Summary: As we confront evil, foolishness, and moral chaos, we need wisdom and some guidance to help us confront battle fatigue or the temptation to sin in less obvious ways because of wrongdoing.

Wisdom’s Bypaths

(Proverbs 24:13-18)

1. A not-so-bright road worker was hired to paint the line down the center of street.

The first day he managed to paint 2 miles, and his boss was very pleased. The next day he only painted 2 blocks, but his boss thought that he'd probably started off too hard on the first day. But on the third day he was only able to paint 20 yards.

The boss called him into the office and demanded an explanation.

"Well, it's getting so far to walk all the way to the paint bucket," he explained.

2. I watched the World Series. In baseball, broadcasters have to be good talkers; they often fill the time w/ worthless statistics, like the last time a triple was followed by a walk, a strike out, and a passed ball was in 1999. Not always the brightest.

3. When the Cubs were down 3 games to 1, however, things looked bleak. The sportscasters mentioned how it was statistically unlikely that a team this far behind would win the World Series. But they did.

4. Wisdom talks about what usually happens, but it is not infallible — lots of variables, one of which is free will, another insanity, for example.

5. Wisdom also gives us advice about living in a fallen world, and also considering our own fallen condition. It address the typical, not the exceptional.

Main Idea: As we confront evil, foolishness, and moral chaos, we need wisdom and some guidance to help us confront battle fatigue or the temptation to sin in less obvious ways because of wrongdoing.

I. The Difference Between the Wise and the Wicked Is Most Obvious in the FUTURE (13-14, 19-20).

A. Gaining WISDOM through learning is a sweet experience (13-14a).

1. There is a sense in which finding Christ is finding the ultimate manifestation of God’s wisdom. I Cor. 1:23-24 reads, “…but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

2. Augustine said, “Lord, I have long wanted the true manna; all my former food was nothing but empty husks.”

3. The land of Canaan was a land flowing with “milk and honey.” In USA, we drool at thoughts of pizza or favorite pastry; in ancient Israel, honey was it!

4. If you seek wisdom, it is not chore to read & contemplate Proverbs, for ex.

B. Wisdom makes for a better FUTURE (14b).

C. A better future makes for HOPE (14b).

Luke 7:35, “Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

D. CONSOLATION for those affected by the wicked: they have NO future (19-20a)

E. The wise person’s lamp will burn BRIGHTLY, theirs snuffed out (20b).

II. Those Considering Evil Must RESIST the Temptation to Harm the Righteous (15-16).

Is this Proverb warning the ungodly or the godly? Or the immature godly? The person who is just getting his moral, spiritual bearings, a novice in wisdom?

New believers, spiritually immature, etc., enter a life of faith bringing all their prejudices and assumptions with them…I know I did!

A. People who are ignorant of God’s ways need to be warned: do not ALIGN with the wicked (15).

Recently, we've witnessed an unprecedented assault on religious liberty. Not an assault on religion in general, but an attack on particular religious beliefs. Those who hold to traditional religious convictions are now to be punished.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a California law that requires pregnancy resource centers to promote abortion or face the wrath of the state.

In Iowa and left-leaning Massachusetts, churches have filed lawsuits challenging new transgender non-discrimination laws that require them to allow persons to use a restroom, shower or locker room, opposite to their biological sex. The law singles out and penalizes these churches if they won't comply.

A lay minister in Georgia, who filed a lawsuit on the grounds of religious discrimination after losing his job with the Georgia Department of Public Health, was being compelled by the state's attorney general to hand over his sermons. His problems started after being hounded by LGBTQ activists for preaching what the Bible says about homosexuality [].

B. The righteous have plenty of TROUBLES, but they bounce back (16a).

God says of His people Israel, “ For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye” (Zech 2:8).

Derek Kidner, “…an unscrupulous victory is never permanent; you are fighting against God.”

C. In contrast, the wicked do not RECOVER (16b).

• We tend to inflate the happiness of the wicked & under rate our own

• Envy/jealousy robs us: we do not savor our own blessings when we stew over what others have or their blessings; no competition.

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