Summary: I talk about what wisdom is, why we need it today, and how to get it.

Walking Wisely

”Wisdom for Life Series” Message I

February 8, 2003

Riverwood Church

Pastor Lynn Floyd

Intro: Life is made up of a series of choices. Every day we are faced with them. To, what we are going to wear in the morning to what we are going to listen to on the radio, how much we are going to save on our next paycheck to whether or not we will come to church. Or whether or not we are going to obey the speed limit. Now, I don’t think God is overly concerned with which shoes you wore this morning. But he is concerned about whether or not you are walking wisely on this earth.

Ephesians 5:17 “So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.” NLT

We live in some evil days don’t we? It seems we are bombarded with more opportunities to do evil than good. That’s not the case.

For the next several weeks we are going to be talking about “wisdom for life” out of some selective verses in Proverbs. We won’t go verse by verse because Proverbs was not meant to be preached verse by verse. Proverbs is one of the most practical books in the Old Testament. It is concerned one of several “wisdom books” in the Bible along with Job and Ecclesiasties. It is a collection of approximately nine hundred inspired precepts. It provides godly counsel for virtually every facet of human life and relationships. WE are going to try and unwrap what these Proverbs say about some of those many facets. (The Daily Walk Bible, p. 722-23)

There is a lot about the history behind Proverbs that I don’t have time to share with you. But as you read this book (and I encourage you to as we go through this series) keep a couple of things in mind. There are different kinds of Proverbs in this book: (Taken from the Daily Walk Bible, p. 742)

Contrasting proverbs: they use the word but to set up a comparison. “The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame (3:35).”

Cause/Effect proverbs: they use the words then or for to show the cause-and effect relationship of actions and reactions. “Honor the Lord with your wealth…Then he will fill your barns with grain” (3:9-10).

Numerical proverbs: they make a statement, then itemize a list. “There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue…” (6:16-19)

Comparative proverbs: they use the word better to suggest something…better! “It is better to have little with fear for the Lord than to have great treasure with turmoil” (15:16).

One thing you see over and over about this book of Proverbs is that it focusing on the reality of wisdom.

What is wisdom you might ask? Here is a definition based upon Nelson’s New Illustrative Bible Dictionary: “ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.

Now there are many who we consider wise. Maybe it’s based on their education or their experience. It’s crucial to understand that the wisdom in the Bible is different from the world. The wisdom of the world bases its decision making on human rational thought. Biblical wisdom on the contrary basis it’s decisions on the Bible and pleasing God. We’ll talk more about that in a minute. Proverbs 28:26 says, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.”

I want us to understand that we need wisdom today. Every single one of us needs wisdom as we walk in this world. You might say, I have a seminary degree or a doctor’s degree I don’t need any more wisdom? Look at what Proverbs 1:5 says: “Let those who are wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. And let those who understand receive guidance by exploring the depth of meaning in these proverbs, parables, wise sayings, and riddles. People of God should never stop learning, never stop gaining valuable knowledge and wisdom.

The book of Proverbs gives us some reasons why we need wisdom. Wisdom will do much for us if we take heed to it. How does wisdom help shape us and help us?

1). For daily decision making 2:9

We do have the capacity to make wise choices every day and be blessed by them! I believe that the Bible is our guide. It is a record of God’s revelation to us. It tells us specific things for our benefit. Not because God wants to harm us but so he can help us. There is black and there is white. But you know there are some choices that we face where there is not a clearly defined yes or no. And so sometimes we ask ourselves is it right or is it wrong when the real question should be, is it wise? You ever found yourself in a situation like that? How many of you face some tough daily decisions?

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