01/04/S – The Way of the Wise

Genesis 4:1-26, Matthew 2:13-23, Psalms 2:7-12, Proverbs 1:20-23

OT: “Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent? If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”” (‭‭Genesis‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

The word for accepted actually means exalted or elevated in rank or character. When Abel offered his obedient sacrifice, he was elevated by the Lord. The same could have happened with Cain, had he worshipfully sacrificed to the Lord in the same way. Instead, Cain offered what was acceptable to him and he opened the door to sin… and sin had its way with him. Cain could have repented, and he would have received the grace to overcome the sin – but he didn’t. By being unrepentant and remaining in his own strength, he allowed sin to have its full work in his life, leading him to murder and a life of constant turmoil and strife.

Psalms: “I will declare the Lord’s decree. He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance and the ends of the earth your possession… So now, kings, be wise; receive instruction, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with reverential awe and rejoice with trembling.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭2:7-8, 10-11‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Implied here is that the Son (Jesus Christ) has asked the Father to give Him the nations as His inheritance. Therefore, all the nations ultimately are His. The wise way would be for the rulers of the nations to submit to and thus rejoice under the leadership if the King of Kings… but that would require humility. The psalm goes on to say that those who do the wise thing and take refuge under the King of Kings – they will be happy. Side note: If the nations are Christ’s inheritance, and if those who are in Christ are joint-heirs with Him, then the nations are our inheritance as well. If I step into a nation, and I know that the nation is my inheritance, how does that change my perspective? Do I treat that nation and it’s people differently? Do I care for and honor that nation the way I care for and honor prized heirlooms?

Proverbs: “Wisdom calls out in the street; she makes her voice heard in the public squares. She cries out above the commotion; she speaks at the entrance of the city gates: “How long, inexperienced ones, will you love ignorance? How long will you mockers enjoy mocking and you fools hate knowledge? If you respond to my warning, then I will pour out my spirit on you and teach you my words.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭1:20-23‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Wisdom is not secretly hiding in the corner trying to be elusive and only available to the elite enlightened few. Wisdom is out in the broad daylight shouting at the top of her lungs for all to hear. The apostle James wrote that if we need wisdom, ask for it, and it will be given liberally. Wisdom is available for anyone and everyone. And if we choose the way of wisdom, we will be given the grace to walk in it. God will not only show us what is right and wise – He will give us the ability beyond ourselves to actually do it. The challenge is that most people don’t want to do what is wise even if it is in the street screaming in the most obvious way. They would rather do what they want – live the way they want – cater to their preferences and comforts – satiate their immediate desires – preserve themselves instead of humbling themselves and taking the way of wisdom. Lord, by Your Spirit, grace me to choose the wise way: worshipfully submitted to Your word, will, and ways.

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