How can we truly understand the wisdom in Scripture?
Listen to Adrian Rogers. Welcome to Love Worth Finding featuring real truth that never changes found in the timeless teaching of Adrian Rogers. You don't have to read the Scriptures long to realize that wisdom is perhaps the most important virtue we could ever obtain. Wisdom is what enables us to understand the Word of God and live by what it says.
In fact, it's so important there's a deadline to obtain it before each of us. Proverbs 1 says that one of these days God will issue His final call for wisdom. If you have your Bible, turn to Proverbs chapter 1. We'll begin in verse 20 as Adrian Rogers shares more about wisdom's final call. I want you to take your Bibles today now and find the book of Proverbs. Go to the book of Psalms that you're so familiar with and turn right one book and you've come to the book of Proverbs.
We're still in chapter 1 today. We've begun a brand new series on God's way to health, wealth, and wisdom. Now we want to make certain that it's God's health, God's wealth, and God's wisdom that we're seeking today.
The title of the message today is Wisdom's Final Call. Proverbs 1, beginning in verse 20, wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets, she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates, in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. Turn ye at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you, because I have called and ye refused. I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded, but ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity. I will mock when your fear cometh, when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish cometh upon you, then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer. They shall seek me early, but they shall not find me, for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord, they would none of my counsel.
They despised all my reproof, therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. Now in this passage of scripture, wisdom is spoken of as a person. That is, wisdom has been personified. Now what you need to learn today is that the voice of wisdom is the voice of God. When wisdom speaks, God speaks. The authority of wisdom is the authority of God. The invitation of wisdom is the invitation of God. The warning of wisdom is the warning of God. To neglect wisdom is to neglect God. To honor wisdom is to honor God. The blessings of wisdom are the blessings of God.
So it is wisdom that is speaking to you today, and it is God speaking to you today. A while back I had to make a trip. I made my way through the traffic.
I wanted to be certain to be there before the plane took off, and so we always tend to get there a little later than we think we're going to get there. I took my heavy bags. I had a long way to go and carried those bags in and got my ticket, went up and got my boarding pass. I looked up. I had plenty of time. I said, well, after all of this, I'm going to relax. I went down and bought me a cup of hot tea, bought me a newspaper, sat down there at the gate in the waiting room and read the newspaper and drank my hot tea. After a while I looked around, and the waiting room was empty.
I thought to myself, where's everyone gone? I asked the man, I said, when are you going to call this flight? He said, I've already called it. I said, when is it going to leave?
He said, it's already left. And I thought to myself, that's about the dumbest thing a man ever did, was to sit at the gate reading a newspaper and drinking hot tea while the airplane took off. I mean sitting right there. That's the kind of pastor you have. Now, folks, that's dumb. To sit right there, so oblivious to that final call, sitting there drinking tea, reading a newspaper while his airplane left. You say, right preacher, pretty dumb, pretty dumb.
But there's something more foolish than that. That would be for you to sit at the gate, at the very gate to glory, and have the last flight for heaven take off without you. One of these days, God is going to issue his final call to you. There's a deadline in front of everyone. There is a final call.
There is a last call. And we're going to read about it here, and we're going to study about it here in this passage of scripture as we think about wisdom's final call. Three things I want you to see. First of all, I want you to see something of the invitation of wisdom. Wisdom is here giving an invitation, calling to people. Begin in verse 20, and you're going to see that wisdom's invitation is a public invitation.
Wisdom crieth without. She uttereth her voice in the streets. She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates, in the city she uttereth her words. Now, what does all of this tell us? It tells us that the invitation of wisdom is a public invitation, not just to a chosen few, but God loves all people, and wisdom speaks to all people, and the voice of the Bible is whosoever will may come.
Amen. It is a public invitation, and that gives me joy today. Some people join their member of a lodge or some sort of a secret society, and when you get into that secret society, they give you certain knowledge. There's certain esoteric knowledge, things that other people are not supposed to know, but you're one of the initiates. You have gone through the initiation, and now they're going to lay all this wisdom upon you. Dear friend, if it's so good, you ought to give it away to everybody, to everybody. You know what Jesus said? I have done nothing in secret.
I've done nothing in secret. Friend, if it's wonderful, if it's good, it ought to be public. It ought to be for everyone. I'm so grateful that the Lord God loves the whole wide world, and I'm glad that the invitation of wisdom is a public invitation. You know what the Bible says in Matthew 10 and verse 27? What ye hear in the ear, publish ye upon the housetops. That is, let the whole world know that Jesus saves. And the invitation of wisdom is a public invitation.
And by the way, are you making it public? You ought to. We hear people say, keep the faith. Friend, not only should you keep it, you ought to give it away. And as far as I'm concerned, if you don't want to give it away, you ought to give it up, because what you have is not real. You'll never convince me that you know the real thing and the joy of the Lord Jesus, and you do not want to share it. The very first thing I want to say about the invitation of wisdom is, it is a public invitation. Secondly, look at it.
It is a pressing invitation. Look in verse 20, wisdom crieth without. Look in verse 21, she crieth in the chief place of concourse. That is, wisdom is not lackadaisical about this thing.
It's not a take it or leave it type of attitude. Wisdom is speaking with a tear in her voice. There's a sense of urgency. There's a sense of emergency. Wisdom is pressing her invitation. She's lifting up her voice.
She's crying. And how well we ought to do that? Some people don't like to go to a church where there's a public invitation. They say, I just don't believe in that urging people to get right with God.
Well, I want to tell you I do. The apostle Paul says, knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men, and God's public invitation is also a pressing invitation. Wisdom crieth. I'm so glad that when Adam was there in the Garden of Eden, that God came seeking Adam with a tear in his voice, and he said, Adam, where art thou?
It wasn't the voice of a detective. It was the voice of a brokenhearted God. I want to say something else about Wisdom's invitation.
Not only is it a public invitation, not only is it a pressing invitation, it is a patient invitation. Look, if you will, in verse 22. How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.
It is amazing that he would speak, that Wisdom would stretch forth her hands, but notice she continues to do it. And there are categories of persons who seem to be oblivious to the call of Wisdom. First of all, there's the one that the Bible calls the simple. And then there's the one in verse 22 that the Bible calls the scorner. And then there's the one that the Bible calls in verse 22, the fool.
And those three categories of persons are with us today. Now, who are the simple? Well, the word simple here comes from a root word which means open. He's just a person open to everything. He's easily led. He's what we would call today gullible, or he's careless.
He does not stop to think things through. And I suppose most of the people in America would just be characterized as simple, as simple they'd never stop to think about the great issues of life. They're not all bad people, wicked people in that sense. They're just people saying, we want to have a blast.
We want to have a good time. They never stop to think. They don't think things through. They don't think serious thoughts.
To them, life is a party, one great big continual party. Proverbs 22 and verse 3, just jot it down in your margin. The Bible says, A prudent man foreseeeth the evil and hideth himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.
See, they never stop to think that there's a death to die. There's a judgment to face. There's a hell to shun.
There's a heaven to gain. The prudent man foreseeeth the evil and hideth himself, but the simple pass on and are punished. And so the first category of persons that God has patience with is what we call the simple in verse 22. He's just a careless person.
Ah, but watch it. After a while, the careless person becomes the cynical person because the next category there is what he calls the scorner, the scorner. Now, who's a scorner?
A scorner is no longer a simple person. He's a person who has decided that he wants to mock holy things. He wants to laugh at holy things. He wants to sneer at holy things.
He curls the lip. He shoots out the tongue at holy things. He is a scorner, and he delights in his scorning. It gives him great joy to scorn holy things. And again, I want to tell you that God loves the scorner, and God's heart goes out to the scorner, and wisdom calls the scorner who is a cynic. Oh, cynics are terrible things to be around. A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Now, listen to me. A man is not a sinner because he's a scorner. He's a scorner because he's a sinner.
Put it down. Whenever you see a person mocking holy things, whenever you see a person who ridicules the Word of God, the Christ of God, the Book of God, when you see that, when you see a scorner, you show me a scorner, and I'll show you a man with the devil's initials carved in his heart. You show me a woman who laughs and mocks at holy things, and I'll show you a woman covered with the slimy fingerprints of sin. A man is not a sinner because he's a scorner. He's a scorner because he's a sinner. There is in his heart that evil, that sin that causes him to mock at holy things.
But notice here the progression. First the careless, then the cynical, and then finally the calloused. The calloused, the fool. Here's a man the Bible calls a fool who hates knowledge. I mean to speak to him, there's a steel curtain between you and him. He won't hear the words of God. He literally has an antipathy to this book. He hates this book and the things of God. Now when the Bible calls him a fool, that does not mean he has a low IQ.
That does not mean he's lacking in mental equipment. It means he has a disposition, a chosen lifestyle, that he has set himself in and the Bible calls that man a fool. He is indeed a fool. Now how did he get to be a fool?
I want to show you something and I want you to look at it here in verse 22. How long ye simple ones will ye love simplicity? Underscore the word love. And the scorners delight in their scorning. Underscore the word scorning. And fools hate knowledge.
Underscore the word hate. Friend, when you begin to love what you ought to hate and when you begin to delight in what you ought to shun, soon you will begin to hate what you ought to love. When a man begins to love what he ought to hate, it is not long until he hates what he ought to love. And a man who begins to love simplicity will soon begin to hate knowledge and his heart will get harder and harder and harder. But while men's hearts are getting harder and harder and harder, wisdom is there with tears streaming down her cheeks.
Wisdom is there with an emotion in her voice. Wisdom is there with her hands outstretched saying, how long, how long, how long will you love simplicity? How long will you delight in scorning?
How long will you hate knowledge? Oh, thank God for the patience of our dear Lord. He is indeed a patient God. Patiently, earnestly, tenderly wisdom is calling. It is a public invitation. It is a pressing invitation. Wisdom is crying.
It is a patient invitation. God still loves you. But there's a second thing I would have you see today, and not only is that wisdom's invitation, but I want you to see wisdom's indoctrination. Because there's some who are saying in their mind, well, Mr. Rogers, I can't help it if I don't understand your Bible. I can't help it if these things don't mean something to me. It's not my fault if I don't have this wisdom.
I wasn't born with it. Perhaps I don't have the gift. I want to show you that if you want God's wisdom, you can have it, because God will indoctrinate you with His wisdom if you get yourself in the place where God can speak to you. I want you to look, if you will, in verse 23. Here's God's challenge.
Look at it. Turn you at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you. I will make known my words unto you.
Now, do you want to know how to know wisdom? Number one, turn you at my reproof. Do you know what the word turn means? It means repent. Do you know what repent means?
It means to change your mind. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord and to his God, and he will have mercy upon him and will abundantly pardon. If we forsake our ways and our thoughts, then we'll have God's thoughts and God's wisdom, but there must be a point of repentance. Now, listen, you, my dear friend, are not going to learn anything from God until you're willing to repent, and don't blame God if you don't repent. Wisdom says you must turn, and even if God were to speak to you, you couldn't hear it if you did not repent.
You couldn't hear it. I tell you, if God were to give you wisdom, it would be like pouring water on a rock. You must prepare your heart to hear the word of God, and there must be, there must be, there must be the repentance of the sinner that makes Jesus Christ Lord. Then there will be the revelation of the Spirit. Look, if you will, as we continue to read. Turn you at my reproof. Behold, I will pour out my Spirit upon you.
Hallelujah. Listen, folks, this book is written by God. It is given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He is the author, and you will never understand it until God pours His Spirit out upon you. The Bible says the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned. The only way you're going to know the truth of God's word is for the Holy Spirit to turn the light on in your sin-darkened soul.
But when there is the repentance of the sinner, then immediately and conjointly there is that revelation of the Spirit, and God's Holy Spirit comes in. Oh, you can read the Bible and get the facts and the dates and memorize the kings of Israel, and you can know the names of the twelve apostles and all that, but you will never know the wisdom of this book. You will never know the truth of this book until God the Holy Spirit pours Himself out upon you. But there will be, if there is the repentance of the sinner, there will be the revelation of the Spirit, and that is followed by what I want to call the reliability of the Scripture.
Look again, if you will. Verse 23, And make known my words unto you. This book that I hold is the word of God, and it contains the words of God. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
You want wisdom? Folks, this is God's wisdom book, and when there's the repentance of the sinner, there will be the revelation of the Spirit, and there will be in your hand the reliability of the Scripture. Look in chapter 2, verse 6. For the Lord giveth wisdom. Out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous. The entrance of thy word, O Lord, giveth light. And how wonderful it is when God the Holy Spirit takes the repentant sinner, pours Himself upon that sinner, opens the word of God, and gives the knowledge from the word of God where we have God's knowledge. Don't you tell me, friend, that you can't have wisdom. Don't you tell me that God cannot give you wisdom.
He can, He does, He will. First is the invitation of the Spirit, and along with the invitation of the Spirit is the indoctrination of the Spirit for where God calls, God enables. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
Glory to God. Now, the third thing I want you to see, however, is not only wisdom's invitation and not only wisdom's indoctrination, but I want you to see wisdom's indignation. Did you know that God may become indignant? Have you ever thought of God as being indignant? I did a scripture search, and I was overwhelmed with the passages that deal with the fact that the great God of heaven, when His holiness and His majesty is insulted, may become indignant.
Let me give you just two of them. In Nahum 1 and verse 6, the Bible asks this question, Who can stand before His indignation? Who can stand before His indignation? The answer is obvious.
No one can. Hebrews 10 verse 27 speaks of a fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries. Well, why would God become indignant? Why does wisdom become indignant?
I'll tell you why. Verse 24 begins with this, Because I have called and ye refused. I have stretched out my hand and no man regarded, but ye have set it not on my counsel and would none of my reproof. Now, here's why wisdom is indignant. Because the call of wisdom, the invitation of wisdom, that public invitation, that pressing invitation, that patient invitation is time and time and time again swept aside.
And there comes a time when invitation turns to indignation as we're going to see. And coming up tomorrow, we'll hear part two of this important lesson. In the meantime, maybe you have a prayer request that's really pressing down on your heart. At Love Worth Finding, one of our great honors is to come alongside you and pray with you and for you. If you can, go to our website homepage at lwf.org slash radio and scroll down to our prayer wall. There you'll find the option to either submit a prayer request or pray for others. This resource is one of our favorite ways to keep the ministry and the community praying continually for one another's needs.
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Mention the title, Wisdom's Final Call. This message is also part of the insightful series A Word to the Wives. For that complete six message collection, call 877-LOVEGOD or order online at lwf.org slash radio. Or you can write us at Love Worth Finding.
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