Proverbs 1--Whose Voice do you Listen To?
Which Voice do You Listen To?
Intro: How many of you have seen the looney toons cartoon or that depicts the main Sylvester the cat holding little Tweety Bird in his hands and all of a sudden an Angel Sylvester ad a devil Sylvester appear on his shoulders and have an argument on what Sylvester should do. The devil cat tries to convince Sylvester to eat Tweety and the angel cat tries to talk him into letting Tweety go.
Of course Sylvester gives in and shoves Tweety in his mouth at least for a few minutes and then he usually spits Tweety out.
Sylvester listened to the bad voice.the compulsive voice, the sinful the voice that took him into temporary pleasure, but then felt worse for eating the bird. Then the voice of the angel kicked in and Sylvester spit Tweety out so he could live.
It is a struggle to listen to the right voice because we usually hear so many voices and some are stronger than others and we get lulled into believing everything the bad voices tell us. We must listen to the voice of wisdom which is the voice of God.
Read Verses: 8-19
Main Point: God’s Voice is the one of Wisdom
Has anyone ever heard of Nicky Cruz? I didn’t either until my friend and I were talking and he mentioned him.It is an interesting story and so most of the parts about Nicky come from his website.
“Nicky Cruz was born in Puerto Rico. His parents were heavily involved in Santeria. His mother was a witch and his father was a satanic priest. Nicky was the victim of repeated physical abuse and rejection at their hands. His mother called him the son of satan. At the age of 9, his heart turned to stone after a severely abusive episode and failed suicide attempt. As one of 19 children born to witchcraft-practicing parents in Puerto Rico, bloodshed and mayhem were common occurrences in his life.”
“As a teenager, at about 15, he was sent to New York City to live with his brother Frank. He quickly got caught up in the gang violence that was sweeping the city. He rose through the ranks of the notorious Mau Mau gang in Fort Greene, Brooklyn to become their warlord.”
This violence that he grew up with sounds a lot like what Solomon is trying to warn his son against. But Nicky Cruz does not just join the sinners to kill for fun and ambushing other, he was so good at it, he was elected their leader.
Solomon asks his son, in verse 10, do not be persuaded by the sinners enticements, and again in verse 15, the father pleads do not travel the path with them because their feet run toward evil.
Nicky listened to his father who gave him advice opposite of what Solomon does. Nicky grew up with violence,and death, and abuse. So he repeated and used he only lessons he heard from his father.
The voices continued but they did not say good things to him, “His life was a downward spiral of violence and dysfunction. A court-ordered psychiatrist told the court and Nicky that he was “doomed...finished...on a one-way trip to jail, the electric chair and hell.” Again more of the same negative voices that seemed to invite more war, and more anger.
But there are many other voices in the world and for the first time Cruz heard a different voice; the voice of pastor David Wilkerson. Wilkerson went toPennsylvania to New York after seeing a Life magazine Article about gangs. In his memoirs He later wrote that he felt the Holy Spirit move him with compassion and was drawn to go to New York in order to preach to them. On his arrival, Wilkerson went to the court in which the teenagers were being prosecuted. He entered the room and asked the judge for permission to tell them something, but the judge ejected him. Wilkerson earned a reputation as the guy who interrupted the gang trial and so he started preaching to the gangs. Eventually Cruz’ and Wilkersons paths crossed.
No authority figure could reach the young warlord – until he met a skinny country preacher named David Wilkerson. Wilkerson disarmed Nicky by showing him something he’d never known before: relentless love. His interest in the young thug was persistent. Nicky beat him up, spat on him and seriously threatened his life, yet the love of God prevailed. It was stronger than any adversary Nicky had ever encountered.
One night, against all odds, Jesus Christ broke through the walls that surrounded Nicky’s heart. Nicky describes it as if he had been admitted to a Holy Ghost hospital. As Nicky lies there vulnerable, Jesus walks to his side, opens Nicky’s chest, takes out his heart, and puts it to his lips to kiss it. The Lord then placed the transformed heart back into his chest and raises him up as a brand new creation.
Cruz received a new heart of flesh, because of he listened and responded to his newFather’s voice. One that promised him peace and true knowledge.
God’s Voice Calls You Toward Peace (8-19)
The advice Solomon gives us son is to avoid the sinners and people who would ambush, rob, and kill. Stop fighting for so little, because you only get a share of the plunder.
God’s voice tells us to not be persuaded by people who tell you things that sound Conakry to peace.
Solomon also warns his son to not follow the people.it is one thing to hear them but it is another thing entirely to follow the people who lead you away from God.
Why? When you live in such a violent way you are actually only am using themselves. Just Like Nicky Cruz. He had his friend die in his arms and he probably knew at some level, that this would be his fate as well.
Listen to those people that are speaking God’s word of peace to you and things that line up with the Bible.
says But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
(ESV): For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
(ESV): You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Transition Statement: When we have this perfect peace from God, our mind stays on God and starts to see the knowledge that comes from God and the knowledge about God.
God’s Voice Calls You Toward Knowledge (20-33)
Cruz fought against Wilkerson. He rejected the knowledge of God that Wilkerson presented hand only thought about his own limited knowledge. The voice of wisdom is as Solomon says in verse 20, that wisdom calls out in the street she makes her voice heard in the public square.
This is verse 29 in action Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord They
This true knowledge of God says that but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
Believers that listen and obey God are given knowledge. This is how peter knew that Jesus was the Christ and Jesus Knows that this knowledge was given to Peter by the Father.
In the Gospels we see the different people who seem to understand that Jesus is god and he is the messiah. In , Nicodemus comes to Jesus and says Rabbi we know you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could perform these signs you do unless God was with him.
The thief on the cross are almost a living reenactment of this section to Proverbs. The one thief on the cross next to Jesus hears the voice of wisdom, of Jesus an the other thief is the mocker who hates knowledge. And the first thief the one who hears the truth, is told he will enter Paradise with Jesus.
Going back to the question in the sermon title the answer is that you should listen to God’s voice. Nicky Cruz obey God’s voice and he wrote or co wrote several books, including his autobiography, Run, Ricky Run and the Cross and the Switchblade which was turned into a movie with Pat Boone and Erik Estrada.
Through Nicky’s voice, God has reached countless people so they can have the race and knowledge of God.
Action: Are you tired of fighting and listening to the wrong voices? The little devil that tells you to do the fleshly thing that will satisfy you for a second, but will cause you on for eternity.
Or do you listen to the Angel, that will ask you to be wiser to listen to what he is saying to you. To Live and walk in God’s word. Do you die to yourself daily and kill the sin and the devil on your shoulder?
I will leave you with this proverb that Spurgeon wrote about: A blind man does not see himself in a looking-glass.
Neither do the spiritually blind see themselves in the Word of God, although it is a perfect mirror of truth and character.
Transition to Lord’s Supper