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Christians are to be a thinking people. God made us so. We are meant to dig into things, to seek answers to the big questions of life. What are we as human beings? How did we get here? Why are things the way they are? Why are we here? Where is all of this going? How do we understand pain and suffering in our world?
I’m Reid Ferguson. Join me today on Through the Word in 2020.
We have four passages on our list today, and as is so often the case, each deserves a much larger treatment than we can even give one today. Luke 12:57–13:5; Psalm 119:65–72; Titus 1:1–4; and Job 42:7–Proverbs 1. Forced to choose, I’d like to set our eyes on Proverbs.
The Bible has a lot to say about how we think, as well as what we think. How to think according to God’s understanding of the universe. Developing a faculty for taking things in, and then breaking them down properly. Proverbs is God’s gift to us of a handbook on critical Christian thinking.
William G.T. Shedd wrote that: “The Book of Proverbs is the best of all manuals for the formation of a well-balanced mind…by which the Christian character, having been originated by regeneration, should then be educated and made symmetrical.”
Proverbs is designed to: Bring God’s world-view into play for each of us in all of our various roles in life: Child, Adolescent, Teenager, Adult, Male, Female, Father, Husband, Brother, Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Grandparent, Laborer, King, Merchant, Philosopher, Academic, Professional, name it.
Proverbs is not interested in us simply acquiring generic wisdom. The wisdom here is understanding the fear of the Lord. As it says in vs. 7, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Sadly, there are those who treat this supreme wisdom as worthless. Scripture calls them – fools.
We are being encouraged to acquire the wisdom above all wisdom. Eternal wisdom. And it is not gained by osmosis, mere age, the passage of time, or stumbled into. It must be sought – at its fountainhead. Justice, fairness, equity, all flow from the right knowledge of God first of all.
Truly, there is no fairness or equity, without justice. And there is no justice, without it being carried out in perfect righteousness, against the backdrop of God’s own perfect righteousness.
This is at the heart of the Gospel isn’t it?
God’s justice demanding resolve. God’s righteousness being the standard. The Wisdom of God in making Christ Jesus our substitute so that all things are done equitably. So that justice is neither suspended nor distorted. Righteousness is not lowered. Those in Christ find mercy and grace perfectly paid for, and those outside of Him receive true justice still. All remains in balance. And yet sinners are saved, by the blood of Christ.
You who are rich in this life. Don’t imagine your day before the bar of God will be one whit less or easier than the most impoverished in this life. You’ll be judged by the same standard without regard to the special station or status which has been afforded you here. There is no 1st class seating in that courtroom. Your disregard for those with less, your thoughts of status and privilege will find no truck there.
You who are poor here. Do not imagine your rough circumstances will entitle you either to revenge, anger or resentment carried over toward the rich in this life. Nor your sins accounted as any less, because you did not have access to means to exercise your sins as the rich did. You will be just as accountable on every front as the wealthiest mogul or the most powerful potentate.
Each will stand in this light: What have I done with with regard to Jesus Christ and His gospel?
This, is where wisdom begins.
God willing, we’ll be back Monday.