September 4, 2022

Proverbs: Wise Living

Speaker: David Jordan Series: Journey Through the Bible Topic: Wisdom Scripture: Proverbs 1:1– 31:31

Download the Proverbs Bible Journal Outline

Open your Bibles, if you would, to the book of Proverbs.

As the kids are filing out there, tonight, we have our Young Adults night starting up that's middle school through college. Purposefully designed to allow you to make disciples and not only to be discipled. But we'd love for you to come out. It is a lot of fun. Student-led music and I'll be doing a short lesson and we'll break up into age-appropriate groups, and discuss the lesson after that. And so hopefully, you guys can all come out. And if you need a ride, let us know. And we will certainly give you a ride.

This is my favorite cover so far. So, if you're unfamiliar with what we're doing, I'm going through every book of the Bible and trying to in one sermon, give the entire book. Obviously not every verse, just an overview. Because, you know, he says to preach the whole counsel of God. And so, it is our goal to do just that. And depending on how long the Lord allows me to preach to you, hopefully we will get to do that verse by verse as well.

The book of Proverbs, as you know, is about wise living. And let me just give you something to take home with you right off the bat. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” That is a promise you can always count on. That if you need wisdom, just ask God for it, and he will give it to you generously. Wisdom, though, brings only a blessing to those who embrace her. To those who embrace her.

As you know, God gave generously to Solomon, who wrote the book of Proverbs. 1 Kings 4:29-30 said of him, “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon's wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.” 1 Kings 4:31, “For he was wiser than all other men…” Friends, if you are looking for wisdom, Proverbs is your book. There is literally no other book like it in all of Scripture. Proverbs is the fruit of Solomon's wisdom that was given to him by God.

It was written down and recorded around 791 to 686 BC. That's “Before Christ.” If you want BCE, I just say, “Before the Christian Era,” and drive people crazy with that, but it was a while ago. If you think of all of Proverbs, if you look in here, this outline will help you to follow along. So that you can have the purpose, the main points, what's the book about, what does it teach about God, etc. But if you think about it, the 31 chapters, you can really divide into two sections. Chapters one through nine are really “An Appeal to Wisdom.” It's an appeal for you and I, to pursue, find, attain and live by wisdom. That's chapters, one through nine. They're from Solomon appealing to his son, his children. And then chapters 10 through 31 are a “Landslide of Wisdom.” Many, many verses he wrote, Scripture says, over 3000 Proverbs. And we have a little bit less than half of those. So that's how you can kind of think about all of Proverbs in your mind.

But you and I are not always wise, are we? There are times in our life when we're not as wise as we think, though we try really, really hard. I know a guy like this. He was a Sunday School teacher, captivated by a particular passage that I was sharing with some beloved friends this weekend, this story. This particular teacher was captivated by John 13:5, which I'll read to you, you don't need to turn there. It says this, “Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” It’s like, this is a wonderful passage. It is a very endearing moment in the life of Jesus Christ. It's the night when he's betrayed. Chapters 14 through 16 are Jesus's final words. Chapter 17 in John, is his high priestly prayer. It’s the longest recorded prayer in Scripture.

But he starts that whole thing out by washing the disciples feet. And this particular teacher was very, I guess you could say, motivated to put Scripture into practice. And as you may recall, John 13:14-15 says, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” So if the men would pass out the basin's this morning, I'm just kidding. This particular teacher really took that to heart, as untrained as he was. And as he taught John 13, to a particular group of college-age students, he did indeed pass out basins. And they did indeed right there in Sunday School, wash one another's feet. Some of you can't even stand your own toes, let alone the toes of another.

Wisdom may seem wise to us, but maybe not so wise to others. And I want to challenge you right off the bat that there are things that we consider impossible in this life. But Scripture can train even the most simpleminded, misguided of us, to even have something such as insight. You see, we kind of categorize everyone, don't we? These are the smart ones. These are the really hard workers. You know, we have phrases that we know what everybody is. But can someone actually be taught, not just knowledge, but to have insight? Could society be taught to comprehend real justice? Could the simple learn caution? Could young people overflow with discretion? Could the wise increase in their learning? Could those who already understand, learn guidance? You see, we think if we understand we don't need to learn guidance, we've already got guidance because we're learned or we're already wise. But could the wise learn guidance? Could we literally grow in humility? Not just talk about it Could those who wallow in ignorance, learn patience.

These are the very things that proverbs demonstrates are indeed possible. Look in chapter one, verse one, follow along as I read verses one to seven if you need a Bible, there are Bibles under the seats.

Proverbs 1:1–7
1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
6 to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Newheiser says, “The objective of the book of Proverbs is to enable us to live successfully in relationship to God in the world that he has created.” But let me ask you, why is the fear of God, the beginning of knowledge? Would we think that maybe there should be some other things that would come first? Maybe, the hearing of the Word? Would we consider salvation to be different from that? Why is the fear of God the very beginning of knowledge? It is simply this, because the fear of God puts you in right relationship to everything in the world, including God himself. As we discussed earlier this morning, it is not that we fear only his punishment, but we fear him as he is a loving, holy, righteous, merciful, graceful God. Who abounds in steadfast love, whose grace overflows to us. And yet, even in all these things, we recognize that he does whatever he pleases.

We must look to God's Word for wisdom. And if we do not look to God's Word for wisdom, then the implication is, that we do not have it. This is not something that we can attain, on our own, apart from God and his Word. So, let's talk about wisdom for a minute here. Just wisdom in general. And these are things, truths that you'll see, explained in Proverbs.

If you are financially successful, or have a glowing career, what is the ultimate benefit of that, without God? Will that earn credit with God? If you are successful in the world, does that mean you would be successful in the church? If you are the most successful man in the city? Should we make you prominent in the church? If a leader in the world, would you be a good leader of Christ's bride? What is the greatest thing that we could achieve through worldly wisdom? And we need to think about this a little bit because if Solomon spent a third of Proverbs appealing to us to simply get wisdom, then we should spend a few minutes trying to look through our senses, to consider in our mind, what do we really think about God's Word?

If our words are smooth, and people enjoy our company, will God be wooed? If our children are well behaved, will that compel God to open heaven for them? Is sincerity equal to purity? This one confuses many. They sincerely follow Buddha, they sincerely follow Mohammed, they sincerely follow the god of their own making. They sincerely venerate God through idols, and people, and dead people, and saints. They are sincere. Does sincerity equal purity of mind and heart? Will our diligence towards religious fervor compel God to open his doors to us? Will our pure and undefiled religion gain us more than the Pharisees gained? Shall our attendance bring more than identity with denominationalism? That is a word that is starting to come around that is the idea of giving us comfort based on where we go to church. And you should feel comfortable coming to church here in the sense that you know, the truth will be proclaimed up here. You should be comfortable with that. But your comfort ultimately should be in Jesus Christ and his Word. Denominations are splintering right now at rapid succession. Long standing denominations. Should we look down on people simply because they attend a different church?

See wisdom apart from God has not been kind to us. The church, as you know, has laid herself down at the feet of cultural appeasement, and is drunk on the philosophy of self-fulfillment. Colossians 2:8 warns against these things, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Philosophy is on the rise. But Scripture says, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit.”

I don't need to mention the buzzwords of how people are leaving the church and trying to change the church, if they stay, to cozy up to the culture. And simply telling someone who already agrees with us about these things won't change anything. As I mentioned to a dear friend this morning, that may be even more dangerous than the buzzwords, would be the complacency of us as Christians to try and navigate the ocean of life in our theological rowboats without the wisdom from above. Thinking that we are merely shielding ourselves from the world and that somehow gives us enough wisdom to navigate life. That I am not taking this in, I don't necessarily need Scripture, I'm doing just fine. That is Christian complacency at its worst. And normally what happens is we find ourselves dying before we realize it.

Scripture calls us to go beyond the elemental teachings of the world. Hebrews 6:1-2, “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” And of course, churches are full of pastors and people who don't even preach the elemental things. And yet the author of Hebrews is calling us to proceed. There is the depth of wisdom of God that is laid out before us and yet we just stare at it, like this guy. With our hand in the bowl, and as the Proverbs not so delicately says, too lazy to bring it back to our mouths.

The church has children who know not their way not because of the school, but because their parents are in the wilderness. We ask our children for fervor for God but show little more than religiosity and programs and music and academics and sports. And instead of putting off those things to be here, to be with Jesus Christ, to be in fellowship. We ask them to study their English books, and to practice their sports, and they watch our closed Bibles stay closed. We ask for dedication to Scripture and refusal of the world while serving a banquet of moralism, and from a feeble position of chronic depression, and survivalism. In short, the whole sermon will not be like this, but we cozy up to wisdom. But she is not our companion. She is behind the glass, in full view, and completely out of reach. I want to compel you this morning, I want to challenge you, that you must come here every single Sunday and every time you walk in these doors, with the knowledge that you should be fundamentally changed as you leave.

So that was a lot to take in for an introduction. And I know you agree that we need to grow in godly wisdom. So, what does that look like? What should I expect as I grow in life? What should I look for, what signs show that I'm growing the way God wants me to? Well, you don't repeat the foot washing type of thing, that would be a start. We learn from our mistakes. But it is fundamentally a state of mind where we come in expecting that God's wisdom should challenge earthly wisdom and be far beyond what we already know and comprehend. And that if we are already in God's eyes wise – we of course would never say we're mature, or godly, or wise. But if God sees us in that way, we come in knowing that we ourselves can grow further still. We must set aside our pride. We must ask God, even beg God, to open our hearts and fill our minds with the beauty and the wonder of his Word. That it truly is more precious than gold.

A few weeks ago, I said, if there was a pile of gold over here and a Bible, you know, which side of the stage would we run to? Right? They're both free. And yet we have this thing that is better than gold. If we are full of his truth, but not his transformation, I would think we are merely bloated. Maybe this morning, what we can do is simply recognize that we all need to change in some way, shape, or fashion this morning. Recognize that God loves you, more than anyone else, more than those sitting near you, more than your family, more than your spouse, of course, more than the world. And let us walk into these Proverbs asking God to give us the wisdom that he promises in James 1:5.

So, my goal this morning is maybe to just relay some of these things that I myself, need to learn and need to remember. So that you and I can grow together. So, let's get a quick win. Proverbs 1:8. There are things about parenting which we overlook or sometimes change. This would be parenting tip number one, “Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching.” What do you notice about who is doing the teaching in this passage? Who's giving the Word of God to the children here? Is it the father or the mother? Or is that a false dichotomy? It is both. It is not simply the job of the father to instruct the children. I love all those pictures of the dad leading and the dads should unequivocally lead. But yet, sometimes we begin to think, “Well, if mom just takes care of the house and the kids, she's doing her job,” but that's not what Scripture says. Right? There's a biblical worldview to be imparted here. So, both the father and the mother are obligated to teach the truth of God's word to your children, to their children. And now you know.

Parenting tip number two, Proverbs 1:10. And here's where I think we can learn a little bit from just simple instruction, and the depth of tragedy that it keeps us from Proverbs 1:10 says, “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” Look down in Proverbs 1:18-19, “but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.” It is loving to teach our children the ways of God, the wise ways of God. But what does Scripture say is the actual end? Okay, sinners ambush themselves, verse 18. Many times, in Christianity we say, “Oh, the world is killing me.” No, no sinners set an ambush for their own lives. Verse 19, “Such are the ways of everyone,” not hyperbole, everyone “who is greedy for unjust gain.” What is the downside of unjust gain? Getting something that we did not work for, “it takes away the life of its possessors.”

Truth does not cover distinction, it fully reveals it. Truth does not cover distinction, it fully reveals it. And of course, and in this area, and many other wealthy areas, we need to constantly ask ourselves, what are we striving for? Do we really see the end game of constantly pursuing financial success in a greedy way? Some people are incredibly gifted at making money. God bless you. But not everyone is. And if we make that the sole aim and goal of our life, Solomon is trying to warn his children here, which, for the most part, ignored his father's instruction. Right? The Kingdom completely divided. You remember when his son came after him? And the people, you know, came to him, how will you treat us? The labor from your father was hard and he says, “I've got more pain and misery for you basically, in my little pinky than my father did in his thigh.” Right, so his children ignored the instruction from his dad, and Solomon himself ignored his own wisdom at the end of life. But what was loving here in this time of Solomon's life was that he actually told it like it was. So, truth does not cover distinction. Truth reveals it.

And if you're looking for a one to three outline today, it's compel you to pursue wisdom and soak in this wisdom. Okay, so there's really no normal outline for today. What happens though if I receive wisdom? What if we receive it? What's the benefit of doing this? Look in Proverbs 1:23, “If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.” Now what theological New Testament words comes to your mind as I read this incredibly packed verse. “If you turn at my reproof, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.” If you turn at reproof, that's what? That's repentance. If God pours out his Spirit to you, that's what? That's regeneration. And if God makes his words known to you. That's what? That's revelation. Repentance, regeneration, revelation, and we're not even out of chapter one. This book is so packed with wisdom that the caution would be to fly right by.

But what happens if I reject wisdom? Well, out of love Solomon also gives this, Proverbs 1:24, “Because I have called and you refused to listen.” What is that, when God calls somebody to follow him, and they refuse to listen? That's what? That's unbelief. Unbelief is characterized by going our own way, by refusing to listen to the call of God on our lives. Now Solomon is talking about wisdom in general here. You can see the parallels to great profound truths.

This is my favorite cover in our Bible Outline Journal series, as I have told you. Proverbs 19:24 says, “The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.” That's what's pictured there. That is true. Scripture also says, “if a man shall not work, he shall not eat.” That would completely transform our society. Right. I think for those who refuse the call of wisdom, I hope there are none in here, but for those who refuse the call of wisdom, Scripture has a direct message. Look in Proverbs 1:25-32, “because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them.”

Have you ever heard a sermon on that? Maybe. But we should not want to stop at just verse 23. Right? “Behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.” It would be lying to stop at verse 23. It may be easier to digest. But the pastor who stops only at verse 23, and simply talks about the good. Has one, never preached proverbs before; or two, is simply lying to his people. The theology, even in just that section, that God does not hear the prayer of a sinner. When somebody, we've had some difficult circumstances in our lives lately, and so many people on social media have said we're praying for you. And they never go to church. Never. And you have to be a sailor to enjoy what they post, online. And our thoughts and prayers are going out to you and we're praying for what you're doing and all that is going on. And I'm thinking, you need to be praying for repentance and forgiveness from God because you're on your way to hell. “Save me, oh God, a sinner,” is the only prayer of the unbeliever that God hears. And we're still in chapter one. Proverbs is packed with theology.

All who reject the fear of the Lord get deaf ears from God, that's verses 28 to 29. But you say, “Is there a good news attached with this?” Yes, Proverbs 1:33, “whoever listens to me,” – I know that's everyone in here – whoever listens to God and the call of wisdom, “will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” Anybody in here need a little peace in their life? Maybe I'm just the only one. Anybody in here want to dwell securely? There's one of the biggest superpowers in the world right now who is in active war with another country. Anybody wants to live at ease? But notice, this doesn't say, “without disaster.” It says, “without [the] dread of disaster.” Psalm 112:7-8 says, “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.”

Right? Take that, global news media. He is not afraid of bad news. It's like this weird curiosity. Like when you get shocked as a little boy, you know, like, ooh, that kind of hurt. I wonder, you know, like, if I stick the screwdriver in further. Will it hurt more? I remember walking through, there's farm fields everywhere. And of course, there's electric fences. And, of course, you know that the electric fence is not always on, it's a pulse of electricity that goes through. And so, I wonder if I could grab it and let go before the pulse hits. We've got this bizarre curiosity with, you know, pain, at times. And I couldn't let go before the pulse hit, it knocked me over, actually, I was really young. So you'll have to, you know, give me a free pass from that. But we're not afraid of bad news. But yet, we still want to go to, I wonder what's going on now and just kind of peek in, it's still really bad. And we shut the door, right? We turn the TV off, or we throw the paper in the trash. Actually, that's when I do almost every week I get it, I just pick it up and practice my shot. But we just we are not afraid of what is going on.

If you actually think Satan roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, that should scare you to death, if you don't know Jesus. But if you know Jesus, it's like those videos that you watch. And maybe you watch them like I do, too. And you want to see, you know, will the animal get away from the lion. Or the little skinny guy standing there as the bull elephant charges, and he doesn't move and the elephant stops. Right? That's resisting the devil. Not commanding the devil to do something but resisting the devil. We're not afraid of his schemes, because he can't do anything apart from the full permission of God. That's wise living. And when we ignore that wise living from God, then our bodies can just be wracked with anxiety and the fear of the unknown all day long.

You should listen to Dustin’s sermon from last week, he preached a whole message on the topic. It was very encouraging and very comforting. So how then shall we live? Proverbs 1:7, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. And you say, “Well, I don't even understand. What is the fear of the Lord look like? What does it look like to live with the fear of the Lord?” Solomon explains that to us. Look in Proverbs 2:1-2, “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive…” notice you have to make your ear attentive, “to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding,” he explains that in chapter three, [Proverbs 2:3-5] “yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”

What do you have to do to understand what it looks like to live in the fear of the Lord? Verses one through five explain it to you. Receive, treasure, incline, call out, search for it. Are you doing these things? Then you will understand the fear of the Lord. Why will we understand? Now this is the, “I thought we were going here because of verses one to five and I just get it.” No, look at verse six. Proverbs 2:6-8, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.”

Living in the fear of the Lord means God is your shield. God watches over you, not passively, but actively. And we can't just ask God to give us a bounty of wisdom without pursuing wisdom in the way God describes. We can't say, “God, I need verses six through eight right now or James 1:5 right now but you know, sorry, I forgot.” You know what his wisdom is going to be? Go do verses one through five. That's what his wisdom to you in that moment is going to be, apply ourselves. God, of course is not obligated to give us good in life. We maybe have served God in some amazing way. Maybe every day we serve God in some way that seems good to others. But is there a greater blessing than the salvation we already have received?

Beloved, there is so much bad “Christian” advice out there. We must be wise and discerning, according to Scripture. I am not above being fooled. I remember, it kind of hit me in seminary, that I needed to listen more than I spoke. Right? You come to the early morning men's prayer at 6am. I'm studying all night. Why are these? Can’t we do it at 6pm? Why do we have to get up at the crack of dawn? And over and over again, the professor's who showed up, who drove an hour to get there by six. The men who were the juniors and seniors there, or have been in the program a long time, they would do anything but give up that time of prayer. And we need to cherish those times when God opens our eyes to see our lack. And then he says, “Here take and eat, be refreshed.” Proverbs is like that. So we have talked a lot about the appeal to Proverbs. And I want to go over a few of the proverbs so that you and I can actually hear and partake and enjoy the bounty that is found in Proverbs.

Now, as we go through this, you need to know that, you know, a proverb is a short, pithy statement. It's a truism. It's what happens most of the time. So, if you look at Proverbs 30:5. This does not have a contrasting statement, this has a consecutive statement. So, “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” There are some proverbs with no negative contrast in them. This is one of them. This is a continuation of God's Word proving true; therefore, you can take refuge in him. Why? He's a shield to those who take refuge in him.

But there are different ones that have exceptions at times. And you're going to have to be fast with the turning but Proverbs 10:4 says this, “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” And you go, “Wow, that's in the Bible. To get rich all I need to do is be diligent. I just need to work really, really hard at something. And God's going to make me rich.” Because what? “It says it right there.” Whenever somebody says, “It says it right there.” That means they haven't looked at everything that's around, “right there.” So, the context of this passage you would find in in other portions of Scripture. These truisms are indeed just one, they're little packets of truth.

But you know, some people, they don't seem to work very hard and they've got more money than they know what to do with. Right? What do we call those people in life? Trust Fund babies, right? They've inherited more money than you've ever seen. Okay, so that doesn't really hold true with them. And there are some people who are diligent, they are constantly working, they're giving it their all, they're pouring themselves out to God. And they're just breaking even. And he goes, “Is God not blessing that person?” Well, yeah, he's blessing that person out of a devoted, diligent, relationship to God which is better than any coin you can find. God is truly blessing that person with true riches that don't fade away. Right? There's no U-Haul following around the funeral procession.

So, look down in Proverbs 10:12. And I just want to go over a little bit of the breadth of topics that the book of Proverbs covers. Just to kind of whet your appetite. Maybe in the next 10 minutes or so, I just want to give you a few of these. They may say never to give rapid-fire details at the end of a nice long sermon. 46 minutes in now, but I know you can do it. Proverbs 10:12, it’s about relationships, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” What in the world would the news have to say, if they followed that one? “Love covers all offenses.” When somebody is mean to you or unkind with their words. The loving thing that we can do for them is to not respond quickly to them, but to shower them with love because our identity is founded in Christ, not in man's opinion.

Look down in Proverbs 10:23, this is talking about discernment. And we do this all the time. I love good jokes. I love bad jokes. Bad jokes, meaning they're not funny. Dad jokes if you've got those, I would love to hear them. But Proverbs 10:23 says, “Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool.” You’re like, “uh oh.” “But wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.” So, the Scripture talks about not laughing at sin or not enjoying the folly of that which is sinful. Because why? Well, that's an offense to a holy God. And yet discernment would say, that wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding. If you want to find an enjoyable conversation or an enjoyable relationship with someone, center it around the wisdom of Scripture. But “doing wrong is like a joke to a fool.” Right? That's discernment. We need discernment in life.

Proverbs 10:26. The lazy, I love these, that's why the cover is of the sluggard. Of all the wonderful things, you'll have to forgive me of putting that on the cover of Proverbs. But Proverbs 10:26, I love these, “Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.” Any of you who have employees, know this verse, right? Because at times we are just not engaged with our work and our poor bosses suffer. Right? This is laziness.

Chapter 11 Verse 13. What about gossip? Proverbs 11:13, “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.” You see these things that are constantly contrasted here in Proverbs. A lot of people say, “I can’t understand the Scripture.” Well go to Proverbs, read one verse, and think about it. That's it. If you master one verse in Proverbs, you've probably mastered more verses than most of us. Right? Just think about it, what does it say? I don't want to reveal the secrets of another. Well, why? Well, because I've got secrets that make me look really bad too. Right? We do things and people see them and they see our sin and if those are revealed to others, it can be devastating. “But he who is trustworthy…keeps a thing covered.”

Go to Proverbs 13:13, the blessings of Bible study, “Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.” I think there's practical wisdom and application in this that, you know, if you learn how to speak with pleasant speech, it's easier to hear, right? If you are trustworthy, you'll probably be promoted quicker than if you're not trustworthy at work. All those kinds of things. But we get rewards from revering the commandments. This is beyond just reading them. But revering them so much, like when an important person walks in the room at the banquet or something. Or even in a courtroom, when the judge walks in, and they say what? “All rise,” and you're like, “hope this goes well for me,” right? That's the guy that everybody wants to know, what's he saying? In the church, that's the Word of God. What does the word of God say? Do we really revere it? And do we remember that we will be rewarded, not just in heaven, but practically in life?

Proverbs 13:24 turn there with me, if you will, on disciplining children. “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Now, if you go, “Wow, I'm not going to that church again. They said spare the rod. That's, that's just cruel.” What are you going to go to a church that doesn't preach and teach all the Scriptures? I'm just going to skip that one. Right? There's so much that goes with it, to never discipline in anger, to always have the idea that they've offended God. And so the discipline, the painful reminder, right? The nervous system, it comes into play to help us associate negative pain with negative actions. That's actually loving. Your body is designed that way, you live that out every single day. When we prayed, none of you slammed your head on the seat in front of you to get ready for prayer. No, you carefully bowed your head. Why? Because we don't want a giant gash on our foreheads. “Whoever spares the rod hates his son.” The principle here is that you have to engage in discipline that is effective towards your children. If you don't, you do not love your children. There's a whole series on that, you can sign up for later. Right?

Proverbs 14:15. The simple of mind. “The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.” Do you know people who are like this? “The simple believes everything.” We have phrases to describe how all of society is like this sometimes. Right? We all are like this, “don't believe everything you read,” right? We don't just tell that to some people. We normally tell it to others. But that's for everybody. “The simple believes everything.” Well, if it's in a book, it must be true. If it's on TV, it must be true. If it's on the internet, it must be true.

“But the prudent gives thought to his steps.” When you come in here and you hear a message and you hear the word of God preached, you need to give thoughts to your steps. How are you going to apply this message to your lives today? Are you willing to be transformed by it? And then like good Bereans, are you actually looking into the Scriptures to see if what is preached is in accordance with sound wisdom and the truth of God's Word? You need to be doing that every day. Because when you stand before God and you say, “Pastor Dave said this.” And God says, “I don't see Pastor Dave around here.” Not in heaven. I wasn't talking about that, I'm not standing with you. You're going to stand before God on your own. And you're going to have to stand on your own two feet, according to what you have learned from the Word.

There are so many more here. I'll just read you the titles.
• Who does God love? You can find that in Proverbs 15:9.
• Is God better than wealth? Proverbs 15:16.
• Learn about the origins and the motivations of atonement, Proverbs 16:6.
• The depth of the blessing of the knowledge of God in Proverbs 17:3.
• Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a a brother and a brother is born for adversity.” What an encouraging message from God.

Proverbs 18:1, okay, I'll read this one to you, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” right? We have a typical plan sometimes to just be by ourselves, and not be around others. And that's normally so that we can fulfill our own desires. Proverbs speaks to that kind of thinking.

Talks about solving arguments, the sovereignty of God, the benefit of rebuke, true justice, and turn to Proverbs 30:5-6. This is the inerrancy of Scripture in the book of Proverbs, “Every word of God proves true;” every word, “he is a shield of those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” See, we thought that was only in Revelation, don't add or take away from the Word of God. It's here in Proverbs, 900 years before Christ. The inerrancy of Scripture in the book of Proverbs, can be studied from many, many verses.

What is the truth, the greatest truth that we need to know? You're familiar with it. I want to take us to the New Testament, because I want you to see how these things tie together. As we close, 1 John 5:20. The next couple minutes. See, because we think that the tie in between Jesus being the Word and the truth just came in John chapter one, but it's a tie in from Solomon. “And we know,” 1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding,” he has done this, “so that” there's the purpose statement, “so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” Where do you need to look for eternal life? It's Jesus Christ. That is the greatest truth you can ever ponder. So that we may know him who is true. That's why Jesus came, so that you may know him. Not just to know of him but to be “in him” as it says in verse 20, “and we are in him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ,” the Messiah, the true God, unequivocally divine. Jesus came so that you and I could know the truth and that the truth would set you free.

1 John 5:11, and “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Look unto Jesus Christ and follow him. Truly this is the apex of all wisdom. Let's pray.

Father God, we ask for courage to follow you. Lord God, we ask that you would make us the diligent and the wise. Father, thank you for telling us that you will give us the wisdom of the Word. We praise God for that. We praise you for that, Lord. We thank you for that.

If there's someone here that doesn't know Jesus Christ, I beg you, to give your life to Jesus Christ. That he might save you by his grace.

For those of us that do know him, let's just take a moment and ask God to give us the wisdom of the Word.

Lord God, we thank you for this invitation. To embrace wisdom today. Your wisdom, found in your Word. We pray that you would give us the courage and the energy to pursue it, Lord God, even today. In your precious, holy Name, Amen.