Merchandise of Wisdom, Part II

The serene peacefulness of the desert landscape was rudely interrupted by a deathly pall as an uncommon stillness crept over the fast fading sands.  Even the sinking sun seemed to hasten its journey away from the scene, its light fading quickly behind the evening clouds on the horizon.

After forty days in the wilderness, the splendidly formed arms and hands of Jesus, conditioned and sharpened through long toil in the carpenter’s shop, had long since taken a gaunt appearance.  The once smooth muscles that now stretched from His robe appeared chiseled and lean.  His hands slowly gathered the folds of His robe together against the chill of the evening.

All that day, His body had been crying for food, reminding Him that after receiving no nourishment for so long, death was imminent if sustenance was not restored.  It was at this point, when His body was at its weakest, that He felt the presence of the evil one.

“I see that you are hungry!”  Satan taunted.  “Since you are the Son of God, why don’t you just say the word?  Why not just command that these stones be made into bread?”

But Jesus calmly answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

Twice more Satan tempted Jesus.  And twice more Jesus used the Word of God, the mighty Sword of the Spirit, to defend Himself and press the attack.

At length, Jesus said, “Be gone, Satan!”  And the presence of evil quickly fled, and peace was restored to the landscape once more.  In spite of the fact that Jesus could have made bread out of the stones of the desert, He relied solely upon the Word of God for His strength and support.

Perhaps He remembered where it was written, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”  At any rate, the angels of God appeared and cared for Him, just as they had for the prophet Elijah so long ago in the wilderness.

 

The Beginning of Wisdom

In Part I of this series we discussed the fact that the exercise of God’s wisdom in our lives will insure that every need we have will be met by God, no matter what the circumstances!  As we saw in Proverbs 3:13-20, the merchandise of wisdom is better than the merchandise of silver or gold, themselves only imperfect means of worldly barter.  Where silver and gold fail, God’s wisdom never fails.

Isn’t this what the crippled man who sat at the Gate Beautiful found out?  Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” (Acts 3:6).   All the gold in the world could not have met that man’s need.  But Peter had the wisdom of God!

We need to ask, therefore, “How do I receive God’s wisdom?  How do I receive the God-given ability to apply and speak God’s Word in faith in a specific situation and see results?”

 

The Richly Dwelling Word

The Apostle Paul writes, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3:16).  One paraphrased translation says, “Let His Words enrich your lives and make you wise.”

The Word of God, therefore, is the key that opens the door to Godly wisdom.  Through God’s Word we come to know God’s will.  Did you know that His Word and His will are one?  God never says one thing and wills another!  And wisdom is a God-given knowledge of His will in a specific situation.

Paul also writes to Timothy, saying,

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (I Timothy 3:14-17)

This is why Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).   If the Word of God dwells in us, it will greatly enrich our lives, for we receive God’s wisdom through His Word. And as we receive wisdom, and act accordingly, we are thoroughly and completely equipped for every good work!

 

Come, Buy and Eat

Have you ever wondered about the following passage in Isaiah?

Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
 “Incline your ear and come to Me.
Listen, that you may live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the faithful mercies shown to David. (Isaiah 55:1-3)

How do we come and buy and eat without any money?  Is there any way we can receive what we need without money?  Isn’t that the question everyone has been asking for centuries of time?

Well, according to the lies of the enemy and the world’s system of barter, the answer is no!  Anybody who tries it gets locked in the slammer!  But we are not talking about the world’s system.  Nor are we interested in the lies of the enemy!  God says that His children are joint-heirs with Jesus, and as such we have unlimited access to His storehouse!  He says that if we bring our gifts to Him, we have the following promise:

Test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.  Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the Lord of hosts. ” (Malachi 3:10-11)

The key to buying without money is the merchandise of wisdom.  Isaiah continues to speak the Word of the Lord saying,

Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance. (Isaiah 55:2)

In other words, the key to buying without price and without money is hearing the Word of God! He says, “Listen to me.” He says, “Listen to my Word and you will be satisfied beyond measure!”

 

Returning the Word

Isaiah continues further in the same chapter to quote the Lord as follows:

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

Let’s examine this principle further to see how it works.  The rain and the snow fall, according to this passage, in order to water the earth, to give seeds to the sower, and bread to the eater.  There is a purpose in the coming of the snow and rain.

Well, God says that His Word works the same way!  When God sends forth His Word, which He has already done in abundance, it will accomplish similar results as the snow and rain!  God’s Word waters, gives seeds to the sower and bread to the eater!

This is why God wants us to diligently listen to Him, for He is speaking His Word to us!

But through Isaiah God also said, “It shall not return unto me empty.”  God’s Word will not return to Him void.  It has to have some faith in it to be returned to Him!  Isn’t that the way it is with money?  All the little green papers in the world won’t buy anything if people do not have faith in them!

During times of extreme inflation after World War II, people had to have a wheelbarrow full of German marks to buy a loaf of bread.  Why?  Because nobody had faith in the money!  And why do banks fail?  Because people no longer believe in the integrity of the bank’s word.  Faith and trust are necessary for any economic system to function!

And it is the same with God’s Word.  If people never believe in God enough to believe what He says, they never can receive from Him.  To receive from God we must believe in His form of currency, and we must use it to receive from Him what He has already promised.  Used in faith, God’s Word will indeed return to Him.  Unfortunately, most people have more faith in a dollar bill than the soundness of God’s Word.  And they don’t know how to use the Word of God as a form of currency, returning it to Him filled with faith!

How do we do it? Through prayer!  God says He wants us to put Him in remembrance concerning His promises to us.  As we do, praying the prayer of faith, based on the Word, God responds in a way He never could before because of our ignorance and unbelief.

Why do we continually labor only for silver and gold, that which will not satisfy?  God wants us instead to labor to receive His wisdom through His Word!  He wants us to live not by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds forth out of His mouth!

If wisdom is the medium of exchange, that we must use in receiving from God in specific circumstances, then the Word of God is the currency!

In the next article, we will continue  to learn how to obtain wisdom and how to use God’s form of currency.

 

 

 

 

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