Joseph Prince - Hesed Wisdom to Live Skillfully
How are you doing, church? I look forward every time to see all of you. I love church, do you love church? Every time we go to the house of the Lord, we leave it stronger, bolder, happier, good looking, good lookinger, amen? At least for most of us. For Pastor Mark, are you still praying for him? Turn to your neighbor, at least two of them, smile and say, "I'm too blessed to be stressed, I really am". Hesed wisdom.
Now, some people have this idea that Pastor Prince, he may not know that the word in Hebrew for wisdom is not hesed. I know that. All right, hesed wisdom is actually grace wisdom, amen, grace wisdom. Wisdom in Hebrew, there are a number of words. The number-one word for wisdom in Hebrew is chokmah, chokmah from where you get words like chakam. You know, when they say it's a judge in Hebrew, let's say a person is a judge, you will say he's a chakam. You're a judge, you make wise decisions. Chokmah is the general word. Chokmah is in the Greek Sophia.
Now, in Hebrew wisdom, the most frequently used word for wisdom is chokmah. And in the Greek what translates chokmah in the Greek would be Sophia. So, if your name is Sophia, that means your name is wisdom, amen? The Bible says when you embrace wisdom. Wisdom is personified as a woman. When you embrace wisdom, you get five things, number one, in her right hand... come on people, y'all know this by now, is? Length of days. That is your health, amen? In her right hand. Right hand is always a priority hand in the Scriptures, amen? In her left hand, you have riches and honor.
So, these are the things that everyone pursues in life, you know, they're not actually looking for a certain job. They're not actually looking for that investment to pay off. They're not actually looking for, they call it lucky strike, you know, in their lottery or whatever. They're actually looking for these things that life can give. They believe that those things can give them these five things. So, the Bible says, "And all her paths are pleasantness or pleasure," right? "And all her ways are pleasantness, and all her paths are shalom, peace".
So, wisdom gives you five things. Let's says it length of days, riches, honor, pleasure, peace. So, the Bible says when you embrace her, notice, when you embrace someone, her two hands are behind you, amen? So, you don't look for those hands. The Bible says, "Turn not to the right hand, nor to the left. Pursue the Lord and these things will pursue you". The Bible says the way you get wisdom is, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God".
So, there's no problem that you're faced with today that God does not have a solution to or an answer in his wisdom, if we will but just ask. "If any of you lack wisdom..." Look at this verse here, James chapter 1. "If any of you lacks wisdom..." And you know when you read this, if you are a wise man, a wise woman, you will always say, "I lack wisdom. I don't seem to get to the root of the matter. I don't seem to get it". You know so, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God". When I read this verse, I always see my need for this verse, amen? I look at this church and I always feel like, "Lord, I'm so desperate for that wisdom. I know you have that wisdom for your people".
When you are faced with what seems to be insurmountable odds against you, there is a wisdom for it, amen? Every challenge occurs so that you can find that key from the Lord and see if that key fits the lock, amen? Every invention was created because, or was came about, because someone found an idea. Ideas are like good gifts. It manifests through people who are not from his family. They are good gifts and but if it's through his family, they are perfect gifts. And you find that the Jewish people, for example, they're a minority race and yet they have won a greater percentage, as a race, they have one a greater percentage of the Nobel Prize compared to any other race. It's a fact. It's just a fact, amen?
So, God does gift to his people, wisdom. In fact, if you look at all, I was just amazed that yesterday I found out that even our Kindle books, I know it's Amazon and all that, but Kindle is actually a Jewish invention from Israel. A lot of start-up companies in Israel and people go there to get ideas and all that, and they publicize it. They make it big and all that, but a lot of ideas are from Israel and yet, they're a minority race, but God has concentrated his wisdom in them. So, you find there's a lot coming from these two house, the house of Israel as well as the house of the Father, amen? And I believe that we don't come short. We don't come behind. Anyone out there in the world, if you will but ask God for wisdom. I find Christians are losing out because they don't ask God for wisdom. It's as if they want a miracle, but they don't want the wisdom.
Now, God is a God of miracles. I thank God for miracles, but if your wife has left you and you want your wife back and all that, you know, God is not gonna do like Chinese Kung Fu, you know, or Indian movie. You know, you pull an invisible saree and then she come back because if that happens, if that happens and you don't ask God for wisdom, in the matter of half a year, one year, she will leave you again because the same reasons are there. You're not repenting. You're not changing your mind about what you're doing, what you're saying to her, how you're treating her. You're not getting to the root of the problem because God zapped her for you.
Now, she's with you, but you do not know what's the problem and you will create that problem again. Are you listening? But when you ask God for wisdom, he's gonna show you... many a times we don't like to hear sometimes some wisdom that God gives us about ourselves. Sometimes that wisdom manifests through the mouth of our wife. Like I said before, we will pay large amounts of money. We guys will pay large amounts of money to hear the very same things for free from our wife's mouth, but because we pay, we value it, you know? And it's the same thing, when you lose a million dollars and you want God to restore that million dollars or whatever in your company and all that, he's not gonna do a zap and then the money comes out like - it won't fall from heaven because it fall from heaven, what kind of numbers will it have, what serial number will it have? It will be counterfeit money, and God doesn't deal with counterfeit money.
So, God does not that do. In fact, Deuteronomy 8, verse 18 says, "You shall remember the Lord your God. It is he who gives you power to get wealth". God does not give you wealth. He gives you power to get wealth, Deuteronomy 8, verse 18. God gives you the power to get, and the word "get" there is also in the Hebrew create. God gives you ideas. There's no money problem. It's an idea problem, amen? "But Pastor Prince, my idea is very simple. I just borrow," bad idea, amen? We'll touch more on that. So, we look at Solomon because Solomon's a great example of wisdom.
By the way, go back to that again, James 1. "When you ask God, let him ask of God who," look at this the nature of God, "he gives to all liberally and without reproach". He won't scold you, without reproach. God will not scold you? And how does God give? Liberally and reproach not. "He reproacheth not, and he will be given to him. It will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind". When you ask God for wisdom, don't after that say, "I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do". You might not know in your mind, in your heart at that moment what to do, but keep on thanking God you have asked God for wisdom and you have received, amen?
See, I believe the solution will come, amen? I believe God has given us me the wisdom or asked the wisdom and it will be there. And many a times, sometimes you'll face with a situation and the wisdom just floats up. I can't begin to tell you the building of this place, the steps we had to go through and even my own personal life ministry, I need God's wisdom every day, all right? My mistakes will not be a little ripple in the water. You know, some people mistake just like a pebble, mine will be a huge rock with big ripples.
I cannot afford to make mistakes, amen, as a pastor because it is has consequences on you. Can I have a good amen? But Christians get into this mode where they say that, "Well, we are Christians, you know, we don't..." and sometimes there's a fine line. For example, if somebody says something bad about me and they defame me or they slander me, you know, online or whatever and it's a lie, it's a total lie, what do I do? Do I bring them to court? Sometimes the process itself will destroy my emotional well-being and all that, lose money and that kind of thing. Sometimes the war is not, it's not worth fighting.
So, the Bible says, you know, forgive and then trust God for it. It is personal but if it involves the church, if the lie will implicate the church - it's not happening, people, don't worry. I'm just telling you an illustration, okay? There's no case like this now, don't worry about it. I'm just telling you, but if the lie affects the church, if the lie a tied up with the church, the church honor and all that, then I have to defend. Same thing for your company, if you're working for a company, amen, and you are first responsible to that company, all right? If you ask God for wisdom, God will tell you that your obligation and all that is to make sure your company is a success. "But I'm there to be a witness, Pastor Prince". Yes, you can witness during break time. You can witness during your lunchtime, but you don't use the hours that's given to you to be stewards over for your ministry. You don't preach and witness during those times. It's robbing your boss of that time, amen?
So, and that's where Christians need to walk in wisdom, shine, prosper in everything that you touch. Ask God for that. Ask God for favor and then people will listen to you, you got something worthwhile. And when you share with them, don't have to compel them, take it or leave it attitude because something beautiful, you want it, take it, amen? If you don't want it, hey, my attitude is that I still have it, it's mine, amen? Some Christians are so desperate for people to get saved that they come across as if they are forcing, but that's why it's so important to preach on wisdom.
So, Solomon, when he was a young man, his father David had just died and he's supposed to fill in his position as king, king of the only Theocratic nation on earth, God's nation. He has a big pair of shoes to fill and the Bible says, y'all know this. "The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar". I want to call your attention to the fact that it's sin offerings, it is burnt offering. What's the difference? Sin offering is you offer it for sin. When you lay your hands on the bullock or the lamb, it's actually you are imparting your sins to the lamb. The lamb becomes liable for your sins but if the lamb is a burnt offering, it's the other way around. When you offer a burnt offering, it is the lamb's spotlessness, the lamb's righteousness, if you would, all right? That is transferred to you.
Now usually for us, these are just visual aids for us to understand what happens at the cross. This is how I illustrate it usually, amen? When you put your trust in Christ, all your sins have been transferred to Christ by God at the cross and then all his righteousness is set to your account. That is the burnt offering aspect. That's the burnt offering aspect. So, when he offered a thousand burnt offerings, not sin offerings, that means what? He was glorying in the fact that Jesus is his righteousness and not only one burnt offering. In fact, he's only required to offer one burnt offering. I have been to this place, Gibeon, not exactly on Gibeon, Mount of Gibeon, but I've been just next door to Gibeon. I was there at Samuel the prophet's tomb in Ramah.
When you're in Ramah, in fact you can go there, all right So, you need to go to Israel again and again and again, there's so many places to look at. When you're at the tomb of Samuel the prophet in Ramah, Ramah is high elevation. You can look across and you will see Gibeon where Solomon offered a thousand burnt offering, okay? Now, he didn't have to offer a thousand. It shows his heart of appreciation for Christ. He has a large appreciation for Christ, I said. So, he appreciate the Lord Jesus. Nothing is too big for me to give up for him, amen? I cannot give him enough. He has given me everything. So, he starts off, before he asks God for wisdom, he actually starts with a great appreciation for Christ.
And then the Bible says, "At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, 'Ask! What shall I give you?'" Y'all know the story. He told God, "I'm a young man". He uses the word, "I'm a little child. I don't even know how to come in, how to go out". It's an expression, Hebrew expression for, "I really need your help. I need your wisdom". Then he say, "God give me," in the Hebrew, "a wise hearing, a hearing heart, a heart that will hear you". And you find later on that this heart of hearing God actually translates as well in hearing people because immediately after this, the story tells us about the two prostitutes that came to him.
A king hearing two prostitutes, two harlots? That's interesting. Most people don't give them the time of day, but he did. A hearing heart translates into many a times when you are wise and you have a hearing heart, you will listen to what people are actually saying. We assume people are saying things, all right, but a hearing heart will cause you to even hear people. In fact, you want to get to know people? Listen to them long enough. If somebody is quiet, you can't really tell where they're at but when you open their mouth, every time someone opens their mouth, a spirit comes out, a spirit of complaining, a spirit of murmuring, a positive spirit, an optimistic spirit, a hopeless spirit, a dejected spirit.
You can always hear when someone opens their mouth. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speak. Want to know people? Listen to their words, listen to their mouth. If their mouth is a lot of profanities, a lot of, you know, dirty jokes and all that, you know their heart is like that. You sure you want to marry someone like that, amen, who want to use you and probably after he's married to you he's looking elsewhere and all that. That's why we tell people, just because the world does it doesn't mean you have to be like the world. Dare to be different, okay? Diamonds are precious because they're not like stones, dime a dozen. Stones are not precious because they're everywhere. Don't be common. Be uncommon.
When something is holy, that means they are set apart for God, set apart for greater use, set apart for nobler utilization of it. You know, the things tabernacle and all that is set apart. So, God says, someone is holy, it's not holier than you, I'm better than you. No, Jesus condemns that, amen? But look at Jesus, he stands out. He's uncommon. God wants you uncommon. God wants your life to be uncommon. That's holy, amen? That's the word "holy," hagiasmos. Check it in the Greek, check it in the Hebrew. Hagiasmos in the Hebrew is qodesh. Check it. It's always set apart, uncommon. Watch the words that come out of your mouth because, you know, this is a passage I've quoted to Pastor Mark more than once. Proverbs 17, Proverbs 17 coming up, "He who restrains his words has knowledge. And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding". And I told Mark, "Mark, interesting this verse says even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise". Say, "Why you tell me that, pastor"? I said, "When he closes his lips, he's considered prudent, amen?
You want people to think that you're smart, you're wise? Keep quiet. Don't talk all the time," amen? He who restrains his word. I love this word, "cool spirit". "He who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding, a man of understanding restrains his words". Can I have a good Amen? Back to 1 Kings 3, so he asked God for a wise understanding heart and God said to him, the Bible says, "The speech pleased the Lord". Drop down, "The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon asked this thing. Then God said to him: 'Because you have asked this thing, you have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but you have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice.'"
Then God says to him, what? "Behold, I have done according to your words; I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor..." That's the left hand, right? Am I right? The left hand of wisdom in Proverbs 3. "Both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days". Now, what about the right hand? Drop down, "So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days". You will get the right hand, so the right hand is conditional.
God told Solomon, "The right hand, you want long life? You get riches and honor now because you didn't ask for it. You asked for wisdom, now you get was riches and honor, the fringe benefits. It comes along with it. But for long life," God says, "if you walk in my statutes and my judgments..." Don't forget, they were under the law. Today, we walk in the Spirit. We walk according to Christ, amen? We're not under law, we're under grace but for Solomon, it was contingent upon him keeping all the commandments. And the Bible says, "Solomon awoke and indeed..." By the way for us, you know who's the right hand now that gives us long life, the Son of his right hand? Our Lord Jesus. We have long life in him. You don't have long life because you keep the commandments. You have long life because you are in him and when you are in him, when you walk in the Spirit, you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. In fact, not only you don't steal, you give. Not only you don't commit adultery, you fall in love with your spouse, not only you don't covet, amen, you pray for the best for your neighbor, amen.
So, when you walk in the Spirit, it fulfills much more than the law ever can but we are not under law, we're under grace, under the governance of the Holy Spirit. Notice that the speech pleased the Lord. Solomon asked for wisdom and the speech pleased the Lord. So, the Lord is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. If the same speech pleased the Lord then, today you ask God for wisdom, it will please the Lord. Of all the requests you can make, don't ask God for all the fringe benefits, all the blessings, you know? Solomon asked for riches and honor. He asked God for wisdom and God gave him riches and honor, amen?
Today, God will not withhold anything, why? We're not in the place where it's the same position where Solomon is. We are in Christ and the Bible says that, "he who did not spare his own Son but freely gave him up for all, how will he not with him? God gave his Son up for us all, how shall he not freely"? Here's where freely comes in, "How shall he not freely with him give us all things"? So, even length of days, if you ask God for it, it is free. You don't have to earn it. It is free it. It comes, but notice the phrase, with him. How shall he not freely with Jesus give us all things? When you get Jesus, you get everything.
So, the Bible says he woke up, Solomon woke up. Don't forget where he was in Gibeon. Now, I've shared before Gibeon has the structure of the tabernacle. It has the altar of burnt offering. It has the laver. It has all the furniture. It has the menorah. It has the altar of incense. It has the table of showbread. The only thing missing, glaringly missing, is the ark of the covenant because his father David brought the ark to the city of David in Jerusalem. It is not in Gibeon, so, the very presence of God.
So, it's a picture of religion, getting involved in religion. What kind of Christian are you? "I'm a Christian". What kind of religion are you? "I'm a Christian". But are you in touch with the ark? Who is the ark? I'm gonna teach on the ark today. Ark is the picture of Jesus Christ. The gold that covers the ark of the covenant speaks of his deity, amen, the wood inside speaks of his humanity. The blood on the mercy seat speaks of his work at the cross. Are y'all listening? So, David had a heart. I got a teaching called The Secret of Obed-Edom. You'll be blessed listening to that message. Why does the Bible says David's a man after God's heart? It's found in the secret of Obed-Edom. It's got to do with the ark, amen?
So, David's dream as a young boy is that there's a psalm that says, "I will not give sleep to my eyes, nor slumber to my eyelids". And you can see that he said it when he was a young boy. I heard of it, heard of the ark in "inkeriat yarim" He literally used the word "fields of woods". In English, it's the word "inkeriat yarim" which is actually the city where the ark was when David was a boy. It was kept there in the house of Abinadab, and he longed to bring it to the city of David. Not the city of David then but the Jerusalem. He wanted to bring it there. His dream was to bring Jesus to the center of the church.