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IF... THEN... SO... Proverbs 2

September 3, 2017

What is the purpose of proverbs?

Ross set us clearly last week with a clear biblical explanation of the purpose of the book of proverbs.

To gain wisdom, being skilled at living life well, for the simple and the wise, through practical principles not promises, with the fear of the Lord as foundational.

 

He also showed us in Proverbs 1, that…

Wisdom is not self-deduced, self-reflection, it comes from God and relies on a right understanding of God.

 

And so, we continue our learning in Proverbs by focusing on Proverbs 2 this morning.

 

May we, as it says in Proverbs 1:5

…hear and increase in learning, and (be) the one(s) who understands (and) obtain guidance.

 

Have you noticed in life, that things tend to follow a logical, ordered pattern?

 

If you run into a brick wall, then you stop suddenly, so your nose bleeds profusely.

 

I have experienced this in life…

  • If you, at age 12, attempt to fix a metal bedside lamp and wire it incorrectly, then you touch the metal lamp stand and get electrocuted, so you go and get your dad to help.

  • If you climb on a ladder onto the roof with muddy boots, then you will slip and fall off, so your finger will be bent for the rest of your life.

Things tend to follow a logical, ordered pattern.

 

And our passage today presents us with a clear, logical order when it comes to wisdom.

 

If… Then... So…

 

If you pursue, seek and receive wisdom from God, then you will understand the fear of the Lord, righteousness and justice, so you will be saved from the influence of evil people and live righteously.

 

So, how important to you is gaining wisdom from God?

 

If it is important, then Proverbs 2 reveals to us what we must value, so we must make these things important in our daily lives and relationships.

 

 

IF... (vs. 1-4)

 

Treasure God’s Word (vs 1-2)

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; Proverbs 2:1-2

 

If we desire wisdom, then we must treasure God’s Word.

 

God’s Word, the Bible, are words directly from God. They are the very heart, mind, character and nature of God, revealing His plans and purposes. God’s Word.

 

If we value gaining wisdom from God, if it is important to us, then Proverbs 2 shares how we are to approach God’s Word, the Bible.

 

We need to receive God’s words – take hold of them, accept them. We need to be like the Psalmist…

Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes… Psalm 119:33

 

We need to treasure up His commands – store them up, keep them, hide them away in our memory so they can be recalled. Again, like the Psalmist…

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

 

We need to be attentive to wisdom – pay attention, listen carefully. Be diligent in hearing what God is saying in His word.

 

We need to Incline our hearts to understanding –  We must allow what we hear to be absorbed from our ears to our heart. From hearing to applying. The Psalmist got this need…

With my whole heart I seek you… Psalm 119:10

 

We must treasure God’s words as the fountain and standard of wisdom and understanding.

 

What place does God’s Word have in your life?

Do you receive it, treasure it?

Are you attentive to it and allow it to affect your heart, your very being?

 

We must treasure God’s words as the fountain and standard of wisdom and understanding.

 

If we desire wisdom, then we must call out to God.

 

 

 

…yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, Proverbs 2:3

 

Call out to God (vs. 3)

As we heard last week God is the source of all wisdom. This is accentuated again in our passage today.

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; Proverbs 2:6

 

If we value gaining wisdom from God, if it is important to us, then Proverbs 2 shares how we are to approach God’s God.

 

Ask for insight and understanding – discernment, how to handle truth correctly.

Give me understanding, that I may keep your law… Proverbs 119:34

 

As Ross shared with us last week…

Wisdom is not self-deduced, self-reflection, it comes from God and relies on a right understanding of God.

 

We need God to led us into wisdom. Therefore we must call on Him. We must seek the guidance and illumination of the Holy Spirit as we pursue, seek and receive wisdom from God.

 

And if you are not sure what to pray, then Psalm 119 is for you. A Psalm that is all about being strengthened by meditating on the Word of God, for comfort, as a valued possession and as a guide in life.

 

Psalm 119 can become our prayers as we cry out to God for wisdom.

 

When was the last time you cried out to God for wisdom?

 

If we desire wisdom, then we must value God’s wisdom.

 

Value God’s wisdom vs 4

if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,  Proverbs 2:4

 

If we desire wisdom, then we must value it highly.

 

If you were asked to go directly to you house, flat, room and bring back one item, the most important, most valued thing you owned, what would you return with? I wonder if we would even have to leave this room. Because what we should value most is already with us, in us - God in the person of the Holy Spirit because of the person and work of Jesus Christ as planned by the Father.

 

If we value gaining wisdom from God, if it is important to us, then Proverbs 2 shares how we are to show we value it.

 

Seek it and search for it - look for it, track it down, examine it.

 

We have to put the effort in. We need to put the time in. We need to value wisdom from God.

 

How much do you value God’s wisdom?

 

We need to pursue, seek and receive wisdom from God through His word.

 

If...

If you pursue, seek and receive wisdom from God

 

Then...

then you will understand the fear of the Lord, righteousness and justice

 

Then… (vs. 5-15)

 

As we seek and value wisdom then we will grow in our fear of the LORD and experience of God.

 

Grow in your knowledge and experience of God vs 5-6

…then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:5

 

As we fear the Lord, we gain wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

A wisdom, knowledge and understanding that is more than intellectual knowing it is a way of knowing that floods one’s entire being and experience.

 

A relational knowing that sees us knowing the very heart and mind of God.

 

A growth that sees us fearing the Lord

 

As Ross explained to us from Proverbs 1, fear of the Lord is…

  • Hatred and avoiding or turning away from evil- speech, thoughts, actions.

  • Hate what God hates, evil, and turn from it. Humble submission to God, humble and obedient.

We will grow in our personal knowledge and experience of God.

 

Is your personal knowledge and experience of God growing?

 

As we seek and value wisdom then we will gain security.

 

Gain security vs 7-8

he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Proverbs 2:7b-8

 

Wisdom from God produces quality of life and security. But remember this is not a promise, this is a principle.

 

As we search for wisdom we receive the amazing gifts of knowledge of God, and as a result, the protection we need to live life well with God as our protector.

 

How much do you rely on God as your protector?

 

As we seek and value wisdom, then we will be transformed by God’s wisdom.

 

Be transformed by God’s wisdom vs 9-10

Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; Proverbs 2:9-10

 

When wisdom enters your heart, we will be changed.

 

As Romans 12:2 puts it, we will be “transformed by the renewing of your mind”

 

We will be able to discern right from wrong

We will make wise and just decisions.

We will have a confidence that the choices we are making in life are right.

 

Do you want to be transformed?

 

As we seek and value wisdom, then we will be saved from the influence of evil people.

 

Saved from the influence of evil people vs 11-15

 

Proverbs gives us the clear picture that there are only two types of people. The Wise and the foolish. The righteous and the wicked.

 

The wicked, “the way of evil”, is described as…

men of perverted speech, vs12

forsake the paths of uprightness vs 13

walk in the ways of darkness, vs 13

rejoice in doing evil vs14

delight in the perverseness of evil, vs 14

men whose paths are crooked, vs 15

who are devious in their ways. Vs 15

 

As we seek and value wisdom, then we will be saved from the influence of evil people.

discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil, Proverbs 2:11-12a

 

The wise person will be repelled by the values, character, and lifestyle of the wicked. Remember our understanding of the fear of the Lord…

  • Hatred and avoiding or turning away from evil - speech, thoughts, actions.

  • Hate what God hates, evil, and turn from it. Humble submission to God, humble and obedient.

And so we the wise will steer clear of the wicked.

 

Who is your biggest influence?

 

As we seek and value wisdom, then we will be saved from the influence of evil people.

 

If…

If you pursue, seek and receive wisdom from God,

 

Then...

then you will understand the fear of the Lord, righteousness and justice

 

So…

you will be saved from the influence of evil people and live righteously.

 

So… (vs. 16-22)

 

As we seek and value wisdom, then we will grow in our fear of the LORD and be transformed, so we can be protected from being led into sin.

 

Protected from being led into sin

So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God; Proverbs 2:16-17

 

Protected against sexual sin. A major focus across the book of Proverbs, and one which we will speak on later in the series.

 

What I will say is that sexual sin is a huge problem, in the world, and in the church. Sexual sin both of body and mind. Lust, sex and sexual experiences outside of marriage, and adultery.

 

We get enticed by its smooth words, immediate pleasures and promises of pleasure. But we are told that wisdom can set you free, deliver us from sexual sin.

 

Do you struggle with sexual sin?

 

As we seek and value wisdom, then we will grow in our fear of the LORD and be transformed, so we live righteously.

 

Live righteously

So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. Proverbs 2:20

 

Righteousness is our reward.  We will be right. We will enjoy the fruits of obedient relationship with God.

 

Do you see the fruits of righteousness in your life?

 

As we seek and value wisdom, then we will grow in our fear of the LORD and be transformed, so we live righteously.

 

Therefore…

If…

If you pursue, seek and receive wisdom from God,

 

Then...

then you will understand the fear of the Lord, righteousness and justice

 

So…

you will be saved from the influence of evil people and live righteously.

 

But what does it come back to. We must start with the if….

 

If we desire wisdom, then we must…

  • treasure God’s Word.

  • Call out to God

  • Value God’s wisdom.

 

What place does God’s Word have in your life?

Do you receive it, treasure it?

Are you attentive to it and allow it to affect your heart, your very being?

 

Proverbs provides us with a path to being wise….

If you pursue, seek and receive wisdom from God, then you will understand the fear of the Lord, righteousness and justice, you will be saved from the influence of evil people and live righteously.

 

Where are you at on the journey of becoming wise?

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