A. DO THINGS IN MODERATION
All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness. 16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.
- The righteous do not always prosper, nor do the wicked always suffer – Matthew 5:43-46 – Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
a. Do not judge your spiritual condition on your material
b. God’s material blessings are not necessarily dependent upon your spiritual condition
c. Avoid focusing on material blessings and instead focus on your spiritual ones – your eternal ones
d. Avoid wickedness and foolishness, lest you die before your
I Corinthians 11:28-31 – But let a man examine
himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that
cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth
and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the
Lord’s body.30 For this cause many are weak and sickly
among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge
ourselves, we should not be judged.
- Seek after true righteousness and wisdom – Proverbs 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
a. A proper reverence for God will bring order during
Psalms 112:1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
Psalm 115:13-16 He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. The LORD shall increase you moreand more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
(The word fear here means a respect for, reverence for)
b. Wisdom is a source of strength in our spiritual lives
II Corinthians 4:8-10 We are troubled on every
side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in
despair;9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not
destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying
of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made
manifest in our body.
c. No one is perfect – you will not always make the right choice. Realize that!
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and
desperately wicked: who can know it?
Ephesians 2:1-3 – And you hath he quickened, who
were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye
walked according to the course of this world, according to
the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now
worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom
also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of
our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind;
and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others
3. Don’t take to heart everything you hear
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall
separate you from their company, and shall reproach you,
and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your
reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their
fathers unto the prophets. 24 But woe unto you that are rich!
for ye have received your consolation. 25 Woe unto you that
are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now!
for ye shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe unto you, when all
men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the
a. You may hear another curse you
b. You may hear others praise you
c. Your praise and glory should be directed to God
Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do
all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and
the Father by him.
Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to
the Lord, and not unto men;
- Remember God’s priority list – God, Spouse, Children, Job,
B. WISDOM ALONE IS NOT THE ANSWER
Ecclesiastes23-29 All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.24 That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?25 I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:26 And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.27 Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:28 Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
- There are questions wisdom cannot answer
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon Him while he is near:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
- God’s way is beyond our human comprehension
- Following God’s lead will end in peace and joy for the believer
b. No matter how hard and long you search
c. Quit trying to figure God out and just trust His leading
Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Psalms 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
- Friendship with the wicked will ALWAYS bring you down.
II Timothy 3:1-5 – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
a. The preacher found this out in his search for wisdom
b. Joining in with the wicked is more bitter than death
c. He who pleases God shall escape from the wicked, but the sinner shall be taken by her
3. A good man is hard to find
a. In his search, he found only one in a thousand
b. A good woman was even rarer
c. God made man upright, but man has sought out many schemes