Aloha Friday Message – August 15, 2014 – Wisdom’s Well

1433AFC081514 – Wisdom’s Well

Read it online here, please.

ROMANS 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.

Today’s text is just down the page a bit from the end of next Sunday’s reading from Romans 11. There is a statement there as profound as it is short:

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.(Use the link at the end of that so see a previous message based on that verse.)

KnowFearFish-L_Rev.300X100Today I want to write about Wisdom, especially as it applies to our most trying experiences in life. Let’s begin with Proverbs 9:10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. We know that the phrase “fear of the Lord” means to revere and reverence God with attitudes of wonder, amazement, respect, astonishment, gratitude, veneration, admiration, mystery, profound unconditional love, and even worship. The phrase “Fear of the LORD” in Hebrew is yirat YHYH or יְהֹוָה יִרְאָה That word yirat can also mean fear in the sense of frightened, but in these passages today, it means to stand in awe of the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God.

What do we think of when we hear that word – wisdom? It brings to mind ideas like good judgment, insight, perceptiveness, understanding, insight, judiciousness, depth of knowledge, intelligence, prudence, and the ability to discern between good and bad or just and unjust. Wisdom is knowing what path to take, when to hold’em and when to fold’em (etc.), and wisdom is the ability to give advice that is not only common sense, but also advice that seems startlingly obvious when we finally comprehend it. Wisdom is something that is earned by living through lots of mistakes and learning to profit from them. We all know what wisdom is when we see it or hear it, but we are often baffled as to why others have it and we do not. “How did they get wisdom, and I missed out?”

Let’s go to the Apostle James to find out. James 1:5 If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. The source of wisdom is God. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Wisdom was there throughout all creation, throughout all human history (although we seemed to have missed detecting the presence of wisdom with remarkable consistency). If we need wisdom, why not go to the source, the purest, widest, deepest, most profound Wisdom anywhere (and everywhere). And how do we prepare our hearts and minds to accept God’s Wisdom? We are so imperfect; how can we possibly access God’s Perfect Wisdom? For a tip on that let’s turn to Job 28:28And he said to humankind, “Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Please see more at Job 28:20-28) So there it is again, “fear of the Lord.” What do we know about God’s idea of “fear?” Well, we don’t have to look any farther than the First Commandment in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 – “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” What is the best way to honor God, to “fear” God? It is to LOVE him. An honestly, that’s pretty easy to do, right? “What’s not to love?” In Matthew 22:37, we read, Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. There’s a subtle difference between those passages. In Deuteronomy, the word for might is מְאֹדֶֽךָ׃  – meodeka (me-OD-de-KA), and it refers to using every ounce of strength and force to hold onto something. In Matthew, the work for mind διανοίᾳ dianoia (dee-an’-oy-ah) and it means “movement from one side (of an issue) to the other to reach balanced-conclusions; full-orbed reasoning (= critical thinking), i.e. dialectical thinking that literally reaches “across to the other side” (of a matter).” (Please see this source.)

Either way, we are to give our most complete effort to loving God because in doing so we reverence him; we are doing his will – and surely that is Wisdom, to do the will of God. It should be the all-in-all of our purpose in life. You’ve heard of people who eat, sleep, and drink [whatever]? Doing the will of God is what feeds our souls. Check this out: John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.” And later on he says in John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me That was Jesus’ plan, Jesus’ mission, Jesus’ goal, to do his Father’s will. We know we are to love God, but he also says we must be obedient to him. Even Jesus said keeping the word of God is a blessing in Luke 11:27-28 … a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!” But (Jesus) said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

We are blessed with Wisdom when we [1] Love and obey God and [2] love our neighbors as we love ourselves. I am sure there is no one among us who can honestly say, God has never blessed me!” You’re still breathing, right?

Breath=GiftWhen our lives are in disarray, we sometimes throw a little pity party and try to claim God has left us – even when we know full well, HE has not moved away since forever began. I’m going to give you a little link to a song I heard about 15 years ago. I only heard it once, but I never forgot the message. It’s about a guy named Ike. The Devil decides to play a trick on him and fill up the wells on his property with dirt. When Ike goes out in the morning to get a drink of that fresh cool water, he finds quite a surprise. Even more surprising is his response. With a big smile he picks up his shovel and … well you really should listen. (↔ Music Link) Ike understood something about the fear of the Lord. He knew that “if God blessed me once, he can bless me again.” All I have to do is just love, honor, and obey him. Does that sound a little bit like marriage vows to you? Hmmm. Maybe that’s why the Church is called The Bride of Christ.

So, beloved, if you’re feeling down and think God’s on vacation, send him a little love note, then pick up your shovel and get busy because someone else just might need another well. And you know that you can just lower that bucket made of Love down into the well of God’s Wisdom and draw up the Living Water using the Fear of the Lord as the rope at Wisdom’s Well.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

Shovel_Dig

 

 

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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