Wednesday, May 1st, 2019
“Who is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.” James 3:13
Wisdom and gentleness go together.
Review Abigail meeting David when he was angry and on his way to kill Nabal. She talked David out of killing her husband with wisdom. “Forgive my foolish husband, don’t lower yourself to his level. The Lord will surely make you a sure house, because the Lord is with you. Don’t avenge yourself, let the Lord avenge this for you, and when He does, remember me your handmaiden.”
- The Lord through Abigail’s “gentleness of wisdom” restrained David. He heard the Lord through her.
God did take care of vengeance. Nabal died of a heart attack 2 days later anyway. Then David took Abigail as his wife.
Things turn out better when we let the Lord deal with it rather than taking matters into our own hands.
As a result of this valuable lesson David gained wisdom. The next chapter ( I Sam. 26) he spares King Saul’s life when he had the opportunity to kill his enemy. Instead of seeking revenge he deferred his anger to the Lord. God will do a better job than me.
A few chapters later King Saul was killed in battle. God’s timing.
God is perfect. He is seldom early, never late, but He is always right on time!
“Who is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, do not boast and do not lie against the truth. This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, and devilish. For where there is envying and strife, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:13-16
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown on peace by those who make peace.” James 3:17-18
To live in the gentleness of wisdom we have to learn to trust God and learn to be content with the situations that are beyond our control. The government of your life was placed on His shoulders the day you made JC the Lord of your life.
I never understood this psalm of David until this last week in preparing Sunday’s message on gentleness.
“Lord, Your right hand upholds me and Your gentleness has made me great.” Psalm 18:35
God was gentle with David and David learned that God’s way was to be gentle, learn to wait upon the Lord, trust Him, and not take matters into your own hand.
Ill. So much of David’s life was learning to be led by God rather than his own wisdom. When faced with opposition he would often ask the Lord, “Should I go up against the Philistines?” God would answer yes of no. He was learning to be a man of prayer and how to wait and be led by God rather than self. This is why he became known as a man after God’s own heart.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.” Proverbs 3:6
ill. Jacob the brother of Esau would have the same thing as David about God’s gentleness making him great. Jacob learned God’s gentleness by wrestling with God and getting his hip dislocated! Most of his life he had been scheming and manipulating and controlling the situations. But now face to face with God he has to learn to trust God’s ways rather than his old controlling ways. Now with dislocated hip, he can’t control the meeting with his brother Esau in the morning. He can’t fight, he has to learn to lean upon a staff as if to say he is learning to lean upon God and do things with God and His way and His timing.
“By faith Jacob, when he was dying blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshipped while leaning upon his staff.” Hebrews 12:21
God changes his name, meaning God changed his character from Jacob meaning scheming, manipulator to Israel meaning “May God prevail, or he struggles with God but God perseveres or contends, or prince with God.”
Jacob has a lot of troubles throughout his life, with his brother, his kids, enemies living around him, but God blessed Him he learned to stop fighting against God’s ways and worship – which means to surrender. “Not my will but Your will be done!” His way is so much better!
He turns what we bring to Him in surrender – into worship. What a trophy of God’s grace to turn a selfish, greedy, conniving, manipulator, into a surrendered worshipper of God!
How did God change Jacob? Was it by breaking his hip? No, that was only part of the process. The real breaking of a man/woman is done on the inside! God works through a daily, slow, almost unnoticeable process. This is how God is working with us too!
Listen in Isaiah how God dealt with a rebellious Israel.
“Because this people refuses the gently flowing waters of Shiloah (sent) . . . now the Lord will bring upon them the strong waters of the King of Assyria and he shall flood and overflow them.” Isa. 8:6-8
Israel did not like the way God was managing things in their life. He was too slow to bring breakthrough – to slow to bring help.
Ill. When we get yoked with Jesus we have to learn to walk according to His pace and rhythm. His work with us is often a slow but steady stream of gently flowing waters. His way is best.
“Wait upon the Lord”
Hebrew word: Wait for, expect to see, to linger, to bind together.
When we are unwilling to wait for the Lord, we think He is not doing anything or is too slow, it means we want control again. We do not like the way God is managing things!
If you say things like, “I don’t like my life!” The problem is – it is the only one you have! You can’t trade it for another. It may be that we need to learn contentment where we are while we are on a way where we are going to be.
The season you are in is carrying you to the next season. We all need to learn contentment with things we cannot change. Paul wrote,
“I have learned the secret to being content.” Phil. 4:12
Learn to enjoy the simple things and enjoy what you do have.
Children learn to adapt and be content and make good with what they have. God has given you grace not only to endure this season but to enjoy it. Learn to have fun with what you have.
Ill. When I was a child of 8 I could make a fort with sticks or a palace just using my imagination and what I had. One time I built my first church with cinder blocks and a pulpit. I had 3 member including me. I was about to preach my first sermon to my two friends when one said, “Gary we don’t have church like this. I am catholic.” I was stunned and had no idea what he meant by catholic. I was not to be stumped by this uprising so I said something profound. “It doesn’t matter if your black or white, you still gotta love God!” Both of my friends looked at me strange but then I said amen and church was over!
You got to enjoy where you are while you are on your way to where you are going to be!