Summary: Wisdom is about making good choices, and it is also about know what to typically expect in life and in dealing with otherås. We can always gain more wisdom as we incorporate particular concepts.

Wise and Wiser

(Proverbs 25:1-7)

1. Last week, I finally carved out some time to water blast our back deck. Between rain, cold, and busy schedules, it was no easy task.

2. Neither is water blasting. Last time I did it, 3 years ago, not such a good result; it would cut little trails into the wood.

3. This time, I experimented: middle fitting, closer, eventually 3 boards at once.

4. If I had been even wiser, I would have sought out a tutorial on Youtube.

5. The point: wisdom is often gained in pieces., in small increments.

Main Idea: Wisdom is about making good choices, and it is also about know what to typically expect in life and in dealing with otherås. We can always gain more wisdom as we incorporate particular concepts.

We need to take steps to grown in the Lord, including growing in wisdom. That is part of the reason you are here today, and part of the reason you read and study the Word of God, the Bible.

I. CURIOSITY Has Its Place and Its Boundaries: Understand Them (1-3).

Because we are curious, we discover and invent many useful things; but curiosity can also tempt us to meddle where we do not belong or invade another’s privacy.

A. We must learn to live with UNSATISFIED curiosity.

1. Some things we CANNOT know: God has hidden them.

• Science is unearthing some amazing things, but it has its limits.

• Different theories of time, for example.

• Two sources of revelation: natural and special (Jesus & Scriptures)

2. Some things we can know but should NOT know.

• Gossip can fuel the latter.

• Learning to let curiosity go is one of life’s disciplines.

B. There is a place for detective work and tracking down the TRUTH.

• Kings were also judges

C. Yet those of us who analyze cannot always understand a ruler’s choice based upon CLASSIFIED information.

• A good rule of thumb: you don’t know what you don’t know.

• We generally operate using the information we have, but it is often incomplete. We should not assume that people in the know are acting foolishly when our judgment is based upon partial information.

• If you saw a man from a distance run into and push another man, you might conclude this was an act of violence; may have been preventing a fall in a pit

Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

Conclusion: Blessed are those who understand when to investigate and when to mind ones own business.

We can always gain more wisdom as we incorporate particular concepts.

II. The RULE BREAKING Minority Ruin Things for the Majority: Expect It (4-5).

1. When we go into a courthouse, we have to first be scanned; When we open a bottle, we have to first remove the safety tab.

2. When we get a driver’s license for the first time, we need lots of documentation; longer waits to board an airplane.

3. We are all inconvenienced because a few break the rules.

A. Some people fall into the category of dross and others of SILVER

B. WICKED people make a leader’s job difficult.

1. Does the presence of King refer to the king’s cabinet (court), or the people who appear before the King for justice or issues?

2. If his court, then a king with a good department heads will be successful.

3. It could refer to the people he governs.

4. It could refer to both.

C. A high CRIME rate could topple leaders even back then.

• Even in areas laden with crime, it is the minority of people who are true criminals. But the cost to society is astronomical.

• Whether among his administrators (corruption) or his people (morally abandoned), there is a saturation point.

We can always gain more wisdom as we incorporate particular concepts.

III. Better to Slightly Underrate Yourself Than OVERRATE Yourself: Get in the Habit (6-7).

Everyone hates being humiliated, and pride is a great catalyst to being humiliated. The Pharaoh hardened his heart and arrogantly defied God — ending up drowning with his army in the Red Sea after subjected his people to plague after plague.

When applying for a job, Americans tend to overrate themselves. The Dutch, in contrast, tend to underrate themselves. Societies value or punish humility.

Joseph Telushkin defines humility: “It means not regarding ourselves as more important than other people, including those who have achieved less than we.”

Solomon offers us one particular way to implement humility.

A. Take a LOWER seat.

B. Jesus’ MIDRASH of this passage (Luke 14:7-11)

7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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