Wisdom, the Word, and Jesus.
DECEMBER 28, 2023
Wisdom, the Word, and Jesus. Let’s talk about it, on this edition of Key Life.
That was Steve Brown and this is Key Life. We’re dedicated to the teaching that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. Open, if you will, to, if you’ve got a Bible and you’re in a place where you can do it as we study Proverbs. Open the book to Proverbs 8:22 through 31. And then promise yourself that before you go to bed tonight. That you’ll read those verses because they’re about wisdom and wisdom is speaking. And wisdom says when God built the foundations of the earth, when he hollowed out the mountains and hung the stars, I was there and he did it through me. One of the most interesting and wonderful things about the Bible is the way it shows us how God prepared for the Incarnation of Christ. Some 2,000, 1,500 years before the birth of Christ, a group of wandering nomads in the middle of the desert came up with the highest form of ethical monotheism the world had ever seen. Now, that’s a miracle in itself. I mean, it’s for nobody. The word Hebrew, many scholars believe, means wanderer. I mean, these are people who lived in tents. And they lived in the midst of very sophisticated cultures. And yet, these nobodies in the middle of the desert said there is one God, that God is a moral God, that God has called us, and we are his people, and he is our God, and there is no other. Where in the world did they get that? No competent sociologist can explain it, but they did, and I would suggest they did because God revealed himself and those truths to them. And then they began to move down a corridor of history. Hundreds of years later, the Peloponnesian Wars, the Greeks and the Romans, some very interesting things happened in western civilization. The Greeks first with philosophy and great learning and beauty and sculpture and art. The Romans came in, picked up on that, and then they were a military might. They conquered the known world. For the first time, there was coinage in every place. For the first time, there was a road system everywhere. For the first time, everything came together. And then those two themes of human history, the Greco Roman theme of human history, And the Judea, Jewish, and later Judeo Christian theme of human history crossed. They crossed in the first century, and at that very moment, Jesus of Nazareth was born. And if you think that’s an accident, you’re crazy. If he had been 40 years later, if he had been born 40 years later, we wouldn’t be talking about him. If he had been born 40 years before, you never would have heard his name. It was God’s plan. History is his story. And when Jesus came, it had been planned from the beginning of creation. But let me show you something else. Thought forms were prepared too. The Jews had a view of the Word. What was the Word? Now, we’re going back to Proverbs. The Word was wisdom. And in this passage in Proverbs, the eighth chapter of Proverbs, it clearly says that the Creator of the universe, of all you see, was wisdom. As you begin to study, you begin to see that that slowly morphed into the idea of the creative Word of God. And then in the first chapter of John, God says.
In the beginning was the Word, the Wisdom. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
So, you hook Proverbs with John 1, and you begin to see that God was preparing his people for the coming of the Messiah. But there’s more than that. One of the interesting things in the Greco Roman theme of human history was the philosophy. And the philosophers of that time saw that everything we saw or see, this table, the chair you’re sitting on, is in flux. In fact, it was kind of molecular biology and molecular physics before anybody knew what that was. These philosophers got it. And they said there is something that holds everything together. Now these pagans, these unbelievers had a word for it. And the word was word, the word, the Logos was what held it together. And so, when John said.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Every philosopher in Western civilization said, wow, I get that. And when John said.
And the Word became flesh.
Every Jew who knew the Book of Proverbs, who understood the morphing of wisdom into the Word, said, Hey, I’ve got that. Do you know what’s going on? I’ll tell you what’s going on. God Himself is preparing in history, and in philosophy, and even in words, for the coming of Jesus. So, every creature on the face of the earth could understand what happened and how wonderful it was. Is that good? It blows me away and John 8:58.
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly I say to you before Abraham was, I am.”
Jesus used the covenant name of God to refer to himself. And now, that you’re studying Proverbs and you understand history, and you see what God’s doing, it blows you away with its magnificence, and its power, and its depth. I’m tempted to spend more time on that because that does, it just intrigues me when I think about it. But we’ve got to keep on going. Let’s see how you find courage when you’re afraid. Proverbs 3:24 through 26.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror nor of trouble from the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.
And then in Proverbs 18:10.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and they are safe. The rich man’s wealth is in a strong city and like a high wall in his own esteem.
The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
What’s this saying? It’s talking about a truth. And it’s a truth that is kind of shaky sometimes. Not because God is shaky, but because we are. When you’re scared, don’t get a gun. When you’re scared, don’t go to somebody you think knows about everything, because they don’t. When you’re scared, don’t build bigger barns. When you’re scared, go to him and say, Lord, I’m a child and I’m afraid and I don’t know what to do or where to go. And Jesus said, I will give you the peace that passes understanding. Now, tomorrow I’m going to tell you a couple of stories about courage. And how this has legs when you apply it in your own life. And you need to know that I understand fear. Never accept advice from anybody about a difficult matter unless they agree with you that it is a really difficult matter. If you can be afraid of it, I can be afraid of it. And I have surprising courage in my life. And you know where it comes from. It comes from him. And it comes from the truth that is spoken in the Book of Proverbs. And next week, we’re going to talk about that in detail. But it’s enough today to say, this old, cynical preacher, who has a problem with fear, has learned to find courage, not where I thought I would find it, but in the peace that passes understanding. And that’s available to me, and it’s also available to you. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. What a great way to wrap up the teaching for this week and hey, great way to wrap up this year. Crazy, right? The next time we get together to explore Proverbs, it will be 2024, but listen, I’m getting ahead of myself. Tomorrow, we still have the nearly world famous Friday Q&A with Steve and her friend Pete Alwinson. And tomorrow they’ll answer the question you’ve always wanted to ask, but we’re afraid to. Do I have to go to church? And tune in tomorrow for that answer? And speaking of the new year, before we turn the page on 2023, I want you to turn the pages of our 2023 Key Life Magazine. This is, as they say, last call, this year’s print edition has a great article from Steve plus fantastic pieces from Jenni Young. Kendra Fletcher, and Chad West. Get your copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine. To mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of Key Life Magazine. And finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You could charge a gift on your credit card, or you could include a gift in your envelope. Or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter, text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.