God's X-ray Wisdom
WISE • Sermon • Submitted
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With this series being called “Wise” and the title of the lesson tonight talking about God’s “wisdom,” we’re going to be looking at how heaven changes our perspective. How having God’s wisdom changes the way we see things, think about things, talk about things, etc.
In our culture, it’s so easy to go through life and make judgments about people or things based on appearances. Or to say things without thinking about how it will affect someone else. I saw this video on twitter the other day of a little girl and her dad leaving their house. This was caught on one of their outdoor security cameras right outside their front door. They’re walking out the door and the little girl says, “daddy i love you.” And he says, “aww i love you too sweetie.” And then after a couple seconds she goes, “but not as much as mommy.” And he’s like “okay thank you for that.” and that’s the end of the video. The girl was blunt and honest and not thinking of how those words would make her dad feel. The older you get, the easier it might be to be aware of your words and have better judgment when it comes to what you say.
But tonight we’re going to focus on our judgments based on appearance because that’s something we seem to struggle with no matter how old we get. Without the context of God’s wisdom, it’s hard to look past appearances to see the world, to see people, things, the way God intended and created them to be seen.
Idk how much this applies to the guys, but ladies, do you use filters or apps to edit your pictures when you post on social media? Why or why not? (people use filters and photo editing apps so much that some phones now have built in filters in the camera. We have presets for our pictures so our instagram has a pretty aesthetic, so many things you can do to change the way a picture looks. We do i because we want people to view our social media a certain way, we like the way we look when we edit our pictures a certain way, it’s all about us and how we want people to look and “judge” us)
Have you ever been deceived by appearances? Think deeper than just people, maybe you did something that seemed like a good idea or seemed promising and then it turned out to be the opposite of what you thought. (ex. Gordon thought he could cut his own hair; it appeared to be easier than it really was and it turned out the opposite of how he expected. Or, how many of you have seen the looney tunes cartoons of the roadrunner and coyote? There’s one where the coyote paints a rock wall to look like a road, hoping to deceive the roadrunner and make it run into the wall. Well, the roadrunner ends up going right down the road and when the coyote looks at this road that he painted on, he deceives himself and tries to run through it anyways, and runs straight into a rock wall.)
Looks can be deceiving. They aren’t always an accurate depiction of who or what someone or something is.
The Bible Says...
The Bible Says...
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We’re going to be reading about David, who will grow up to be one of the most important kings in the OT. But before he becomes that king, he doesn’t look anything like what you would expect a powerful king to look like. Unlike Saul, who was the perfect fit for what everyone expected a king to be. But once he was crowned king, he failed because he followed his own wisdom rather than God’s. So, God is sending Samuel to find the new king, and that’s where we pick up in chapter 16.
So from the very start, Samuel is in a difficult situation. What God was telling him to do (go and find the new king) went against what Samuel would normally be doing. God’s wisdom was colliding with what made earthly sense. Samuel was the most esteemed servant of the Lord, so his actions were of great interest to King Saul. If Saul knew Samuel was making this journey outside of where he normally goes, he would probably be suspicious and feel threatened. Especially if he knew Samuel was out searching for a new king while Saul was STILL the king.
But the Lord already thought about all of that and any suspicions that may have been raised. He told Samuel to take this cow with him to make a sacrifice in Bethlehem. Since Samuel was a levitical judge, he was authorized to sacrifice such an animal as part of a ritual that atoned for unsolved murders committed in rural regions. Which sounds weird, but it definitely prevented any suspicions. Oh, this guys traveling to Bethlehem with a calf, he’s just doing part of his duty as a judge, nothing weird there.
When he gets to Bethlehem, it says the elders came and met him and were trembling. Probably because they saw Samuel with a calf, thinking “dang, somebody was murdered.” But really, Samuel was there to appoint the new king. So he tells them to consecrate themselves and prepare for the sacrifice, then he goes and invites Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice as well.
So here’s Jesse with his sons before Samuel. And obviously, Samuel wasn’t sure who God wanted; otherwise, he would’ve immediately been like “where’s david?” and said “this is him.” Instead, he began to look over each son.
He looks at Eliab first and thinks “oh this has got to be him.” He looked impressive, which was what Samuel thought he was supposed to be looking for considering that’s the kind of man that Saul was. Saul was this handsome, manly dude who was head and shoulders taller than everyone else. You look at him and think, “that’s a king right there.” So, Samuel assumed that’s the kind of guy he was looking for this time again. But God says no. And every son of Jesse passes by Samuel, but God rejected each one of them.
Jesse says that his youngest or smallest son is out in the field keeping the sheep. Samuel has him brought in. And think about it- God literally had just said to Samuel, don’t look at his height or appearance. Jesse just said “hey, the smallest one is still out there,” maybe this could be who God is talking about. And it was. This small, young, handsome boy was it. It’s like having Chris Hemsworth and Tom Holland, okay. You have Chris Hemsworth, who is like the Saul and Eliab, this tall, handsome, warrior-looking dude who is just the epitome of a king. Then you have Tom Holland (who I’m not saying isn’t good looking ladies), but compared to Chris Hemsworth, he’s this small, baby-faced, naive boy. But that’s who God chose.
The one who was overlooked by everyone, his brothers, even his father, was handpicked by God. He wasn’t as impressive as Saul or his brothers by the world’s standards, but he had the kind of heart that pleases God, which made him the perfect candidate for king.
I think of it kinda like this-
It’s easy to judge people based on their appearances or the pictures they post. It’s in our sinful nature to do that. To think, say, do negative things without thinking of how it’ll affect others. But as a Christ-follower, Jesus never said that following Him would be easy. He just commanded that we follow. So that means going against what the world would say, what our sinful nature tells us. Obeying God’s wisdom versus our own. And that’s the choice we have to make every day.
When we look at others, are we seeing them for who they are or for what they appear to be?
When we post pictures on our instagram, are we doing it because we want people to like our appearance or is it who we really are?
How do you see other people? How do you want others to see you?
I’m gonna pray and then we’re going to do an activity before going into small groups.
Hand out booklets of paper with the same number of pages per people.
Write down a word or phrase on the cover, as specific as you want (don’t show anyone)
pass to the next person. They try to illustrate what you wrote on the next page.
The next person only looks at the picture and tries to write a phrase that describes the drawing.
Next person only reads that phrase, tries to draw it.
Continues until original person gets their book. Everyone shares the original phrase and what it ended up as.
What was it like to try and guess what a picture was without any context?
Some of the drawings and phrases were funny in this activity, but what does it feel like when you’re judged based only on your appearance?
Keeping all of that in mind, we’re going to break up into small groups now to discuss a little bit more and then we’ll be done!