Wisdom Is The Principal Thing

Sun 26 May 2019 – Johan Esterhuizen

Series: Wisdom

Prov. 4:7; Prov. 1:2-14; Prov. 2:1-5, 7; Prov. 7:1-2; Ps. 119:11; Prov. 22:28; Prov. 2:7; Col. 3:17, 23-24; Ps. 1:1-3

This morning let us define wisdom and how we can get wisdom. We need wisdom in life to make the right decisions, say the right things, do the right things; we somehow think wisdom is elusive. We do not get wisdom out of textbooks, and we know that knowledge does not make you wise. We know educated people that have no wisdom, we also understand that you cannot just listen and get wisdom; it is a deeper process. Wisdom and knowledge are occurring themes in the Bible but they are not synonymous. The dictionary defines wisdom as being the ability to discern or decide what is true, right and lasting. Knowledge on the other hand, is information gained through experience, reasoning and acquaintance. Knowledge can exist without wisdom but not the other way. We need wisdom in these days. Knowledge is to know how to use a gun; wisdom knows when not to use it. The Irish senator, Phil Briscoe was challenged to put this in one of his speeches, he says “Knowledge knows that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad”.

How do we get wisdom? The purpose of the book of Proverbs is to know wisdom and instruction (Prov. 1:2-6). Wisdom is the principal thing (Prov. 4:7). We are living in an information age but we are not living in the age of wisdom. Young people may be Hi-Tech and they know everything about technology but they do not know much about life. I have counselled successful people that have no wisdom because they have destroyed with their character what they build with their talent. In all this knowledge and the age in which we live, it seems to me people have become stupid. Unfortunately it is in the Church as well – divorce, suicide, addiction, corruption, sexual promiscuity, murder, abortion, corruption, coveting and the list carries on. A Messianic Rabbi said the following “I can ask just one question and I can assess where you are in life, what your belief system is and where you are going”. That question is this, “Three and a half thousand years ago on Mount Sinai God appeared to Moses and gave a set of instructions that have changed society, is that binding on you?” If the answer is, “I am not sure”, then you have already said “No”. Knowledge is the collection of facts; wisdom is the right use of what we know for daily living.

Knowledge is to know the pathways of God; understanding is the willingness to walk in those pathways. Wisdom is using the understanding to navigate the pathways in your life. Now wisdom is a gift. 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 (Prov. 2:1-5).

King Solomon was a miner. There have been books written and stories told of King Solomon’s mines. And it says wisdom is like mining. You have to mine for silver, you have to mine for gold, you have to mine for diamonds, you have to mine for rubies and then you have to process them; wisdom is like that. We have to be willing to mine for it and the Scripture says, My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live (Prov. 7: 1-2). Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You (Ps. 119:11). Do with wisdom like farmers do with water, you must store it, you must treasure it, you must build a reservoir and when you need it, you apply it. Find what does God’s word has to say about a matter and the application of the word of God will bring a tremendous breakthrough in your life. Seek silver, mine for gold, mine for rubies, and mine for wisdom. Wisdom is not elusive but it is hard work to store and hide it in your heart that you might know what to say, what to do and where to go.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prov. 1:7-9). Do not remove the ancient landmark, Which your fathers have set (Prov. 22:28). The fear of the Lord is not being scared, nor to be a coward who hides away and trembles in God’s presence. The fear of the Lord is to respect His word and do His word and to live upright in life; being the salt and light of the world, and knowing that your life makes a difference. That is the fear of the Lord. It is the beginning of wisdom; the beginning of understanding.

I want to show you a principle, And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Col. 3:17). Paul often amplifies what he first said and you can miss the truth of the matter. He amplifies it in, And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ (Col. 3:23-24). I have never worked for a boss, I have worked for a managing director, I have worked for a sales manager but I have always worked as unto the Lord. If you do everything as unto the Lord then you work for him knowing that He will take care of you. Whatsoever you do unto the Lord, He will reward you (Prov. 1:10-14).

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper (Ps. 1:1-3). Notice the decline in motion: walk, stand, sit. Notice the decline in morality, the man first walks in the counsel of the ungodly; he is walking with them. In other words, he is following their counsel; he is following in the ways of the ungodly. The next thing he does is he stands in their ways; he no longer resists the ways of the sinner. Then finally he sits with the scornful and he does what they do. Young people, choose your friends very meticulously because you will become like your friends. This is not old fashioned, this is fact. Notice what it says, and you shall bear fruit when you meditate on God’s word day and night; you shall bear fruit in your season. Your breakthrough is coming! When you are planted by God your leaf will not wither, everyone else will wither but you will not. God is going to make us evergreen. Jesus says 30, 60, 100 fold. What do you trust God for?

Being precedes doing and God’s word is very clear – wisdom is not elusive. It is a set of principles found in God’s word. When you apply it, it works; the word will not let you down. So picture that dam as it is filling but you must keep on filling the dam because when you tap the water the dam goes down. I have seen God do some great things in the Church and I am looking forward to the time that young people are going to rise and they are going to come to a place of legacy even in their young age. Wisdom is the principal thing. In your understanding get wisdom. Just take this to heart and know God will give you wisdom.