FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
August 29, 2014
The Call of Wisdom from Above is the Call of the Holy Spirit
Turn at My reproof; Surely I will pour out My Spirit on you; I will make My words known to you. Proverbs 1: 23, N.K.J.V.
The wisdom that is from above (see James 3: 13-18) is given by the Holy Spirit. Its goal is to make the receiver wise in God’s ways and His revealed will for each one of us. Often these come by way of strong reproof to make us turn from our ways and return to Him.
There are two contrasting kinds and sources of wisdom—the earthly versus the heavenly, the carnal versus the spiritual. The wise man Solomon goes to great lengths to expound upon these two opposing wisdoms having experienced both as no one else has or ever will. He had to be referring to the pursuit of earthly wisdom and its folly when he wrote: “And further my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.” Ecclesiastes 12: 12.
God gave nonpareil wisdom to Solomon, whose name means the Hebrew Shelomah, “peaceable.” In one passage he is called Jedidiah, “beloved of Yahweh.” 2 Sam. 12: 25. He is known among the Arabs as Suleiman; the Greek Solomon. God’s name was greatly honored during the first part of his reign. For a time Israel was as the light of the world, showing forth the greatness of Jehovah . . . “Solomon’s divinely inspired wisdom found expression in songs of praise and many proverbs.
‘He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. He also spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.” 1 Kings 4: 33, 34.
“But after a morning of great promise, his life was darkened with apostasy. . . As inclination gained the ascendancy over reason, self-confidence increased, and he sought to carry out the Lord’s purposein his own way. He reasoned that political and commercial alliances with the surrounding nations would bring these nations to a knowledge of the true God; and he entered into unholy alliance with nation after nation. Often these alliances were sealed with marriages with heathen princesses. The commands of Jehovah were set aside for the customs of surrounding peoples.
Solomon flattered himself that his wisdom and the power of his example would lead his wives from idolatry to the worship of the true God, and also that the alliances thus formed would draw the nations round about into close touch with Israel. Vain hope! Solomon’s mistake in regarding himself as strong enough to resist the influence of heathen associates, was fatal. And fatal, too, the deception that led him to hope that notwithstanding a disregard of God’s law on his part, others might be led to revere and obey its precepts. . . . ”
“Engrossed in an overmastering desire to surpass other nations in outward display, the king overlooked the need of acquiring beauty and perfection of character. In seeking to glorify himself before the world, he sold his honor and integrity. The enormous revenues acquired through commerce with many lands, were supplemented by heavy taxes.
Thus pride, ambition, prodigality, and indulgence bore fruit in cruelty and exaction. The conscientious, considerate spirit that had marked his dealings with the people during the early part of his reign, was now changed. From the wisest and the most merciful of rulers, he degenerated into a tyrant. Once the compassionate, God-fearing guardian of the people, he became oppressive and despotic.
Tax after tax was levied upon the people, that means might be forthcoming to support the luxurious court. . . .More and more the king came to regard luxury, self-indulgence, and the favor of the world as indication of greatness. Beautiful and attractive women were brought from Egypt, Phoenicia, Edom, Moab, and from many other places. These women were numbered by hundreds. Their religion was idol-worship, and they had been taught to practice cruel and degrading rites. Infatuated with their beauty, the king neglected his duties to God and his kingdom.” E. G. White, Prophets & Kings, pp. 54, 55.
Solomon’s career somehow reminds me of the humble and peaceful beginnings of America as a nation, as John was shown in vision—starting out as a “beast with lamb-like horns” but transforming into one “speaking like a dragon.” Revelation chapter 13.
At the end, Solomon repented and thus concluded: “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind. . . . I communed with my heart, saying, Look I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge. And I set my heart to know and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this was also grasping for the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increase knowledge increases sorrow.” Ecclesiastes 1: 14, 16, 17, 18.
The nation is“wise in its own conceit” (Prov. 26:5, 12; 28: 11; Rom.11: 25; 12: 16). “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”Prov. 16:18. “Fools die for want of wisdom.” Prov. 10: 21, etc. This fall can only be arrested if all turn at the reproof of the Holy Spirit and give heed to the warnings and instructions of God’s Word.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, andturn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 1 Chronicles 7: 14.
Saul of Tarsus, a multilingual city, spoke Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. He was a brilliant scholar and ardent for the doctrines and traditions of Judaism so that he went beyond many of his peers in learning and zeal (Gal. 1: 14); and in his fanatical hatred of the early followers of Jesus, he even outstripped his master, Gamaliel (Acts 8: 3; 9: 1; cf. 5: 34-39).
But on the road to Damascus, Syria, in what was to be his last persecuting excursion in his fanatical frenzy against the early Christians, he experienced a dramatic conversion and was reborn into a spiritual giant of the New Testament, whom God sent as the Apostle to the Gentiles. With his native ability, advanced cultural surroundings, education, and, above all, his unique experience above all his brethren of being taken in vision “to the third heavens, Paradise itself, where he heard inexpressive words, which is not lawful for a man to utter”(2 Cor. 12: 1-10).
His writings were so spiritually and intellectually profound, prompting even Peter to confess that: “As also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, has written to you, as only in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.” 2 Peter 2: 15, 16.
Spiritual Wisdom is what we need Today. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write:
“For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the wisdom of the prudent [Isa. 29: 14]. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through [its] wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign,and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumblingblock and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God.
“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But 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 [of earth]; 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 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—that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’ (Jer. 9: 24).” 1 Corinthians 1: 19-25.
Paul continues: “However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
“But it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His [Holy] Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
“Now, we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
“These things we also speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
“But 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. But he who is spiritual judges [discerns] all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord that He may instruct Him? [Isa. 40:13]. But we have the mind of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2: 6-16.
E. G. White wrote: “The unaided human will has no real power to resist and overcome evil. The defenses of the soul are broken down. Man has no barrier against sin. When once the restraints of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit are rejected, we know not to what depths one may sink.” – Ministry of Healing, p. 429. “If we are to learn of Christ, we must pray as the apostles prayed when the Holy Spirit was poured upon them. We need a baptism of the Spirit of God. We are not safe for an hour while we are failing to render obedience to the Word of God.” – Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 537.