Divine Wisdom

Divine Wisdom

Scripture: Proverbs 8:22, Matthew 16:26, Genesis 1:31
Date: 01/24/2015  Lesson: 4
"Wisdom is truth - the Truth as it exists in God, the source and foundation of all truth."

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Hello friends, I'd like to welcome you back to another Sabbath school study hour program. I'd like to welcome those joining us across the country and around the world on the various television channels - also on the internet. We've been studying through the book of Proverbs and I'd like to welcome our local audience here, members of the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is our Tuesday evening prayer meeting and we're glad that the folks have come and joined us here at the Amazing Facts studio. We're in transition to a new facility where we'll be able to film our regular Sabbath school program.

But in the meantime, I'm glad that you came out and joined us tonight. For our friends watching, we have a free offer that we'd like to let you know about. It is a book written by joe crews entitled 'amazing wonders of creation' and we'll be happy to send this book to anybody who calls and asks. The number to call is 1 - rather - 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #116 - 116 - ask for the book 'amazing wonders of creation' and we'll be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. Well, before we get to our lesson for this evening, let's once again bow our heads and ask God's blessing to be with us.

Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you for Your Word. We thank you for the words of truth and wisdom that we find in the Scriptures and today, as we open up thy word, we just pray for the Holy Spirit to come and guide our hearts and our minds. This is such an important subject and such a beautiful lesson, so we ask for your spirit to be with us. In Jesus' Name, amen. Today we're going to be looking at lesson #4 in the Sabbath school quarterly, so if you have your quarterlies with you, you can turn to page 30.

And those joining us, you can follow along with the lesson by downloading it, if you don't have it, at the Amazing Facts website - just 'amazingfacts.org' and you can click on the link that says 'Sabbath School Study Hour' and you can download lesson #4. Now the lesson is entitled 'divine wisdom' and we have a memory text. It's Proverbs chapter 8, verse 22 and you can read along with me. Proverbs 8:22. It says, "the Lord possessed me at the beginning of his way before his works of old.

" Now, as we get into this lesson a little bit more, we're going to discover that this is a reference here, not only to wisdom, but also to the role of Christ in creation and we'll get to that in just a few moments. Now, at this stage in our study of the book of Proverbs, we're focusing today on Proverbs chapter 8 and Proverbs chapter 9 - those are the principle passages. And in this section we find wisdom, again, reappearing but it's being emphasized in the context of truth. So, the component of wisdom that's highlighted here in our study is truth and, of course, truth exists in God and God is the source and foundation of all truth. Now what the Scripture teaches with reference to truth is that truth is absolute.

Of course, that's a little different from today's contemporary thinking with reference to truth. We live in a culture where truth has become very relative. In other words, my truth might be different from your truth. Or one culture might have a different truth from another culture. But this isn't what the Bible teaches.

The Bible teaches absolute truth. Why? Because truth is found in God and God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So finding truth that's absolute brings wisdom, brings peace, brings joy, brings salvation. TRuth - absolute truth is like, for example, the law of gravity. Whether you're in North America or whether you happen to be in south America, or africa, gravity works the same.

If you drop a book or you drop something - it doesn't matter where you are in the world - whether you want to acknowledge it or not, there is a law - the law of gravity - and it is true that if you let it go it will fall because of the law of gravity. So absolute truth is found in Scripture. It is trustworthy. It is for everyone. It is applicable for every culture, every person, every time - absolute truth.

Of course, pilate asked that famous question of Jesus at the trial, he said, 'what is truth?' Pilate, a roman, was living in a time where truth was very relative to the thinking of the people. There were different Gods, different philosophies, different ideas, and one person's truth was different from another person's truth and so he asked Jesus, 'what is truth?' Jesus says, in John chapter 8, verse 32, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Now, of course, the truth, we know, is Jesus. Jesus said of himself, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life.' So to know the truth is to know Jesus. To know Jesus is to have life.

On Sunday our day's study is entitled, 'wisdom that cries out' and so we're going to begin studying now Proverbs chapter 8 and we're going to be reading all the way from verse 1 through to verse 23. If you have your Bibles you can open it up to Proverbs chapter , beginning here in verse 1, "does not wisdom cry out and understanding lift up her voice?" Now there's two questions I want you to think about here in verse : 'does not wisdom cry out?' - How does wisdom cry? And number two, where does she lift up her voice? Notice verse 1, "does not wisdom cry - cry out and understanding lift up her voice?" Now the answer to the question of 'how does wisdom speak?' Or 'how does wisdom cry out to us?' And 'where do we find wisdom crying out?' Is answered in verses 2 and 3. So notice verse 2, "she takes her stand on the top of a hill" - or high hill - "beside the way where the paths meet." So how does wisdom cry out? The first part of verse 2, "she takes her stand." You know, you can cry out in truth by simply making a stand for what's right. You might not say anything, but just by simply doing the right thing, you are crying out for wisdom's sake or you are proclaiming the truth. Now in Revelation chapter 6, verse 17, a question is asked.

In Revelation chapter 6 you have the opening of the seals. You have the opening of the sixth seal in Revelation chapter near the end, and it describes events connected with the second coming of Jesus. It talks about a great earthquake and hail coming and so on. And the inhabitants of the earth hiding in the rocks and the caves and saying to the mountains and the rocks, 'fall on us. Hide us from the face of him that sits upon the throne and from the wrath of the lamb.

' And then in verse 17 we have the question, "for the great day of his wrath has come" - and here's the question - "who shall be able to stand?" So the question is asked, when Jesus comes, 'who's going to be able to stand?' Well, I propose those who are able to stand are the ones who stand with wisdom, who stand for truth, who stand with Jesus, who trust in Jesus. The answer to that question in Revelation is found in Revelation chapter 17, where you have a description of the ,000 who have the seal of God in their foreheads. Of course, the seal of God has something to do with character. It has to do with obedience to God's commandments. And then we also find a group - again the 144,000 are described in Revelation chapter 14.

And in Revelation chapter 14, verse 1, it speaks about the lamb standing on Mount Zion. There we have that same idea of Christ standing or truth standing. He's standing on Mount Zion and Mount Zion is a high hill and with them are the 144,000 - those who have stood with Christ here on the earth, now they are seen victorious in heaven standing with Jesus on mount Zion. So how does wisdom cry out? Number one, she makes a stand for the truth. How can we proclaim wisdom in our world? By making a stand with Jesus to stand on the truth.

It says, "she stands for the truth on a high hill and beside the way and where the paths meet." So wisdom is making a stand for truth. That phrase there, 'beside the way' made me think of a verse that we have in Scripture, Isaiah chapter 30, verse 21 says, "your ears shall hear a word behind you, 'this is the way, walk in it.'" When we make a stand for truth we are promised that the Holy Spirit will guide us in the paths of life and guide us along the way. Then verse 3 also continues by telling us how wisdom cries out and where she cries out. If you look at verse 3 it says, 'she cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, at the entrance of the doors." So not only does wisdom cry out by simply making a stand for the truth, wisdom also cries out by the proclamation of the truth. You know that the preaching of truth is important.

Jesus went about preaching, teaching, and healing. The apostles went about preaching and teaching. The three angels' messages - the first angel - it describes this angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting Gospel to preach to those that dwell upon the earth, to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. So there is the standing for truth, but there's also the proclaiming of truth that is highlighted. In order for us to enter into the gates of the city, that city being the new Jerusalem, we need to do the things that God has asked us to do.

In Revelation 22, verse 14, we read, "blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life and enter into the gates of the city." It says, "wisdom can also be found at the entrance of the doors." Now I find that to be somewhat of an interesting phrase. To the church of laodicea, in Revelation chapter 3, Jesus says, "behold, I stand at the door and knock. Whoever hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in unto him and I will dine with him and he with me." Jesus is knocking at our heart's door - through the Holy Spirit - through that still small voice - through the word. And by making a stand for truth, we can hear the voice of wisdom and we can join that voice in proclaiming the truth about God and the truth of God to the world. Alright, well let's look at verse 4.

We're in Proverbs chapter 8, moving right along now, verse 4 - it says, "to you, o men, I call and my voice is to The Sons of men." Now notice there in the first part of verse 4 it says, 'to you, o men' and then the next part says 'The Sons of men' in the Hebrew there are two different words used. The word translated 'men' in the first part of the verse, emphasizes individuality or strength or determination. In other words, that is a person who has a determination or a clear direction - something that he wants - somewhere where he is going, whereas the next word in the Hebrew for the second part of the verse where it says, 'the sons of men' the Hebrew word there is 'adam,' which means mankind in general. It is the masses - the sea of humanity - those who are just swept along with the masses. So wisdom is calling out to those who think they have purpose and direction in their lives, but it's also calling to those who are just simply following the crowd, going along with the masses.

In other words, the call of wisdom - the proclamation of truth - is for everyone - for those who think they have purpose, for those who wonder what the purpose of life really is - it's for everyone. Verse 5 says, "o you simple ones, understand prudence and you fools, be of an understanding heart. Again we have two groups. We have the simple ones, the first part of the verse, and then we have the fools. Now 'the simple ones' refers to those who are in the valley of decision, if you like, it could be those who are part of that mass of humanity, sort of just floating along.

They have not yet made a clear decision for the truth, they might not even know the truth, but they're not actively resisting a desire to know truth. They're just simply going along with the flow. But the next group described in verse 5, the fools, those are the ones who are actively resisting wisdom. Their heart is set on selfishness and pride. So there are two groups there in verse 5.

Out of those who - the masses in the valley of decision - and those who are actively resisting the truth of God's Word. Verse 6 says, "listen, for I will speak excEllent things and from the opening of my lips will come right things." Now the phrase there 'excEllent things' in the Hebrew there it means 'princely things' or 'things related to Kingship or rulership.' So wisdom teaches us how we can rule - how we can govern ourselves. The next part of the verse says, 'right things' or 'doing the right thing.' You know, God said to cain, after he had killed his brother abel - you can read this in Genesis chapter 4, verse 7, "if you do well you shall be accepted and if you do not well, sin lies at the door" - notice the next part of the verse - "and its desire is for you, but you shall rule over it." How can we rule over sin in our lives? By taking heed to the wisdom that comes from Christ - the truth that God wants to give us. So by heeding the wisdom of the word, we have strength to rule ourselves, to rule over sin. Verse 7 - it says, "for my mouth will speak truth.

Wickedness is an abomination to my lips." So Christ speaks truth. Jesus came to reveal to us the truth about God. He came to reveal to us the character of God. Jesus said to his disciples, 'if you have seen me, you have seen The Father.' "But that which consists of lies" - it says - "is an abomination to the Lord." Now, in the old testament, we have at least six categories that are referred to as 'abominations.' Divination is an abomination to the Lord. That is communicating with the dead and spiritualism in its different phases.

Another abomination is sacrifices that are offered with the wrong spirit. That's referred to as an abomination. The eating of certain unclean meats is described as an abomination, in the Scriptures. Certain sexual sins are also described as abominations. Lying lips are said to be an abomination to the Lord, and false weights.

When it comes to business, false dealings with others is also said to be an abomination. Verse 8, "all the words of my mouth are righteousness. Nothing crooked or perverse is in them." So here it is - he's emphasizing the importance of truth - finding the truth - the truth brings life. The truth brings wisdom. Verse 9, "they are all plain to him who understands and right to those who find knowledge.

Now here's the key: in order for us to know the truth - in order for us to have true wisdom, there needs to be a willingness to receive the truth given in the word through Christ - to receive that truth and apply it to your life. Jesus put it this way in John chapter 7, verse 17, "if anyone wills to do his will, he shall know concerning the doctrine." So if there is a willingness to do what God asks of us, then God'll reveal more truth to us. And when we receive that truth and apply that truth to our life, then he can lead us even into greater truth. This was true in the experience of Christ. Of course, Jesus many times preached using parables - taught with parables - there were a lot of people who couldn't understand what Jesus was saying, but those who had a willing heart seeking truth could understand.

On one occasion Jesus said to the people, 'except you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you.' And there were many who said, 'this is a hard saying,' and they turned and they left. And even the disciples were striving with this and they said to Jesus, 'you know, what does this mean?' And Jesus said, 'well, are you also going to leave me?' And they said, 'Lord, where are we to go? You have the words of truth. But this is a hard saying. What does it mean?' Jesus said, 'the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.' So to eat the flesh of Christ is to receive His Word. But in order for us to understand some of these symbols, there needs to be a willingness to say, 'Lord, whatever it is that you need me to do, I'm willing to do that.

I'm willing to follow the truth that you've revealed to me.' Verse 10 - Proverbs chapter 8, verse 10 that says, "receive my instruction and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold." Looking at verse 11, "for wisdom is better than rubies and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her." Now, I want you to notice the three words that we find in these two verses, 'receive my instruction' and then it says, 'knowledge' and then it says 'wisdom.' Here are given three steps to spiritual growth. It begins with instruction - we receive the instruction of God's Word. When we receive instruction, that leads to knowledge and understanding a knowledge of the truth. When that knowledge is applied to our lives, it results in wisdom. So you have 'instruction,' you have 'knowledge,' and that leads to 'wisdom.

' Now instruction is of value. Matter of fact, it says here that instruction is more valuable than silver. But then it takes it the next step and says, "knowledge is more valuable than gold, but wisdom is better than rubies." And you think, 'well, I thought gold was more valuable than rubies.' Well, it adds to that in verse 11 - it says, "wisdom is more valuable than rubies and all the things that one might desire cannot be compared with her." So you have instruction - more valuable than silver; knowledge - more valuable than gold; but wisdom, that is the most important - more valuable than anything than you can have. Of course, this is something that Jesus illustrated in a parable that he told. And let's take a look at that in Matthew chapter 13, verse 44.

And maybe, if we could have somebody read this for us, it's a fairly well-known passage of Scripture, Matthew chapter 13 - the parable that Jesus told beginning here in verse 44. We're going to read verse 44 through to 46. Matthew chapter 13, verses 44 through 46, "again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field, that which, when a man hath found he hideth and for joy, thereof, goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth the field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man seeking goodly pearls who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it." Okay, so here we have this great prize. Here is a man working out in his field and he's actually a hireling, probably, and he's working somebody else's field, and while he's moving the plow, suddenly he feels it knock against something and curiosity leads him to move back some of the dirt and, to his amazement, there is treasure hidden in the field.

Back in Bible times, they didn't always have the most trustworthy banks and so people would sometimes hide their treasure in a field. Evidently, somebody hid this treasure in the field and maybe the person died and nobody knew about the treasure hidden in the field. But here this person is working and he finds the treasure. Immediately he sees the value of the treasure and so he goes and he sells everything that he has in order to buy the field to obtain the treasure. And, again, Jesus says it's like somebody looking for good pearls and when he finds this pearl of great price, he also sells everything he has so that he can - he can buy this pearl.

Of course there is a very practical story that illustrates this point: one day there was a rich young ruler that came to Jesus and he said, 'what good thing must I do to inherit eternal life?' And Jesus says, 'why do you call me good? There is only one that's good and that is God, but if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.' And he said, 'which?' And Jesus quoted the commandments. And then the young man said, 'all of these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?' Jesus said, 'go sell all that you have, give it to the poor, and come and follow me and you'll have treasure in heaven.' And Jesus was inviting that young man to be like, in the parable, the man who found the treasure in the field. He saw the value of the treasure and was willing to give everything for the treasure. Jesus was likening him to the merchant men who found the pearl of great price who was willing to give everything for that wonderful pearl.

So it is with wisdom. A knowledge of the truth - a knowledge of God - what are we willing to give for it? How much effort are we willing to invest in finding that truth - finding that knowledge and allowing that knowledge to become an active part of our lives? Let's keep looking in Proverbs chapter 8 - we're in verse 12 now - Proverbs chapter 8, looking at verse 12, "i, wisdom, dwell with prudence and find out knowledge and discretion." So here in verse 12 wisdom dwells with prudence. What does the word prudence mean? It comes from the root word meaning 'reason' or 'to reason about something.' I was reminded of Isaiah chapter 1, verse 18, where God says, "come now, let us" - do what? - "Let us reason together. Though your sins be of scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." A truth is not afraid of reason. A truth is able to stand no matter how much scrutiny it comes under because it's the truth.

God's not afraid of us reasoning with him for he is the truth. He will reveal truth to us. Verse 13, "the fear of the Lord is to hate evil, pride, arrogance, and the evil way; and the perverse mouth I hate." The fear of the Lord, that is to acknowledge God as supreme, to humble our hearts to come to know him. What is the fear of the Lord? It is to hate evil. Now the word there, 'evil,' comes from a root word which means 'to break' or 'to destroy.

' Evil breaks and destroys people's lives. It breaks and destroys man's relationship with God. So the Lord hates evil and pride. Of course, pride led to lucifer's fall in heaven. Arrogance - another word for arrogance there is 'rebellion' and in 1 Samuel chapter 15, verse 23 we read, "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.

" And then the evil way - the evil way represents disobedience to God's commandments. And then the last part of verse , "the perverse mouth" - that's lies. So in this verse we have four downward steps to destruction. We have pride that leads to rebellion. Rebellion is manifest in disobedience to God's commandments and, as a result, mankind ends up lying or deceiving oneself and deceiving those around him.

Okay, verse 15, "by me" - it says - "Kings reign" - talking about wisdom - "and rulers decree justice." Of course, Solomon himself knew something about having wisdom in the sphere of rulership or judging. You probably remember the story of two women who brought a baby to king Solomon and Solomon wisely made a decision as to whose child, you know, who the child really belonged to. He had great wisdom - divine wisdom that God had given him. Verse 16 says, "buy me" - that is, wisdom - "princes rule and nobles and the Judges of the earth. I love those who love me.

" Of course wisdom, here, is a symbol of God - "I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 13 says, "and you shall seek me and find me" - what's the rest of the verse? "When you search for me with all of your heart." When it says, 'with all of your heart,' that is having a willing heart to do the things that God asks of us - having that humble spirit. Verse 18, "riches and honor are with me; enduring riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver." Verse 20, "I traverse the way of righteousness and in the midst of the paths of justice." Where is the place of wisdom? It says here, "in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice" - what are the rewards of wisdom? It talks about heavenly riches, honor, righteousness - and verse 21, "that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth that I might fill their treasures." Now, of course, we're not talking here about earthly wealth, but we're talking about the greatest wealth of all and that is the wealth that Jesus wants to give those who humble their hearts. Revelation chapter 13 - Jesus says, "buy of me gold refined in the fire that you might be rich.

By the way, what does that gold refined in the fire represent? Faith and love. Jesus wants to give us faith and love. Jesus says "buy of me gold refined in the fire that you might be rich and white raiment" - that symbolizes the righteousness of Christ - "and eye salve" - that's spiritual discernment or the Holy Spirit. That's the true riches and God wants to give that to us. True riches is found in wisdom.

Wisdom is found in God. Now, in this passage that we looked at here, Proverbs chapter :1 through to verse 21, we see that wisdom is important for everyone. Everybody needs to have this kind of wisdom. They need a knowledge of the truth. As we mentioned earlier, the first angel's message goes to every nation kindred, tongue and people.

Jesus died for everyone. The Gospel message is for all. All needs to come to realization of truth. There are eight times, in these verses that we looked at, that the word 'truthfulness' is used - or 'truth.' So it's emphasizing the importance of truth. Now, in the next section that we have here in Proverbs chapter 8, there is a shift.

After describing what wisdom is, and what folly is, now we find a connection between wisdom and creation - and this is where it gets really interesting. Take a look now in verse 22 - we're in Proverbs chapter 8 and we're going to continue reading here in verse 22 - here are some well-known verses - "the Lord possessed me at the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning before there was ever an earth." Now this, of course, is a messianic prophecy. It's talking about Jesus. It's describing Christ prior to the incarnation.

In your lesson on Friday, there is a statement from the book 'Patriarchs and Prophets' and I want to read that. It's Friday and Friday's lesson, "the sovereign of the universe was not alone in his work of beneficence. He had an associate - a coworker - who could appreciate his purposes and could share his joy in giving happiness to created beings. "In the beginning was the word" - who's the word? Jesus - "and the word was with God and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

" Christ, the word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal father in nature, in character, in purpose. The only being that could enter into all of the councils and purposes of God and The Son of God, declares concerning himself, "the Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way. Before his works of old, I was set up from everlasting. He has appointed the foundations - when he appointed the foundations of the earth, then I was by him, as one brought up with him, I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him." And that, again, is from 'Patriarchs and Prophets.' So the next few verses that we have here in Proverbs chapter 8, are references to wisdom but also, more directly, it's a reference to Christ. If you look now in verse 24 - we're in Proverbs chapter 8 looking at verse 24, "when there was no depths" - that is, before creation - "I was brought forth.

When there were no fountains abounding with water." Now, of course, this verse has raised some questions in the minds of people. Does this verse mean that there was a point in time when Christ was not and then he was brought forth by The Father? What does it mean, by the way, to bring forth, anyway? Well, the Hebrew word there, translated as 'brought forth' is a word pronounced chayil and, primarily, it's meaning is 'to tremble' or 'to wry' or 'to manifest energy or activity.' Sometimes this phrase is also referred to bringing forth a child, but it also means 'to call into activity' or it is 'to call one to action.' In other words, you can read this verse, 'when there were no depths I was called into action' or 'called to activity.' The next part of the verse, 'when there were no fountains abounding with water.' Of course, this is a reference here to creation. Genesis chapter 1, verse 2 says that "the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." So in the last part of verse 24, when it talks about 'no fountains abounding with water,' you have a reference here to day one in creation. And then look at verse 25, "before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth." It's that same word - 'I was called into action' or 'called to activity.' This is a reference to the creation of land. Of course, that occurred on day three of the creation week.

Verse 26, "while as yet he had not made the earth or the fields, or the primordial or primeval dust of the world." This, again, refers to day three in creation, when God created the plants and the animals and the fields. Verse 28 says, "when he established the clouds above, and he strengthened the fountains of the deep." Now, this is a reference to creation, but I think it could also be a reference to the flood. Notice verse 28, it says, "when he established the clouds above." Did it rain on the earth prior to the flood? No it didn't. The Bible speaks of a mist that came up and watered the ground. Also, notice in verse 29, it talks about - or verse 28 - it talks about the fountains of the deep.

When do we have a reference in Genesis, to the fountains of the deep? It's in the context of the flood. Matter of fact, you can read it in Genesis chapter 7, verse 11, it says, "the fountains of the deep were broken up." So, of course, Christ is present at creation - very much so, but he's also there when creation is modified as a result of the flood. Looking then at verse 29, "when he assigned the sea its limits, so the waters would not transgress his commandments when he Marked out the foundations of the world." So this, again, is referring to Christ being there at creation. Of course, Christ is very much involved in creation, as we're going to see in verses 31 through 32 here in just a few moments. So not only is this referring to Christ and his role in creation, but it's also referring to the earth being created in wisdom.

There's great wisdom displayed in the things God has made. If you have your Bibles you can turn to Romans chapter 1, verse 20, where it talks about how God's power is revealed in the things that God has made. Romans chapter 1, looking here at verse 20. And if someone would read that for us - Romans chapter 1 and we're going to be looking here at verse 20 - talking about how creation reveals the wisdom of God. "For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.

Even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Well there the apostle Paul tells us that even God's power, and understanding a little bit about who God is, is displayed in the things that God has made. So creation cries out the wisdom of God. It reveals the truth of where we came from. Of course, there are many evidences in our world today that demonstrate the wisdom of God in creation.

You know, we have a little radio program at Amazing Facts, it's called 'Bible answers live' and we always begin our radio program by sharing a little amazing fact. I came across this fact dealing with a little fish and I think it's evidence of God's wisdom in creation. Let me read it to you. It says, "gobies are small fish which, during low tide, like to swim in rock pools on the edge of the ocean. One species called the blenny gobus - or gobies, enjoy jumping from one tidal pool to another.

Researchers, intrigued by this habit, decided to investigate. They discovered that the little fellows always jump in the right direction and at just the right distance, without ever landing on the rocks. Although much of the area around the pool is exposed rock and the little fish cannot see from one tidal pool to the next, it never misses. How does this little fish know just how far to leap and in what direction? Scientists have discovered that when the tide is in and covers the rocks, the little fish swims around and memorizes all of the bumps and the hollows so that when the tide is out, it knows exactly where to jump. In other words, this amazing fish is able to pre-memorize the shapes of all of the rocks and then calculate where the water is going to pool.

How could this small fish have enough wisdom to go about in advance and learn all of that? Well, in the creation of the world we see the wisdom of God revealed. James chapter 1, verse 5 says, "if anyone lacks wisdom let him ask of God and he will give to all liberally without reproach and it will be given unto him." So in the works of creation we can clearly see God's wisdom manifest. We can also see his character of care and concern for all of his creation. So creation reveals the wisdom of God. The Bible also tells us that Christ was very active in the creation of the earth.

Hebrews chapter 1, verse 2 - it says, "through him the worlds were made" - speaking of Christ. So wisdom, which comes from God, existed before man was created. In other words, wisdom does not originate with us. Wisdom is revealed to us. Wisdom is something outside of us that we learn from God.

So God is the true source of all wisdom. Then on Tuesday we have a lesson entitled 'rejoicing in creation.' And if you have your Bibles, let's look now at Proverbs chapter 8, beginning in verse 30. "Then I was beside him as a master craftsman. I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him." Now it's talking about wisdom, but it's also referring, here, to Christ. John chapter 1 talks about the word that was with God - "all things were made by him.

Without him was not anything made that was made." Verse 31 says, "rejoicing in his inhabited world and my delight was with The Sons of men." So we've seen in this passage, references to creation. Day 1 the earth being created and the waters on the earth. It talks about land being created. It has a reference there to plants being created. And now we come to day 6 here where it talks about The Sons of men.

Of course, that was the highlight of God's creation here on this earth. Why did God create man? In order to have fellowship with man. Here 'sons of man' is referred to as 'the delight of God.' Let's take a look at Isaiah 45, verse 18 - Isaiah 45 and verse , which talks a little bit about why God created the earth and God's desire to have fellowship with us. Isaiah 45 and verse 18 and I'll go ahead and read that for us. It says, "for thus saith the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: 'I am the Lord, and there is no other.

'" Why did God create the earth? It says he created it in order for it to be inhabited. God created man because he wants fellowship with us and it is a great delight to be in his presence. Now look at verse 32. We spoke about the different days of creation, now we have the seventh day of creation referred to - verse 32 - "now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways." After God created the earth in six days, what did he do on the seventh? God rested, God blessed, and God sanctified. And when we enter into fellowship with God, we receive a blessing.

So wisdom, here, is associated with truth. Wisdom is also associated with the creator. It's associated with Christ. So in Proverbs chapter 8, we find the reason for wisdom's rejoicing. My delight is with The Sons of man.

And, of course, the Sabbath becomes a symbol of that relationship that God wants to have with his creation. Colossians chapter 1, verse 16 - let's turn to that - Colossians chapter 1, verses 16 and 17 talk about Christ in creation. Colossians chapter 1, beginning here in verse 16. And John, when you're ready, let us know and we'll have you read it. Colossians 1, verse 16, "for by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created by him and for him.

" So this verse makes it very clear, with reference to Christ, that he was before all things and he was the one who created all things. So in the beginning, Christ was with The Father, very much involved in the creation of the world. Now looking at Proverbs chapter , finishing up our chapter there - we're on verse 33 - Proverbs chapter 8, verse 33, "hear instruction and be wise and do not disdain it." Verse 34, "blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my door." Now here is a blessing pronounced upon those who listen to wisdom - those who listen to Christ - how are we to listen to wisdom? Well, the next part of the verse tells us how - #1, watching daily at my gate; #2, waiting at the posts of my door. How many of you were in pathfinders at some point in time? Alright, we see some hands. I was in pathfinders.

I remember part of the pathfinder law was to keep the what? Keep the morning - keep the morning watch. And what did that refer to? The study of the Scriptures. How do we listen to wisdom? By spending time in the Scriptures. In addition to just spending time reading, we also need to spend time in prayer and that is waiting on the Lord - waiting at the posts of my door, as is portrayed in verse 34. So it's through the study of the Scriptures and through spending time in prayer, that we receive the wisdom of God.

That is how we come to know God. Verse 35 says, "for whoever finds me finds life." Of course the 'me' is wisdom, but even more specifically it's Jesus. Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. Whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord." In Matthew chapter 10, verse 32 Jesus said, "if you confess me before man I will confess you before my father. And if Jesus confesses us before his father, we are guaranteed to have favor from God.

Verse 36, "but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul. All those that hate me, love death." And so we see the three steps involved here, those who sin against me "wrongs his own soul." Now God is a God of love and the reason he gives us his law and the reason he gives us guidance is really for our own good. It's that hedge of protection that leads to life, that leads to peace, it leads to joy, it leads to the blessings that God wants to bestow upon us. So, Proverbs chapter 8 - beautiful passage talking about the importance of wisdom, but it also gives us descriptions of Jesus, especially as it's associated with Christ and his role in creation. That brings us, now, to Thursday's lesson.

If you have your lesson quarterly, this is on page 35 and we're going to be looking, now, at Proverbs chapter 9. Just a great passage as well. Let me just give you - orient you to the chapter, there are three sections to Proverbs chapter 9. The first section is from verse 1 through to verse 6, and it's talking again about wisdom. Wisdom here is described as a woman.

Then you find from verses 13 to there is a description of folly or foolishness and, again, it's described as a woman. So the first part of the chapter talks about wisdom. The last part talks about foolishness. And then in the middle it talks about how we can come to experience wisdom once more. So let's take a look now in Proverbs chapter 9 and look, if you would, at verse 1.

Now I'm going to jump back and forth between Proverbs 9 - the first part - and then Proverbs 9 the ending and you'll see the connection here. Take a look at verse 1, it says, "wisdom has built her house. She has hewn out her seven pillars." Now what does wisdom represent? Who is truth? Who is wisdom? As we've looked at it, it's Christ. It says, "wisdom has built her house. Who was actively involved in the creation of the earth? Jesus was.

"Wisdom has built her house." The earth - notice it said, "she has hewn out her seven pillars." The earth was created in six days and then God rested on the seventh day. Of course, the word - or the number 7, in Scripture, also represents perfection or completion. If you look at verse 13 you have foolishness. So wisdom talks about her building her house. It talks about the seven pillars.

But look at verse 13, it says, "a foolish woman is clamorous. She's simple and knows nothing." Now, the word clamorous there means 'marked by confusion.' In Bible prophecy, what does a woman sometimes represent? The church. A church. And does Revelation talk about a woman that's Marked by confusion? What's another word for confusion in Bible prophecy? Babylon. Babylon.

Babylon means 'confusion.' So here you have a church that, instead of following after wisdom, building up the truth, she is Marked by confusion - by Babylon. She's simple and she knows not the truth. Now go back to verse 2. We're contrasting between these two symbols. Verse 2 says, speaking of wisdom, "she has slaughtered her meat.

She has mixed her wine. She has also furnished her table. Now when it talks about 'slaughtered her meat, mixed her wine, and furnished her tables,' we know that Christ has provided a way of salvation for us through his sacrifice. Slaughtered her meat - that can refer to the sacrifice. The wine is a symbol of Christ - his atoning sacrifice - his blood.

She has furnished a table - in Matthew chapter 22 you have a parable about a marriage feast and all things are prepared. And, of course, that marriage represents Christ's reception of his kingdom - the reception of his bride. If you look at the contrast of that, look at verse 14 - Proverbs chapter 9, verse 14, talking of foolishness, "for she sits at the door of her house on a seat by the highest places of the hill to call to those who pass by who go straight on their way." So you find wisdom building up her house. In verse 14, you find foolishness sitting at the door of her house. She sits on a seat by the highest places and she's calling to those who pass by.

It's kind of interesting, that you'll notice here in the next - or a little further down in the chapter - that not only does foolishness sit at the high places of the city, but wisdom also sits at the high places of the city. And they are both calling out to the people passing by. So wisdom - truth - Christ - is calling out to people. At the same time, you have foolishness or folly calling out to people. And we need to be able to distinguish between the truth, wisdom, and falsehood - or lies.

A look at verse 3 - going back, now, to wisdom - it says, "she sent out her maidens; she cried out from the highest places of the city. Some have said that maybe these maidens might represent the prophets that were out to preach the Gospel and call people to the marriage supper of the lamb. You also have the reference, possibly, to the parable of the ten virgins, in Matthew chapter . Verse 4 says, "whoever is simple, let him turn here." Now those who are simple - it's referring to those who have a teachable spirit - those who have a humble heart - those who are seeking for truth - seeking for wisdom - "as for him who lacks understanding" - she says to him - "come eat my bread and drink the wine that I have mixed." So Jesus is calling out to those who are teachable - those who lack understanding - and Jesus says, 'come eat my bread.' What does that bread represent? Jesus says, 'the words I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.' Of course, also, it's a reference here to the broken body of Jesus. In the communion service we speak of the bread as symbolizing the body of Christ.

The wine, again, a reference to the sacrifice of Christ - his atoning sacrifice, which makes the wedding possible. And then verse 6 says, "forsake foolishness and live and go in the way of understanding. Foolishness there, again, is rebellion or stubbornness. Now notice the contrast over here in verse 16. You have foolishness calling to the same group, "whoever is simple, let him turn in here and as for him who lacks understanding" - she says to him - "stolen water is sweet and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

" Now, let me say something about verse 17, but before we do, notice that wisdom is calling the same group of people that foolishness is calling. In other words, the devil is trying to deceive the very ones that Christ is calling, alright? Notice what she says to try and deceive: 'stolen water is sweet' - notice there's no reference here to wine or the atoning sacrifice of Christ - 'and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.' Now, think back in your study of Proverbs, have we read anything about water and what that might represent? Yes we have, take a look at Proverbs chapter 5, verse 15 - notice the language here - this is foolishness described as a woman and she's calling out and she's saying, "stolen water is sweet." What does the water refer to here in Proverbs? Proverbs chapter 5, verse 15 - it says, "drink water from your own cistern and running water from your own well." Now, if you read on there in Proverbs chapter 5, it's talking about faithfulness to your spouse. Stolen water is obviously not drinking from your own cistern or your own well. Now when you talk about symbols in Scripture, who is the church, which is sometimes described as a woman, who does the church, in Scripture, or a woman in Scripture represent? Or who is the church, I should say - the bride - to be married to? Christ. Christ.

But when the church leaves her allegiance to Jesus and forms an alliance with some other power, whether it be political or whether it be in a power that has set aside the truths of God's Word, she is guilty of spiritual adultery. Here, this foolish woman says, "stolen water is sweet." - 'Come my way.' - "And bread eaten in secret is pleasant." Now what does bread represent? The word. The Word of God. What does it mean 'eaten in secret?' In 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 20, we read "no Scripture is for private interpretation. In other words, this is somebody that takes the Scriptures and takes it out of context or doesn't read the Scriptures as a whole.

Of course, there are many churches today that claim to be following the Scriptures - claiming to follow the truths of God's Word - but they are not eating - or studying the Scriptures - as a whole. A little bit here, a little bit there - taking things out of context. "And bread eaten in secret is pleasant." But verse 18, "but he does not know that death" - or the dead are there - "and that her guests are in the depths of hell." So here we have a call - a warning against this false teaching - this false doctrine. Stay true to the Word of God. So in Proverbs chapter 8, we have this beautiful portrayal of wisdom, which also represents Christ.

Connected with the wisdom, we find creation. We find truth. We find life. TRuth is absolute. It stands firm because truth is found in God.

God doesn't change. And God is inviting us in these passages, 'come to me.' Jesus said, 'come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.' True rest - true peace is found in Jesus and that's the message of Proverbs chapter 8, verse 9. I'd like to remind our friends watching, we do have a free offer. It's a book entitled 'amazing wonders of creation.' If you'd like to receive this offer, just call us. The number is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #116 - that's 866-788-3966.

Again, thank you so much for joining us and to our local church members here, thank you for coming out this evening. I hope you were inspired by our study. I was just so blessed when I was going through this passage and preparing. Just a wonderful demonstration of God's love for us. Let's close with a word of prayer.

"Dear Father, once again we thank you for the Scriptures. We thank you for your willingness to give us wisdom. And you want to give yourself to us that we might have the truth. We might have that creator, through his spirit, dwelling within us. Oh father, we thank you for this great invitation.

Thank you for the gift of life that's found in you and we thank you for Your Word which is indeed a lamp to our path and will lead us in the way of righteousness. Bless those who are watching. Be with us here. We just ask for your continued leading. In Jesus' Name, amen.

Thank you, friends for joining us again this week and those watching, please be sure to tune in next week as we continue with our study in the book of Proverbs. God bless you. (Crickets chirping) (dramatic music) mommy! Daddy! Help me! No, I don't think so. You didn't do very well on your report card this last quarter so...no. You haven't been pulling your weight around here lately.

You want help? Well, I wanted help with the dishes last night. Help yourself! Huh? Honey, did you bring the marshmallows? (Coughing) (sirens) in six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week millions of people worship on the first day. What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who is behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed.

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