Transcribed by Beluga AI.
Well, thank you for the two brothers who shared their testimonies, and thank you, Brother Matthew, for the praise. I think it’s all lining up. Thank you. We clearly need peace in our world. We need protection from the evil one. Our home is not here.
So, let me read one verse, and then we’ll pray. Proverbs 9, verse 10. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:10, ESV)
Okay, let’s pray.
Father, we lift up all the concerns just immediately surrounding us. First of all, we thank you for your protection. Thank you for sustaining us. Even the fact that we have breath in our lungs today is a gift from above. We pray, Lord, for Pepperdine. We pray for that campus, the students, especially the families directly impacted by this unexplainable tragedy.
Father, we pray for comfort. We pray that all the uncertainty, frustrations, turmoil of the family members can turn to prayers of hope in you. We pray that you would meet them, Holy Spirit, comfort them in ways that human words just fail miserably short.
So, Lord, we ask that you be with all the students for their mental health, for their spiritual protection. We pray not just in our immediate circumstances in our cities, but we pray for our world that’s experiencing hostilities and wars that are just popping up here and there. Father, we just pray for peace in our world. We pray for our world leaders to also have wisdom from above, to move things toward peace, to de-escalate anger.
And, Lord, we refuse to choose sides. We’re only on your side. And your heart is for salvation of every man, woman, and child on earth. So we join you in that intercessory prayer of salvation for the world. And we know that this prayer hits the mark because it is the will of God always.
So, Father, we pray that you would give us wisdom, revelation, understanding as we listen to your word. We pray also for Junior, for his family that is grieving the loss of Junior’s aunt. We pray for comfort. We pray every single person in his family, in your time, in your way would meet Jesus.
And, Lord, we present ourselves to you. I surrender this message to you. I pray that you would speak and that your sheep would hear your voice, that you would receive all the glory. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Okay, I’m going to talk about wisdom today. So, wisdom, what is it and where can you find it? People often confuse wisdom with knowledge. They are not the same. Oh, it’s good to see Jamie. Wisdom and knowledge are not the same. This whole world system is built upon the premise that you go to school and you get degrees and you obtain knowledge. But you can be very knowledgeable and live like a fool. So wisdom and knowledge are not the same. It’s not intelligence.
James 1 and James 3 tell us that we, that all of us who lack wisdom should ask God and that this wisdom is a gift from above.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 1:5; James 3:17, ESV)
If you think about the temptation of Satan in the garden, Genesis 2, God says, do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And then Genesis 3, Satan tempts Eve and then eventually Adam as well to eat of that tree because they said God is holding out from you. Your eyes will be open. You will be able to determine good and evil for yourself.
1 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘you shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “you will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:1-6, ESV)
And that is, I think, the temptation that is ever before us. That we, as we become knowledgeable in terms of worldly knowledge, that we think we are wise enough mistakenly to make decisions of this path is good, that path is evil, this is right, this is wrong, this is the right side to be on in this situation, that is the wrong side. I’m a Republican, Democrats, you guys are so dumb. That kind of mentality is Satan’s trap for us to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and determine for ourselves good and evil.
1 Corinthians 8, it says in verse 1, “Now concerning things offered to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing, yet as he ought to know.”
1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. (1 Corinthians 8:1, ESV)
Knowledge puffs up, and that is, I think, Satan’s system. You go through the system, you gain knowledge, you get puffed up. You think you’re better, you’re an elitist, you are educated, you look down on people who don’t have the knowledge that you have.
And this is just a warning for all the children who are going to school. You’re in this endeavor to gain knowledge, but be careful that this knowledge does not puff you up. That you say, oh I went to this school, I got this degree, and therefore I am knowledgeable. That is the trap of Satan all the way back, that started in the garden. But love edifies, and then it says, anyone who thinks he knows anything, he knows nothing.
And that would be a good starting point for anybody who is in this pursuit of knowledge. Do we really know anything fully? Do we really know anything about anything? In terms of science, in terms of history, were we there? We weren’t there, we don’t really know what happened. We can’t explain everything just by an experiment. Actually, we don’t know anything. And it says, “you might know something, but it’s partial.” If you know something 99%, can you say you’re an expert? That 1% may prove that the whole thing just unravels because of that 1%.
And so, as Christians, we just humbly say, we know nothing. That is a good, good starting point. Don’t let knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge deceive you into thinking you know something. Because He says, “Yes, you may know something, but you don’t know as you ought to know.” So that means we don’t know fully anything. And because we don’t know fully anything, we should just say, “God, can you help me?”
That is the beginning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And how terrible that in a church, we may even gain biblical knowledge. And that puffs up the church. And then we start wielding it as if it’s like a weapon and a hammer. And we say, “Well, this is the truth.”
And these verses are quoted in the context of knowledge regarding food sacrifice to idols. And if you have the right understanding, but you apply it the wrong way, God says, “That is totally wrong.” Like food sacrifice to idols, the idols are nothing. And so you are free. But because of that freedom, that knowledge, which is actually true, will you go parading that freedom? And will you stumble somebody who is a weaker brother or sister in the faith?
Because of their conscience, they think, “Oh, that is attached to a real idol. And there’s spiritual condemnation if I participate in eating that food.” And they just have a weaker faith and a conscience that is triggered by that event. And you are parading yourself because I have freedom in Christ. The knowledge, yes, is right. But you applied it wrongly, God says it is wrong. Because it is not done in love.
So even the Bible can puff us up and turn us into very loveless, self-righteous, self-centered church goers who do not care about other people. Wisdom, where can you find it? The first thing I want to say is, it is not here. It is not here anywhere on earth. Wisdom is nowhere to be found on earth.
James 3:14 says, “If you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. The wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”
14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (James 3:14-16, ESV)
So the so-called wisdom of this world, the Bible says, is earthly. It may work for this earth. It may translate because you are savvy and so you know how to maneuver in this world. But it is earthly. So that is probably, it goes from bad to worse. So that is pretty bad. It is just earthly. It has no spiritual value at all.
And then it is sensual. If I look at what is happening in our world, I can describe it. I think one way to describe it is, the information that is coming out in our world is just filled with sensuality. And not just in a carnal kind of way, but just in a way that triggers feelings and emotions.
So when we talk about mental health, we are talking about emotional damage, trauma, depression. It is just a heavy, wet blanket that is upon this generation. It is filled with sensuality. And so when people get into that mindset, it is like you cannot get out of it. It is like even if you reason with that person, there is therapy for hour upon hour, when that kind of sensuality that triggers your emotion, when you get stuck in that emotional state, you are just falling. You are just descending. You just cannot pick yourself up.
And that is what I see. And so it goes from bad to worse. Earthly, sensual, and then straight out demonic. That is all that we find on earth. Biblically, that is all we find on earth. Earthly, sensual, demonic. So there is no wisdom here at all.
James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom that is from above.” Wisdom only comes from above. Wisdom only comes from above. It does not come from your parent, it does not come from your professor, it may not even come from the Christian brother or sister next to you. It might be just their advice from the top of their head. It is not from the Lord. The only wisdom that is true wisdom is from above.
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17, ESV)
And it is good if we just believe and take God at His word. So how do you receive this? You have to humbly say, “There is no wisdom here, and so I should ask God from who lives above. And so can you give me this wisdom that is from above?” And so we have to ask for it.
You know, we mistakenly think, “I just read all these Christian books, there is wisdom. I even read the Bible, there is wisdom, maybe.” But if you are reading the wrong section of the Bible, it does not apply to you, then you are misapplying the truth of God’s word. Like you might just start with, “I am free in Christ.” Oh, you did not read the extra verse that says, “Why are you stumbling your brother?”
So we are not, we cannot just pick and choose the Bible and say, “I am going to apply this today.” That is not how wisdom works. You ask the Lord, “What are you speaking to me today? How am I blind today?”Like, we cannot even, we do not always even know the condition of our heart. The Holy Spirit has to convict us. Like, we thought we had a great day, and then you pray at the end of the day, and the Holy Spirit starts pricking you and says, “Why did you say that? Why did you do that?” Like, we thought we were fine. Because we cannot even diagnose ourselves in the moment. God has to give you wisdom, conviction from above. We cannot read about it, we cannot Google it, we do not go to school for wisdom, we do not ask other people, “What is wise? What is your counsel on this?”
In the end, we have to ask God who lives above and receive a wisdom from above. It says in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. Let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8, ESV)
Why is it important that we ask God for wisdom in any given situation with absolute faith? Because first of all, there are people who say, “you don’t have to ask. God is not going to answer you about that request.” They already doubt the truth of God’s word. God says, “Ask Him.” Some people in the Body of Christ say, “Don’t ask Him, God doesn’t speak. You just decide, why are you praying about that? Everyone is doing it, why don’t you just do it? It’s just common sense. This is what you’ve been taught since kindergarten. Why are you asking the Lord about this?”
There is doubt even in the Body of Christ. “Let’s not ask. You don’t have to ask. You’re a smart, educated person. You watch CNN. You just decide. You can just make decisions on your own. Why do you have to ask the Lord?” And so there’s doubting that God even wants to hear these requests. There’s doubting that God will speak. And He says, “If that’s you, you will receive nothing. You won’t receive anything from the Lord.”
But if you believe God speaks, that He wants you to ask Him for wisdom in any given circumstance, and you don’t doubt, and you believe He’s going to tell me the answer, maybe not right away, but I’m going to be patient enough to keep asking persistently, I will persevere in asking, and at some point He will answer. I’m sure of it. You start praying with faith. God says, “I will answer that brother, that sister.”
Why does, actually, 1 Kings 3, it’s the famous account of Solomon when he was a king, probably the most famous person in all of scripture and perhaps in all of history who asked for wisdom. Because God visited Solomon in a dream, and He could have asked. He said, “Ask me anything. Ask for anything. I will give it to you.” He could have asked for riches. He could have asked for good health, long life. There’s many things that a king would want to ask if God came to you in a dream and says, “Ask me whatever.”
And King Solomon, because he was a king, he says, “Give me wisdom. Give me understanding heart, which is wisdom, so that I can judge your people, Lord, properly.” And God was so pleased with that request. He says, “Not only am I going to give you wisdom, I’m also going to give you riches. And if you obey my commandments and my statutes, also I will give you a long life.”
5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 6 And Solomon said, “you have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” 10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” (1 Kings 3:5-14, ESV)
Wisdom, why should I ask for it? One reason is because there are many amazing fruits attached to people who have wisdom. It says in James 3:17, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:17-18, ESV)
This is, I hope it’s a huge motivation for you and myself to ask for wisdom, because we want this fruit of purity, peace, gentleness, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits. We’re not partial. We don’t favor certain people and ignore others. We don’t have hypocrisy. This fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
1 Kings 12, by this point Solomon is dead and the people go to Shechem. And Shechem, I think, is a very relevant city in our modern day, because Shechem is modern day West Bank, Palestine. And the people go there, they ask Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, they go to make him the king. And they just have one request. They said, “you know, under your father Solomon there was a heavy burden of taxes, and can you just lighten the load? If you lighten the load, we will serve you forever.”
And Rehoboam hears that from the people and he starts off well. He doesn’t answer off the top of his head. He says, “Can you give me three days? Why don’t you come back here three days from now?” And so he starts off well. And during those three days, Rehoboam consults two groups. The first group is a bunch of elders, older men who served under Solomon. And then he consulted his friends, young men who he grew up with. And so they’re by then in their 40s or thereabouts. And I’m encouraged that someone in their 40s is considered a young man scripturally. The older men, they advise them, “Why don’t you come with an attitude to serve? Why don’t you speak nicely to them? If you speak nicely to them, maybe if you compromise, if you meet them in the middle, or maybe even if you go and you honor their request and you remove some of the taxes, because it takes a lot of taxes to build this incredible palace and kingdom, I mean, a temple that Solomon built and that people suffered as a result.” And that was the counsel of the elders.
And Rehoboam heard it and says, “Nah, I’m not going to do that.” And he talked to the younger men, his friends. And they said things which, you know, it’s trash talking of biblical proportions, as I see it. He says, “My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist.” I mean, that’s very clever. I don’t even know where that kind of trash-talking came from. I mean, nowadays on the basketball court, it’s very low-level trash-talking, but this is impressive trash-talking.
And the friends advise Rehoboam, “you think, you think your dad gave you a heavy burden? Why don’t you add to it? Why don’t you show them who’s boss? Why don’t you show them that you’re the king, and they should not disrespect you and come to you like that?” And Rehoboam took their advice.
And what is his main mistake, this young man, this king in his 40s? His mistake is he had two sets of advice, very different, and he did not consult with the Lord. And he picked the wrong side. And Rehoboam sent a tax collector named Adam to collect money from Israel. And what did Israel do in response? They were so upset by what the king said, his trash-talking, that this official representative from the king, they stoned him to death.
You see how just one word can trigger this type of violence? And it doesn’t end with this violence. And so unless the Lord intervened, Rehoboam was ready to strike them down. But the Lord intervened and dispersed all the charioteers and the soldiers. And do you see how something like this, it’s the West Bank today. It started with a word centuries ago. And could it be that there’s still something that’s brewing to this day from a word of a careless king who spoke like a fool? He did not consult the wisdom of the Lord.
And so the chapter ends with Jeroboam. He was a someone who served under Rehoboam’s father, King Solomon. And he united the ten tribes of Israel under his leadership. And all that remained with Rehoboam was Judah. And then Benjamin kind of tacked on alongside of that. And if Israel, the ten tribes under Jeroboam, they went into full-blown pagan worship, with worshiping of multiple golden calves. And so at this point, it’s not even recognizable. They’re no longer the people of God. They’re not worshiping according to the people, according to God’s Word.
And one word and what David did to unite a kingdom and Solomon barely holding the kingdom together, one word is all it took and the kingdom was divided. And to this day, in this region, there is division.
First Kings 12, the people, let’s see, why should we ask for wisdom? James chapter 3, because of the fruits of peace, gentleness, a willingness to yield, mercy, no partiality, no hypocrisy, righteousness. Rehoboam could have used it when he was speaking to the people, when they are asking for a lightening of the taxation.
And in light of current events, we need to ask God for wisdom to discern what’s happening in the Middle East. Like how did it even get to this point? I don’t presume to know everything about what’s happening there. But I know one thing, that just by watching whatever news that you watch, you’re not going to get the answer. The news is not going to get you there. Even if you listen to all the news that’s available, it’s not going to get you there. Because it’s so complicated what’s happening there.
And the one, the one word the Lord inspired me with this week is, and it may be obvious to you, is that Israel is not a monolithic entity. And I thought I was weird that He said it that way. Israel is not a monolithic entity. Because I think in the church of God, we’ve been trained through the last few decades to just automatically choose sides. And so if Israel is involved, we’re always on Israel’s side. As if Israel is this one thing. It’s not this one thing. Even, even back in Rehoboam’s day, Israel is the enemy. They’re not God’s people. They’re rebellion.
And there’s an interesting verse. It says in 1 Kings 12:19, “So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.” And when I say rebellion, it’s the house of David to this day. And when I read verses like that, I say, okay, there’s a lingering thing happening. It’s not just in the days of the kings. When 1 Kings 12 was written, there’s a rebellion that has continued even to this day, present day, I believe.
Judah and Benjamin stayed Rehoboam, preserving the line of Judah from which Jesus would come. And it’s not Israel.
19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. (1 Kings 12:19, ESV)
Jesus did not come from that line. It’s from the line of Judah, who stayed loyal to the king, Rehoboam. And so, after the Lord gave me that word, I started looking a little bit, and I was surprised. Shechem, this place where this kingdom was divided, is the West Bank. I didn’t know that.
And now we have Israel in the middle. We have Gaza on the western side, and to the east of Jerusalem, you have the West Bank. And so, surrounding Israel are these Palestinians. And so, I just found it so fascinating. I did a little bit of a little bit more digging, and I found there’s a Balfour Declaration. I never heard it until this week. I didn’t know that this foreign secretary of the British government, he wrote to this man, and you may recognize the last name, to Lord Rothschild in 1917. He wrote this Balfour Declaration, and Rothschild was a Zionist in Britain.
So just things like, you’re never going to hear about this in a modern-day news, unless you go digging for it yourself. And I just find it fascinating that things that we see in Scripture from 1 Kings 12 and the rebellion that’s written, it is still there now to this day. And you can bring it up to the Lord, like what does this all mean?
James 4:1. It says, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that that war in your members?”
1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? (James 4:1, ESV)
And so when there’s a conflict on the Middle East, there’s a strong temptation, especially when Israel is involved, to choose sides. I refuse to choose sides. I refuse. Satan wants you to choose a side. I refuse. I am on the Lord’s side. And the Lord is for peace. The Lord is for peace. The Lord is not trying to stoke war and hostility and anger.
Everything I’ve seen in the last, since my eyes were open in 2015, for the last eight years, I only see that Satan is so hard at work to stoke division and war and people choosing their camp. And you just have your reinforcement, your echo chamber, and you just have your ideas reinforced on that, on one side. And that is not how the Lord sees history. He wants peace.
And Christians, we should leave vengeance up to the Lord. It is His job to avenge. It is His job to punish. Our job is to pray for peace. And so I want to caution you about joining social media and choosing a side. Please, please don’t do it. Don’t pick a side. Don’t pick a side. Just stay on the Lord’s side.
Romans 12:16, it says, “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath. For it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine. I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed them. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:16-21, ESV)
We should be praying these verses over our world. We should be praying these into our heart so that we don’t get tempted to fall victim into picking up a stone and throwing it at somebody else and stirring up violence through our words and offense because people say, well, what side are you on? Ask for wisdom. You don’t have to answer them. You can evade the question. You can speak in a way that you’re not choosing a side. Even if you have a side, you don’t have to make it public.
If somebody asks you, they’re just picking, they’re potentially just picking a fight. You don’t have to answer. Who’d you vote for? Did you do this? You don’t have to tell them the answer. If you can perceive, they just want to pick a fight with you. You gotta have wisdom from the Lord, and the Lord wants peace. So peace might require you to have a position. You keep it quietly to yourself. You don’t advertise it. You don’t answer someone just because they ask you. Be wise in how you respond. Discern the other person.
We should be praying that we can overcome evil with good, which is to show pity, compassion, pray for peace, pray for peace. And lastly, is wisdom enough to guarantee an abundant life? Clearly not. Because if King Solomon is the wisest king, he did not live always, he didn’t end, or maybe as a whole you could say. I don’t know if I’d characterize his life as abundant in a spiritual sense. He’s abundant in riches. He’s abundant in wisdom. He knows what advice to give you if you want to succeed in this world. But spiritually, I would say, is he rich? I don’t know.
1 Kings 10, Queen of Sheba. She is so impressed with the wisdom of Solomon. And she pours out all of her adulation, gives all these riches, and Solomon returns the favor to this Queen of Sheba. And then in 1 Kings 11, Solomon, when he’s old, his foreign wives that he loved turned him away from the Lord. Solomon started worshiping other gods. He did turn back to the Lord at the final stage of his life, but there was a period when through foreign wives, spiritually, he fell away. And Jesus picks up this account, and He says, “Man thinks Solomon is something. That even this Queen from this foreign nation of Sheba will come and visit and pay homage to King Solomon because of his wisdom.” And we may have certain people that we lift up and say, “Oh, that person is wise, that person is spiritual.”
Jesus says in Matthew 12:42, “The Queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it. For she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.”
42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. (Matthew 12:42, ESV)
And who is this greater than Solomon? Answers? Jesus.
So wisdom is great, but wisdom without faith in Jesus will not guarantee you much. You may be wise in this world. You may be successful. You may have a large bank account and multiple homes on the beach. If you have wisdom, even somewhat spiritual wisdom from above, and God may give you wisdom on how to do business well in this life. It’s possible. The King, he had spiritual wisdom. That translated somehow into materially doing well because God blessed him with that as well.
But for the new covenant believer, we ask God for wisdom, but we know that the true embodiment of wisdom is Jesus Christ. It says it in God’s Word, 1 Corinthians 1:24, “Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:24, ESV)
Man could not have written this story of the Bible. It is beyond human ability and comprehension.
And if we were writing this story of the Son of God coming into the world, we would not have scripted that He would die on a shameless cross. This is all the context of 1 Corinthians 1. It’s foolishness to the world that you’re gonna let your king die that shamefully. And God says that’s exactly how I work. It’s not as expected. You think you’re wise? You think I’m a fool? I say I’m wise and you’re a fool. The cross is foolishness to you. I will use this foolish means to crucify my own Son. I’m gonna raise Him up, vindicate myself, and prove that I am wise and that you are a fool, especially those the religious leaders in Israel who crucified the Lord.
He will use the foolishness, His foolishness to shame the wise of this world. That is how 1 Corinthians 1 opens and ends with this declaration that Jesus is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31, ESV)
So we as believers, we ask God for wisdom, yes, but without Jesus, without faith in Jesus, without holding fast to Jesus, we may live like King Solomon, which had incredible moments, material abundance, but spiritually bankrupt at the end and luckily turning back before it was too late.
So let’s ask God for wisdom. There are much fruits, but in addition to wisdom from God, let’s hold on to Jesus and say we’re gonna hold on to Him to the very end.
Okay, let’s pray.
Father, we understand that wisdom comes from above and this goes even for all the Bible knowledge that we’ve amassed over the years, that was handed down from one person to the next and taught in churches and in seminaries. We don’t presume that that’s all correct because you’re the final judge unless we heard directly from you or we can’t have any confidence that anything we’ve heard is actually true.
So Lord, we humbly ask you for wisdom from above. Do we have a lot of knowledge, but is it simply just puffing us up? Do we truly love people? Are we edifying the body? Do we care about weaker brothers and sisters or do we just blurt out things, offend people and they walk away? We don’t even know it.
Lord, do we say things like, “I’m in my 50s. I know better than you, son.” Do we say foolish things like that? Do we base things on our degrees, our experience, what we’ve heard in churches? What we’ve learned on youTube? What have we heard directly from you? That is the only wisdom that we can count on.
So Lord, we ask that you would speak. Pray that you would speak. Lord, to make sense of what’s happening in our world requires discernment, wisdom, a heart of understanding. The same way that King Solomon asked for that at the beginning of his reign, we ask for wisdom and understanding now to make sense of what’s happening in our world.
We pray that you would make sense of our chaotic world. We pray that wisdom and understanding and peace can be poured out into the hearts of our world leaders. We pray for a de-escalation of hostility in the Middle East. It’s been happening for centuries. The rebellion has been there. We read about one verse where it perhaps started.
We pray that we would meet you, Lord Jesus. We put our absolute faith and trust in you. We pray that you would meet us as we close this service. We pray that you would meet us in a mysterious way as we partake in the Lord’s Supper, as this is the body and the blood of Jesus. We are taking it in. We’re drinking it in. This is perhaps the most intimate act that we could do as a believer to connect with you in ways that we fully cannot grasp.
So, Lord Jesus, we pray that you would meet us as we close this service. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.