Faithlife Sermons

Sunday Worship Service 3-17-18 - Proverbs 3:13-35 - Wisdom's Creation

Proverbs  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:19:18
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Proverbs 3 & 4 [Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart] [3:1] My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, [2] for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. [3] Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. [4] So you will find favor and good success[f1] in the sight of God and man. V1: Command. Not just don’t forget/lose it, but rather keep it, preserve it, watch over it, observe it. V2: Reward. Length of days = quantity. Years of life = quality (add years to your life and life to your years). Peace = shalom = satisfaction, completeness, finished, salvation. V3: Command: God’s covenant characteristics. (Ex 34:6 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness) Is this saying not to let these things forsake you, ie to not let God forsake you? Or is it saying for you not to forsake these things, ie not to forsake God? It seems to be the former… Interesting wording/word play. So, don’t let God forsake you because you can’t manufacture these things. These things manufacture you. Bind God around your neck, write his character on the tablet of my heart. This is as regards God and man and is inseparable. GOSPEL 1.0: He didn’t forsake us – he came to us, he bound us to his neck and wrote us on his hands/heart. GOSPEL 2.0: He gave us a new heart and wrote his law on it, he became for us wisdom from God, he makes it possible for us to be wise directly as a gift from God (Jer 31/33?). He also tears down the wall of hostility among us, among those who come to Christ, and gives us a ministry of reconciliation to the world, so that we can then truly embody his character and love of God and man from the heart, always carrying Him with us by the our name – Christian. V4: Reward: This carries with it a reciprocal reward. GOSPEL 1-2: Jesus exemplified this: Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. By His Spirit within us, by His resurrection power we are also raised from sin, from cursed relationships, from alienation from God and from one another – we are now able to know and to experience and to give and live in true love of God and fellow man. The Gospel frees us from obsession with self-gratification and self-idolatry to exalt others above ourselves, to obey the word of the NT in actually considering others as more important than ourselves. The benefits from this are great – not only in the favor we gain in God’s sight and man’s sight, but as the next few verses explain, in becoming whole in our own character and in our soul. Spurgeon: God would have his people wise. There is no credit in being a fool, even if you have the grace of God in your heart. To me it seems a duty to make as much of myself as I can, since I am a servant of the Lord: I do not want everybody to think that all my Lord's children are short of wit. [5] Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. [6] In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. [7] Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. [8] It will be healing to your flesh[f2] and refreshment[f3] to your bones. V5-8:How do we not let love and faithfulness forsake us? (Remember theme of Proverbs) Command: YHWH’s name 5 times in 5-12. Actively, consciously trusting him with our entire being. Actively, consciously not relying on our own faculties – intellect, judgment, strength, skill, etc. “I am not wise enough, smart enough, strong enough, skilled enough to succeed.” I will trust God and His word over my own inclinations, my own natural tendencies and desires, my own judgements, my own strength and ability to do good is subservient to His plans (contra Jacob/Laban/Rachel). Intro to Sermon 2: Last time we saw that when we become a steward of wisdom, quantity of life, quality of life, along with peace/completion/satisfaction in the end. We can’t produce it. May not God’s character and being forsake us – get it on the outside to the inside, binding it to us, holding on to it, yet it holds on to us. And, so we find the favor of God and man through stewarding God’s wisdom. We saw that the way to this is trust and doubt: We tend to trust ourselves and doubt God, and wisdom does the opposite. Doubt ourselves in the trust of God and this will heal and refresh the saints from the inside out. From the voice of God speaking to us as a good Father who desires good for his children. [9] Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; [10] then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. V9: Do you want your life to be maximized for what is truly good? Do you want your life to count for the most possible? That is what wisdom can do, and it often defies the wisdom of the world. Jesus said, if you find your life you actually lose it, but if you lose it for my sake and the Gospel’s, you find it. He also said, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and thief cannot break in and steal. And, so we read from the wisdom book that Jesus gives us (just as He is God’s wisdom): Genesis 4:3-4 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, Exodus 34:26 The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God.” Nehemiah 10:35, 37 We obligate ourselves to bring the firstfruits of our ground and the firstfruits of all fruit of every tree, year by year, to the house of the Lord; … And to bring the first of our dough, and our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the wine and the oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and to bring to the Levites the tithes from our ground, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all our towns where we labor. Ezekiel 44:30 And the first of all the firstfruits of all kinds, and every offering of all kinds from all your offerings, shall belong to the priests. You shall also give to the priests the first of your dough, that a blessing may rest on your house. Exodus 22:29 You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses… Malachi 3:10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 2 Chronicles 31:5 As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the firstfruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything. Romans 11:16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. (like pecan sample) 1 Corinthians 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. James 1:18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Romans 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. V10: straight forward promise of wealth and prosperity. Thus we must trust in the LORD with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding. This is the only way we will honor him with our wealth. Wealth = what God has given you, what you’ve become a steward of, gifts. Money, talents, skills, gifts, positions, power, influence, relationships, possessions, time, etc. Give God the first of it. Think of Him and His Kingdom first. And, the rest flows from or is built upon that. [11] My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline or be weary of his reproof, [12] for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. V11: in contrast to verse 10, 2 great tests – abundance and difficulty V12: ALL whom the LORD loves are disciplined. Reproves “him”, not reproves “some” Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. Proverbs 23:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. Hebrews 12:5-11 ESV / 5 helpful votes 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. Points: discipline is for our good to share his holiness. It yields peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore take heart, stand up and walk straight so that your weakness may be made strong. This means peace with everyone and holiness before God. No bitterness from your pain. No being led by sensuality – don’t give up your inheritance for a single meal. Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death. Shalom it will add to you – peace in prosperity and adversity. [Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom] [13] Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, [14] for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. [15] She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. [16] Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. [17] Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. [18] She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. V13: “adam” used twice (rare and surprising) could call Eden to mind (also wisdom is “tree of life” in V18). He chased it himself, he didn’t trust God, but leaned on his own understanding. Did not “know/acknowledge” God in this act, and thus his path was not straight, but was instead made crooked (bent – who can straighten it?). V14-18: what must this wisdom be to be spoken of so? She sounds like God, like heaven, like IT, as if there is nothing else. Not only her gain and profit, but simply her, in and of herself (V15) apart from her benefits. She is her own benefit. To possess wisdom is of itself its own reward. To be wise is better than all the benefits that flow from it – your character, your being, your essence, your soul is of more significance than all that the universe has for you – and, not to mention, all that the universe has for you will only come to you by wisdom as well, by your becoming wise. Just meditate on this, what this says about wisdom, her gain, her hands, her ways, her paths. Herself (v15, 18). What/Who must this be? Wisdom’s Creation. [19] The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; [20] by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew. This is why wisdom matters, because this is what is at the bottom of everything, this order, this underlying meaning, purpose, significance. Little verse 20 … 😊 Picture yourself as a farmer in the Near East, far from any lake or stream. A few wells keep the family and animals supplied with water. But if the crops are to grow and the family is to be fed from month to month, water has to come on the fields from another source. From where? Well, the sky. The sky? Water will come out of the clear blue sky? Well, not exactly. Water will have to be carried in the sky from the Mediterranean Sea, over several hundred miles and then be poured out from the sky onto the fields. Carried? How much does it weigh? Well, if one inch of rain falls on one square mile of farmland during the night, that would be 27,878,400 cubic feet of water, which is 206,300,160 gallons, which is 1,650,501,280 pounds of water. That’s heavy. So how does it get up in the sky and stay up there if it’s so heavy? Well, it gets up there by evaporation. Really? That’s a nice word. What’s it mean? It means that the water sort of stops being water for a while so it can go up and not down. I see. Then how does it get down? Well, condensation happens. What’s that? The water starts becoming water again by gathering around little dust particles between .00001 and .0001 centimeters wide. That’s small. What about the salt? Salt? Yes, the Mediterranean Sea is salt water. That would kill the crops. What about the salt? Well, the salt has to be taken out. Oh. So the sky picks up a billion pounds of water from the sea and takes out the salt and then carries it for three hundred miles and then dumps it on the farm? Well, it doesn’t dump it. If it dumped a billion pounds of water on the farm, the wheat would be crushed. So the sky dribbles the billion pounds water down in little drops.…31 The problem is that Adam left her. He forsook wisdom herself for her gifts/benefits. This is like Solomon. [21] My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion, [22] and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. [23] Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. [24] If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. [25] Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin[f4] of the wicked, when it comes, [26] for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. [27] Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,[f5] when it is in your power to do it. [28] Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you. [29] Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you. [30] Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm. [31] Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, [32] for the devious person is an abomination to the LORD, but the upright are in his confidence. [33] The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous. [34] Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.[f6] [35] The wise will inherit honor, but fools get[f7] disgrace. This is how we get back to safety, life, rest, blessing. V26 – The LORD! (your confidence – your companion) – Wisdom is personal. Wisdom creates a new person! Wisdom creates a new people! Culture of life amidst a world of death. Help, Protect (not harm), Avoid. Sin of commission, sin of omission. Sin is not just the bad that we do, it is also the good that we do not do. Those to whom it is due – those to whom it belongs – they are the owner of it, not you! We can’t help everyone and aren’t called to, but we are called to help a particular set of people. Who? (Good works prepared beforehand) Those who God particularly called you to help. Judas and “the poor”. Apostles helping widows and poor among the church. Neighbor. Household of faith. Only the widows who lived a Godly life who are over a certain age. Otherwise, you’re not helping, you’re hurting. Wisdom!!!! Proverbs speaks thoroughly to this. No one has a right to come in and say, “hey this is mine”. To them, Scripture says “Do not steal”. But, God has that right, because it is His. And, he says to you, “Do not withhold”. It is His, and He says it is theirs. Do good. Do no harm. Build trust. Commit to not hurt anyone here. How do we read V3-35? Gospel! [A Father's Wise Instruction] [4:1] Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain[f8] insight, [2] for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. [3] When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, [4] he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. [5] Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. [6] Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. [7] The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. [8] Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. [9] She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” [10] Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. [11] I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. [12] When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. [13] Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. [14] Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. [15] Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. [16] For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. [17] For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. [18] But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. [19] The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble. [20] My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. [21] Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. [22] For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their[f9] flesh. [23] Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. [24] Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. [25] Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. [26] Ponder[f10] the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. [27] Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. [Footnotes] ======================================================= [1] 3:4 Or repute [2] 3:8 Hebrew navel [3] 3:8 Or medicine [4] 3:25 Hebrew storm [5] 3:27 Hebrew Do not withhold good from its owners [6] 3:34 Or grace [7] 3:35 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain [8] 4:1 Hebrew know [9] 4:22 Hebrew his [10] 4:26 Or Make level
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