Solomon is worried about his children – his many children. “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” “My son, walk not thou in the way (of the fools).” “My son, if thou wilt receive my words… then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord.” “My son … let thine heart keep my commandments, for length of days and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.”
Besides wanting his children to know the Saviour and to be prepared for eternity with Him… Solomon, wants to teach his children how to successfully live their three score and ten years in this world. He wants them to know how to successfully swim in the sea – with all the sharks. You might say that he wants them to learn how to swim. So as a busy king, he has been giving them instruction at the breakfast table, but he has also hired the greatest swimmer in all Israel to give those children lessons in the royal pool.
That master teacher has verbally explained to the children the science of buoyancy and the art of floating. He has explained the importance of relaxing and letting the water do most of the work. But now that small child is being led by his instructor into the deep water for the first time. At that moment, what are the most helpful words that little minnow wants to hear? Isn’t it? “Don’t worry son, I am right here. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Let’s begin this evening with a quick review of “Wisdom” as found in the Book of Proverbs.
The Bible uses the word “wisdom” in three ways. It is used as Webster defines it – “The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them.” Solomon would like his children, as they enter the ocean currents of the world, to be smart – in a practical way. But not like the sharks; he wants his children to be smart and practical – in a righteous way. He wants them as spiritually intelligent as the math teacher may want them to know Algebra. Maybe that is the primary way we should look at Proverbs 2 – “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”
But we also see in this book that the Holy Spirit PERSONIFIES wisdom – He gives her personality and life. “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets. She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?”
Finally, beyond and above simple personality and life,“wisdom” is a term describing the Son of God. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that “Christ (is) the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” And “of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
So Solomon has been urging his children to reach out, to seek, to accept wisdom into their hearts. Which of those three wisdoms? All of them! But is the wisdom of God worthy of our trust as we find ourselves in deep water for the first time? That is the question which is answered in these two short verses.
In wisdom the Lord created the universe.
“The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.” The Hebrew word “founded” is also translated “established,” “ordained” and even “to take counsel.” There is nothing surprising about either the word “founded” or the following verb “established.” “The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.”
Here is a peripheral question: “Can a person who denies God’s direct hand in creation be a Christian?“ I didn’t ask, “Can some untaught person be a Christian and still cling to some ideas about evolution?” The question is – “Can a person who denies creation be a Christian?” I won’t try to prove it, but the Bible teaches Creation from the first verse to its last book. The only way to avoid Creation is to spiritualize it, allegorize it, or some how try to explain away the simple words which any 6-year-old can understand. And here it is once again – but this time as an argument that “Wisdom” can be trusted in the deep waters of life.
Did the Lord with divine intelligence found the earth? Just a brief scientific examination of the universe reveals such a complex inter-relationship of laws and pieces, that it makes the genius behind of the most powerful computer look like a Lego set. Monday, I was reading an article about animal’s whiskers in a secular book on philology and etymology. Briefly put, whiskers are essentially dead tissue which are rooted in tiny pockets filled with blood. When a whisker is moved by an outside object, the blood at its root moves, sending a message to the animal’s brain which causes a reaction – perhaps the almost instantaneous catching of a mouse. I find the random evolution of the cat’s whisker impossible, no matter how many millions of years. It was created by design and with a great deal of wisdom. On a larger scale, Jehovah “hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion” – Jeremiah 10:12.
The universe displays an infinitude of engineering wisdom. But the Bible clearly adds that it was the PERSONIFICATION of wisdom who created all things. Hebrews 1 – Jehovah “hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” In Ephesians Paul described his ministry – “to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” “All things were made by (Christ) and without him was not anything made that was made.” “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.”
The One on whom Solomon is encouraging his children to lean, is the Creator of the universe. Is there ANYONE more qualified to teach minnows how to swim? Is there anyone better able to lift us up when we start to sink?
One example of the Creator’s wisdom and power should be sufficient to encourage the thinking person.
“The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.” This was one of the subjects Pastor Fulton suggested during his devotionals at camp. And if I remember correctly, he asked how it was that the “unscientific” people of so many centuries ago learned about the intricate laws of water – evaporation, condensation and precipitation. They learned through observation and revelation.
Despite unbelieving man’s hope today of finding water on other planets, it has not been found. It would NOT destroy my Christian faith if they did, but I seriously doubt that science will find water anywhere but here on earth. Of course, they want to find water elsewhere because it is essential to life, and thus to the idea of life on other planets.
But so far as we know, earth is the only place where the Lord has created and placed water. Initially all that water was collected in one ocean, but since the Noahic flood that ocean has been divided into several very large, smaller oceans. And since the first day of creation, it appears that we have not lost or added a single drop, until man began transporting a little bit of it into space. During the last 6,000 years or so, that water has been circulating between oceans, clouds, precipitation, rivers and back to the oceans. The only exception is all the water the Lord has placed in His freezers at the two poles and a few glaciers around the world. For thousands of years the undrinkable salt-water oceans have been evaporated by the sun. Pure water vapor has been separated from the salty sea and has been formed into clouds, which have then been sent over dry land to be emptied as rain or snow – and dew. We don’t see much dew in our part of the world, but in hotter, wetter places, the water which floats unseen in the air, condenses, resting on plants and the ground as dewy moisture. When there is enough rain or melted snow, that water runs in rivers back to the sea, where the process is repeated over and over again. It is all according to the Creator and His wisdom.
And again, Solomon is telling his children, the wisdom who created this plan and who has been practicing this plan for millennia, is well-worth your trust. “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.” The wisdom of the mind is good, but the wisdom of the heart is better. And He who is the wisdom of God is best – essential to a blessed life and a joyful eternity.
And closing with the man teaching swimming to the child – How should that young person approach the dangers of the ocean? Begin with relaxing and learning to float, remembering that the master of the universe is there to hold you up or to rescue you should you get into trouble.