April 26, 2016

The Voice of Wisdom in a Time of Folly

The wise person is competent in handling God's Word. He knows God's Word and how to apply it. He understands life, the world, himself, and other people.

Scripture:  Ecclesiastes 9:11-18

Sermon Notes:

  1. God’s Word doesn’t pretend that the world isn’t what it is, or that we live in some other world. God’s Word speaks to us where we are; it is honest about our circumstances.
  2. Solomon points out the injustice, futility, toil, etc. in life. He reflects upon our limitations. He is expressing what we all know and experience. He is teaching us to be honest about our experiences and life under the sun.
  3. Be wise in your expectations about life. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.
  4. We need to be the voice of wisdom in a world of folly.
  5. The race doesn’t always go to the swift, nor the battle to the strong (Ecc. 9:11-12). For this, we can be thankful.
  6. Man does not know his future. Something bad might happen to you unexpectedly. We plan for the future, but it is in God’s hands, not ours. This verse is a word of caution, but not a cause for anxiety.
  7. Jesus says, do not worry about tomorrow, for your Father in heaven knows what you need and will care for you (Matt. 6:25-34).
  8. The real danger for us in difficult times is thinking God has abandoned us.
  9. Wisdom is better: better than might (v16), better than the shouts of fools (v17), better than weapons (v18).
  10. Wisdom is often despised and ignored; nevertheless, it is better than great military strength (Ecc. 9:13-15).
  11. We need to be wise, like this poor wise man.
  12. Three questions: (1) What is wisdom? (2) Why should we be wise? (3) How should we be wise?
  13. Wisdom is rightly applying God’s Word to life.
  14. The word wisdom carries the idea of skill, competence, expertise. The wise person is competent in handling God’s Word. He knows God’s Word and how to apply it. He understands life, the world, himself, and other people.
  15. Obey and do what the Bible says.
  16. We should be wise because of love for God and our neighbor. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
  17. No matter how hard you try to impress others, you will be disappointed. But if our desire is to please God, He will approve of us.
  18. When the city needed him, the poor wise man stepped up. Wisdom is for the service and blessing of others.
  19. How should we be wise? By speaking words of wisdom in quiet. Wisdom doesn’t yell at people, but it does speak up.
  20. Wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, merciful, impartial, etc. (James 3:13-18). Moses and Jesus were examples of such wisdom (Deut. 31:30-32:4; Matt. 12:9-14). 
  21. We need to faithfully speak words of wisdom to the people in our lives.
  22. The poor wise man is a type of Christ.

Application Questions:

  1. What is Solomon’s honest assessment of the world?
  2. How does wisdom answer the uncertainty of life?
  3. What is wisdom? What are the character attributes of wisdom?
  4. Why should we be wise?
  5. How can wisdom be a blessing to others?
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