Better Choice – Wisdom

4 October 2020 PM – Proverbs 16:16 – BC20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: You are at a fork in life’s road. The sign at the fork reads, “Wealth to the left, Wisdom to the right.” You must make a choice.
Transition: This evening, I want us to look at Proverbs 16:16 from three perspectives that ought to challenge us to go right toward wisdom.
  1. The Examination
a.         Examine the intangible items
1)         Wisdom is akin to skill, prudence, and shrewdness. Wisdom is intangible. You cannot touch it. You cannot see it. You cannot even always tell if you have it.
a)         Wisdom is the God-given ability to make right choices.
b)         Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
c)         Only the Lord can give us wisdom. (Proverbs 2:6) “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
d)         No wisdom surpasses God’s wisdom. (Proverbs 21:30) “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
e)         Wisdom gives happiness. (Proverbs 3:13) “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
f)          God says it is the principle thing we need in life. (Proverbs 4:7) “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
g)         Parents need wisdom before they can teach it. (Proverbs 4:11) “I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
h)         Godly parents seek to live it and pass it on to their children. (Proverbs 5:1) “My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:
i)           God uses biblical discipline to develop wisdom. (Proverbs 29:15) “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
j)           Wisdom enables a person to avoid evil and choose good, to flee wrong and follow right.
2)         Understanding is the ability to separate, distinguish, to discern, or to discriminate.
a)         Understanding often accompanies wisdom. (Proverbs 10:13) “In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.
b)         Perhaps we could conclude that wisdom enables understanding. They form a team. They work together. Pro 1:2; 4:5; 4:7; 7:4; 9:10; 16:16; 23:23.
c)         Understanding is the opposite of foolishness. (Proverbs 9:6) “Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
d)         Understanding gives the discernment to spot life’s potential dangers and sin’s hidden traps. Using wisdom, understanding separates truth from error.
b.         Examine the tangible items
1)         Gold is a metal that we can handle. It is mined from the earth. Because of its beauty and rarity, it is valuable.
2)         Silver, like gold is a metal. It is not as valued as gold, but is very costly and useful.
3)         Rubies and all things that may be desired (Pro 3:15; 8:11). The word translated rubies may refer to corals, rubies, or jewels. Rubies are deep-red precious gems. This also includes anything that the heart might desire.
4)         All of these costly items are things that we can see and touch. They are valuable for buying other items.
2.        The Temptation
a.         Wisdom and understanding seem impractical.
1)         This thought is a common temptation.
a)         They cannot pay my bills.
b)         They cannot purchase pleasures.
c)         They are not readily observable.
2)         Though they may seem impractical, one of the most urgent times a person needs wisdom and understanding is in his youth. Countless young people have scarred or ruined their lives by foolish deeds and choices.
3)         Young people often consider wisdom and understanding to be outdated, old-fashioned, restricting, uncool, and unnecessary.
4)         They often overlook the fact that wisdom and understanding protect virginity, purity, morality, modesty, honesty, integrity, decency, dignity, clarity, etc. (Proverbs 4:5-6) “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.” (Proverbs 19:8) “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.
b.         Gold, silver, rubies and treasures are appealing.
1)         This thought is also a common temptation.
a)         We need money for everyday living.
b)         These treasures can buy many pleasures.
c)         Having treasures elevates people’s opinion of us.
d)         Having treasures attracts friends. (Proverbs 14:20) “The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
e)         Having money makes us feel important.
2)         For some reason, valuables appeal to our human nature.
3)         It is easy to overlook the fact that riches will not last. (Proverbs 27:24) “For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?
4)         It is common to omit the fact that riches will never deliver from God’s judgment on foolish actions. (Proverbs 11:4) “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
3.        The Declaration – “better is…”
a.         It comes from the mind of God.
1)         God said that wisdom is better than fine gold.
2)         God said that wisdom is better than rubies.
3)         God said that understanding is better than choice silver.
4)         Truly, wisdom and understanding are far better than any of these riches. Having the mind of God in making choices and discerning difficult options is priceless! If you had to choose between a heavy bag of pure gold or the promise of God’s wisdom and understanding, the BEST choice would be God’s wisdom and understanding. Our Creator God tells us so!
b.         God’s declaration proves true as we age and reflect on life.
1)         Hindsight is far clearer than foresight. The failures we have experienced were the results of not following God’s wisdom and understanding. God will never lead anyone astray.
2)         Think back over your life and note times when by lack of wisdom and understanding you made choices that you now regret.
3)         Young people, your mental database may not yet contain too many of these hindsights, but you must believe God and those older than you are. Wisdom and understanding are priceless. (Proverbs 23:4) “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
4)         The smartest thing you can do in life after trusting Christ as your Saviour is to seek God’s wisdom and understanding. You can get these by gaining a greater fear of the Lord (Pro 9:10). You learn to fear the Lord by studying the Bible (Deu 17.19). You acquire wisdom by obeying wise parents (Pro 5:1) and seeking wise counsel (Pro 19:20). Get wisdom; get understanding!
Conclusion: Truly, wisdom and understanding are better than all the gold, silver, rubies and treasures this world has to offer. Make it your life’s passion to get wisdom and to live by it. You will forever be glad that you did.
Song: More Like the Master – 325