Be Wise | Part One

Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey | Pastor
First Baptist Church, Spanish Fort, AL

Be wise!  American humorist and author, Sam Levenson (1911-1980) quipped, “It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it.”  Be wise!   Dr. Max Anders exhorts, “Start with reverence for God; stay on the road of knowledge, wisdom, prudence, and discretion, following them to their ultimate destination; and you will arrive in the land of a pleasing life. That is the message of the Book of Proverbs.” Be wise!  Dr. Duane A. Garrett explains, “The lady wisdom contrasts with the woman folly. Once again we are dealing only with metaphoric personifications. Like vendors calling for customers to come to their shops, wisdom and folly invite the reader to choose which path to take. It is a decision of life and death.”
Proverbs 9:10-12 reads, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you.  If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you will bear it alone.” Note three important points from our passage.

I. First, there is the Benefactor of wisdom.
Proverbs 9:10 reads, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  Proverbs 2:1-6 reads, “My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God.  For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Emphasis mine)  “The fear of the Lord” is known as “the cornerstone of Proverbs.”  Proverbs 1:7 reads, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Proverbs 15:33 reads, “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility.”  The fear of the Lord is found throughout the wisdom literature of the Bible.  For example, Job ends his discourse on wisdom in the following way:  “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding’” (Job 28:28).  Solomon shares his findings related to the emptiness of a life under the sun by one who forgets “the fear of the Lord”.  You will discover “the fear of the Lord” five times in the Book of Ecclesiastes (3:14; 5:7; 7:18; 8:12-13; 12:13).  Solomon’s father, David, writes in Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”

2 Chronicles 1:1-12 reads, “Now Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him and exalted him exceedingly.   And Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ houses.  Then Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for the tabernacle of meeting with God was there, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness.  But David had brought up the ark of God from Kirjath Jearim to the place David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.  Now the bronze altar that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the Lord; Solomon and the assembly sought Him there. And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the Lord, which was at the tabernacle of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.  On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, ‘Ask! What shall I give you?’  And Solomon said to God: ‘You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place.  Now, O Lord God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.  Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?’  Then God said to Solomon: ‘Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king—  wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.’” (Emphasis mine)  Maybe you wish the Lord would make such an offer to you.  Well, James 1:5 reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (Emphasis mine)

The following passages provide divine directives for prayer from the mouth of our Lord. John 14:12-14 reads, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 15:7-8 reads, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 16:23-24 reads, “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.  Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (Emphasis mine)  Matthew 7:7 reads, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Emphasis mine)  Some tell us it does not matter if we pray in Jesus’ name or not.  He clearly instructs us to do so.  We pray to God the Father, through the God the Son, by God the Holy Spirit.

Part Two Coming Soon!