This week, we take a look at the life of Solomon as he asks God for wisdom and builds the temple.
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good morning how is everyone today you fasting to get ready for the holiday on thursday just a little bit i hope you fasted before today um if you're new here among us welcome we are c3 church my name is heather i am pastor gene's wife giving him the day off for the holiday because from time to time he volunteers me to come up here and give a message so i get to share a message with you today but after service we feed you spiritually then physically every week but this week is especially special because we are doing our own thanksgiving dinner i have made the stuffing i have given carolee my special recipe for our turkey and my famous chocolate mousse pie i know everyone likes pumpkin but i do a little adjacent thing so first come first serve there's not a whole lot of it but try and share we are a church be nice to each other love your neighbor anyway so we're really excited about the holiday this week and i know some of you for me time goes way way too fast and if you live in florida i know some of you are here dethawing from up north i get it we've moved here about 10 years ago but when you live down here and their christmas lights up we're like what is going on because it's 90 degrees outside every day feels like groundhog day they're playing christmas music at halloween like calm down i'll never forget the one time i went into hobby lobby in july there are christmas trees already up it's like i know we need to plan ahead but this is a little bit much i literally had a panic attack as a mother because i was like please let me buy binders and school supplies before you shove christmas trees down my throat because it just it's a little bit much now planning ahead is going to be very that's a little too far ahead for my taste i think some people because it's crafts get ready for the holidays but at least balance it out with some pencils and end caps i don't know that is a bit much for my taste so i haven't gone hobby lobby since i don't think um but anyway we have been working our way through our series the rest of the story where we have been diving into the details of the stories of the bible some you may know very well some you may be familiar with or not as familiar with we have been breaking down details to better understand what it actually says not what we think it says not what we saw in some movie or after school special or what we wanted to say but what it actually says word for word so it's been a little bit laborious we're going to be in here for a while but we are going word by word week by week last week gene went through and started to explain the story of king solomon who as we are very familiar with him was wise wisdom of solomon he asked for wisdom rather than riches and ended up getting blessed with riches anyway and interestingly how many of his actions in his reign were not actually in line with the law so gene would be picking up with that and the rest of solomon's life on another sunday today i get kind of an easy one i get the opportunity to discuss the book of proverbs with you as king solomon is credited with assembling and creating the wisdom tradition we're going to go through how they're all put together and why now gene is great at telling you stories and so i actually have one for you this morning i once heard a story about a young girl a teenager a young girl who worked hard in school liked to get good grades was a good student with hopes of getting into a really good college however like any other human she had character defects she suffered from the defect of procrastination a common one i suppose especially for students but one that would be a detriment to her as a project had been assigned to this young lady and for whatever reason whether it's a job after school babysitting cleaning other projects time slipped by and the time had come for this project to be due the next day this young lady starts to panic holy cow i don't have any of the materials i need to finish or even start this project so she goes running down the stairs mom what says her stepmother i need to go to the store okay when do we need to get to the store now like right now why i have a project due and i need some materials okay so how long have you known about this project i don't remember lie the teacher is impossible they never give us enough time to get such elaborate projects done why do they have to be so hard on us mind you this is an honors class that's why i need to go right now this is an emergency and the girl continues to blame the teacher the education system etc well says it's a step mom there is absolutely no way i'm taking you to the store right now i have too much to do it was not in my plans you're just gonna have to suffer the consequences of a late grade on this project and then came the line that would change this young girl's life forever poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part oh it even hurts to say those words today low blow they cut so deep those words are so deep now mind you this young girl did not like taking criticism or like to be reprimanded i mean i don't think anyone does but especially this young lady there were other character defects she would learn about later on and so this would be a hard lesson earned some are learned and some are earned well unfortunately this one was definitely earned and unfortunately also would not be the last time that this young lady would encounter this exchange with her stepmom and every time those words were said to her it was like she felt like she got punched in the gut so eventually she figured out how to think things through and plan accordingly so that she would never hear that reprimand ever again also another character defect to work on those words would haunt this young lady for years and years to come until she too became a mom an employer someone who had to schedule life accordingly and then those words that were so hard to hear in her early life rang too true she was working on her resentments in recovery and all of a sudden like a light bulb those words of wisdom no longer sounded like a punishment but ones that she would live by to help her build boundaries and not allow her to fall into others emergencies because of their poor planning now i know many of you can relate to this if you're a parent and or spouse you've heard these lines i left my books at school where are my shoes i forgot my lunch where are my keys why did the water get shut off life happens so yeah poor planing forget that bill whoopsies procrastination it's the neighborhood i think they're checking the sprinkler system go online check real quick okay bill paid anyway funny enough for many of those who know me you can probably guess who that young lady was i was not always a woman who stands here up here sharing words of wisdom from the pulpit being voluntold to uh bear my soul in front of the entire church on a regular basis no i had to learn from making my own mistakes as well as others and unfortunately this one i had to learn from myself and i've often heard that intelligence is learning from your own mistakes but wisdom is learning from others and in this case i don't think i had an example to learn from i just had to learn it for myself now how often in life have we been given advice gone through life getting beat up by our own mistakes and think man why didn't light just come with a manual it would be so much easier if there was like a to-do guide on how to get through this life a little bit easier well if you're sitting here you might know the answer to that question it's been given to us it's called the bible yeah we have the manual it's been there it's been there for thousands of years uh with thousands of years of examples of how not to live life what we're going through in some of these stories and also how to live life well we have good good examples in there and we have good bad examples but how often do we take that for granted god's word his manual for living it's literally in our phones we're in there all the time i know i am playing my blitz jeweled games i have to put my bible there before trying to get that reading out of the way before i look at anything else on my phone but it's so accessible but yet we just don't open it kind of like ordering literally anything from ikea or any other just order any piece of furniture online sometimes it's worth it to just pay the installation fee but anyway if you order anything especially from ikea imagine throwing out the instructions and thinking you can assemble it yourself how hard could this be literally there's screws it seems pretty obvious allen wrench i got this that is until we have extra parts loose fixtures and a bunch of super glue and duct tape to hold it together but in life when we try to fix things so harshly often we end up like that piece of furniture making a bigger mess than we had before if we had just followed the instructions and to be honest with you probably a liability nightmare especially before thanksgiving don't let uncle jim sit on that chair probably not a good idea for anyone who tries to use that piece of furniture making a bigger mess than if we had just followed those instructions and personally i think it's really funny because i'm the kind of person that says i've got this i've spent all the time as a kid in the garage with my dad tinkering with tools that we think we can out-think god when we literally cannot out-think ikea like i don't know why we think we're so smart anyway we've been so blessed to be given words of wisdom to guide us in life's manual the bible so before i start diving into the proverbs i thought it would be fun to just put up some common words of wisdom we may have heard along the way in life happy wife happy life but happiness is an inside job so how do you figure that one out husbands i don't know i'll let you ponder that get comfortable with being uncomfortable making your wife happy sometimes saying nothing says everything an apple a day keeps the doctor away that when i was looking up because i was trying to see if ben franklin said that and literally i'm a historian those of you who know me i went to school for college college for history uh it turns out that saying comes from eating an apple a day is to keep scurvy away because that was a problem back in the 1800s so just you know nowadays it has a different meaning but then i was like okay duly noted moving on all right then we have some ben franklin quotes early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise better slip with foot then tongue oh yes well done is better than well said a right heart exceeds all no gains without pains i know we say no pain without gain so i had to like not dyslexic that um dust thou love life then do not squander time for that's the stuff life is made of thanks ben franklin that was easy to say um life's tragedy is that we get too old too soon and wise too late yes lost time is never found again haste makes waste then some other fun ones patience is a virtue don't wait until tomorrow what you can take care of today time back into that poor planning on your part don't worry be happy famous song in the 80s when life gives you lemons make lemonade life is like riding a bicycle to keep your balance you must keep moving albert einstein this one i thought was funny life is really simple but men insist on making it complicated from confucius keep calm and carry on we know that one take your time the hurry up hurt people hurt people from the rooms of recovery we speaking bumper stickers in there so let go and let god live and let live life isn't about learning how to let the storm pass but learning how to dance in the rain and then the staff every week during our staff meeting is our favorite quote that we hear we cannot end a staff meeting without pastor dean's words of wisdom we're all gonna die anyway yep oh okay so words of wisdom and inspirational quotes are the fabric of our lives where have i heard that before we as humans seem to crave them in order to stay motivated some are uplifting and some are hard to hear but when you start reading the proverbs and comparing them with these previous sayings they are literally all already in the book of proverbs we just keep trying to find different ways to say the same thing so now that we've had some fun with the ones listed above let's get into the meat of the proverbs there are four sections of proverbs we have chapters 1 through 9 10 through 29 30 and 31 are our four parts chapters one through nine are linked to king solomon which is why this is being inserted after we talked about king solomon first kings three through four and 29-33 solomon although he did not write all the proverbs he is where the wisdom tradition began so the introduction in proverbs says that by reading this book you too can gain wisdom proverbs one through nine from king solomon to his song son rehoboam who as we continue through the rest of the story we will does not necessarily listen to them as we will find out the purpose of the book of proverbs is to help us set up practical skills for living well in god's world which is linked to another key idea in the introduction the fear of the lord that we are not god we don't get to make up our own definition of good and evil or of right and wrong we need to humble ourselves before god and embrace god's definition of right and wrong even if it is inconvenient for us so the main sections one through nine is ten speeches from a father to a son solomon to rebound to express the importance of developing wisdom and cultivation of fear of the lord accordingly a life of virtue integrity and generosity which will lead to success and peace as a result of following this advice this is the introduction proverbs 1 1-7 these are the proverbs of solomon david's son king of israel their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline to help them understand the insights of the wise the purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives to help them insight to the simple knowledge and discernment to the young let the wise listen to those proverbs and become even wiser let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meeting in these proverbs and parables the words of the wise and the riddles fools despite them and discipline evil and stupid ruin and shame the son should make a pursuit of wisdom think of the entire book of proverbs explore god's world equal to the law technical difficulties we roll with the punches here real church for real people um all right so it is not about prophecy or divine speech to god's people the wisdom literature is the accumulation in insight of god's people and about a way to live that honors god and others it is through the book of proverbs now these human words about wisdom have been put together as god's word of wisdom for his people which connects the four poems about lady wisdom interestingly how wisdom is portrayed as a woman wisdom is woven into the fabric of the universe wherever you see people making wise decisions they are relying on her when you see someone being generous or upholding justice they are drawing on wisdom the poems of lady wisdom are a creative way of exploring this idea that we live in god's moral universe and that goodness and justice are objective realities that we ignore to our peril or destruction so fearing the lord and living wisely is living along the grain of the universe so together these two sets of speeches and the father and lady wisdom make a powerful claim that you are not simply reading good advice you're reading god's own invitation to learn from wisdom from previous generations now the book of proverbs from 10 through 29 part 2 of these four parts is an accumulation of hundreds of ancient proverbs they apply wisdom in the fear of the lord in every topic of life that you could imagine family friendships money intimate relations forgiveness anger neighborhood marriage alcohol debt basically everything every corner of life it is covered sometimes multiple times probably to make the point and these topics are all filtered through the value system in the books one through nine kind of like an instruction guide for the rest of the proverbs 10 through 9 are short and easy to reference they're almost like christian fortune cookies you can kind of take them out i didn't have time this week i'm a mom thanksgiving is coming i was going to put one on every single seat but i'm going to let you read the proverbs for yourself proverbs is equal to a nature of probabilities basically that if we fear god and have wisdom things are going to go great happy face emoji no fear of god and foolishness equals to life will not go so well sad face emoji i know my daughter has the more complicated ones i'm a little hieroglyphic on that one all right so they're often mostly true but not always proverbs are not promises proverbs just focus on the general rule not the exceptions life is too complex for simple formulas which is why we need all of the books of wisdom collectively we have proverbs job in ecclesiastes lucky for me genes can be doing ecclesiastes later not it proverbs 30 is the sayings of agar who is a model reader of proverbs if you look through that he just it's all in the first person he's going through i'm a horrible human i'm humble just read it for yourself it would take too long for me to read it here and i want to make sure you enjoy my pie after church so proverbs 31 is king lemuel who has been given guidance from his mother so literally a woman has dictated scripture into the proverbs 31 the woman of noble character a model of someone who takes god's wisdom and then translates it into practical decisions and everyday life at work home family and community basically the husband does his elder job and the wife does everything else in the household holding it together again i encourage you to read it much like proverbs opens with words of advice to a son about listening to lady wisdom it then ends with a mother's advice to her son offering words about a woman who wisely uh lou who wisely lives i have a bit of dyslexia lives wisely now that i've gone through these four sections for you and how the proverbs are put together here are some fun and interesting proverbs picked out some of the ones i thought were kind of fun proverbs 11 pride leads to disgrace but with humility comes wisdom upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper but the talk of the wicked tears it apart your kindness will reward you but your cruelty will destroy you a beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig's snout okay i read these every day i'm like all right it said that give freely and become more wealthy be stingy and lose everything the seeds of good deeds become a tree of life a wise person wins friends proverbs 13 3 those who control their tongue will have a long life opening your mouth can ruin everything goes back to the sometimes saying nothing says everything proverbs 19 people ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the lord a foolish child is a calamity to a father a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping happy wife happy life i don't know anyway get all the advice and instruction you can so you will be wise the rest of your life you can make plans but the lord's purpose will prevail lazy people take food in their hand but don't even lift it to their mouth if you stop listening to instruction my child you will turn your back on knowledge this one i thought was kind of funny proverbs 20-1 i know it's not 21 but the way it reads wine produces mockers alcohol leads to brawls those let us drive by drink cannot be wise so probably on everyone's 21st birthday just give that a good read if you're already past it it's always good go back review we can you know we can learn from it don't say i will get even for this wrong wait for the lord to handle the matter yes do not seek revenge he's got it let go let god proverbs 21 god planning good god planning good planning and hard work lead to prosperity but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty poverty not poverty proverbs it just keeps coming out of my mouth uh it's better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home it gets better notice i told you there's certain things that just keep coming up over and over again i think king solomon after his thousand wives probably had a lot of life wisdom to share to his son he's like all right anyway it's better to live alone in the desert than with coral some complaining wife watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut and you will stay out of trouble no human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the lord that's a great one proverbs 22 9 blessed are those who are generous because they feed the poor proverbs 23 12 commit yourself to instruction listen carefully to words of knowledge now those of you who know me if i haven't shared i'm almost eight years sober and i started reading a proverb a day before i got sober and how many times i've read this it just went in one year out the other and now i can finally read it it's a cycle of an alcoholic the bible knew this awful cycle well before but i read it and i was like that's not me um yeah in retrospect again character defects i'm always learning bearing my soul before the entire church you're welcome better me than you i guess proverbs 23 29-35 who has anguish who has sorrow who's always fighting who's always complaining who has unnecessary bruises who has bloodshot eyes it is the one who spends long hours in the taverns trying out new drinks don't watch tv don't don't gaze at the wine seeing how red it is how it sparkles in the cup how smoothly it goes down for in the end it bites like a poisonous snake it stings like a viper you will see hallucinations and you will say crazy things you will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea clinging to a swaying mast and you will say they hit me but i didn't feel it i didn't even know it when they beat me up when will i wake up so i can look for another drink okay yes so if that ring true you can see me after service i'll be happy to help you if not i'm here anyway have my pie uh it can also be seen again in proverbs 31 4 through 7 king lemuel's mother gives him advice about not drinking alcohol as a leader it is not for king's olympial to guzzle wine rulers should not crave alcohol or if they drink they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed alcoholists for the dying and wine for those in bitter distress let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more so again thousands of years of wisdom all written down all we have to do is just actually read it and use it proverbs 25 i thought was interesting again food over consumption those of you who knew my story i didn't have an alcohol problem i had a consumption problem think all of the above are true do you like honey don't eat too much or it'll make you sick that's also said in there a couple times as well so it talks about overeating too many sweets a lot of these things very interesting proverbs 24 30-34 the lazy person i walk by the field of a lazy person the vineyard of one with no common sense i saw that it was overgrown with nettles it was covered with weeds and its walls were broken down then as i looked and thought about it i learned this lesson a little extra sleep a little more slumber a little folding of the hands to rest then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit scarcity will attack you like an armed robber so note to self don't press news too many times sorry gene when it comes to being lazy and not following directions or procrastination which i learned is a five-syllable word for sloth a lot easier to say too now let's have a confession time how many of you have a junk drawer in your house yeah i do have a couple and i was typing this out for my sermon and i started to write drunk drawer i was like wow freudian slip i used to have junk drawers yes they were my messy drawers full of a mess i have now actually organized them they're still somewhat they're my junk drawers but they have little dividers and then i'd show jean like look what i did okay until you open the garage door have a junk garage filled with all of our stuff that landed here from new york 10 years ago so i think i still need to work on my character defect of procrastination yeah work in progress so i don't know about you but my garage and junk drawers always have spare parts weird sizes of wrapping paper half used bags of bows because i keep buying new ones forgetting i have other ones or they're not the right colors empty boxes in case i move or in case you move i have plenty of boxes for you you don't have to buy them amazon prime has got you they're in my garage at least until tuesday miscellaneous tools and parts left over from not following the instructions on that ikea furniture great allen wrenches galore perhaps our lives would not be as messy as they are if we had just followed those instructions given to us when we saw solomon's life got a little messy we'll continue to see this as the weeks come it is all because he refused to obey god's word he heard it he wrote it but he needed to obey it funny how it seems it's so much easier to give everyone else advice than follow it yourself totally guilty of that her gene talking to someone the other day is like um she you told her that why don't you do that yourself gosh darn it okay being married to a pastor anyway we need to be both hearers of the word and doers of the word jesus was once teaching a crowd and a woman praised him luke 11 27 as he was speaking a woman in the crowd called out god bless your mother the womb from which you came and the breast that nursed you jesus replied but even more blessed are those are all who hear the word of god and put it into practice so jesus knows the crowd is only there for miracles but not for right living so he compares them to the people jonah preached to but at least they listened then he says this luke 11 31 the queen of sheba will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of solomon now someone greater than solomon is here but you refuse to listen so let's learn from what we've listened to and live our lives according to the wisdom of the word the book of proverbs is for every person in every season even if it goes in one ear out the other like it did for me eventually you're gonna hear it it's a guide for living wisely and well in god's world don't throw out the instruction manual to life you can do it with the ikea furniture good luck but don't do it with the bible start small read a proverb a day they're 31 they're literally numbered for each day of the month and there's no better way to start your day and then at least if you've read a proverb you have made sure you've been in the word every single morning before you start thousands of people have already gone through life news flash we're not that unique as we're going through the old testament there's literally nothing that humans haven't done already that we can't learn from so perhaps we can learn from their wisdom and guidance which is why it's been put in there in the first place it's best to take that advice then have to clean up a bigger mess in the end like i'm gonna do tuesday when i clean out my garage after ten years yeah it's gonna be fun that way in the end like that ikea furniture you don't need the leftover parts remember poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on anyone else's so when you follow the general guidelines to life it makes things a little easier and sometimes a lot easier life is definitely hard enough we do not have to make it more complicated than it already is so i encourage everyone to pick up the manual read it use it and utilize it remember it's about progress not perfection you don't have to do it perfect every day but let's try a proverb a day keeps bad decisions away i know sorry i can help myself so remember most importantly that he who died for all of us to give us everlasting life he died for our sins to give us that chance remember that he loves you you're going home for the holidays just remember saying nothing says everything sometimes show the light of love bring christ in you before everything else this holiday and everything will go fine just remember that he's got you we got you we love you you do not have to do life alone the word is always there for you and so are we thanks you