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Singing Psalm 146 to embrace wisdom

Would you sell all you have to embrace wisdom?

Is wisdom a thing, a quality, a characteristic? Yes

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” ~ James 1:5

It is the way of Jesus, what he is like. Think about his person and his work, and what you will be thinking about is this that describes him. What does wisdom look like?

“whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” ~ Philippians 4:8

Or is it a place? Yes

Jesus told his disciples that they know the way to where he is going.

Thomas objects, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?

Jesus replied, “I am…

“And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~ John 14:4-6

Or is he a person? Yes

“The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens;” ~ Proverbs 3:19

“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,” ~ 1 Corinthians 1:30

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” ~ Colossians 1:16

Yes, the case has been made. Wisdom is three in one: a person, place, and thing all wrapped up in Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, the second person within the triune Godhead, God, the Son.

Seek to embrace wisdom, the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom you and all things were made.

You can trust him because Jesus is wisdom itself. Jesus is not just wisdom personified. Without Jesus, wisdom would not exist nor would anything or anyone else. Yet he becomes wisdom to you as he progressively and increasingly weans you off of the far inferior wisdom of the world.

Ever thought or said of someone? “He knows what he’s doing. She knows what she’s talking about.” Were they wealthy or famous or both? Or perhaps they were like this:

“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, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” ~ James 3:13-18

“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:2

“The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

 To know wisdom and instruction,    to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing,    in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple,    knowledge and discretion to the youth—” ~ Proverbs 1:1-4

What, where, and who is wisdom? God chose to embrace wisdom through whom he created the world. A dictionary definition of wisdom: “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.”

How Jesus operates is wise because he is wisdom. He functions within the perfect economy of the triune God with experience, knowledge, and good judgment bar none. When you embrace his ways, you embrace wisdom.

Wisdom is embodied in the Lord Jesus Christ. Wisdom is a way of acting that is in line with the way Jesus is.

The intention behind WWJD is to call people to embrace wisdom. Not another alternative to doing what someone else would do, but doing what Jesus would do because it actually is what he would do is acting in wisdom.

There are many things Jesus does that no one else can do. To embrace wisdom is to carefully consider how you conduct yourself with others in family, church, business, and in your use of time, gifts, and money. Jesus calls you to embrace wisdom as you deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow him in every matter of your life.

This is why he doesn’t just ask nicely but commands you to obey his words. He’s not suggesting his ways might be better. His ways objectively are better because he is wisdom and established the world by wisdom, by himself. All other thoughts and ways will perish.

Moving from the lesser to the greater, if the Rechabites obeyed the voice of their father, Jonadab, in how they lived their lives, how much more ought those made in God’s likeness, and especially his very own people, the sheep of his pasture, obey his voice?

“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:13

The entire book of Proverbs is devoted to help you embrace wisdom, embrace the Lord Jesus Christ who is wisdom that came down from above. Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, who finds the Lord Jesus Christ, who finds the word of God and keeps it.

“He who has the God of Jacob

As his help is truly blessed.

On the Lord his God forever

Will his hope securely rest.

God has made the earth and heaven,

And He also made the sea;

He made everything within them;

He is faithful constantly.” ~ Psalm 146:5-6

Singing Psalm 146 to embrace wisdom free of charge

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” ~ Acts 20:35

When people speak words of wisdom, it is natural to think well of them, to praise them. The queen of Sheba was beside herself with the wisdom of Solomon and all that played out from it. Is it wise to be more impressed with people’s wisdom and abilities or to be impressed with God who gave them those abilities free of charge? If Jesus hadn’t bestowed those gifts, they could do nothing.

God gives wisdom as a free gift to whomever he pleases. You embrace wisdom when you embrace Jesus.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 6:23

You embrace wisdom, the Bread of Life, without money and marvel as you come to Jesus.

   “Come, everyone who thirsts,        come to the waters;    and he who has no money,        come, buy and eat!    Come, buy wine and milk        without money and without price.    Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,        and your labor for that which does not satisfy?    Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,        and delight yourselves in rich food.    Incline your ear, and come to me;        hear, that your soul may live;    and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,        my steadfast, sure love for David.” ~ Isaiah 55:1-3

He gives food to the hungry and satisfies their emptiness. The hunger could be for food, purpose, relationships, or physical activity. He is the only one who can truly satisfy. He gives you physical sight and also helps you see when you are blind to what is right. He meets all your needs. The alleged needs he apparently withholds from meeting are also a gift from his hand to provide you with relief from looking for satisfaction where it doesn’t exist and to lead you to drink from his stream of living water. You embrace wisdom when you hear what he says to you. He satisfies you in all that he gives you and releases you from being captive to desires that battle within you by what he doesn’t give you.

“He will always render justice    For the sake of those oppressed.He gives food to those who hunger,    Satisfies their emptiness.Captive ones the LORD releases,    To the blind the LORD gives sight;Those brought low the LORD will lift up,    He relieves them from their plight.” ~ Psalm 146:7-8

Singing Psalm 146 to embrace wisdom though it cost you all you have

“Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.” ~ Proverbs 23:23

Singing Psalm 146 gives God the greatest depth of praise. You embrace wisdom as you praise him with all that is in you.

But what do you have compared to wisdom?

The world would lead you to think you are supposed to position yourself to win, and that you are wise when you outdo others, profit from others more than the service you provide them for what they pay you, seeing even loved ones as competitors to beat.

Jesus’ economy works counter to this. You learn to embrace wisdom by desiring to bless others more than to be blessed as this is Jesus’ way. You feel foolish for the times you put yourself first when you had the opportunity but didn’t yet understand the importance of yielding to others when it would do no harm.

So if the thought crosses your mind to take advantage of someone in any way, don’t do it. If you see someone else taking advantage of someone, however uncomfortable, inconvenient, or time-consuming, gently share with them the better way.

Some companies make you feel like you’re dodging mafia hitmen in doing business with them. The sheer number of policies that legalize theft is mind numbing. There is a way of doing business where the customers walk away with the feeling of being ripped off and taken advantage of. There is a way of doing business where the customers walk away with the sense that the service they received was worth more than what they paid.

The former is the worldly “take the money and run” mindset where theft is embraced if you can legally get away with it (and businesses from airlines to medical offices hire teams of lawyers to structure things so that they get away with it).  But earthly masters have a master in heaven. They too have an obligation to embrace wisdom that comes from God. Patience is required by the powerful and the weak. There is no double standard, no favoritism with God. No discrimination. He’s got the backs of the foreigner and the indigent.

The nature of faceless entities is that they have no relationship with those they ought to be serving and don’t care to have one. If they see you again, or if they don’t, it’s all the same to them. The people who work for these entities are split. Some embrace wisdom by expressing compassion, understanding the right thing and lament when their hands are tied to bring it about. Others refuse to think beyond their company’s policies and are heartless toward you while communicating fierce loyalty to the one who signs their paychecks and pads them the more drone-like they are.  Humans devolve in this way when they don’t give a thought about the God who made them, what he expects, and the honor he is due for teaching and then expecting each to have a servant’s heart.

What a stark contrast this is to the God of compassion in whom you can trust and hope in to help precisely as you need it and who doesn’t charge you a dime for his tender, tailor-made care for you. You can get so used to those with power not caring about you that you become locked in an emotional rut, a habit of feeling that it is more than highly unlikely that the creator of all things on earth, in the sea, and in the heavens, would consider your plight, reach down very low to help you, and then to remain with you, living together with you, and promising to never leave you. Yet, what is impossible with man is possible with God. It is not only possible, it is a promise. And the Lord God never goes back on even one promise. You embrace wisdom when you hang on God’s word and believe in God’s promises.

To embrace wisdom is to think “why not rather be wronged?” and it goes for both the weak and the powerful. God sees and will judge it rightly.

“How the LORD loves all the righteous!    He protects the stranger’s stay,Helps the fatherless and widow,    But subverts the wicked’s way.” ~ Psalm 146:9

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:38-39

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, 

    ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,        and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’

    Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” ~ 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

You relinquish every ounce of worldly wisdom and trust that you have in yourself or in those who oppose him, to trust only in the Lord Jesus. Embrace wisdom, the Living Water, who alone will satisfy your thirst and give you rest.

On one end of the spectrum in the world, you have charletons that would charge you for subpar work.

On the other end, you have experts gifted who would charge you without performing any work and getting away with it through legal sleight of hand loopholes.

Somewhere between the two, you can find and embrace wisdom that seeks to serve well and charge reasonably. Living by the fruit of the Spirit [love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control] is embracing wisdom because Jesus is filled with the Spirit, and there is no law against such things as these.

When those you engage with embrace wisdom you also do so by your tangible expressions of gratitude to God and to them.

When someone who is in a position of power over you doesn’t embrace wisdom, you still can embrace wisdom by gently disputing their unethical practices without griping to give them an opportunity to turn. But if they don’t, you leave it in God’s hands not bitter but grateful for his provision for you in many other ways.

When gratitude was expressed to one entity their response was, “we are different!” The difference is that they aim to embrace wisdom with all that is in them. They understand that God sees and will bless their results if they only focus on doing the next right thing in front of them.

 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” ~ Luke 6:37-38

On earth, you win some, you lose some. With God you always win even when it seems like you lose. Giving a portion from what God gives you is a form of worship that tells God you trust that you cannot outgive him.

Though the sons ought not pay the tax, so as not to offend, Jesus, who is wisdom, had Peter gather their tax payment from the mouth of a fish!

Singing Psalm 146 to embrace wisdom that will never perish

“Yes, the LORD will reign forever;    Zion’s God forevermore,Throughout every generation;    Hallelujah! Praise the LORD.” ~ Psalm 146:10

Singing Psalm 146 gives God the greatest length of praise. You embrace wisdom as you praise him for all your days and forever. His ways will last through all generations as there is nothing new under the sun.

The princes, those who are powerful and seem wise? Singing Psalm 146, you see that by not choosing to embrace wisdom their thoughts will perish with them. The rich young ruler did not embrace wisdom when he forfeited embracing and following Jesus refusing to part with what would only perish. The disciples of Jesus left everything to follow him.

Jesus, who designed, made, and sustains the body and mind for as long as he predetermines, he defeated death and lives forever. Embrace wisdom who wins over death. Don’t hope against hope trusting in those who claim to be wise yet operate foolishly. The touted experts who claim to know the ins and outs of how the body and mind work will perish along with all their thoughts and supposed expertise.

But your relationship with wisdom will never end:

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:16-20

“Put no trust in earthly princes—

Mortal men who cannot save.

When he dies his thoughts will perish

Buried with him in the grave.” ~ Psalm 146:3-4

Make it your aim to know Jesus, and you can perceive it. You find relief from the stress of expectation that all should be smooth sailing in this world. You wait for him, not for what he gives, but to embrace wisdom, to embrace him, the one who gives understanding to the simple.

Jesus is the one who solves your existential crises. He is the reason why you exist. Seek to know him. Hold onto him no matter what.

Jesus is countercultural and offensive to those who want to take credit for their own existence as if they made themselves. 

Pay them no mind. 

Admitting weakness and relinquishing your own feigned strength, you embrace wisdom, the Lord Jesus Christ, from whom you receive the strength to take every thought captive to obey him.

Hang on to him tightly. Embrace wisdom by clinging to Jesus.

Don’t ever let go.

“Praise the LORD, let all within me    Offer to the LORD His praise.I will praise the LORD forever,    Praise my God through all my days.” ~ Psalm 146:1-2

April 13, 2022 – October 6, 2023


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