Summary: If we live according to the wisdom God gives, He will protect us and direct us.
When you go on a trip, do you prefer to go the direct route or the scenic route? A lot of what you prefer depends on your situation.
As a kid growing up in Jal, NM, while my grandparents were alive, our family traveled to visit relatives in Pennsylvania every year. Dad got two weeks vacation, so, we took the direct route, leaving after dad got off work, driving all night the first night, then driving all day, and spending a night in a motel, and driving in the next day, eating in the car. But when dad got more vacation, we took the scenic route. Going up, we took the northern route (Tx, Okla, Miss, Ill, Ind, Ohio, & Pa), stopping at roadside parks to eat; then going home, the southern route (WV, Kent, Tenn, Ark, Tx, & NM).
The point is that in making a trip, one must choose one or the other. But when it comes to the life God calls us to, it is possible for us to take both the direct route and the scenic route at the same time. This is part of the emphasis in our passage for today, as Solomon describes the way of the wise - the life one can live if they will live it according to the wisdom God gives. The way of the wise is . . .
1. The way of passionate partnership with God - vs. 1-11
God’s wisdom takes us on the scenic route, for living in partnership with God is a great adventure! That’s how God intends for us to live, being excited every day to learn what new things the Lord has in store.
When C.S. Lewis was an atheist, he said this about Christians he knew: “Christians are wrong, but all the rest are bores.” At this point in his life, Lewis couldn’t accept the message of Christianity as true, but there was an attractiveness, authenticity and vitality about Christians he found lacking in others.
Now, what was true about the believers in C.S. Lewis’ life is to be true of every Christian. And it will be true of every believer who lives according to the wisdom God gives.
A. Where it begins - v. 1a “My son”
The way of the wise starts with a personal relationship with God. That’s possible because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Has there been a time in your life when you have acknowledged Christ as your one and only Savior? If so, God acknowledges you as His child. And as God’s child, you’re an heir of God.
You’re in a position where you benefit from all God has to offer, not just in the life to come, but here and now. Despite the imperfections of this world, all things can work together for your good.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” - Romans 8:28 (NLT)
But this promise is conditioned on surrendering to God’s purpose. So after telling the first step in traveling down the way of the wise, we’re told the second step - choosing to surrender to God’s plan for my life. He emphasizes this by using a BIG little word - “if”.
B. What it involves - vs. 1-4
1) The Bible - vs. 1-2
“If God has recorded his words in a Book, search its pages with a believing heart . . . if you regard it as the Book of God, I charge you, as I shall meet you at the judgement seat of Christ, study the Bible daily. Treat not the Eternal God with disrespect, but delight in His Word.” - Charles Spurgeon
How should we interact with the Bible?
A) Read and study it - v. 1b
B) Memorize it - v. 1c
C) Hear it - v. 2a
D) Apply it - v. 2
“This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.” - Anonymous