Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fwd: “Divine Wisdom”

Insights #4 January 24, 2015
First Quarter 2015 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"Divine Wisdom"
For the week of January 24, 2015

There is a deep truth in this week's lesson – the wisdom of God – which admittedly will be hard for us to comprehend because "God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence, but of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption" 1 Cor. 1:27-31.
From this text we see that the wisdom of God is contrary to the wisdom of man. For "the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" 1 Cor. 2:14. Moreover, "he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one" vs. 15.
One of the most stirring passages in all of Scripture, I believe, is found in Proverbs 8:22-3, in which we catch a veiled glimpse into the relationship that God the Father and God the Son enjoyed prior to the creation of our world. They shared joy in the contemplation of our world-yet-to-be, inhabited by a race of beings uniquely made in their image, bearing their likeness, and capable of the closest union possible -- "male and female created He them" Gen. 1:27. This was all in the wisdom of God. So far, we do not see anything foolish about this plan.
But the wisdom of God encompassed more than this. For divine risk was involved in bringing into existence a race that could choose to love and adore its Maker, or – the unthinkable – murder their Maker. The wisdom of man is stretched to comprehend why God would create a race with the potential to shoot an arrow into the divine heart of God. And this is where it is best for us with our human wisdom to bow our heads, take off our shoes, and acknowledge that we are on holy ground.
It was in the wisdom of God, not the wisdom of man, that such a plan was conceived and executed. In the book Story of Redemption, Ellen White recounts the story of the fall of our first parents:

[After Adam and Eve sinned], Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost and that the world which God had created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness, and death, and there was no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of Adam must die. I saw the lovely Jesus and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon His countenance. Soon I saw Him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father. Said my accompanying angel, He is in close converse with His Father. The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with His Father. Three times He was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time He came out from the Father, His person could be seen. His countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and doubt, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express.
He then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them that He had been pleading with His Father, and had offered to give His life a ransom, to take the sentence of death upon Himself, that through Him man might find pardon; that through the merits of His blood, and obedience to the law of God, they could have favor of God and be brought into the beautiful garden and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.
At first the angels could not rejoice, for their Commander concealed nothing from them, but opened before them the plan of salvation. . . .
The angels prostrated themselves before Him. They offered their lives. Jesus said to them that He would by His death save many, that the life of an angel could not pay the debt. His life alone could be accepted of His Father as a ransom for man. Jesus also told them that they would have a part to act, to be with Him and at different times strengthen Him; that He would take man's fallen nature, and His strength would not be even equal with theirs; that they would be witnesses of His humiliation and great sufferings . . . .
With a holy sadness Jesus comforted and cheered the angels and informed them that hereafter those whom He should redeem would be with Him, and that by His death He should ransom many and destroy him who had the power of death. . . . Jesus bade the heavenly host be reconciled to the plan that His Father had accepted and rejoice that through His death fallen man could again be exalted to obtain favor with God and enjoy heaven.
Then joy, inexpressible joy, filled heaven.
Said the angel, "Think ye that the Father yielded up His dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no. It was even a struggle with the God of heaven, whether to let guilty man perish, or to give His beloved Son to die for Him" (excerpts from pp. 42-45).
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10
The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way.... And I was daily His delight. Prov. 8:22, 31
And because of His unfathomable love for us, and in His wisdom,

God so loved the world,-- that He gave.... John 3:16
To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. DA 25
-Patti Guthrie