Series: Wisdom That Works
Message: Wisdom Creates Community
Preacher: Amy Markoch
Reflection: Mark Witas
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Jessyka Dooley
Live Beyond: J. Murdock
Live Purpose: Kyle Smith
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Proverbs 3:13-35 in the New Living Translation (NLT). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: “By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding He set the heavens in place” (Proverbs 3:19).
The earth’s waist size is 24,901 miles. If you were to stand on the equator you’d be spinning through space at about a thousand miles per hour. If you were standing on the North Pole you’d be zooming along at zero miles per hour. Oh, and we aren’t just spinning; we are moving around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. Most scientists would say that the rock we call Earth (not life) has been around for more than four billion years. There’s a place in Russia that recorded a record low temperature of minus 128 F. Ninety-five percent of the earth’s seas have never been explored. It takes eight minutes and nineteen seconds for sunlight to reach the earth. The smallest mammal in the world is a bat that weighs 0.071 ounces. An elephant weighs less than the tongue of a blue whale. Clown fish are all born male. They will change sex to become a dominant female. Honey bees have hair on their eyes. All polar bears are left handed. Bats always turn left when they exit a cave. Rats laugh when tickled. Cows can experience separation anxiety. Octopuses have three hearts. Horses use facial expressions to communicate with each other. Reindeer eyeballs turn blue in winter. There are twelve times more trees on earth than there are stars in the Milky Way. An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain. Cats have 32 muscles in each ear. Giraffes can clean their own ears with the length of their tongue. Frogs can’t swallow with their eyes open. Dragonflies have six legs but can’t walk. Elephants can’t jump. Jamaica has 120 rivers. Ants stretch when they wake up. The earth is struck by lightning a thousand times a second. Emus can’t walk backwards. Oak trees don’t produce acorns until they are 50 years old. Rain contains vitamin B12. Snails can sleep for three years without waking up. Flamingos can only eat if their head is upside down. Snakes can’t blink. And finally (but not exhaustively) trees have no life expectancy.
The wisdom writer says, “By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations …”
I for one, am completely flabbergasted by this.
Recalibrate: What causes you to stand in awe of the Creator God? Tell somebody.
Respond: Pray these words: “Creator God, You are beyond our understanding and comprehension. Thank you for that.”
Research: Go outside. Take a walk. Notice God’s creative power.
Remember: “My child, hold on to wisdom and reason. Don’t let them out of your sight” (Proverbs 3:21, ICB).
Mark Witas is the lead pastor at Sunnyside Adventist Church in Portland, Oregon.
Go for a walk with your child today and take in all that is around you. Can you see trees? Are there birds nesting in the trees? Where do birds nest if they are not in trees? Invest in a curious mind and ask questions; imagine “what if” and wonder at what could be. As crazy as our world can get, know that “by wisdom the Lord laid the earth's foundations, by understanding He set the heavens in place.” Pray for wisdom and understanding to be your foundations today.
Have you ever seen a really shiny piece of gold or silver? Or maybe even a diamond or ruby? Why do you think things like that are worth so much money? If every rock you saw on the ground was pure gold, do you think gold would be as special? Probably not. You wouldn’t pay anyone to get any old rock they found on the ground, but you would probably have to pay for a nugget of gold. Wisdom isn’t just something ordinary you find laying on the ground; it’s something you gain over time from different experiences in your life. You sometimes have to take time and effort to search for wisdom. Create a treasure hunt for your friends or family today. Put something really special in a box and hide it. Provide clues to help them find it. Remember, wisdom is like hidden treasure; it is fun to look for it!
Yesterday morning we talked about the value of different precious metals and jewels and compared them to the value of wisdom. Today, I want to draw your attention to a singular word in Chapter 3, Verse 15, where Solomon says that “nothing you desire can compare” to wisdom.
There is a chill in the air here in Boulder and snow is in the forecast this week. This means it’s almost time for people to start thinking about what they want for Christmas. So, in addition to looking up the gold market value, I decided to look up the most requested items on everyone’s wish list in order to find out what people in the US desire the most.
For the state of Colorado, with such breathtaking views, it is no wonder that the most requested Christmas gift is a new camera. In taking a look at the most popular camera purchased this year, the camera most everyone will be asking for is the Nikon D750 DSLR; retail price $1,999.99.
A new $2,000 camera seems to be the thing most everyone desires. And still, Solomon says that wisdom is more valuable.
What’s on your Christmas list this year? If you were to add up all the things you’re asking for, what would be the final cost? Let’s say you get everything on your Christmas list this year—how happy would you be? Now think about getting nothing from your Christmas this year and instead getting wisdom. How happy would you be then? What are the chances you’d be willing to change your focus from a pile of gifts to a pile of wisdom?
Have you ever thought about wisdom and understanding? If someone were to ask you to explain the difference between wisdom and understanding what would you say? The words have similar meanings. But the minute you start talking to someone who has knowledge but doesn’t have wisdom, you realize that the concepts are very different. Some of the most brilliant people in my life are not the ones with degrees on their walls or letters by their names, but people who have wisdom that passes understanding. Knowledge is important, education is good, we all strive to understand! But wisdom comes through not just having knowledge but the experience to test that knowledge and apply it. God created this world and laid out its foundation with wisdom. What this tells me is that God doesn’t just have understanding or knowledge about the problems in my life, but He has the wisdom I need. Life is full of confusing, trying moments. It can be easy to get stressed and try and figure things out on my own. Yet as I grow older, I am learning the value in trusting Him. If He could lay out the foundation of the world, then He is a sure thing upon which to lay the foundation of my life. As you think about your life and its invariable ups and downs, I encourage you today to seek Jesus for His wisdom. In doing so you will find exactly what you need.
Zan Long is GRC director for faith development for ages 0-17. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and serves at her local church in nearby Kellyville.
Jessyka Dooley is assistant youth director for the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Denver, Colorado.
J. Murdock is associate pastor at Boulder Adventist Church in Boulder, Colorado, where he focuses on youth and young adult ministry.
Kyle Smith is the associate pastor of youth and family ministries at New Haven Adventist Church in Overland Park, Kansas.