The Protection Wisdom Provides
THE PROTECTION WISDOM PROVIDES
• This section is an “if… then” condition, like the previous section. (vs.4-5)
• WHEN the two prerequisites of vs.10 are met, THEN the protection mentioned in vs.11-12 is available… and only then.
• Here, Solomon tells his son (and us!) HOW to experience the protection Divine wisdom affords.
PREREQUISITES TO PROTECTION:
Wisdom must enter into our heart
1. So far, the whole book has had one main theme: wisdom offered to the young and inexperienced.
2. Solomon speaks of Lady Wisdom, who has been crying out for everyone to hear her and receive her. (1:20)
3. Yet, she is discouraged because so many are not listening… and refusing to heed her call. (1:24-25)
4. In chapter three, Solomon begins to speak about the practical advantages of taking heed to wisdom… the protection it will afford.
5. BUT, before the listener is provided with any protection, FIRST he must allow wisdom to enter into his heart.
a. Note that it does not say “head.” (Wisdom is not just knowledge stored away… not just a collection of facts… but also implies the practice of truth… responding to it…)
b. Wisdom must enter the heart…
• This speaks of not just knowing truth, but receiving it personally…
• Allowing truth to sink in… become a part of us…
• This only happens when the believer STRIVES for wisdom! (2:3-4)
• Heart: the inner man; the center of moral character.
• Wisdom must ENTER INTO our heart… be absorbed into our innermost being…
• For wisdom to enter into our heart, means that our hearts must be WIDE OPEN to God’s truth… to Divine wisdom… receptive… open…willing. (vs. 2:2)
6. God’s wisdom comes to us through a divinely appointed channel:
a. From God’s mouth… to God’s Word… to our ear… and then to our heart.
b. This wisdom is available. She is crying out in the streets! God’s Word has been recorded and is available to all of us.
c. However, that does not mean that we are all wise. WE can short-circuit that divinely appointed channel.
d. God has spoken and has recorded His wisdom… BUT we might refuse to read God’s Word… or hear God’s Word!
e. It is also possible that even when we ARE reading the Word and hearing the Word preached, our hearts may be SHUT… CLOSED… unwilling to receive it…
f. And thus, either way, Wisdom does not enter into our heart.
g. If that is the case, we can expect NONE of the protection mentioned in vs.11-12.
h. BUT when wisdom DOES enter our heart (because of a tender, receptive heart) then we can expect this wisdom to protect us from many evils in life!
i. Allowing divine wisdom to enter our heart is the first pre-requisite.
7. Prov. 4:23 – Out of the heart are the issues of life.
a. If wisdom enters our heart, it is going to have a positive effect on EVERY aspect of our life… because ALL of the issues of life stem from the heart!
b. Wisdom is to enter our heart like leaven enters a loaf—it affects the whole lump!
c. Wisdom that sinks deep down into our heart will affect our thought life… our words… our deeds… our motives… our whole being!
d. If it doesn’t sink deep into our heart, but stays only in our head, it is superficial… and will never provide the kind of protection to our LIFE that God wants for us!
Knowledge is Pleasant unto Thy Soul
1. The world foolishly says, “ignorance is bliss.” Not so!
2. The Bible says knowledge is bliss! Knowledge is pleasant to the soul.
3. Pleasant: to be pleasant, be beautiful, be sweet, be delightful, be lovely
a. Can you honestly say that God’s Word is sweet, delightful, lovely to your soul?
b. When wisdom sinks deep down into our heart, it is pleasurable to the soul! (Prov. 24:13-14)
4. Knowledge is NOT pleasant to all souls. It is only pleasant to souls whose hearts are right with God. Fools hate knowledge! (1:29)
a. Bible study is boring… drudgery… a chore… dry and dusty when our heart is not right.
• If we are accustomed to filling our heart with the things of the world, then spiritual things are quite boring…
• Just like it is to the unbeliever… flesh is flesh!
• To the carnal man, spiritual things are foolish; boring; a waste of time
b. Bible study is pleasant to the soul of one whose heart is right with God!
• Jeremiah 15:16 – the joy and rejoicing of my heart. (Is that so with you?)
• Ps. 19:10 – More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
• Ps. 119:97 – O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
• I John 5:3 – His commandments are not grievous!
• ALL of God’s Word is pleasant—the blessings and the cursings. Every bit of it is agreeable to the soul right with God. Truth sits well in such a heart. It is right at home… comfortable… pleasant…
5. Is the knowledge we gain from God’s Word pleasant to your soul?
a. It is when the soul is hungry for God!
b. It is when the soul has developed a taste for God’s Word.
c. It is when the soul has not been feasting on the chaff of the world!
d. It is when the soul loves God—for this book is full of the knowledge of God!
e. Laurie Hipke’s testimony—when she dedicated her life to the Lord, suddenly the preacher’s messages became interesting!
6. Until knowledge is pleasant to our soul, we cannot avail ourselves of the protection Divine wisdom affords!
a. It is the man who delights in the law of the Lord who is preserved from “walking in the counsel of the ungodly.”
Discretion Shall Preserve Thee
1. Discretion: discernment; the ability to make good decisions
2. Preserve: keep; guard; protect;
3. Solomon states that WHEN wisdom enters our heart and our heart is so receptive that this knowledge is pleasant to our soul, THEN this kind of wisdom or discretion will preserve us!
* Matthew Henry wrote, “When wisdom has entire possession of thee, it will keep thee.”
4. This is God’s means of guarding or protecting the saints.
5. Discretion or spiritual discernment is what believers need the most today. There is a deplorable LACK of it in so many circles!
a. The ability to make wise decisions will preserve the believer from horrible results of making bad decisions!
b. I have seen believers make some really foolish decisions… walk down some dead end streets… even jump of the spiritual cliff…
c. As a pastor, I am left to deal with the aftermath of such poor decisions too!
d. As a result of this lack of discernment, believers are unprotected against the wiles of the devil… and many are falling!
6. If our hearts are wide open to the knowledge of God’s Word… wide open and receptive to hear and obey… THEN we will have the discretion necessary to keep us safe in the midst of spiritual warfare!
* Discernment… a working knowledge of God’s Word—when hidden in the heart will protect us against sin! (That I might not sin against Thee!)
7. We will be preserved! We will not have to fall in the battle and become another awful statistic!
a. Cf. vs.7-8 – In this passage Solomon states that GOD preserves such a saint.
• God is a buckler to the one who walks uprightly! (shield; protector)
• God keeps the path of that saint… and preserves the way of that saint!
• Here it is stated that the believer’s responsibility is to WALK uprightly—DO what God says, and God will protect him.
• In 2:11 Solomon states that DISCRETION will protect the saint who opens his mind and heart to the truth.
• BOTH are true. God does protect us—but He chooses to do so through the wisdom He has already revealed in His Word.
• Like a child who is told that the stove is hot. When that truth sinks into his heart, it will protect him from getting burned!
• If the child is stubborn and obstinate, and refuses to listen, he may have to learn the hard way.
• When we close our minds to His Word… when we harden our hearts to God’s Wisdom… then we have forsaken the protection of the Lord.
• We are on our own in a spiritual conflict which we have no hope of winning!
• Being on our own is a dangerous place to be—especially when our adversary is like a roaring lion seeking to devour us! We are no match!