by Frank Luke
Proverbs 3:13-18 Wisdom Described
Human Need Being Addressed [FCF]: Fallen people need wisdom to do well in this world and the next.
Big Idea: Those who find wisdom are blessed beyond all measurable means.
Text: Proverbs 3:13-20
Turn with me to Proverbs 3. This is just past Psalms, so find the middle and go right. Today, we spend a lot of our time being entertained and seeking entertainment. In the ancient world, they spent their time not wanting entertainment but wanting wisdom. To be wise was better than anything else. Solomon, the wisest man ever, wrote most of the book of Proverbs.
Why does one need to be wise? The reason isn’t because it leads to a moral society. It isn’t to be a better family man or because you will be punished if you don’t. The reason to seek wisdom is that it comes from God and all things from God are good. And now Proverbs 3:13-20.
Proverbs 3:13-20 13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. 14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up And the skies drip with dew.
Today, we spend a lot of our time being entertained and seeking entertainment. This isn’t wrong in itself—a little entertainment to relax a bit goes a long way. It becomes wrong when we focus on being entertained to the exclusion of what is really important in life. That is part of wisdom—knowing how much entertainment is enough. Today we will look at the man who is blessed, wisdom’s reward, and how God used wisdom.
Point 1: The Man who is Blessed v. 13
13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding.
In Jesus’ day, there was a saying. “If you have wisdom, what do you lack? If you lack wisdom, what do you have?” The driving force of Jewish living was wisdom because wisdom came from God, and they wanted to be like Him.
Wisdom and understanding are related in this verse. The first important question to ask today is “What is wisdom?” Wisdom is more than knowledge. Knowledge is knowing how to do things. Wisdom is knowing if you should or should not. For example, knowledge says, “I can stack these ladders and get another 6 feet up the wall.” Wisdom says, “Sure could, but that’s a really bad idea so I better not.”
Gaining wisdom leads to great blessing. Solomon could think of nothing better in life than gaining wisdom and understanding. I can’t think of anything better, either. Being wise is the greatest blessing God can give on this earth.
Point 2: The Rewards of Wisdom vv. 14-18
14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast.
What does wisdom give? Wisdom gives things that cannot be measured. Having wisdom is better than having silver, gold, or jewels. Nothing compares to having wisdom. Look at March Madness a few years ago. Warren Buffet offered $1 billion dollars to the contestant who picks all the games right in the NCAA tournament. As of last night, all the brackets entered had at least one loss. When Memphis beat George Washington, the last three perfect brackets were broken. Think of all the time those people used in putting their brackets together. Many of them do it every year for fun, with friends or as part of an office game. But I’m sure that some people filled out the brackets for the first time because the money was on the table. They spent hours pouring over statistics and crunching numbers. That’s time they will never get back. Time they could have spent doing almost anything else.
Not only in Buffet’s challenge, but in the ESPN challenge, all brackets have at least one loss. Only in the Yahoo competition did even one person pick all of the opening games right, but he didn’t enter the competition for the money. Maybe that’s the wisest thing he could have done because it eliminates him from feeling pressure and not enjoying the games. Think of it, as the tournament goes on, if there had been perfect picks still in the running for the money, the enjoyment of watching the games would be reduced as the odds of getting the money increased and the frustration of seeing your picks on the losing end as the game ticked on would mount.
As for where the perfect bracket stands now, two of his teams lost shortly thereafter.
The wise can attain riches and honor, but wisdom gives first a long life full of peace. Wisdom offers peace. That is one thing that this world needs more than any amount of gold or oil. We can’t attain peace in this world because the powers that be refuse to turn to the one source of true peace. They won’t turn to God for wisdom. They would prefer to run after worldly honor and riches and a little time in the sun than to admit they need wisdom from a higher power.
If they would grab hold of wisdom, a tree of life deeply rooted, they would have the peace they claim they want.
If you lack peace in your life, you won’t find it without first finding wisdom. You won’t find wisdom without first taking hold of God.
Point 3: How God Used Wisdom vv. 19-20
19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up And the skies drip with dew.
Without wisdom, nothing is possible. God, who is all-wise, used His wisdom when He created the universe. This verse shows us more when we dig in. Remember how we defined the difference in intellect and wisdom? Intellect is knowing that we have the ability to do something. Wisdom is knowing whether or not it’s a good idea. God knew, by his intellect, that He had the power to create the universe. By His wisdom, He knew it was not just a good idea but the best of the options. By creating, God opened up all realms of possibility. He made everything possible. Without creation, we wouldn’t be here—nothing would be here.
Because God wisely created, we can pursue wisdom ourselves. Now, even if we attain all wisdom, we won’t be able to create from nothing like God did. We simply don’t have the power. However, after pursuing God and attaining wisdom, we can use that wisdom to make the best life possible for us and our families. This may not be a wealthy life, but it will be a satisfying one.
Wisdom. It used to be the thing everyone wanted. Now, give us our bread and circuses, and we’re happy. That’s not right. This past week, we said good-bye to a dear member of our church. When you die, all the materials you’ve accumulated in your life mean nothing. They are either thrown out or a few are passed on to the next generation. However, your true legacy is the wisdom that you pass on. How many people can you build up in Christ?
Look to your legacy and make it. Find God. Get wisdom. Pass it on to those close to you.
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