Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
Fifteenth Sun. aft. Pentecost
Fountain of Life Luth. Ch.
September 7, 1994 (Wed.)
I. THE WORLD WILL FLIRT WITH ITS OWN WISDOM, BUT WILL FINALLY RECOGNIZE IT AS A COUNTERFEIT OF THE REAL THING.
A. Wisdom, in the final analysis, has to do with behavior.
1. Wisdom is not an esoteric, academic endeavor at all, it is earthy, practical useful.
a. Wisdom shows itself in the application of knowledge.
b. It has is clearest manifestation in how we make decisions and how they are carried out.
2. Perhaps that is one reason why the Scriptures have an entire genre of "Wisdom Literature" contained in them.
a. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiasties, Song of Solomon.
b. Clearly the exercise of wisdom is important to the Lord.
B. The world, in a vain effort to exercise true wisdom does so as a cheap imitation of the real thing:
1. It opts for wisdom drawn from the behavior of neighboring peoples.
a. This is a wisdom based on national peer pressure.
b. Will behave this way because that's how others do.
c. ILLUS: Israel's demand for a King instead of the direct rule of God through His judges.
d. ILLUS: This is the reasoning our children give us for their proposed unwise behavior, "All the other kids are doing it!"
2. Today, that attempt have been slightly refined, now we have determined that it is democratic if we determine what behaviors are wise if we do so by majority vote.
a. Whatever the polls tell us is socially acceptable is wise.
b. This, of course, means that there is no unchangeable wisdom at all.
1.) The traditional family, designed by God, has become passť.
2.) If the traditional family is no longer wise, then sexual activity is not confined to the family.
3.) In fact, family should be completely redefined to include those who are homosexual.
4.) If homosexual relationships are legitimized, then homo-sexual activity must be viewed as normal...and so it goes.
C. Finally, even those who promote a worldly point of view must admit that it doesn't work.
1. ILLUS: Newsweek Article:
a. What an amazing and positive turn of events!
b. What a positive hope for our future as a nation!
2. That same conclusion is stated in our text.
II. GOD HAS SHOWN US A RESPLENDENT WISDOM THAT IS THE REAL THING.
A. He has shown us the real wisdom of His eternal, unchanging will through His Word.
1. True wisdom is wisdom that is wise for all people of all times in all places.
a. It is external to us and not of our invention.
b. It comes from a source wiser than we are.
2, That wisdom can only come from God.
B. God's wisdom is real because it works in real life.
1. If people follow the way of Godly wisdom, life will be better for them.
a. The sanctity of the family is not just a good idea, it is the only way in which our society will be preserved.
b. It is the way in which happiness can be found.
2. In a society whose wisdom is the wisdom of God we find the very best that life has to offer:
a. A society in which God is honored above all.
b. A society in which the worship of Him is honored by all.
1.) Remember when stores were closed on Sundays . . .
2.) Remember when morality was considered a blessing rather "religious fanaticism"?
c. A society in which vulgarity was replaced with civility.
d. A society in which mothers and fathers are honored and respected.
e. A society which that robbery harms not only the victims, but society as a whole.
f. A society which upholds and honors sex within the context of marriage and understands that sex outside of marriage hurts us all.
g. A society which understands that drive-by shootings, gang violence, and the violence of abortion cheapens all human life.
h. A society which promotes being satisfied with the level of blessings God has provided them instead of a rampant materialism...and a "What's in it for me?" attitude often expressed in frivolous and greedy litigation.
C. What is the basis of all this Godly wisdom?. . .The grace of God in Christ Jesus.
1. Nowhere is the wisdom of God more fully revealed than in the giving of God's Son for our sin.
a. Here the wise nature of God is most clearly seen . . . mercy, grace, love.
b. Here we see the real heart of God . . . compassionate, self-sacrificial.
2. Here is our hope for this world and the next.
a. We know that we have received salvation, eternal life.
b. We know also that here we have access to the wisdom of God for this life as well.
3. God's wisdom for our behavior is not a list of "do's" and "don'ts", it is his gift to us all for joyful living.
a. Not only is this gift personal for us, it is also for all the nations.
b. The formula is a simple one...live in God's ways or implode as a society.
What an incredible gift we have received from the Lord! What an incredible gift we can share with the world! Not only may we share eternal life with the world through Christ, but Christ
also empowers us to show the world what true wisdom looks like. Let us be what God has called us to be: A light shining in a dark place. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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