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Wisdom in the Traffic Patterns of Life

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2021 12:00 am

Wisdom in the Traffic Patterns of Life

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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April 14, 2021 12:00 am

“A wise life is made up of a multitude of small things; little words, not eloquent speeches. It is not in one heroic effort, but through little things, that a life is wisely lived.”

That’s another way of saying, wisdom is to be demonstrated out there in the routine, traffic patterns of life.

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These five dangerous assignment Solomon is encouraging us to use wisdom.

The average person doesn't show up to work with this kind of wisdom perceptive patients are not punctual, they're not prepared or not protective jobs. Just get it done. Give it to the lowest bidder who could do in the shortest time. Never mind the details sound like our country get us hung up in bad patterns.

A wise life is made up of a multitude of small things the little conversations you have are probably more impactful than the speeches you make today on wisdom for the heart will learn that it's through the little things that a life is lived wisely here Stephen baby with the message called wisdom and the traffic patterns of life. I invite you back to Ecclesiastes chapter 10 were God's spirit through Solomon's life experiences is gonna reveal for us some great advice for traveling and what will simply call the normal traffic patterns of of life. Solomon is going to give us down to earth, simple common sense advice for three routine situations in the first area isn't responding wisely to the people in authority who frankly aren't as wise as you are and you probably work around them right.

He tells us here in verse four the anger of a ruler rises against you. Do not leave your place for calmness will lay great offenses to restless just referred to this as misguided anger by knowing the Hebrew word for ruler here doesn't doesn't limit the context to a king. This can be broadly applied to multiple levels of authority. So let's just talk in plain terms. Your boss has has blown his top again. Maybe you come to live with this. It's a pattern he's hotheaded is given to anger, which by the way Solomon writes in his collection of Proverbs that this is a signal that he's a self centered sinner Justin common terms, but we won't worry with that for now but he's done it again and as far as you're concerned this is the last straw. You've had it jerked on this job isn't worth it. And maybe for the rest of your shift.

You're composing a resignation letter that resembles a blowtorch and you can't wait to respond with fire to fire your thinking well I'm a Christian. So what I need to do is attach a verse at the end of this resignation letter.

You know that'll just torture. So you and overtly or flipping through it online chin and you come to Ecclesiastes 10 verse four and Solomon writes do not leave your place, respond with calm self-control. Well, that person gonna work.

So you gotta keep looking, actually, is the first to apply here and now one author paraphrases this advice to read. Let your cool composure. Calm down hot temper don't quit, don't leave your post. Your boss might be a fool. That anger represents battles. He's fighting you don't know any about your just at the tip of the spear, don't overreact. Solomon is saying to your bosses overreaction.

Stay cool. I couldn't help but think of Rudyard Kipling's famous lines proposed a century ago were an older man is giving advice to his son. He writes if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs that and blaming it on you if you can wait and not be tired by waiting or being lied about, yet not responded and lies, or being hated, yet not give way to hating, you'll be a man myself in the normal traffic pattern of life you're going to encounter misguided anger when everyone around you is steamed wisdom is getting revealed in the person it keeps a cool head and a calm spirit. Solomon moves on to talk about misguided appointments with the verse five there is an evil that I've seen under the sun as it were in error, proceeding from the ruler. In the Hebrew word for ruler can refer broadly to somebody in authority. In order for evil. There is an evil. I've seen refers to something that's improper. It's translated. It's unjust. It's not right in the word for error refers to a faultless mistake. You could actually understand it as an administrative oversight. That's the context he's taking right into the business world and is for six Folly is set in many high places. Here's the error is the administrative oversight. The rich sit in the low place.

I've seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves either misguided appointment they need to understand Solomon's day ordinary citizens didn't own horses. They were reserved for political leaders, nobility royalty don't get carried away here with with the illustration and miss the point he is in making the point that rich people ought to be able to ride a horse everywhere and slaves on a walk everywhere.

What Solomon is doing here is describing a culture that is been turned upside down because of unwise appointment.

In other words people had been promoted by the authority don't deserve it. That's his point somebody deserves to ride instead of all is walking instead of writing those who should be promoted deserve it presented by writing a horse they don't get the job. The job goes to someone who is less deserving somebody who doesn't belong on a horse.

We would say they're the one in the saddle deserve to be in the saddle. They they don't deserve that position authority somebody walking really on rewriting this principle happens in every generation in every segment of society in every culture. Maybe it happens because of connections you know the person I got promoted knew the boss.

Maybe there's some kind of you know money under the table are a favor or flattery. This is just oversight and before you know it. The person that your job who is the least deserving is now in the saddle, so to speak. Maybe it's because you know a friend of a friend nor friend. Maybe it's even a little cheating on the resume. Solomon now moves on and I got to move quickly to a second area where wisdom is needed in very practical terms is another one of those traffic patterns of life.

We need wisdom in preparing for dangerous assignment. Imagine five of them here in this text fairly quickly and will goes quickly. Look at verse eight he who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall. Solomon is essentially saying, take precautions, that is, be protective, let me tell you at a time. Keep in mind that these verbs in this list are to be understood as possibilities that are not predictions so understand this is. This might happen this may happen if you don't take care you're digging a pit. You need to put something, you know, that reminds you.

Maybe the next day when you go back to where the edge of that hit is located. Show wasn't created that happened after the fall K there's no yellow tape there are not all these guidelines and codes and ordinances.

So the why is worker is actually going to appreciate OSHA all the standards that are put in place be protective. The last part of verse eight brings up another danger.

A serpent may bite him who breaks through a wall. This is the idea being patient in the near East you been over there you'll know even to this day. Loose rocks are used to create a typical fence or wall for borders, snakes love all those crevices, so don't just jump in there, be patient enough to survey the scene to look for danger hidden in those dark crevices. The idea be patient. The third assignment appears in verse nine he who quarries stones may be hurt by them. In a word, this advice is simply be perceptive. Think ahead is the idea.

Think ahead. Think about what you're doing that might affect something else is going to happen because of what you're doing as I study this reminded me of the little boardgame or playing with our grandson called booby-trap all those little plastic things are kinda scrunch together on this spring, spring-loaded board, and if you pull out the wrong piece without thinking about what is going of Houston will affect all the other pieces.

The trap springs and those pieces go flying everywhere, which is his favorite party loves to lose this game. This is about us down to earth advice. As you can get the perceptive notice the latter part of verse 90 brings up another dangerous assignment and he who splits law is endangered by them here so we make it worse. If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed the Council. Here's be prepared.

If you haven't sharpen that acts you're not prepared for the job. If you haven't sharpen its dog. What is that mean that mean you're going to have to swing a lot harder.

He adheres verse 11 if the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer. The advice here would be to be prompt. This is an issue of timing, be punctual, snake charmer's were common entertainers and Solomon's day.

To this day parts of the world. I watched a young snake charmer on the streets of India playing his flute sway that serpent swaying with them.

I stayed 20 feet away. Evidently the snake charmer in Solomon's illustration is in our hurry to gather his money. The snake isn't fully charmed. That is, it isn't over.

It's not safely back in the wicker basket and that snake charmer is not prompt or punctual a long time. Timing is missed.

It and timing for the snake charmer is vital to surviving. So in these five dangerous assignment Solomon is encouraging us to use wisdom. He says essentially what I've been around I've seen one situation emerge after another. The average person doesn't show up to work with this kind of wisdom they're not perceptive they're not patient they're not punctual they're not prepared. They're not protective. It was just kind of the quickest jobs just get it done.

Give it to the lowest bidder who can do it in the shortest time. Never mind the details. Sounds like our country. Don't worry about the details.

Maybe no one will notice.

I read recently that a library in Boston led a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of what was called the great molasses flood January 15, 1919 little over hundred years ago an enormous steel fact 50 feet high, 240 feet around containing 2.3 million gallons of processed thick molasses burst open waves of thick molasses 30 feet high race like title waves through town become a call if it wasn't so tragic it destroyed buildings and crushed freight cars destroyed automobiles around 21 people and investigation began.

It revealed that this company had ignored the warning signs where this tank had begun leaking molasses and had for years. They refused to let it be known in and they weren't about the whole production because of that's dollars and sent it over the years, get this, the report said. They simply repainted the tank to match the color of the leaking molasses. Maybe that's what we get the expression let's just paint over just paint over rather than do the job well. Maybe. Maybe nobody will notice. Well, let's just keep the paycheck coming even though were doing a poor job painting over things when I'm working with wisdom, were doing the quickest job we can do. Solomon introduces us now to 1/3 routine traffic pattern of life were wisdom needs to show up. Not only do we need wisdom in responding to difficult leaders wisdom in preparing for dangerous assignments. Third, we need wisdom in guarding daily conversation Solomon describes in detail now. The words of a foolish person. He begins by first making a statement of a wise person's words notice the first part of verse 12 the words of a wise man's mouth win him favor you could would normally translate that phrase the words of a wise man's mouth are grace their grace, their gracious they are appropriate favorable which returns favor now Solomon drops that statement and he really wants to spend time contrasting it with the words of a foolish person.

He does it for ways. First, there words are destructively verse 12. The latter part the lips of a fool consume him. You can render that the lips of a fool swallow him up a fool all falls into his mouth is rough translation might be infected occurred to me perhaps the background you are expression today of someone putting their foot in their mouth that is, they are essentially beginning to consume themselves with their foolish words. The words are destructive.

Secondly, the words are devious verse 13 he goes on to say the beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness, it just gets worse. Words ultimately are devious.

Thirdly, there words are delusional. Verse 14 a fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be that is in the future. Who can tell him what will be after him. Only God knows the future, not mankind. Here's a foolish person multiplying the words they don't want to stop talking, and Solomon is highlighting the fact a lot to talk about the future as if they know they love to talk about some global disaster on the horizon or peers with happen in the world economy is our technology is or the future of their own business plans around physical health. I got everything buttoned down. They talk about the future as if they figured it all out.

That's foolish talk reminds you of the wildly successful farmer. Luke's gospel records for us in chapter 12 and I'll paraphrase these the waters as man. I've had one bumper crop after another, not to tear them a little bar and to build bigger barns. I can finally say to myself, you got it made for the rest of your life as long as you can see the rental work again does eat drink and be merry.

But God comes to him and says foolish talker tonight. You're actually going to die you plan for everything in the future, but the inevitable future dying. The wisest thing you could ever do with your future is entrusted to God, who alone knows the wisest thing you could ever say about your future and you can know this with confidence is that you believe the gospel. You have spoken those all-important words of faith and trust in Jesus Christ and you've asked him to forgive your sin and write your name in the Lamb's book of life, those of the wisest words you will ever speak, which means the wisest thing you could ever do about your future is make sure you've entrusted it to the Lord where you're gonna end up and you can know that everything between now and entrusted to the Lord. The words of a foolish person are destructive there devious. There delusional. Fourthly, they are distracting. Notice verse 15 toil of a fool wears him out weary's brief does not know the way to the city. Now, in this context, the foolish person is busy talking about themselves.

It's as if that's their toil there. Their job is to talk about themselves like it just stopped for a moment and summarize our study through chapter 10. Thus far, I like to do it by giving you three simple principles of application boil it down to just a few statements number one.

Pay attention to the smallest temptations never Solomon began this chapter by telling us that just a few dead flies ruin an expensive bottle of perfume so likewise just a little sin. Sin here and there can ruin the reputation be careful. Watch your wall, pay attention to the smallest temptation.

Secondly, pay attention to the smallest detail.

Watch your work. Take wisdom to work with you go against the grain of your culture and actually care about details. Don't don't paint over poor work. Think it through. Ask the Lord for wisdom in your sacred vocation or calling, which is the job is given. You did your work is more important than a paycheck that the most important thing you'll take home from work is not your paycheck. The most important thing you'll take home from work is you watch her walk. Watch your work. Thirdly, pay attention to the shortest conversations.

Watch your words guarding even the smallest word but even the smallest word. Your word grace I was reading one pastor who illustrated this point with a lady in his congregation was a kindergarten teacher snowed a lot there in Illinois, where they live. Snow suits for children in school were standard equipment. So one afternoon after a long day. She helped one of the little boys in her class into his snowsuit. He writes it was one of those infernal kind with snaps and buttons and voices.

It just didn't fit in very well. It was too small and it took her 10 minutes to squeeze them in. Finally she finished and he looked up at her and meekly said this is my snowsuit. She didn't say anything. The words that came to her mind, were not words of grace. By the way, and I'll add this kindergarten teachers among us. You deserve medals of honor. You survive. Students like to thank you for doing it so she pushed and pulled and untied and unsnapped finally got them out of this. He looked up at her again and said to her, this is my sister snowsuit. My mother said I could wear that T-shirt. Everyone was get on the planet is our lease with my classroom. How do you respond when life happens. Remember earlier that Scottish pastor and author.

I quoted essentially summarize their study is that it this way. A wise life is made up of a multitude of small little more not eloquent speech is not one heroic effort but through little thing alive, wise.

Another way of saying wisdom is to be demonstrated after routine traffic you may have some really big issues that are facing but you definitely have a whole lot of small things facing today.

We've seen that how we handle these little things reveals our commitment to live wisely or not in the traffic pattern of your life today. I hope you'll choose wisdom. Thanks for tuning in. This is wisdom for the heart with our Bible teacher, Stephen Devi, you can learn more about us. If you visit our website wisdom we enjoy hearing from you. Our email address is if you want to send us a card or letter. Our address is wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627. Let us know how God is using his word to change your life. Thanks for joining us today be back next time.

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