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April 1, 2022 1:00 pm
This morning because out of all the things that Solomon's in this wonderful rich book. He speaks of riches.
He speaks of vanity and a speaks of course of wisdom. Wisdom is found in 27 verses within the book of Ecclesiastes multiple times.
We also attribute the book of Proverbs to Solomon. The book of Proverbs, he sucks about abandoned our title wisdom over 38 verses, just within Proverbs multiple times in his verse on and on it goes. But let's answer the first question, therefore, question why is it important to talk about was why is it so important right now. This morning that that we are leaning into the book of Ecclesiastes to find out what is so important about wisdom and here's just a very blunt statement of why this is important this morning is simply this, because common sense is not very common and we need some wisdom.
That is my great summation as I was reading through Ecclesiastes and prepare for this morning and I asked myself the questions I ask you throughout life perversely will I'm sure we talk about wisdom because there's no common sense in this world right now we look at everything going on and you discover how it signs you see what's happening in the world you scratch your head and go well. Why did they do that just went and we have teenagers and that's a question on a daily basis is why they do that you look at the world and you look at the world around us and why they choose that are why is this happening, I found myself in the last three years especially say there is no common sense is not common at all is is out there. If there's a time by the way for the church to rise up and to speak into what's happening in the world, is it not now the time not now is the time for us as believers to not hide and not shudder back, but the speak truth in the street. Biblical truths we wisdom to do that we wisdom just to live our everyday life we wisdom on how to deal with people how to do it ourselves out of the with our families. What's going on with our jobs we wisdom and all of these categories. Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 16 Solomon says, in my heart I require great wisdom, surpassing all whoever before me in Jerusalem, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and of knowledge which again noticed with Solomon as he is talking about wisdom. He relates a lot of it to his heart into his soul is very important to keep that truck back in the back your mind as you talk about wisdom. He talks about it at a soul level and a heart level, not just at a knowledge base level Ecclesiastes 29. He says I became great and surpassed all the work for me in Jerusalem, and my wisdom remained in me putting the value of wisdom over the book of Proverbs chapter 2 verse 6 to 10.
Again, these are the same speaker the same words of Solomon, he says, for the Lord gives wisdom. Again, this is a porn statement. The Lord gives wisdom from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright in verse 10 he says for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Those are very critical statements about wisdom setting. Sometimes we think about wisdom and we talk about wisdom, we just come from a context of his having more knowledge having more information. Being able to make right choices, which is definitely part of what wisdom is.
But he never thought about wisdom that it's actually refreshing to your soul to have wisdom and knowledge that or something at a heart level and a soul level that goes much deeper than just information than just knowledge. Being wise and having wisdom is not just the accumulation of knowledge and here is a very important statement you can write this down.
Memorize it. Think about it, it simply this, when it comes to wisdom. Wisdom should transform us, making us more like Jesus.
That's what wisdom to do wisdom should change us.
It should transform us and where there is wisdom where there is true transformation is pleasant to our souls. This is what separates just wisdom from just knowledge.
This is what separates from just being smart or book smart or having a lot of information to actually doing something with it and organist see as we unpack this even more true wisdom actually inspires action is action that comes from a heart and a soul level. Every look at the Gospels we see that Jesus is the epic tome of wisdom is the he is the center of all wisdom. He is the center of what truth is.
It is why the gospel is so important in our lives why transformation is so important, so now it's go to Ecclesiastes chapter 7 progress the morning I want to give us three takeaways three lessons that we are going learn from this verse the way, do this morning just to set up as a Marine 15 versus all once and then were dismissal impact them that this is a this the complex verse chapter I want to make sure that you lean in, take some notes pay attention. There's a lot of nuances that Solomon speaks to that really really drive home this point of wisdom, even more so here you go. Ecclesiastes chapter 7 verse 14 starting verse 14. During the verse 29 it says in the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity considered God has made the one as well as the other so that man might not find out anything that will be after him in my vein life I have seen everything there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness. There is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing be not overly righteous and do not make yourself to wise. Why should you destroy yourself. Be not overly wicked neither be a fool, why should you die before your time is good that you should take hold of this and from that withhold not your hand. For the one who fears God will come out from both of them. Wisdom gives strength to the wise men more than 10 rulers who are in the city.
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never since. Do not take to heart all the things that people say less you hear your servant cursing your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others and this I have testified by wisdom, I said I will be wise, but it was far from that which is been far off and deep very deep who can find out. I turn my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom in the scheme of things, and snow. The wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness. I found something more bitter than death. The woman whose heart it snares and nets in whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by behold this is what I found says the preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things which my soul has sought repeatedly but have not found one man among a thousand.
I found, but a woman among these have not found see this alone.
I found that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes with spray father as we open your work this morning as we just read the words spoken by King Solomon the wisest man who's ever lives.
Lord I pray for clarity.
I pray this morning that as we parse this out and talk through the meaning of this that she would be enriching our very souls that the wisdom that we find today would not just be to make better choices. It would not be just to change behavior, but there be true transformation our life because of the wisdom that we get today we thank you for it. In Jesus name, amen. Wisdom lesson number 1.this down wisdom. Lesson number one is found in the very first verse we read, and that is simply this.
Be joyful in all seasons see true spiritual. Mature wisdom says that we need to be joyful in all seasons of verse 14.
Did you catch what he said.
He said in the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity considered God has made one just as much as he made the other one. In other words, God has made both the days of adversity as well as the days of joy.
Now let's back up to verse 13, because in verse 13 is the set up for this entire passage. Verse 13 says this is consider the work of God who can make straight what he has made crooked.
Now that's an important verse to understand where we find wisdom and why we can say that I'm going to have joy in the good days and the bad days. I'm also going to recognize that God is also part of this Michael even says it this way. He says that the basic twisted nurse in our experience of life is not face snuffing but is God ordained both good times and bad times are purposeful.
The fluctuating seasons of life keep us dependent on God as we begin to to explore what real wisdom looks like and what it feels like true wisdom at that a soul level again because in our mind. Like the world would not say ever that the days of adversity. We should be joyful over, nor does the world say that the days of adversity that that we should rejoice and thank God for all those days as well. As the other days but true spiritual wisdom at the heart and soul level understands will read in chapter 3 a few weeks ago where the writer and the speaker says, for there is a time for every season every season. Haven't has its purpose. The good seasons and the bad seasons to have wisdom not just knowledge understands that in those seasons God causes the sun to rise on the good and on the bed.
But here's the problem that I wrestle with the maybe I'm alone in this is a struggle I have with acknowledging this kind of concept when it comes to wisdom and Eric thought, why does it seem like evil people prosper as a member thought that I struggle with that.
Honestly I do I struggle with with looking at why do evil people prosper and then the follow-up is in your wonder why those who are clearly and understandably ungodly seem to have it all and hear you and I are were trying to follow God the best we can be good moral and ethical people following him, serving him, and sometimes it appears as though everybody else who's not doing that are doing better or healthier.
They have more money that will material things and that is the trap that will phones which is why it's so important that we understand wisdom because it seems like the unrighteous are actually prospering simply that's happening the world's view of righteousness really comes down to workspace so doesn't affect in the Scripture. It speaks about those who have it all. It says that, don't be jealous of the sinful and don't be general jealous of the unrighteous because they've already received their reward in having a mature understanding of wisdom and joy understands that this in my reward is not in my stuff we talked about this in week one thought of this week, one where you can't take any of it with you anyways and see.
Look at all that we accumulate and this is what the writer and speaker are referring to a comes a vanity.
This is the trap of vanity vanity says I have to have all of these things in order to be fulfilled in life I have to have all these things in order to have purpose in life, but without God. All those things they just disappear one day there are gone. You're never going to attain it. You won't ever get there. So even the writer is acknowledging that there is a difficulty that we face at times by looking over the fence and say in the grass is greener over there. Why do they seem to be having everything when that sometimes it seems like we struggle. St. Augustine says this way says that we are too weak to discover the truth by reason alone we can't reason our way through this life there's wisdom at a soul level that God gives us to understand really truly what this looks like and again the true spiritual mature wisdom says this and this is a subject that sometimes it's hard to understand and it seems like it's just a fleeting answer, but it's the truth and that is simply this true spiritual wisdom understands and recognize that God is sovereign over all words sovereign is an important word that God is sovereign over everything. Sovereignty means this God's sovereignty simply means that he has the absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure. That is, by definition, the definition of God's sovereignty. In other words, you and I are not God and God has the rights to do whatever he wants to do which makes them sovereign over all the things that he does that he is overall which means that whatever he's made crooked you and I can make straight that the days that are good and prosperous. Rejoice the days that we struggle recognize that God is even in those days because he is still sovereign over all things. In Revelation chapter 4 verse 11 it speaks to God's sovereignty were around the multitudes or saying worthy are you are Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and they were created, God has created all things God has pursued all things and so in that there is a sovereignty that goes with God's plan for our life.
The purpose of our life. The plan for life wisdom true mature wisdom that transforms us understands that I have to be joyful in the good and I have to be joyful in the bed firmly.
James chapter 3 will quickly James chapter 3 verse 13 to 18. It defines mature wisdom in the context of joy in the context of the fruit of wisdom of what real wisdom actually looks like. Again, I think the dividing factor has to be that that knowledge-based alone versus wisdom at a soul level. Those are two very different things and they they function they operate differently in James chapter 3 verse 13. This is who is wise and understanding among you by his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but it is earthly, it is unspiritual it is demonic. There is a big difference between true spiritual wisdom and jealousy and bigotry and pride and ego and all these other attributes that come from just wisdom alone fighting to give a plug for next week.
Next week we are diving into first John and were to answer the question next week where did evil come from, why is there Satan, why is there sin because a lot of this revolves around all of these concepts that swirl around us and is a choice that you and I have to make because I think it's important to recognize that that there is wisdom that doesn't come from above. There's wisdom that exact opposite that is unspiritual that is demonic in nature and that wisdom is jealousy and selfish ambition. That is where I step into when I start to appear over and say while the unrighteous have it all and I'm struggling in and you start to feel bad and go down this road that is not wisdom from above is for jealousy and selfish ambition exists there will be disorder. This is powerful.
This is exactly what's happening in the world around us. There was utter disorder. There was utter chaos. Why because we are being at times led by people have no concept of godly wisdom. That's why there's disorder.
That's why it's so important that you work where you work. That's why so important that you go to school you go to school you live in the neighborhood you live in is you might be the only sound person that existed and where you work, you will be the only one with any kind of common sense when it comes the godly wisdom where you work without it without godly wisdom. There is chaos. Listen, I know this to be true.
My own life. When I seek my own wisdom. It always turns in the chaos doesn't… Just think about assisting what your life when you seek your own way in your own wisdom is not the result chaos now might be good for a while. It might make sense for a while but in the end of it is not was in a comes from above.
Verse 17 I love this and says this is but the wisdom from above godly given wisdom listen. It's the attributes.
It is pure it's peaceable it's gentle it's open. The reason it's full of mercy. It's full of good fruits. It's impartial. It's sincere. It's a harvest of righteousness that is sown in peace by those who make peace is a good gut check moment good self self eval moment where there is no peace.
Chances are, there is no godly wisdom is chaos.
The attributes we just read speak of wisdom being pure being open for conversation being reasonable, honoring each other like all these atoms all the fruits that come on the true godly wisdom.
This is our second point today. The second lesson in wisdom is self-righteousness leads to no righteousness. Self-righteousness leads to no righteousness.
Let's go back to verse 15 verse 15 it says in my vein life I have seen everything there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.
Verse 16 caught my attention and caused me to spend. I can't tell you how many hours I spent on the next few words. The next few words are simply this, be not overly righteous. I have pause when I read that and my sarcastic side kicked in and said, should we strive to have a lot of righteousness because not the point to be like really righteous. It sounds like a good idea to me to be like Noel on my I want. I yeah I want to be overly right so I want to have a lot of righteousness in my life and I'm reading from Psalm… Don't be overly righteous and he begins to related to making a fool yourself. It literally says that he will destroy yourself, you will be to live do not overly wicked neither be a fully relates to being foolish and all these things and and at the end of that is is the one who fears God will come out of both of them. So again he relates it back to the true purpose of life which is fearing God, but…… Unpack for a few moments.
We just go with me here and let's talk about what is it mean to be not overly righteous.
I think it's important to talk about this because the the side of overly righteous is an ugly side and forcibly see it a lot.
Jamison says it this way when it's referenced the wording of the night over the righteous Psalm is basically saying this is sin is for bidding a self-made righteousness of outward performance is what Solomon isn't saying is this is a spiritual righteousness that only comes from Jesus. He saying that there is a man-made manufactured righteousness that is on performance alone, and instead of receiving it as a grace from God.
It comes out as fanatical pharisaical righteousness separated from God separated from God.
Spencer Jones and another article on this is it this way. He says that this is to warn against two scrupulous observation of ritual and ceremonial religion or mistaken piety, which the Glade that neglects all mundane affairs which is a pharisaical spirit in nature. I want to speak to that pharisaical spirit for just a few moments to me here that were Pharisee and maybe you've heard that terminology for sacral spirit and I think is important to recognize because that is the output of overly righteous self-made righteousness that he warns us to stay away from the word Pharisee comes from Aramaic word actually.
The Pharisees were just before Jesus and just after Jesus, they didn't want there for a long long time.
It may have been just a few hundred years of the most that the Pharisees were really in operation and a comes from the word person in its this is simply PRS H is the Aramaic word for Pharisee and support because that terminology actually means, by definition it is to separate it is to divide it is to distinguish it and basically the Pharisees of the time they were about separatist. They were known as piety. They were known as being righteous and these Pharisees. They themselves kept apart and we know this to be true. All you do is read the Gospels anytime Jesus encountered the Pharisees. He did not have very pleasant words and save them there usually very harsh. He called them a brood of vipers, you call them hollow and shallow on the inside he called and money groveling a me he had a thing with these Pharisees. Because of this very reason the Pharisees would separate themselves. There are Hellenistic in nature. They were committed to defending even to the point of taking up arms, thinking of sorts to defend their beliefs and most of their beliefs are based out of the Mosaic law. So another words, all that just simply say they were very strict law by the Mosaic law to the T. This is why they constantly were challenging what Jesus was doing what the disciples were doing because Jesus was coming in and doing things that were not necessarily the way that they would do them based on the law and law loan that is the Pharisees which also brings us to the pharisaical spirit. Sue happens when pride enters our life when we start to feel that we are more righteous than other people. We start to feel that we got all the answers that we know the Bible that we've accumulated mass amounts of knowledge because we realize we study a lot. Nothing wrong with any of that. By the way, but the result is that if it is not tied to the spirit of God. It is my experience that this spirit comes out in a multiple ways and at times you and I price stepped into this. It comes out as being judgmental as being divisive as being holier than thou. That kind of spirit enjoys when other people feel less than when you make other people feel small about what you know it comes out as a lack of grace it comes out as hypocrisy. It comes out that the law is more important than the relationship with Jesus. We all know people that fit those categories. At times we ourselves.
I'm sure have it. Sometimes it would look at somebody else and we feel that were better than them. And in the religious circles in churches, the pharisaical spirit is the one that will topple those relationships. The quickest I've got all figured out. You are wrong. Therefore, I'm better than you and I'm a let you know it. That is the first sacral spirit. That is what it means when he talks about not being overly righteous. It's a false sense. It's the postmodern man sense of truth and reality is not striving for the hypocritical false sense, but it's also not assuming this postmodern self-righteousness, which is all about me. There's a terminology that is very scary and it is simply this, I am the sovereign self. You may never heard that terminology before, but it is a a very much a worldview postmodern view of self identity. I am the sovereign self.
It basically is saying that within me in my own in my own doing in my own life. I have the ability to become sovereign over all the things I choose. It basically is pushing away anything dealing with God. It pushes away any truth of God. It pushes away any righteousness that would come from guys is enough inside of me I have everything I need to be happy in life inside of me have all the stuff I need to be good to make money to make a career inside of me of everything that I need to pursue anything I have in life. This is all coming from. I am my own sovereign self.
We understand that solvency and righteousness is in Christ alone that the only righteousness that we have in our life is because of Jesus's righteousness in his alone. As I researched that a little bit more, I came across a book by Shari Shenyang in a sorry sugar is is a group and I did read the book that I want put that in Filkins my mind, but there is titled I caught my attention.
The title of a book is this sovereign self claim.
Your inner joy and freedom with the empowering wisdom, the power, wisdom of yourself.
The description of it says filled with hidden insights and engaging guidance sovereign self will help you awaken and recognize your potential to be joyful, resourceful, abundant, limitless, expansive and sovereign. This is the worldview of righteousness. Scary. But this is how most people live.
Most people live apart from God. I can do it on my own and others who do it on my own and I have within me the power of enlightenment. I have within me the power to be my own sovereign self why would I need God. Another words in the worldview. There is no absolute truth. We know this to be true for years and years now. The worldview will tell you that there is no absolute truth, meaning that you make up your own truth. Wouldn't that be nice when it be great if you just walk around is making up your own truth, but that's what the world does. That is the worldview of truth is that there is no there is no standard of truth. Truth is what you make it. Truth is what you think of it. Truth is who you are again next week as we dive into sin and shame and grace and mercy part of the issue. There is whose definition of sin.
Are you living by because where the Bible who are you to find solutions of our life.
If you don't do. The Bible is true, then why would you father, but and that's what's happening in the world around us, people might believe in God, they likely that there is a God, then honestly believe that the word of God is a sovereign truth swallow the following, they follow it when it benefits them when it doesn't they just fall the way the world says that they do. There is no absolute truth but we know that Jesus is absolute truth. That truth is not a concept, by the way through this and the concept is not up a list of rules. Truth is the person of Jesus. And when you are I follow Jesus and have him in the center of our life we have that absolute truth inside of us, but without that is left up to your own, you can kinda just make up your own way that you go the overarching question is really, truly, do you believe in God or don't you Julie that you are created by God with purpose and with meaning you believe that in your life that God has a plan for you and if you do, then following his absolute truth is the pathway to get there is not what Shari Sheena says about unlocking your own inner self and yet that is attractively fun to the self righteousness ultimately leads to no righteousness whatsoever. The last point is is number three is this the third wisdom lesson is simply wisdom gives strength. True biblical solid wisdom gives us strength and was somewhat what gives us strength for in a moment. Verse 19 this is wisdom gives strength to the wise man and he is unpacked that for a little bit I went up turnover to verse 26 and talk about this because we read it and I am positive that just like when I read it.
Most of you were like hang on a second, what is he saying here.
Verse 26 he says this I found something more bitter than death.
The woman whose heart it snares and nets in whose hands are fetters. I want some of this for a moment in the context of wisdom and was strength of the woman in here, by the way at first glance you might think that will the woman is to simply known as Lady Folly, which is a poetic way of basis. A lady falling honestly. Women just Lady Folly in general that that Lady Folly you for that terminology for will snare your trap you that the fools will fall into these traps and the snares. Solomon however uses the actual work for an actual literal woman, a woman that he speaking of Mel Solomon Morgan get into this this morning. Solomon had hundreds of wives hunt. I have one. He had hundreds of wives I'm in a venture to say that Solomon price saw something that most of us don't see and just leave it at that. When it comes to relationships. Solomon is using his experience with women to speak in absolute truth of lady wisdom of lady traps. Now it's both, and in other words, Solomon's, literally speaking of Haman. Pay attention because if you pay attention your font to snares of women. That's what he said but you can also read it and many commenters also look at it from the outside that he's also speaking effectively in the Old Testament, especially often times when they speak of one thing it's literal. But there also were inferring the other side of and that's what Solomon is doing. He is speaking literally of women but is also inferring that Lady Folly is also a trap for everybody. Men and women alike. The numbers at their traps and there are snares that without wisdom, you and I will fall into the men of the house. The men of this room I can speak to you directly because I am one of you in a man like you and and would say and agree that listen you gotta pay attention to your morality. You pay attention to purity that as men we gotta be very careful to walk the line of purity and not impurity. I would think out here someday men's by now my summary in this room but the men are probably hiding, not looking at me and the women don't say anything so curiosity at all for you so many you got you got to step up. You got your stop looking at what you looking at think about your thinking about what comes the impure thoughts and lust and live the way that God created you to be to lead your household and lead your life and then somebody by women. I'm not one of you and my wife is not here.
Somebody deny anything you salmon say at the moment, but the impurity in the end into your thoughts and lust, not just over sexuality but just in general for all of us are all trust we all agree to that the straps every single day. There are traps that are set by the enemy for all of us. Every single one of us there straps there's temptations at all different levels and I do appreciate that. Solomon addresses he hits it head on and says listen don't follow these traps and snares, but he relates it to wisdom.
He basically is saying that wisdom is what will give you strength to avoid the snares the traps.
It also is defined as chains. It also is defined as bitterness escaping.
The thing is this is how those terminologies are defined as you read it out of parallels not just an actual one but also parallels alongside with lady falling in Proverbs chapter 3 verse seven and eight again spoken by Solomon. He says be not wise in your own eyes.
This is the worldview. Be wise in your own eyes.
He said don't be wise in your own eyes, but fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshments your bones. This is why wisdom is so important. Wisdom is so important because at a whole core level it will actually bring you healing it will actually bring refreshment to your bones when you are living in wisdom following after God's own heart power separate three verse 21 and 22 is instructing us as my son, do not lose sight of these keep sound wisdom and excretion, and they will be life for your soul number for your neck life for your very again and at heart and soul level wisdom not just knowledge. Feed your soul.
It will keep us from traps and will keep us from snare. It will give us strength to actually live the way that God has asked us to live our life is a couple things. He gives us strength. Why just jotted down about five or six things I thought of it. Wisdom gives us strength for purity to make sure walking impurity. Wisdom gives us strength for decision-making to make right decisions. Wisdom gives us strength to understand our purpose in life and our future life.
Wisdom gives us the ability to know how and when to speak what we should say to the world around us which we should say to our neighbors to ourselves gives us strength for evangelism is a strength and you can take that word evangelism put into every context that your rent whether it's in school.
Whether it's a job with us in your neighborhood. Wisdom gives us the strength and the words to use to go to the world is that there is a better way.
In a different way that's a little life and for you that our parents in here. I cannot leave out parenting that wisdom true biblical wisdom gives us strength to not apparent.
It's not a leader. Children the way that they should go that takes wisdom things wisdom that that I don't have just and myself, but understand what true biblical wisdom looks like and how to give that to my children so that they can then go into the world. One of the greatest things as a parent I think we can see is the raise up our kids in the wisdom of the Lord and will release them into the world.
We see them holding their ground against the world culture is that not such a great thing for parents to pray for the kids. Every one of us are parents, but I can do about myself, and neither can Stacy winning wisdom and strength and exit. No how to do that. I want to close with James chapter 1 verse five in order pray this morning and James chapter 1 verse five and six it says this is says if anyone of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. I love that were so much Weber's assailants and there might be some you this morning that right now.
This morning you need some wisdom you need wisdom in your life. For some decision that you got coming.
You need wisdom in your life and how to live your own life or got any wisdom for strength for something I love what James says we put that verse back up there as I read it again when read it again once you see these words again in verse six of Jameson says to let him ask in faith right that that's where says acceptance of anyone lacks wisdom. Anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask in faith and ask without doubting, and the one who doubts with a wave of the sea that's going but what it's talking about is if anyone lacks wisdom, ask God seriously since he gives without reproach, meaning he's not a respecter of person he doesn't give John William wisdom because he likes John Wayne better than me. It is give me wisdom more than he gives any of you because of the past night he gives it without reproach shall give anybody wisdom that comes but you have to come and ask in faith. That's what he said. Ask him ask in faith