Summary: Seeking after wisdom
Intro: The Bible is an amazing book. We so often treat it as a textbook, merely teaching academic truth--when what it really is is a children’s "pop-up" book, showing us glimpses into the very heart and soul of those we find mentioned there.
The Psalms were not merely songs to be ritually sung in church: they were the embodiment of David’s baring his soul to us, opening up his heart to share his feelings and emotions, his depression and frustration as well as his triumph and exultation.
We have become so concerned with knowing what the Bible teaches (dogmatics) that we forget to learn and do what the Bible teaches (greatest commandment, etc.) The Bible is God’s love-letter to man!
What is your attitude to the Word of God today? As we look to the book of Proverbs, we find a good understanding of what our attitude should be.
Read Proverbs 2:1-9
I. The Scriptures are essential for Gaining Wisdom
Divine wisdom must be sought before it can be found. It is not ability, but industry, effort, and sincerity that enables us to find wisdom.
1. "if" - can be a simple "if/then", or it could be better seen as a desirative expression (stating the desire of the father) -"Oh, my son, if only you would accept my words"
Solomon, the wisest man, writes of his desire for us to learn to seek wisdom
*Remember his prayer for wisdom to lead God’s people and God’s resulting blessing
A. Attitudes towards wisdom
"accept" - to receive graciously, to welcome, to accept with open arms. This is passive: we only attain wisdom as God gives (James 1:5), but we must receive and welcome it into our hearts.
#At Christmas, sometimes we accept some gifts with a half-hearted “Thank you” knowing we are going to be out tomorrow morning to exchange the gift.
#Compare to a man in the desert being offered some water
#story - men in desert - oasis ahead - man selling ties $20 - think him crazy - get to oasis - need tie to get in to restaurant
staring point of wisdom is revelation - treasuring and exploring the teachings of God
"store up" - hide, as a treasure. *Spies: microfilm
To obtain wisdom from God requires a receptive faith. The quest for wisdom is a spiritual exercise. Without desire for truth, and desire to act upon it, the Bible will always seem a dry and boring book.
*as we read the Bible, do we really desire to know God’s truth
*do we “store up” God’s commands within us - MEMORIZATION
most teaching cannot be used as soon as it is received - we store it up for a use later in life
2."turning your ear" - literally is "sharpen the ear" - today would compare to "listen up, "listen sharp." Just as a dog lifts its ears when it hears something. It means to exercise energy, to give careful attention.
*read a text, then say, “What did God say? did you hear that!? WOW!”
"applying your heart" - literally is to "stretch out the heart" - the whole inner man. This is to direct our whole inner being in the pursuit of understanding. You will not find wisdom if you merely seek it in your mind. A theological search without involving the heart results only in a mere academic exercise.
*BJU Custer sermons - done only to turn in- no real value
*Bell projects - far beyond requirements, done for personal benefit
Do we really put our whole heart into the word of God?
Isaiah 29:13 - These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.
3. cry out - if understanding does not come at once, put forth greater efforts
4."look for it" - iterative concept, continuing, constantly seeking
*remember parable of Lost coin in Luke 15
Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, `Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.
"silver" - the image of a miner diligently applying his strength to his work, in pursuit of his treasure, never giving up. Many miners spent their whole lives waiting to strike it rich.
#Snowy River - SPUR
"hidden treasure" - divers seeking shipwrecks - spend years to find a wreck, sometimes even a lifetime. But the rewards are worth the time. There is a lot of background information that must be gained before going to look for a sunken ship. Men don’t just sail along and say, “This looks like a good spot for a shipwreck.” They search old records.