20/20 Vision

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BIG IDEA

Wisdom brings everything into focus.

INTRODUCTION

“What’s your wish?”

Christmas is over, and a New Year is upon us, a new Decade is upon us! It is a wonderful time for contemplation and consideration. It is a good time to think about what happened in 2019, and to look forward to 2020. I’m sure 2019 had its fair share of bumps and bruises, but I’m sure it had many blessings as well. What would you do differently if you could live 2019 again? What do want to happen differently in 2020?

If I could boil it all down to one question, I guess it would be this. What do you wish for in 2020? What’s your wish?

Three men were stranded for years on a secluded island. They eeked out a primitive existence, living off the land. But they all longed for the day when a ship would pull up and sweep them away to safety.

One day as the three marooned men were foraging along the shoreline, one of them spotted something shiny sticking out of the sand. He hurried over to find a Persian lantern. With a scrap of his tattered clothing, he rubbed the edge of the lantern to wipe away the sand and tarnish, and sure enough, out popped a Genie.

“My lords,” said the genie, it is my honor to present each of you one wish for freeing me from my lantern.” Without even thinking, one man said, “I wish I was back in my executive office on the top floor of the 5/3 building in Lexington, Kentucky.” Poof! He disappeared.

The second said, “I wish I was in front row seats at the UK/Louisville game in Rupp Arena.” Poof! He disappeared.

The last man, still holding the lantern did not want to rush to judgement. He thought for a moment. Looked around him at the empty beach and the distant horizon. He strained at the limitless options before him. Where would he go? What would he see? What could he experience? And he opened his mouth and said, “I wish my two friends were still here to help me make up my mind.” Poof! There they were.

If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

Long ago, in a land far away, another man was given a wish. It wasn’t a genie in a bottle that appeared to him; it was the God of heaven. In 2 Chronicles 1:7, “God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, ‘Ask what I shall give you.’” God came to Solomon, to grant him a wish!

“And Solomon said to God, ‘You have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and have made me king in his place. (V. 10) Give me now wisdom and knowledge…” Wisdom and knowledge were Solomon’s wish!

(V. 11) “God answered Solomon, ‘Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked possessions, wealth, honor, or even the life of those you hate, and you have not even asked long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern the people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have like.”

What an incredible passage. Solomon did not ask for the things that most of us would ask for, but asked for wisdom. But when Solomon asked for wisdom, God gave Solomon all the things that you and I would have asked for. He got what he asked for, and a whole lot more!

And this brings us to an important point: when you want what God wants you to want, God will give you all that God wants to give you. In fact, wisdom is a key prerequisite to acquiring and stewarding all that God wants to give you.

And so here is my challenge to you: make wisdom your greatest wish for 2020, and see if God does not give you the greatest year of your life.

We begin today an 8 week study in the Book of Proverbs called 2020 Vision. If you want to see the world right, if you want to see your life right, if you want to see how to worship, work, gain wealth, give worship, do your work, control your words, and love your wife right, you are going to have to see the world the way God sees it. And God inspired Solomon to put it all down on paper. All the answers are there. It’s all in this wonderful Book of Proverbs.

Let’s go there now.

Proverbs 1:1-7

The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

To know wisdom and instruction,
    to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing,
    in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
    and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.

EXPLANATION

Setting the Stage

A proverb is a small statement with great significance. It is a simple statement with a depth to be mined. Wisdom is a treasure! Look at Proverbs 2:

Proverbs 2

My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord

    and find the knowledge of God.

Therefore, we could say that wisdom is a treasure to be hunted.

Precious metals and stones are not always easy to find. They require digging and exploring. They are there, but they are hidden. So too with wisdom! It is all there, it just needs to be extracted. Solomon is going to reveal wisdom regarding our hearts, our minds, our tongues, and our spirits. He is going to talk about and delve into:  

• what we could be, but are not; 

• what we should be, but are not; 

• what we will be, if we will simply search for wisdom. 

Solomon is going to tell the truth-filled treasures about work, worship, worry, wealth, and our wives.

But we have to dig out the truths!! Only God knows what 2020 will hold. There will be challenges, opportunities, heartache, joy, pain, and decisions to be made. It can all be a bit overwhelming, but here’s the good news…

Wisdom brings everything into focus.

What is your wish for 2020? I hope that you will mine Proverbs to find the wisdom you need to face the challenges ahead!

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