March 1

March 1 – March 7

 

Scripture Passage:  “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.  For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.”  Proverbs 8: 10-11    “Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.”  Proverbs 8:33

Dear Friends,

     There are three things listed in these passages of Scripture that are addressed: instruction, knowledge, and wisdom.  Solomon believed them to be so valuable that silver and gold could not be compared to them.  The most valuable of all gems could not be considered equal to the worth of wisdom.  These comparisons were not just symbolic to Solomon for he possessed all of them.  He was blessed with precious metals and gems.  God also gave him unequaled wisdom.  He requested that God give him an understanding heart to judge his people, and the ability to discern between good and bad.  (I Kings 3:9) God promised to honor his request.  Because he had asked for a wise and understanding heart, God also gave him what he did not ask for: riches and honor.  According to the Word of the Lord in I Kings 3:12 there never was anyone like Solomon before and there would never be one like him again.  Let us look at Solomon’s words and glean what the Lord would have us learn today. 

     The first treasure is instruction.  To instruct someone is to impart knowledge by teaching.  With the information gained, a person can be informed and given the ability to make wise and rational decisions.  Instruction also furnishes the recipient with a clear direction.  Often times a teacher is labeled as an instructor.  From the definitions just given you can see how this is an appropriate title.  I have been working the last few weeks on a small lawn mower engine.  Years ago, I purchased a set of instruction manuals for that exact engine.  I am not by talent or giftedness a good mechanic, but with that manual, I carefully read the instructions and followed them precisely.  What I lack in talent, is made up for by the brilliance of the instructor who wrote the manual.  When I have followed the instructions everything has gone fine.  When I ignored a small detail like a snap ring, I was forced to take it all back apart again and “lick my calf over.”  We have been given a wonderful instruction book to live by.   That book is called the Bible and it contains everything needed to live a successful and godly life.  If we read it and follow its instructions, we will get it right the first time. 

     The second treasure is knowledge.  Webster says that knowledge is familiarity gained by actual experience.  It is to take what we have read and learned from the instructions and apply it in a practical way.  I have a more extensive knowledge of music than a common man or woman on the street.  This is not bragging or boasting.  I am saying that because I played the French Horn in band, and occasionally the orchestra, I have had to take musical facts and instructions and apply them.  My college degree is in music education and elementary education.  All of that means absolutely nothing if I cannot take that knowledge and apply it when playing a piece of music.  I know people who know a lot about Jesus, but they do not know Jesus.  They know a lot about the Bible, but they only know those facts for argument sake.  They have never taken that knowledge and applied it practically.  If they had, they would be saved.  Knowledge that causes action is valuable indeed. 

     The final attribute is wisdom.  Wisdom is the ability to judge soundly and deal sagaciously with facts.  (sagaciously – keen perception and discernment)  A wise person can take knowledge and use that knowledge to relate it to life and personal conduct.  It is knowledge at its highest level.  Papaw used to call it “horse sense.”  When I went away to college, he told me he wanted me to get as much education as possible, but to never get so smart that I became an educated fool.  The irony that accompanies wisdom is that it becomes most evident with age.  If I had known back then what I know now, I would have been unstoppable.  God knew it would take all the failures and dumb things I have done to teach me the lessons I needed to learn.  My definition of wisdom is: lessons learned the hard way.  If knowledge has never been tested, we are hesitant to put it into practical application.  Once it has been tested, we will use it over and over again with blessed assurance that it will work every time.  No wonder Solomon said, Hear instruction, and be wise and refuse it not.”  These three things are the keys to life. 

In Christ,

Pastor Johnny