"Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister..." --Proverbs 7:4

"No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies." --Job 28:18

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Thou Art My Sister" ---- Part 1 ---- An Introduction to Wisdom

     You may be curious as to why the name of this blog is named the way it is. To answer that question I will pose a question of my own, the answer to which is very simple, and ought to be a unanimous, "Nobody!":
     Who desires to always choose the wrong path? or, no matter what obstacle may happen to come across their path, they always stumble at it, or end up creating a big blunder? or whenever they are faced with making decisions, they, without fail, choose ways that prove damaging to others or that simply cause themselves harm; who always seem to make the same horrible choices every time? Who, in their right mind, would desire to do exactly the wrong thing every time, in every situation and circumstance, guaranteed?
     No doubt the answer that you have come up with, is, "Nobody!"

     Nobody in their right mind truly desires to go around making a complete disaster of everything; or make the people that have the unfortunate opportunity of making their acquaintance end up ruing the fact that they ever met them along the way; or to do the very worst possible thing that could be done in every situation.
     So then, if nobody desires to go about in this manner, why are there so many people (maybe some that you know, maybe even some that might be reading this) who always seem to be making such blunders, and who are never seem as though they able to escape from it? Why?
     Some might give the poor excuse of "bad luck". Some may choose to blame the person for "their lack of intelligence in making good decisions"; or they may even go so far as to blame "their lack of intelligence," period. Some may call it "a curse". But where does the root of the problem have its beginning?
     The answer: They have not wisdom.

     Now, please understand that the lost, in their current state can be and are VERY destructive in nature (and it is their "...and were by nature the children of wrath..." - Ephesians 2:1-4). Many of us who are saved can testify that it is by God's grace, and His grace alone, that we are still alive today; because the foolish and destructive lives which we lived in before Christ found us should have killed us.
     For an appropriate picture of this, let us look at what the Bible says in Romans 3:10-18:
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouths is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes." (emphasis mine) 
     That divine account given by God, absolutely sums up what all men after the fall of Adam, have become; and what we ourselves were before God saved us by His grace (Ephesians 2:2-4).
     Now, we know that the lost are, by their very nature, without wisdom because, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10a); and "there is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:18). But what about the saved: why are there so many professing Christians who walk as though they are without wisdom?  
     First, understand that wisdom must be given; and if given, then of necessity must one be it's Giver. And  the Giver of wisdom, is God.
"For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."                         - Proverbs 2:6 (bold emphasis mine)
     The book of James says,
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."  - James 1:5-8
     Here in the book of James, we see  an invitation given to ask God for wisdom, but that the Lord is desiring that those enquirers exercise faith.

     The truth is, wisdom is a grand thing! But wisdom is also a very costly thing. But she is worth the cost. Now please understand that wisdom can't be bought. But that doesn't mean that theres not a cost to having her.
     Wisdom is spoken of very highly, and regarded greatly in the Scriptures as being an absolute necessity. In fact, the Bible says that,
"Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." - Proverbs 4:7
     Since we are instructed to get wisdom, we should desire greatly to find her, for:
"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Leangth of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew."    - Proverbs 3:13-20
     Wisdom is a priceless treasure. All the money in the world can't buy her, and all the money in the world can't even come close to touching what she's worth. Money can't buy you length of days; yet wisdom holds them in her hand: riches won't buy you peace and happiness; yet all her paths are peace. In creation, God used wisdom (see Proverbs 8:22-31), and she was "daily his delight, rejoicing always before him."

     Wisdom is given by God. Something so priceless and valuable, so wonderful  and desirable, so free and yet worth finding, ought to be sought for with all diligence and zeal. But alas! many choose her not because of her costliness; for although no amount of money may ever purchase her, yet she comes with a price.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" - Proverbs 9:10a
     You may be wondering why I said that wisdom comes at a price, and then show you the verse, Proverbs 9:10. That is because this verse is very significant if you are to have wisdom; because the "fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom."
     You may have heard this verse quoted before, or you may have even seen this verse before; you may have even memorized it and quoted it yourself: but do you know what the "Fear of the LORD" is?
     Some may say,
"It is to fear God: to fear His judgment and His wrath: to view oneself as little as possible before the Almighty." 
     Other's may say,
"That it is not a fearful fear, but rather, a reverential fear; an understanding that He is God, and that we are not." 
     (PLEASE NOTE: these are views similar to what I've thought at different times in the past. I'm only stating them here right now, for the sake of argument. Also, since I've thought these before maybe others have thought the same.)

     The correct answer though, has a verse all it's own; and it can be answered in a single sentence:
"The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."  - Proverbs 8:13
     Sadly, the reason why many Christians do not have the wisdom that God desires them to have is simply because they do not fear Him: they do not "hate evil." The things which the Lord hates, they covet. That which He abhors, they adore.

     You see, it all comes down to being an issue of the heart. And many people do not have a heart for wisdom:
"Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?"                - Proverbs 17:16
     I said that wisdom comes with a price, and that price is to forsake the foolish and evil things of this world, and to have a heart for God. As simple and easy, virtuous and blessed as that sounds - that is, to forsake the vain follies and wicked vices of this world, in exchange for wisdom and all her virtues - many people have great difficulty letting go: just like Lot's wife. Although the day is coming when, all things will "melt with fervent heat," nevertheless they wish to hold onto them, and to remain in the midst of them as long as they possibly can. Remember Lot? The angel had to physically take hold of his hand, literally drawing him out of Sodom in order to get him to leave (even the fear of God's judgment didn't make him budge). The flesh can be a very powerful adversary and foe...if we let it; if we do not hold fast to God's Word. For the flesh is prone, nay, ("prone" doesn't define the power of sinful flesh appropriately,) rather, the flesh lusts greedily and hastily after sin. But thank God, that through the work which Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross, not only did we receive pardon for our sins, but we also, according to Romans 6, were crucified with Him, and thus, the body of our sin, the "old man," was destroyed, and now we have, through His death and resurrection, been given victory over sin to live for God:
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God."  - Romans 6:6-10 
"For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."     - Romans 6:20-22   
     We are now, in Christ Jesus, no longer are we under the power and bondage of sin. We have a new Master which we serve, and are now commanded:
"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lust thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness." - Romans 6:12-16
     There is no excuse. God gives wisdom to those who fear Him and have a heart for wisdom, and to those that ask Him for wisdom believing. Wisdom is such a costly thing, but to cast off her warnings and forsake her comes at a far greater cost:
"Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I will also 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 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."  - Proverbs 1:24-33
     I will end with this:
"Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones"  - Proverbs 3:7-8
     For "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom"; it is the foundation upon which wisdom may be built.

     May God bless thee.

     "But wait!" you may be saying, "you never answered the initial question." Ah, you're a sharp cookie! I'll leave you with a hint until next time: "familiarity" -- "Thou art my sister"; I know thee (Proverbs 7:4).