Wisdom is the ripest fruit of Experience. There is no fool like an old fool.
Wisdom is the “way of God”. A man’s true measure of wisdom, is his first hand knowledge of the Eternal.
Here we consider three things;
1 The Excellence of Wisdom
2. The Essence of Wisdom. –
3.The Expression of Wisdom- Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.
1. The Excellence of Wisdom:
Wisdom is the “principal thing”, “in all they getting, get understanding”.
Job declared that wisdom was to be valued above gold. Solomon valued it above gold, silver and rubies.
We can contrast the Wisdom of David and Solomon. The wisdom of David is that of the patient and the wisdom of Solomon is that of the doctor. We acknowledge the doctor’s to be superior.
Here we have a foretaste of the wisdom of Christ - “the Spirit of Wisdom shall rest upon him.” His listeners remarked “where did he get such wisdom from?”
Man has a vast knowledge of sin by experience, God, who has never sinned, has far greater knowledge. (thankfully)
2. The Essence of Wisdom.
The essence of wisdom is to discern the better of two ways;- good or evil, life or death.
Solomon had to judge concerning a dead baby and a living baby.
We live in a society where everyone sees the evil, corruption, and rebellion in society but no-one wants to take responsibility for it. None are willing to own the dead babies of society. All plead innocent and want to be regarded as benefactors of society. Even those trafficking in pornography on the internet claim they are a legitimate business and are providing employment. The TV turn out endless films of murders and shootings and wonder why young people gun down their class mates in a fit of anger. Surely they don’t believe that TV has no influence on behaviour, for the economy of TV is based upon advertisers knowledge of its effect on public tastes and behaviour. Alcohol costs our country billions each year. At least 100 people per week are killed in Britain from the effects of alcohol. Yet everyone regards it as a social benefit. One of the great benefits of being a Christian for many years, is the growth in appreciation of the difference between man’s wisdom and God’s wisdom. The latter is mocked by most people today especially if it is something quoted from the scripture, yet society cannot see how every time they seek a remedy for some social ill, they create six more. Hence the cry, “Come soon Lord and reign over us in wisdom Love and Power!” He is the only answer to the calamities of Life.
Proverbs is a book of contrasts- Humility and pride, honour and dishonour, Heaven and Hades.
Worthwhile studies in the book ;
Hearts; proud and humble Friendships; true and false. Tempers; good and bad. Dispositions; Jealous and joyous Tales; carried and concealed Wills; stubborn and surrendered. Injuries; revenged and rewarded. Tongues; controlled and uncontrolled. Hands; grasping and generous. Moods; melancholy and merry Responsibilities; shared and shirked. Purses; full and empty. Quarrels; stirred up and made up. Conclusions; rash and cautious Plans; helpful and harmful. Women; gracious and ungracious. Workers; slack and diligent
Solomon saw both sides of the scales of justice.
“There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is death”
The cross is foolishness to men but it is the wisdom of God. What is shame and weakness to men is glory and power to God. Passive submission is not the way to show strength according to natural wisdom. If there is one quality by which God is more different to man, it is in the realm of wisdom. In the realms of love and power, man has a slight pipsqueak of understanding, but in terms of wisdom, there is no better way to show the contrast than saying the wisdom of God is foolishness to Man and visa versa.
The cross as a symbol is two distinct opposites. If you draw a cross on paper, the cross is nullified by compromise when we draw another line which is 1 degree to the right of the vertical, and then draw another line just 1 degree from the horizontal. If we continue that process, and each time claim that the new line is not much different from the last, then we will soon see a mishmash of choices and every issue is blared. The cross disappears.