DECEMBER 27, 2023
Wisdom personified. I’ll explain on this edition, of Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers sick of phony religion and pious clichés. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. We’re studying Proverbs, if you’re just joining us, we’re studying it the way one studies an encyclopedia, by subject. We’re looking at a number of things, we spent a lot of time talking about money and being careful who you owe. And we ended yesterday with some Scripture about surety. Now, surety is a pledge made to secure against default. One assumes the debts of another. In Genesis 43:9, Judah pledged to be surety for Benjamin and took responsibility for the life of his brother. In Psalm 119:122
Be surety for your servant for good, do not let the proud oppress.
Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
Now, it starts in Proverbs by saying, be careful. You don’t want to owe strangers. You don’t want to owe friends. You don’t want to owe family members. Now, Proverbs doesn’t say don’t ever do that. Sometimes you have to do that. But be careful and remember the price because there is always a price. I, when I was a pastor, did marriage counseling and I talked about the Biblical doctrine of marriage in the third session with a couple, where I would officiate at their wedding. And the one thing that I talked about. Well, there are a lot of things I talked about In the Biblical doctrine of marriage, but I centered in on what Moses said, and then what Jesus said, and then what Paul said.
A man shall leave his mother and father and cleave unto his wife.
Now ,that’s kind of one sided, but you’ve got to remember in that culture the wife came and lived with the extended family of the husband. And Jesus is saying, be careful here. In laws can cause real problems. And I used to say to the couple, be careful of accepting gifts from your in laws. Small gifts have small prices. Big gifts have big prices. And you’re going to have to pay. That was not only Jesus and Moses and Paul, it’s the Book of Proverbs in clear teaching. Those who are Christian money managers always say, get out of debt. As fast as you can, get out of debt because debt is a prison, and it’ll kill you. And I used to laugh at that, and with some insight, believe that if you paid your mortgage each month, you were no longer in debt. Even though you still owed a considerable amount on the mortgage. But I’m old and we’ve been paying mortgages for many, many years. And five years ago, we paid that sucker off. And I want you to know that we celebrated, I mean it was like, it was like a load had been lifted off our shoulders. We were so pleased that now the house didn’t belong to anybody but us and Jesus. I should have known that. Proverbs 6:1 through 5 is very clear about it. Now, let me go to another subject. Wisdom and the word and there’s an amazing connection. Proverbs 3:19 through 20.
The Lord by wisdom, founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the depths were broken up, and clouds dropped down the dew.
There’s a lot in Proverbs, but I’m just picking some. Proverbs 8:22 through 31
The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
Talking about wisdom
I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning before there was ever an earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth, which is yet, he had not made the earth, or the fields, or the primal dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above, when he strengthened the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, as a master craftsman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him, rejoicing in his inhabited world and my delight was with the sons of men.
Now, I’m just going to say a little bit about this, and we’ll talk about it tomorrow on the broadcast a bit more. But every time you read about wisdom in the book of Proverbs, it is appropriate Biblically to substitute the name Jesus Christ because wisdom is personified. And we’re going to, tomorrow on the broadcast, we’re going to go to the first chapter of the gospel of John, and we’re going to see how the creative word is a person. And that person is none other than Jesus. And so, as you go back to Proverbs, you see the preparation for God’s major act when wisdom became flesh and dwelt among us. You think about that. Amen.
Well, it’s Wednesday and sometimes on Wednesdays when I have some time, I’ll answer one or two of your questions. On Friday, as you know, Pete Alwinson comes in, has been doing that for years, and we sit at this table and answer your questions. And both Fridays and today, I love your questions. The only dumb ones is the one you don’t ask. We appreciate you and your asking your questions. You can do that in a bunch of ways. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7, and follow instructions and record your question and sometimes we put your voice on the air. Or you can send your question to
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Okay, let’s turn to one or two of these questions. My life is very busy. How can I prioritize my daily life to spend more time with God? Well first, you’ve got to want to, and really want to. Socrates once had a young man ask him where he would find truth. He took him down to the river and took the young man and put him under the water and held him there until he thought he was going to die and he was struggling. And Socrates picked him up by the hair and said, “Son, when you want truth as much as you just then wanted air, then you will have truth.” And so, by asking the question, it says something good about you, that you were saying, I really need to spend more time with God. Now, let me say something that’s going to sound weird, but it’s going to be helpful, so stay with me. Do not spend more time with God. You’re not ready yet. Only God makes the time, and only God gives you the desire to do it. We used to have nights of prayer in the churches I served. And for 24 hours, somebody would be in our sanctuary generally just before the missions conference. Somebody would be in our sanctuary praying, and we found out that most people had problems with that. They would sign up for a half an hour, and after five minutes, they ran out of steam. They had prayed the Lord’s Prayer three times. They had prayed for every missionary they knew, and they had prayed for themselves, and they still had 25 minutes left. And so, we decided to print up a sheet that we left with people who prayed in the sanctuary through that 24 hours. And on the sheet, there were dozens of things that needed prayer in the missions conference, and in the church, and in the world. And people were able to fill a half hour without any trouble. Well, that’s human. May not be good, but it’s human. And I always say to people who say, I want more time, take no more than five minutes. And then read a passage of Scripture, pray the Lord’s Prayer, and pray for ten people, and tell them that you’re praying for them. And don’t you dare increase that five minutes until you have to increase the five minutes. And when you have to increase the five minutes, you will increase it. And you will have more time, to be with God. But you’ve got to start small, before it becomes big. Don’t thank me, I was glad to help. That’s not the advice you get from most people. They generally say to you, after all that Jesus has done for you, you ought to spend more time with him. And I suggested, and I’m right, spend less time with him and let him increase the time. I’ve got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.