************ Wedding Sermon on Proverbs 3:13-18 ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on October 16, 1997
Wedding Message for Bauke and Lia De Jong
Scripture: Proverbs 3:13-18 (from "The Word" translation)
You're blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom,
when you make friends with Madame Insight.
She's worth far more than money in the bank;
her friendship is better than a big salary.
Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth;
nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.
With one hand she gives long life,
with the other she confers recognition.
Her manner is beautiful,
her life wonderfully complete.
She's the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her.
Hold her tight — and be blessed!
Bauke and Lia, their family and friends:
The Bible reading picked out by Bauke and Lia celebrates wisdom, what their version of the Bible calls Lady Wisdom or Madame Insight.
I want you to notice, first of all, the value of wisdom. The Bible says she is worth more than anything else in life. One of Bauke's dreams is to have his own dairy. One of Lia's dreams is to raise and train her own horses. Wisdom is worth more, far more, than having your own dairy or horses. Our Scripture reading says she is worth more than money in the bank, she is worth more than a big pay check, and she is worth more than a mansion on a hill top.
I want you to also notice the benefits of wisdom. The Bible says you are "blessed" when you have her. Or to put it another way, "You are happy many, many times over when you have wisdom." She is called the very "Tree of Life" by those who embrace her. In other words, by eating of her fruit you gain life and health and happiness. No wonder we are told to "Hold her tight!"
What exactly is Lady Wisdom and Madame Insight? It is not merely knowing facts and having knowledge. True knowledge or wisdom is something more than a collection of factual information. It includes knowing how to conduct oneself in the practical affairs of everyday life, to make wise choices, to do the right thing in relation to others, and to have insight into the true nature of things. It is the ability to apply God's Word to the details of Christian life. It is not merely understanding but doing — acting on the truth of God's Word. Wisdom is the art of Christian living.
Bauke and Lia, what sort of things does Lady Wisdom and Madame Insight tell you about living together Christianly as husband and wife? Some of the advice is negative — telling you what you should not do; some of the advice is positive — telling you what you should do; and some of the advice makes you smile or laugh. But all of it is good because it tells you how to live as a Christian in the new home you are beginning today.
What sort of things, then, does Lady Wisdom and Madame Insight tell you about Christian living? She warns you about adultery:
(Prov 5:3-6) For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; (4) but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. (5) Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. (6) She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not. She tells you to keep away from wicked men:
(Prov 2:12-15) Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, (13) who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, (14) who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, (15) whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. She tells you the consequence of too much wine and beer:
(Prov 20:1) Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.She tells you to work hard:
(Prov 21:17) He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.
(Prov 6:6-11) Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! (7) It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, (8) yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. (9) How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? (10) A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-- (11) and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man. She tells you to be careful about visiting your neighbors too much:
(Prov 25:17) Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house-- too much of you, and he will hate you. She tells you to be careful about the friends you choose:
(Prov 13:20) He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. She warns you about the loose lips of a gossip and advises you to reply softly to an angry man (Proverbs 13:3 & 11:13). She tells you to be honest and upright in all your ways (Proverbs 11:1). She warns about a quarrelsome wife (Proverbs 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15-16) and an unloving husband (Proverbs 15:17). She warns against fights and quarrels (Proverbs 17:14) and tells you not to spoil your children (Proverbs 13:24).
Bauke and Lia, when you follow the advice of Lady Wisdom and Madame Insight then your home will be a happy home, a place of joy and laughter and fulfillment.
Now, how do you get this wisdom? How do you make Lady Wisdom and Madame Insight a part of your home and marriage? Do you get it by reading and studying? No! Do you get it by being smart? No! Is it just plain common sense? No! Listen to what Proverbs says:
(Prov 1:7) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.Bauke and Lia, to have a happy home, a home of joy and laughter and fulfillment, you need wisdom. And, to get wisdom you need the fear of the Lord.
(Prov 9:10) "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
What is the fear of the Lord that Proverbs is talking about? It is NOT the cringing terror a child has for a violent and unpredictable alcoholic father. It is NOT the fear a wife has of an abusive husband. Rather, it is the respect and reverence and awe you might have for the president or a visiting dignitary. It is the humility that you have before the One Who is infinitely greater and higher and more important than you. It is a reverence for God that desires to submit to Him, to love Him, and to obey Him. Wisdom, in other words, comes only through a right relationship with the Lord.
Bauke and Lia, do you want to have a happy home, a home of joy and laughter and fulfillment? To have this sort of home you need wisdom. But, to meet Lady Wisdom and to make friends with Madame Insight you need the fear of the Lord. So I urge you, give your life to Jesus. Spend time with Him everyday in Bible reading and prayer. Worship Jesus in church. And then, I promise you, yours will be a happy home, a home of joy and laughter and fulfillment.
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