How do you get wisdom? (With an assist from #charlesspurgeon) #prayer #wisdom #75

Hello friends, and welcome in to episode 75 of the Bible Reading Podcast. I hope you are all staying safe out there and walking in faith. Today’s podcast covers Exodus 26, Proverbs 2, John 5 and Galatians 1. We will have a bit of a short episode today, because it is Saturday night, and one wants to be ready for the gathering of believers tomorrow. Speaking of – how are you all doing church this week? Our church had originally decided, as of Wednesday, to meet with extra, extra precautions. However, in a sort of emergency meeting on Saturday, we decided to go to online church for this Sunday. We might continue that, or not, but we have a bit more work to do to ensure protection for all. It breaks my heart not to meet, but we will be broadcasting worship and Word from our living room today. Join us! I’ll share it on my Facebook page – feel free to connect with me there, and also share in our church FB page: VBC Salinas. Our big Bible question of the day is all about wisdom: How do we get wisdom? It is an important question, considering the command in Proverbs 4:7, ” Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding ” The problem is that wisdom does NOT come easy. Let’s ask Spurgeon what he has to say about the topic:

Brethren in the ministry, you who are teachers in the Sabbath school, and all of you who are learners in the college of Christ Jesus, I pray you remember that prayer is your best means of study: like Daniel you shall understand the dream, and also the interpretation, when you have sought after God; and like John you will see the seven seals of precious truth unloosed, after you have cried out much. “Yea, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then shall you understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

Stones are not broken, except by an earnest use of the hammer; and the stone-breaker usually goes down on his knees. Use the hammer of diligence, and let the knee of prayer be exercised, too, and there is not a stony doctrine in Revelation which is useful for you to understand, which will not fly into shivers under the exercise of prayer and faith. “Bene orasse est bene studuisse” was a wise sentence of Luther, which has been so often quoted, that we hardly venture but to hint at it. “To have prayed well is to have studied well.” You may force your way through anything with the leverage of prayers. Thoughts and reasonings may be like the steel wedges which may open a way into truth; but prayer is the lever, the pry-bar which forces open the iron chest of sacred mystery, that we may get the treasure that is hidden inside for those who can force their way to reach it. The kingdom of heaven still suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Take care that you work away with the mighty implement of prayer, and nothing can stand against you.

C. H. Spurgeon, “The Golden Key of Prayer,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 11 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1865), 152. slightly modernized

To Spurgeon’s excellent word about praying for wisdom, I would add John Piper’s powerful truth that heavenly wisdom MUST happen in the context of the community of Jesus – the church:

Now it would be a wrong conclusion to say that all we need in order to get wisdom is a solitary life of serious prayer. Just us and God and prayer. Wisdom in the New Testament does not ordinarily come like that. Listen to these verses from James 3:13–15:

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above.

Wisdom is marked by meekness, and freedom from selfish ambition, and freedom from bitter jealousy, and freedom from boasting. In other words, wisdom rises in relationships of meekness and humility and love and servanthood rather than jealousy and selfishness. Wisdom is not a solitary attainment. It is a community or a corporate or a relational attainment. Loners are not wise. Wisdom is given and found and forged in the fires of committed relationships.

John Piper, Sermons from John Piper (2000–2014) (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 2014).

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