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Wisdom is seeing God. Proper Expectations On The Pursuit of Godly Wisdom

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Wisdom in suffering, Wisdom in patience, Wisdom in repentance

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I Adore You - Phil Wickham
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Call To Worship Scripture

Philippians 3:13–16 ESV
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Sermon Scripture

Job 42:5–6 ESV
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job 42:4 ESV
‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
Job 42:5 ESV
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;

Wisdom is seeing God.

REVIEW:
Last week we discussed the providence of God. That is how God provides and how His good and perfect will shall be accomplished by His great doing. Now the providence of God will help us in our learning of the wisdom of God or the exersise of Godly wisdom.
Last Month at our Bibles study we introduced:
Wisdom: A Practical And Necessary Pursuit of/in Godliness
Scripture:
2 Chronicles 1:10 ESV
Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?”
 Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?”
 Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Last Month Questions: asked what pursuits have caused us to desire wisdom, what is wisdom, how do you obtain wisdom & exercise wisdom? We also looked at what is the opposite of wisdom and saw the necessity of wisdom.
Note: There was also a distinction made between worldly wisdom and godly wisdom. We discussed godly wisdom.
Summary of Key Points:
Point 1: Often wisdom is seen as a necessary tool in order to reach or obtain another desire. Meaning I desire wisdom in how to build a house…meaning, I desire the necessary know how to build a house. Ultimately the desire when we view it this way is the house not wisdom. Wisdom is simply a bridge to help us reach our ultimate desire.
As such our life becomes full of pursuits: toys/entertainments, job, relationship, house, comforts/pleasures…
However the Bible speaks of wisdom less as a bridge to something and more as an ultimate treasure, as a practical and necessary pursuit of the believer.
It is a desire, a pursuit which is seen as good and pleasing to God. Though the obtaining of wisdom is seen in human learning, experience and study, the Bible displays wisdom as less of physical obtaining and more of a spiritual fruit or even a gift of grace, received from God when sought by man.
Point 2: Wisdom Defined: (vines): The knowledge and the ability to make the right choices at the opportune time. The consistency of making the right choice is an indication of maturity and development. (I would add that wisdom (godly) begins before knowledge with, the fear of the Lord, desire and humility of heart. The haughty person cannot be wise and the one who does not desire will not obtain. Though fear of the Lord is listed here as a prerequisite by Vines, it cannot be disconnected from wisdom any more than knowledge can. Scripture marries it together with knowledge as to say, knowledge is never conceived without the fear of the Lord, and without this true knowledge wisdom is never known.
Point 3: Path To Wisdom:
Fear God
Desire godliness - what is right before God, what is true before God
Seek godliness
Find godliness in God
Walk in godliness
Point 4: Further Thought
Wisdom ask: “Is this pleasing in the sight of the Lord?” Wisdom seeks the answer to that question, and wisdom responds/acts accordingly being tied together with the pleasures of God. Wisdom knows if it is pleasing in the sight of the Lord then no one can stand against it. Thus scripture speaking of the one who is abiding in God in suffering and pleasure says:
Romans 8:31 ESV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
 - What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
 - What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Wisdom is contrary to the thoughts and opinions of man. Wisdom does not set a pursuit and ask for God’s help. Wisdom ask for God’s permission, power and strength in seeking God and the things of God. Wisdom says, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Wisdom is content in having only God and whatever it has is not its own but it ask wether in little or much, “give me the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to accomplish Your Word and what you have willed with this thing, circumstance, or decision.”
Point 5:
The application began with answering:
1. How does the Bible define and use the word wisdom?
2. What does the Bible say about wisdom?
* What is it? - Where does it come from? - How do I get it?
3. What is at the heart of wisdom?
Then the application is seen in answering these questions, what will you do? Solomon abandon God and as such all of his gifts and riches that he received became vain. What about you? Will you walk in vanity or in wisdom. Do you see true wisdom and understand the treasure that it is? Are you willing to think, live and walk differently. Are you willing to be counted a fool in this world to live by the wisdom of God?
The choice to seek true godly wisdom and apply it or not, is a great life impacting and even eternally impacting decision…CHOOSE WISLEY.
DIRECTION:
Wisdom then is a very broad topic. Specific areas that I explained last time that proves labor some is found in being a spouse, ordering your home, raising/teaching/training your children, occupation, managing finances.
In all of these things (and more) if we are to be wise then we are seeking not to accomplish them but to ask, “what is pleasing in the sight of the Lord” and then do it no matter the struggle. We are in pursuit of God in this wisdom venture.
Remember what Christian says in Pilgrim’s Progress:
“TO GO BACK IS DEATH; TO GO FORWARD IS FEAR OF DEATH AND LIFE EVERLASTING BEYOND IT. I WILL YET GO FORWARD.”
This describes well not only the Christian life, but the pursuit of godly wisdom applied.

Job: Our Introduction To Wisdom Literature

What do you find that you most often use to determine success or wether or not something was a wise decision? Why? The fear of failure is a very real fear, and often can at the very least effect our decisions. What gives the fear of failure so much power over us? What others think What failure means Having to start over… Sometimes more than the ultimate success of a decision, the pathway to that success can determine our decision. Sometimes we prefer the easy road of survival over the difficult road to prosper. Has such a view ever effected your decision. Example: To correct my child now means that I will have a lengthy battle of perseverance and be inconvenienced or it is a small thing and I can let it go and deal with it at another time. As such, though we may feel it right to discipline our child we bend that right so as to not suffer ourselves. On a larger scale we can ask why is it that the right decision seems more difficult that the wrong decision? Or…why do the righteous suffer. With what we have learned about wisdom and what we will see in the scriptures tonight, we see that wisdom or the pursuit of it has a way of revealing ourselves to ourselves. How does looking at what you use to determine wisdom, what choices you make in the face of wisdom and such reveal things about yourself to yourself? How can suffering in the midst of pursuing godly wisdom reveal aspects of yourself to yourself? How does this serve us well in sanctification?
SEEKING TOGETHER:
This morning we are going to continue to be looking at the book of Job in light of our wisdom study.
Job will lead us into the poetical books or wisdom literature of scripture.
The word wisdom or at least some variation of it is used 26 times in Job.
In one section we hear God speaking upon wisdom. Before we read it let me make an observation for you. You can have all of the knowledge and experience and even understanding in the world and not have an ounce of the wisdom that we are reading of in scripture. I say that so that we don’t get confuse between man’s wisdom, religious wisdom and godly wisdom. There is only one wisdom that has the power, the understanding, the ability to give life and which is an invaluable treasure and that is godly wisdom.
In one section we hear God speaking upon wisdom:
Now hear God:
Job 38:34–38 ESV
“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you? Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind? Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the dust runs into a mass and the clods stick fast together?
Job 38:
Do you have the skill or the intellectual ability to sucessfully give proper working and ability to the most inward parts, the unseen things of creation?
Do you have the ability to cause the mind to rightly understand?
Can you correctly number, that is rightly know how many clouds there are and how many are needed to be simply by your understanding?
God can and God does. And when we speak of Godly wisdom, that is the well and the depth of understanding that we are going to. It is a deep well my friends and can be quite the trip, but Job, will help us to see/have proper expectations in our pursuit and proper expectations in the exercise of godly wisdom and living in a fallen world. It will help us to deal with many difficult issues in life and godliness.
What Job will help us to see/have is proper expectations of the exercise of godly wisdom and living in a fallen world. It will help us to deal with many difficult issues in life and godliness.
This is crucial in keeping who God is at front and center of why we do what we do rather than our own selves, comforts and pleasures.
Having then a basic definition of godly wisdom we will look at Job for what it is to sustain such or what will serve us well to be mindful of so that we don’t give up on the seeking of godly wisdom.
First the basic definition then five purposes in Job that help us prepare to apply godly wisdom in all of life.
Godly Wisdom: The knowledge and the ability to make the right choices at the opportune time. It begins with the fear of God and humility of heart.
5 Purposes of Job:
1. TO GIVE UNDERSTANDING AS TO WHY THE RIGHTEOUS SUFFER:
Though this is not the main purpose of Job, it is certainly a powerful message of Job. The simple truth that the righteous suffering is a pill hard to swallow. If you are seeking godly wisdom, then you are seeking to live righteously and if you seek to live righteously in a godly and wise manner the reality is that you may suffer. This flies in the face of why man seeks worldly wisdom to begin with.
In the very first chapter of Job we read:
Job 1:6–12 ESV
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
If loyalty to God is contingent on His prospering us, our faith will be shallow at best, questioned at worst. Likewise, if our pursuit of godly wisdom is simply built upon a logic that God will supply our best or our fear of God built upon a fear of not getting what we want then both our pursuit of wisdom and fear of God will be short lived.
SEEKING & EXERCISING GODLY WISDOM AND EARTHLY SUFFERING GO HAND AND HAND.
2. TO REFUTE THE SLANDER OF SATAN
Slander is a malicious and false report. It is used to damage the reputation of another. Though the most malicious of slander may contain portions of truth, that truth is twisted to pervert the image of another. Seek godly wisdom and you can expect such slander spiritually and physically.
Spiritually doubts will arise. You will have to be consistently mindful of what you are doing and why you are doing it. And the same will be true with your peers. Whispers will begin to rumble about decision you make, about the insanities of them, about your lacking and why you are not prospering. You will often be painted as in the wrong, not do to being in the wrong but rather do to others persona of you. As such for your own preservation you must...
BE READY TO GIVE CAUSE FOR YOUR HOPE & REMAIN DEPENDENT UPON CHRIST FOR YOUR JUSTIFICATION.
This is what we see from Job in chapters 9-10 and what is echoed in the New Testament.
1 Peter 3:13–17 ESV
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
1 Peter 3:13-17
 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
3. TO REVEAL JOB TO HIMSELF
I find it rather ironic that righteous suffering has a way of revealing our own depravities and weaknesses to us. It brings to surface the hidden dark corners of our hearts, it raises them to the surface where they can no longer escape the light and thus be refined from us.
We see this from Job in two aspects
First, Job rightly worships God in the midst of great calamity.
Job 1:20–22 ESV
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Second, after further suffering Job becomes a little less worshipful and a little more questioning. While the first response was built upon God’s legal right, the end of Job will reveal reality of Job before God and allow Job to truly see himself in light of God’s presence.
Job 40:1–5 ESV
And the Lord said to Job: “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” Then Job answered the Lord and said: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.”
:1And the LORD said to  “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” 3 Then Job answered the LORD and said: 4 “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth. 5 I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
GODLY WISDOM SEES OURSELVES IN THE LIGHT OF GOD RATHER THAN THE LIGHT OF OTHERS. IT ALWAYS SEEKS WHAT GOD IS DOING, EVEN AMONGST THE STORM, AND IT ALWAYS REST IN THE ASSURANCE OF HIS PROMISES.
Thus;
4. TO TEACH PATIENCE
When will the fruit of wise godly living taste sweet? When will the benefits and the promises be known? Do we get to say enough is enough? Who determines our end? In godly wisdom often moving forward is better described as a straining than a smooth sailing. As God reminds Job and as He reminds us through the inspired words of His apostle, we must remain focused on the upward call of God. That is wisdom. The call is not our present comfort, our present desire or even our present gifts and talents, but rather it is an upward call that is found in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13–16 ESV
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The upward call is the call that demonstrates to us our position before God and our need for a mediator. The upward call of Christ Jesus is one that counts nothing of self as worthy but contentment in godliness as a great gain. The upward call opposite of the call of the world lives according to and hold true to what has been attained rather than chasing what is quickly fleeting.
GODLY WISDOM DOES NOT OPPORATE BY MAN’S TIME TABLE NOR IS IT ULTURED BY MAN’S PLANS. IT IS A CALM IN THE STORM, A REST FOR THE WEARY, A STRONG REFFUGE WHICH NOT EVEN TIME OR DEATH ITSELF CAN THREATEN.
5. TO TEACH REPENTANCE
The pursuit of wisdom often finds itself as Job, in a state of repentance before God. There is no more wise position for man than this state. This is the primary purpose of Job. God demonstrates that even the most righteous of man requires repentance before God. God demonstrates to us also that such repentance is true wisdom.
Job 42:1–6 ESV
Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Then Job answered the LORD and said:
2  “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
REPENTANCE TESTIFIES TO THE TRUE BLESSING OF GODLY WISDOM; SEEING GOD. MANS GREATEST INABILITY IS TO SEE ANYTHING BEYOND SELF AND AS SUCH HE REMAINS BLIND AND UNABLE TO SEE GOD OR THE BLESSINGS OF GOD. YET, THE GIFT OF GODLY WISDOM SAYS, “I HAVE HEARD OF YOU BY THE HEARING OF THE EAR, BUT NOW MY EYE SEES YOU.” SELF CHANGES FROM BEING WORSHIPED TO BEING DESPISED AND GOD LIFTS THAT MAN UP FROM THE ASHES AND REVIVES HIM TO WALK IN THE LIGHT OF GODLY WISDOM.
In short, this morning if I could offer counsel from the Word of God.
GODLY WISDOM IS EXPERIENCING GOD IN LIFE (& STRUGGLE & DEATH) TO THE POINT THAT YOU SEE GOD.
All of us here have heard of God, you have all heard the reading of the Word, but have you seen God? Have you seen His provision? Have you experienced life in such a way that God is now the lense that you see through and the end that you look unto.
Job 38:34–38 ESV
“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you? Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind? Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the dust runs into a mass and the clods stick fast together?
The depth that all of the inward parts of creation cries out and the clouds testify to or the mind operates from is the testimony of God and His great wisdom. If all of creation is a testimony of the great wisdom of God then the wisdom of creation is to see that God.
Job 42:1–6 ESV
Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job 42:4–6 ESV
‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job 42:5 ESV
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;
That my friends is the statement of a man who has been gifted wisdom. That is the cry of the man who has been given opportunity to see God. He sees himself not merely in light of what he has or has not done before God but he actually sees who he is before God and of that he repents.
This morning may we do and seek the same in our Christian walk. And as we walk may we not forget the wisdom and faithfulness of God with his servant Job...
Job 42:10–17 ESV
And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold. And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. And Job died, an old man, and full of days.
Job 42
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