, your dad, he taxed us with a heavy tax load. Are you going to lighten that?' And rehaboam was at least wise enough to say, 'let me get back to you. Come and assemble in three days.' And he went and talked to the counselors of Solomon and they said, 'if you humble yourself to this people now, they will serve you forever.' But he thought, 'humble? I'm the new king. I've got to show myself strong.

' And he went and talked to his friends that he grew up with and said, 'what do you think I ought to do?' They said, 'don't you fall for that. You've got to tell them who's boss. You say, 'my little finger's going to be thicker than my father's thigh and he whipped you with whips but I'm going to whip you with scorpions. You better do what I say.'' And he said, 'yeah, yeah.' That appealed to his pride. He got all the people together and he answered them roughly, like his young idiotic friends had told him and, sure enough, the people rebelled and that's when ten of the tribes said, 'alright, rehaboam, you're from the tribe of David, you can rule over David.

To Israel - to your tents.' And so ten of the tribes, they broke away and they never did reunite after that. So rehaboam, when Solomon said, 'my son, listen to the wisdom of your father.' He rejected his father's counselors. Can you imagine being a counselor for the wisest man in the world? Wouldn't that be intimidating? You had to be pretty smart to be a counselor for Solomon - to reject the wisdom of Solomon's counselors is really foolish. So that just pops into my mind as I read this where he says, 'my son, hear the instruction of your father.' Solomon listened to David, rehaboam did not listen to Solomon. "Do not forsake the law of your mother.

" The Bible says honor your father only or your father and your mother? God gave us that perspective of both parents - "for they will be a graceful ornament on your head," - I'm in Proverbs 9 - in chapter 1 - "and chains about your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, 'come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; let us swallow them alive like sheol, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all kinds of precious possessions," - they tempt you and say, 'oh, let's do this, we're going to get rich quick - "we shall fill our houses with spoil; 'cast in your lot among us, let us all have one purse' - my son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path; for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird;" - you know, if you're going to try and snare a bird - and they did that a lot back then. They didn't have shotguns so if you went out trying to get grouse and chicken - they're hard to hit with a bow and arrow - they've got a lot of feathers - they used to snare them.

But if a bird's watching you set the snare - they become very suspicious. Let's go over to 'true education' and that would be 13 - Proverbs :20 - it says, "he who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed." Notice the contrast there again? Talking about 'if you want to be wise' - that has a lot - this is great for young people, when you're going to school - hang out with people that are smart, that get good grades, that can help you with your homework, you hang around the ones that are in the back of the class - nothing - no reflection for those here - then they're more likely to get you in trouble. Alright, in - if you go to Proverbs 1, verse 20 - I'm sorry - it says, "wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses," - now look at the contrast - some of the Proverbs contrast one sentence right after another, some of them will take several Proverbs and then contrast with several others. First it just talked about 'don't go in the way of the wicked when they say 'let's go get spoils - and it says in verse 11, "they lurk in secret for the innocent without cause.

" When you're doing something wrong, you've got to lurk in the dark, but when it comes to truth, does truth have to hide or is truth in the open places? Wisdom calls aloud - "raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, at the" - John the baptist, when he went out preaching, did he have to meet in corners? Or he just went wide open in the wilderness? Turned up the amplification - "at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words:" - so truth is open and it appeals and it says, "'how long you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning and fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded," - Paul quotes that verse, by the way - "because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you." Now, is that God saying 'you don't listen to me, I'm going to laugh when you get in trouble?' Now, he's talking in - Proverbs and Solomon, several times, speaks in a metaphorical language and he's talking about wisdom as though wisdom has a personality. In one place he talks about wisdom like it's a daughter and another place he talks about wisdom like it's a son.

Alright, go to Proverbs 1, verse and - no, no, no - Proverbs :1 through 5 - that's what I want - Proverbs chapter 2, verses 1 through 5. Why don't you read that for us? "My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." Alright, thank you very much. Does Jesus tell us about priorities of what we should search for? What should be the first thing we search for? the Kingdom of God. 'Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.' How do you seek for the Kingdom of God? He says here, 'more than gold. More than silver.

' Do you know if you make wisdom your priority, you may find that gold and silver come. For one thing, are there Proverbs that talk about working like the ant works and storing and saving? You'll find a lot of people who have applied common sense and wisdom to life. Just by not wasting you could be rich. If you work and you avoid waste, you can end up pretty successful. Because Solomon sought first wisdom, the prayer - the yearning of his heart was wisdom - did riches come? Yeah, so 'seek first the Kingdom of heaven and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.

' But how earnestly should we seek for it? Well, it says you've got to look for it like you're looking for treasure. People that are digging for silver and gold - it takes a lot of diligence - a lot of energy and so there needs to be an effort invested in seeking for this. Same thing with seeking first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. That needs to be a priority in our lives. For - and go to verse 6 - "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 uprightly;" - now, when it says the Lord gives wisdom from his mouth, where would you find the words of God's mouth? Yeah, in the Bible.

So the Word of God is the foundation of the greatest wisdom. That's one reason I think the Bible has been a best-selling book for all these millennia - a couple thousand years anyway - and you look in verse 7 it says, "he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk uprightly; he guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and ever good path. When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things," - if a person doesn't have wisdom are they easily snared and overcome or deceived by somebody? Being meek and being wise does not mean you need to be gullible. Jesus talks about being as innocent as doves and wise as serpents.

We don't even like to say that, huh? I mean, do you consider it a compliment if someone says you're as wise as a serpent? But who said that? Jesus said you need to be wise as serpents. Who are the serpents usually? Well, but what Christ - yeah, the devil was the serpent and it's telling us that we need to at least understand his devices. So, you know, Karen and I come from very different backgrounds. You know, I went to 14 - 15 different schools, she went to one school for twelve years and then, of course, her college - a couple different colleges - and she grew up, you know, in the same church and I went - scattered through all these different religions, but she grew up surrounded with church people that are very loving and trusting and nice people. I grew up with a lot of scoundrels and my mother was in show business and everyone was acting and tricking and lying and deceiving and so I grew up just so suspicious and she says, 'doug, how come you're so suspicious?' I said, 'dear, how come you're just so believing of everybody?' You know, people knock on the door and as soon as they start trying to sell, I say, 'oh, what are they selling? Now what are they up to?' And 'oh, really? Oh, that's interesting.

I'll buy three of them.' And - only if they're on sale. But yeah, that's right. So, you know, you need - in just everyday life you need to go through the world with a certain amount of wisdom that braces you for the devil's tricks. Now, what did Jesus use when the devil tempted him? It is written. It is written.

It is written. It is written. It is written. All three times he quoted the Word of God and that's - so have you ever thought that the wisdom that was available to Solomon - could Solomon read the books of Moses? The wisdom that was available to Solomon, the wisdom that was available to Jesus and the apostles is available to us. Amen.

That's really something. So, are we just accountable to God for what we do and know or are we accountable to God for what we could know if we want to? There's a lot of wisdom we've neglected because we're drinking at the wrong fountain and we should be studying this wisdom of God that saves us for eternal life. So we've got the call of wisdom. And if you look in - look here under the benefits - we did the benefits of wisdom - Proverbs verses 6 through 9 - I see here, I think I got that already. Who's got the next verse that we're going to read? Well, I'll tell you what.

I'll give it to you dear. Why don't you go ahead and read Proverbs chapter - Proverbs chapter 3, verse 7. "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil." Alright, so when it's talking about biblical wisdom - let's suppose we read the book of Proverbs every month that has 31 days. Should you be proud of how wise you are? What was the first step in Solomon's having wisdom? Humility. He said, 'I don't know.

' Have you ever considered that the longer you live, the more aware you become of how much you don't know? And the closer we get to Christ and the more we understand the knowledge of God, the more we're going to know we don't know. And so, if you've got a humble attitude, you need to crave every ounce of wisdom that you've got just to get you through life, but we should never be proud of how much we know. Toward the end of his life, when Solomon began to feel content that he knew everything, he began to spiral down and so, yeah, as soon as you start to trust - by the way, ahithophel, who was a very wise counselor of God, he decided to turn away from David and follow the rebellious son of David and he knew that absalom was an unrighteous man and David was chosen by God, but he trusted his own wisdom so much - well, his counsel was rejected and you know what ahithophel did? He committed suicide. He did the same thing Judas did. You know how Jesus had somebody - he had a friend named Judas that betrayed him and Judas hung himself? David had a friend that was a counselor that betrayed him and he committed suicide - hung himself also - similar - a lot of parallels between the life of David and the life of Jesus.

And it tells you, in verse 2, for - and this is Proverbs 3, verse 2, "for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you." - This wisdom can keep you out of a lot of trouble - "let not mercy and truth forsake you;" - so in Proverbs it's talking about be merciful - "bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart," - now, are these obviously metaphors? Did the Jewish people, in the time of Christ, take the statement of Moses, "these words that I command you this day" - Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 4 - well, that actually says, "hear o Israel, the Lord our God is one God." - But he goes on to say, "these words that I've commanded you, write them on your hands, let them be frontlets between your eyes." They took that literally and they made little phylacteries where they took portions of Scripture and they put them in little boxes on their wrists or they hung them - and they still do it today - on their foreheads and - somebody gave Karen and I a little gift. They knew I was half Jewish and so they gave us one of the - I can't remember the name of it - you put it on the door post of your house when you go in. Yeah, and put that - it's got a little Scripture rolled up in it and you kiss it and touch your hand to it. It's a Jewish tradition. So was Solomon saying you're to hang the Word of God around your neck or write it on the tablets of your heart, or are these, obviously, symbols? How do you get anything in your hand or in your head or on your heart or around your neck? It's just talking about surrounding yourself.

Have you ever seen people that carry their glasses on a string around their neck so they won't lose them? Or some people - I've seen people carry, like, they're household key - they kind of hang it around their neck just so they won't lose it. Or if they have them on their wrists or something like that? You ever see someone, like, write a note on their hand or put a little ribbon on their finger? These are the - this is what it's saying is just put it where you won't forget it. And, you know, it doesn't help just to write adages and put them on the wall - I know in our family, periodically we've taken a beautiful Scripture and we'll get it embroidered and we'll hang it on the wall and you look at it and go, 'that's beautiful. What a wonderful thought.' But, you know, after a while you don't even notice it anymore because it hangs there so long you don't even think about it. It just becomes part of the décor.

My mother, she was so exasperated because my brother and I would not brush our teeth and it was costing her a lot in dental bills and she took a permanent Marker and she opened up the medicine cabinet and she wrote 'brush your teeth.' She lifted up the toilet lid - we were boys - she wrote 'brush your teeth.' And, I forget, she wrote it like three places in the bathroom. She just became so exasperated one day that we weren't brushing our teeth and, you know for a while there we'd go, 'oh, whoa!' We were just surrounded with it and pretty soon, didn't even notice it anymore. So, obviously he's not saying 'hang it around your neck. Put it on your hand.' Because, you know what? It will start feeling like your wardrobe after awhile and you just don't even think about it. It's making a conscious effort to read it and meditate on it and then after you read the word of God, unless you have the holy spirit, you can't make yourself remember these things.

So often, I'll pray when I'm reading, I'll say, 'Lord, show me how to apply this to my life.' And you'll read a verse - maybe Proverbs or something else, and that very day, that verse somehow saves you. You know, another thing that happens - you've probably had this happen - you'll read something in the morning and that very day someone else needed the very thing that you read. That happened to me. Last night I read something and I was sharing with somebody today. They said, 'where'd you get that? I said, 'I just read it last night.

' And so, you know, the Lord gives you - he times things like that. 'Bind them around your neck.' Verse 4 - I'm in chapter 3 of Proverbs - "and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man." What does it put first, God or man? What are the two great commands? Love the Lord; love your neighbor.' The Bible says, 'Jesus was a prophet mighty before God and the people.' - Before God and man - first for God - you've got to live the vertical life and then we've got to remember to live the horizontal life. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart" - do you want to read this one Karen? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths." You notice he doesn't promise he's going to direct your paths in advance, but if you acknowledge the Lord in your life - in your ways - when you get to the crossroads and you say, 'Lord, now what?' And you've got to make a decision, he'll show you what to do. He doesn't always show you in advance. He may not part the ocean or the river before you get there - you might even have to wait until you can see the cloud of the Egyptians storming up behind you before the miracle happens, but if you trust in the Lord and you acknowledge the Lord in all your ways - that means your walk - your life - he will give you guidance and direct your paths.

Verse 7 - "do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil" - what's the best way to show that you fear God? How did job fear God? 'Job was a just and upright man who feared God and hated evil.' So the way you show you're God fearing is not to just be trembling all the time, but respect and love and awe God enough to stay away from sin. "It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones." - Do you think that actually following the wisdom of God can lengthen your life physically - can give you better health? Yeah, Proverbs even says things about 'if you're a person given to appetite, put a knife to your throat when you sit before the king's dainties.' There's actually health wisdom in the Proverbs. "It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones. Honor the Lord with your possessions," - now these are kind of - again, some of these pithy - they stand alone - Proverbs of wisdom. "Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase;" so here's a principle: remember the Lord when he blesses you and it says, "so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.

" Now that's a great principle, make sure and put God first in your giving and that may also mean being charitable and supporting others and, it says, he will bless you. the Lord is more inclined to give to those that will be channels of his resources to the world. And as you have one hand open in sharing and giving to others, you can have the other hand open in receiving what God gives and you become a channel of blessing. If you hoard, you lose - another proverb. It says, 'there is he' - I'm jumping ahead.

I don't even remember the number, but I remember the proverb. 'There's one who withholds more than is necessary and it tends to poverty, and there's one who scatters and it tends to increase. If you hoard your seed that you've harvested, and eat it all - you have nothing to plant - you'll starve the next year. But if you scatter it and it grows, it tends to multiply. "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest his correction; for whom the Lord loves he corrects," - any of you ever been corrected by the Lord? - "Just as a father The Son in whom he delights.

" Verse 13 - I'm in Proverbs 3 - "happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor." So right there you've got the things that the world wants - they want a long life, they want a prosperous life - Solomon says you've got to seek wisdom first and you've got to honor God first. You notice how he puts that before that? Some pastors preach the riches about being a believer and they don't talk about the other part of mercy for others - honoring God with your firstfruits - Solomon makes sure and puts this afterward. "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

" What does Solomon's name mean? 'Son of peace.' - "She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her." Now, who is the she? Wisdom. Wisdom. See what I'm saying about he uses the metaphor - don't forget this - he talks about wisdom as being sometimes a man - we'll get to that, I think, in chapter 8 - as being a son, as being a woman - and you know what the last chapter in Proverbs is about? We're jumping ahead - it's talking about the perfect wife, which is really - it's a symbol of the church there. Well, you know, who can find this bride? And it describes all these beautiful metaphors about the church. And I hope I'm around when we get to that lesson.

I don't mean I got a bad report from the doctor or anything, I just mean that I hope - sometimes I travel - I trade off with my associates and I hope that I'm going to be one - yeah, teaching that one. That's how you start rumors. So... We have a reader. So, yeah, it says number - what's the next verse? 19 And 20.

Go ahead, I'm glad you reminded me. Thank you. Now the next verse we're going to have somebody read Proverbs chapter 3, verses 19 and 20. "the Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the depths were broken up, and clouds drop down the dew." Boy, you've got a good reading voice, todd. Thank you.

So there, again, he talks about by wisdom the earth was founded. Have you noticed, like in the book of job, God actually says, you know, 'where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?' And you think about just the incredible - i, frankly, can't understand how people believe in evolution. I guess I kind of understand it, but it's mind boggling to me because the intricacies of life on this planet and even just the world - forget all the creatures for a moment, the perfect distance that our world has to be from the sun to sustain life, we are right in this very narrow belt where we could be - too close, we're burning up like - like venus or too far away we'd be freezing and we're just at the right distance. And the earth is the right size for the gravitational pull. And it's got the right gasses and just - it's such a perfect laboratory for this miracle of life, that you just think about the wisdom of God in doing that and he's saying, you know, 'by this I laid the foundations of the earth.

' He says, "my son" - verse 21 - "let them" - these principles of wisdom - "not depart from your eyes - keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid;" - helps you - having wisdom helps you sleep peacefully - "yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.

Do not say to your neighbor, 'go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,' when you have it with you." - If you have something that belongs to someone else, or if you owe someone and it's in your power to pay them what you owe them, you have their property - keeping it is stealing - and Solomon said, 'don't say, 'oh well, maybe tomorrow.'' Some people say, 'I'll pay you late and I'll get the extra interest on it while I cling to your money. Of course there's no interest these days but, you know the principle. When you are able to pay someone, pay them. He says if it's in the power of your hand to do it, don't wait to do good to somebody else. Have you ever missed an opportunity to good and you regretted it because you postponed? "Do not devise evil against your neighbor, for he dwells by you for safety's sake.

Do not strive with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm." Why do you want to stir up trouble? If you can turn the other cheek, it's a lot easier to live peacefully with people and you have to decide what are the issues that are worth making a contest over? "Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways; for the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, but his secret counsel is with the upright." - There you have the contrast, again, between the two - "the curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the just." - Which do you want to be? I want the blessing of God - "surely he scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble. The wise shall inherit glory but shame will be the legacy of fools." And that gets us through all the way to chapters 1 through 3. We didn't read every proverb but we kind of got a good introduction to the lesson and covered the high points. For those that may have joined us along the way and you didn't hear, we do have a special offer. Proverbs talk about the fear of the Lord - the Word of God being the foundation of wisdom - we've got a little book called 'the ultimate resource' talking about the importance of the Bible - how it is the ultimate resource.

If you'd like a free copy, just call 866-788-3966 - ask for offer #728 when you do it. They'll send it to you for free. You can read it online. You can download it too, if you'd like, then you can link it to your friends. Well, I've enjoyed getting into Proverbs and I think we'll all be wiser when these thirteen weeks are over.

God bless you. We look forward to studying together again next week. Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last-day events of Revelation, is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's Word.

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