Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Proverbs 14:6-9 Seek and He will find you!

Mockers and scoffers. Jesus certainly met a lot of them during His ministry here. My guess is that you all know plenty of them yourself. Some may even be in your family. They can’t understand why you actually believe all of this Bible stuff! Take heart! Today’s verses speak to this:

A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,

    but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.  
Leave the presence of a fool,

    for there you do not meet words of knowledge.  
The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,

    but the folly of fools is deceiving.  
Fools mock at the guilt offering,

    but the upright enjoy acceptance. (Proverbs 14:6-9)

I thought it was interesting that, in verse 6, we are told that scoffers can be “seekers.” The problem is that their seeking of wisdom is all in vain. They will never find as long as they refuse to believe God’s Truth.

Years ago, when I went back to college to finally earn my bachelor’s degree at age 37 (I left UCLA after my junior year to marry Don), I enrolled in a humanities class called “The History of Christian Thought from Martin Luther to the Present.” The reality was that once we left Calvin and Knox, we pretty much deserted Christian thought! I had the sweetest professor, who called himself a “Christian humanist.” Turns out this is really an Eastern metaphysical outlook attached to Christian principles (but not necessarily Christ) - basically Buddhist. He considered himself a seeker.

There was a 27-year old young man in the class, who also professed to be a Christian humanist. Not sure if he was trying to kiss up or really bought into the philosophy. At any rate, the older professor had enough wisdom to be humble and actually acknowledge the possibility that he had not yet found what he was seeking. The younger, being a cocky dude, proudly proclaimed that he loved being a seeker and would spend his life continually seeking some wisdom. It was like he was proudly wearing a badge that said “Seeker!”

Every week as I prepared to go to this classroom, I needed to pray up for boldness and for the words of the Holy Spirit, because the class was filled with young people, who were eager to believe whatever our professor said. Anyway, one afternoon, after the young seeker had been spouting off about his great ambition to seek, I had to say something (does this surprise you???).

So I said to him directly, “You know, this whole idea of continuing your whole life to search for some higher power is great for you here in America, where you can afford to be going to college your whole life and spend your time thinking lofty thoughts. But my God is available to the woman in the fields of Africa who is only trying to find enough food to feed her children. If God were only available to the intellectuals pursuing Him, He would be off-limits to 99% of the world! My God is available to EVERYONE! We have been studying in here what men in ivory towers, men who were paid to think all day thought about Christ. I want to know what the woman cleaning toilets in their day thought. How did these men’s philosophies affect their lives? How did it affect their relationship with their family members? Because I can tell you that Jesus has radically changed my life and my marriage.” Yeah, I was on my soapbox!

After class a girl came up to and said, “I’m a Christian, too! I’m so glad you know what to say, because I don’t really know how to defend my faith.” I responded to her in a very direct fashion (again, you are not surprised), and said, “Well, you better learn!” The next week I brought her all kinds of materials and urged her to get busy reading! :)

On the day of the final, I brought my beloved professor several books, including C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity (totally appeals to intellectual men), and Josh McDowell’s More Than a Carpenter and Evidence That Demands a Verdict. I thanked my professor for such an awesome class, but told him I thought he might be interested in hearing another side of Christian thought. He thanked me profusely. A few months later he wrote the most amazing letter of recommendation for me, in which he specifically noted that he had never met anyone who could so powerfully and humbly defend her beliefs (was he saying I was pushy??). Loved that man and pray that he finally found our Savior. Wondering whatever happened to that young seeker...

The wisdom that the Bible says we need does not come from intellectual pursuit. It comes from the Holy Spirit. We can claim no pride in “finding” Christ - because the reality is that HE found us!!! We are surrounded by scoffers. Keep praying for them - but be ready to give an answer!  

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