Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Special Insights No. 11, Second Quarter 2007 Adult Sabbath School Lessons

Daily Wisdom

Is “Bible wisdom” practical for daily living in this world? Or is it suitable only for spiritual needs?

Let Jesus answer the question by His life:

At the age of 30 He was a master carpenter (the word teknonos also means a cabinet-maker or mechanical engineer, an accomplished craftsman). How did He learn this rare skill?

His Father, the same One whom we address as “Our Father which art in heaven,” taught Him. We read this in Isaiah 50:4 (Jesus is speaking): “The Lord GOD ... awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned”(this is also applying to His being awakened after the age of 30 when He was in His public ministry, so He could know what to say to people; but even as a teenager He needed to be awakened so He could “go to school” and learn from His Father how to live).

The “flesh” makes its power manifest for all of us in our wanting to go on sleeping past the time when we should awake and get up for the duties of life. Teens especially know this temptation. But Jesus says, “I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away” (vs. 5). Peterson renders it, “I didn’t go back to sleep, didn’t pull the covers back over My head. I followed orders ...” (If we would remember God’s original plan that the day begins at sundown, this early morning problem wouldn’t be so severe; we’d stop watching that silly late night show on TV.)

The Bible abounds with information about people who learned technical skills through inspiration given by the Holy Spirit. For example, “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, ... and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship. ... I have put wisdom in the hearts of all who are gifted artisans ...” (Ex. 31:1-6).

Physicians in training go through enormous difficulties in learning; they may know nothing about what the Bible says, but it is the Lord who gives them their skill! They are His servants, whether or not they know it. Practical “daily wisdom”!

Will He not also give us spiritual knowledge and wisdom?

In the same method of learning that “the Lord GOD” taught Jesus, He teaches us. It’s that “morning by morning” tuition in the Lord’s “classroom.” He is yearning to impart the knowledge to us; you can picture Him as almost impatiently waiting for the time when He can wake us up (He never slumbers nor sleeps! Psalm 121:3). He is like any teacher who wants classroom to begin so He can impart knowledge! The transfer of wisdom from mind to mind is a thrilling experience, likened to begetting children (1 Cor. 4:15).

Stop spending time begging the Lord to teach you (He already wants to!), and begin spending your time praying that He give you the inestimable blessing of a hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt. 5:6; let people get hungry and thirsty enough and they’ll do anything to get satisfaction!). The Lord can’t wait for you to wake up and become “alive” in Christ. And think of His yearning for a vast world church still lukewarm and asleep!

One can acquire and hold a vast amount of Biblical knowledge and end up “dry as the hills of Gilboa” (2 Sam. 1:21) if one’s mind and heart are “old covenant” motivated.

We can go on delaying the Lord’s coming for generations while we belt the earth with universities. The knowledge that the Lord is eager to give us is described by Jeremiah: “‘Let not the wise man glory in his [old covenant] wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches, but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me ...’” (9:23). We quote this endlessly; but let’s look again at how we can know Him in a new covenant way: “‘ ... that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these I delight,’ says the Lord”(vs. 24).

The new covenant “righteousness by faith” came to the Seventh-day Adventist church with the “message of Christ’s righteousness” that was “sent” to us in 1888, but which the Lord’s servant was forced to say was “in a great degree” “kept away” both from our people “and from the world” (Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 234, 235). Now it’s time to recover it!

—Robert J. Wieland substituting for Mark Duncan

Please forward these messages to your friends and encourage them to subscribe. "Insights" on the Internet:

To subscribe send an e-mail message with subscribe in the body of the message to: