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We welcome you to worship and learn with us at Bet Shalom Messianic Congregation.

We gather together weekly for Hebraic worship, Biblical teaching from the Hebrew perspective, Messianic Dance and caring fellowship.

We look forward to seeing you!
Rabbi Amnon & Lynette Shor

SATURDAY SHABBAT SERVICES

Messianic Lifestyle Class - 2 PM In the Oneg Hall
Shabbat Service - 4 PM
In the Sanctuary
Oneg after Shabbat Service
In the Oneg Hall

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MT OLIVE BAPTIST CHURCH
101 W Clinton Avenue
Fresno CA 93705

between Palm and Fruit Avenues
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Bet Shalom Messianic Congregation
5132 N Palm Avenue PMB 101
Fresno, CA 93704

PHONE:
559-288-0330
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betshalom@betshalomfresno.org

WISDOM

Excerpted from Jewish Jewels

THE HEBREW ROOT

We, as believers in Yeshua, need wisdom today more than ever: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16). There is a key to the Biblical Hebrew concept of wisdom in this verse. Wisdom is more about walking than talking or thinking. The Hebrew concept of wisdom goes beyond intellectual pursuit to the practical, hands-on ability to live one’s daily life successfully, applying knowledge in concrete ways. Wisdom in the Hebrew mind includes the ideas of good sense, aptitude and technical skill. It is something to be desired and sought after.

“Wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore get wisdom. And in all you getting, get understanding” (Mishlei [Proverbs] 4:7).

The first verse in the Torah in which we find the word translated “wisdom” is Sh’mot (Exodus) 28:3 in which God gives instructions to Moses concerning the holy garments to be made for Aaron and his sons: “So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.” God gave wisdom to the craftsmen in order that they might DO something. In Hebrew or Biblical thinking it is considered wisdom to do a job well, whatever the job may be.

When God called Bezalel, the famous artisan who helped build the tabernacle, He told Moses: “And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in god, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship” (Sh’mot [Exodus] 31:3-5).

One who is wise has godly cleverness and skill which results in practical action. He hears – and obeys – and is blessed. He follows wisdom, which is not only practical, but based on revealed principles of right and wrong. Wisdom implies the proper choice between two opposite courses of action, such as cruelty and compassion, arrogance and humility, holiness and impurity. The correct choice would be called wisdom and its opposite folly.

THE SOURCE OF WISDOM

The source of wisdom, in the Hebrew or Biblical sense, is expressed beautifully in the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament published by the Moody Bible Institute: “The source of all wisdom is a personal God who is holy, righteous, and just. His wisdom is expressed against the background of His omnipotence and omniscience. By His wisdom God numbered the clouds (Iyov [Job] 38:37), founded the earth (Mishlei [Proverbs] 3:19), and made the world (Yirmeyahu [Jeremiah] 10:12). Wisdom, being found in God, is regarded as a divine attribute (Iyov [Job] 12:13). He alone knows wisdom in its truest sense (Iyov [Job] 28:10, 23). The wisdom of God is not found in man’s speculation. He alone must provide this wisdom for man’s guidance so that man can live the best possible moral and ethical life (Mishlei [Proverbs] 2:6; Job 11:6).”

Wisdom belongs to God and is one of His attributes. There are many examples in the Scriptures of God giving wisdom to man. The first example of a man receiving wisdom from God is Joseph. Following his interpretation of a dream that Pharaoh had, Joseph gave Pharaoh advice and suggested that Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt to carry out Joseph’s suggestions. Pharaoh responded by saying to his servants: “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God? The Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you’ “ (B’resheet [Genesis] 41:38-39).

God gave wisdom to Moses, who in turn imparted that same spirit to his successor, Joshua: “Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him…” (D’varim [Deuteronomy] 34:9). The Bible tells us that the LORD was with David (Sh’mu’el Alef [1 Samuel] 18:12). “And David behaved wisely in all his ways…” (Sh’mu’el Alef [1 Samuel] 18:14). David’s son Solomon pleased God greatly by requesting wisdom to rule God’ people rather than riches or blessings for himself, therefore, God gave Solomon a wise and understanding heart, making him the wisest man on the earth (M’lakhim Alef [1 Kings] 3:12). “And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men…” (M’lakhim Alef [1 Kings] 4:29-30).

THE FOUNDATION OF WISDOM: GOD’S WORD

Solomon did not continue in God’s wisdom until the end of his days. He did not finish strong. What went wrong? He forsook the foundation of wisdom: the Torah, the Word of God, the Commandments of God, the standards of God. Solomon disobeyed God. The Torah states in D’varim (Deuteronomy) 17:17 concerning the kings of Israel: “But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and god for himself” (D’varim [Deuteronomy] 17:16-17).

King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines who turned away his heart from the one true God to other gods (M’lakhim Alef [1 Kings] 11:3-6). He also had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots and 12,000 horsemen (M’lakhim Alef [1 Kings] 4:26). Solomon forsook the wisdom of the Word of God. Perhaps he thought that the wisest of all men could disobey God and not suffer any consequences. But he was wrong.

IT IS NEVER WISE TO COMPROMISE

Solomon, who wrote three thousand proverbs, including Mishlei (Proverbs) 3:7, did not follow his own advice: “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.” Nevertheless, he accurately equated wisdom with God’s Word throughout the Book of Mishlei (Proverbs). For example, in Mishlei (Proverbs) 3:13-18 when the word wisdom is used, traditional Jews interpret it to mean “Torah”: “happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her … Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.” This last phrase is actually part of the Torah service at most synagogues. The Torah is considered to be the wisdom of God. Consider the next verse that states, “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth.” Yes, God’s wisdom, His Word, spoke all creation into being. God’s Word is Wisdom. Wisdom comes from God’s Word.

Moses, the servant of God, had reminded all Israel to obey God’s statutes and judgments, His Word, before they entered the Promised Land: “Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people’ “ (D’varim [Deuteronomy] 4:6) Obeying God’s Word is wisdom.

QUALITIES OF THE WISE MAN OR WOMAN

Are you wise in the Biblical sense of the Word? Check yourself by some of the standards outlined in the Book of Mishlei (Proverbs). Do you: fear God? (9:10), listen to counsel? (12:15), promote health with your tongue? (12:18), restrain your lips from using a multitude of words? (10:19), win souls? (11:30). Honor your parents? (13:1), work diligently? (6:6, keep God’s laws (commandments)? (10:8)

We are told in the New Covenant Scriptures that the wise man or woman is the one who hears the words of God and does them. He is like a wise man who builds his house on a rock (Mattityahu [Matthew] 7:24-25). The wise virgins of Matthew 25 took oil in their vessels with their lamps. They were continually filled with the Spirit of God. The wise towards of this same chapter did not squander their inheritance through fear, but caused it to multiply in their master’s absence. Knowing God, believing Him, and obeying Him are all part of being wise in the Biblical sense.

WISDOM AND THE FEAR OF THE LORD

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Tehillim [Psalms] 111:10). This concept is found seven time in the Scriptures (i.e. Mishlei [Proverbs] 9:10). Does this mean that we have to have a healthy fear, reverence and awe of God FIRST in order to have wisdom? Or does it mean that one of the first fruits or manifestations of wisdom (something that is part of or immediately results from wisdom) is to revere or fear the Lord? Rabbis have debated this for centuries. Both interpretations are accepted. Our world today, especially our nation, is in dire need of the fear of the Lord, for we are so lacking in godly wisdom. At the same time, we must pray for our leaders to have wisdom enough to fear God, and realize that we desperately need Him!

GODLY VS. WORLDLY WISDOM

There is wisdom which is not from God. We read in the Brit Hadashah about heavenly vs. demonic wisdom: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. (Note the Hebraic emphasis!) But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic … But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (Ya’akov [James] 3:13-17).

Demonic wisdom goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Hasatan, the devil, tempted Eve with “wisdom” in B’resheet (Genesis) 3:6. Wisdom concerning evil. Who was the tempter? Satan, the serpent. He is wise but his wisdom is not godly. Perhaps he was being referred to  by the Messiah when He told His talmidim (disciples) to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Mattityahu [Matthew] 10:16. We, as God’s children need wisdom! An unfortunate truth is found in Luke 16:8: “… for the children of this world are in their generation wise than the children of light.” (KJV)

However, God promises to destroy the wisdom of the “wise” who say that the message of the cross is foolishness. “… but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Messiah the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:24-25).

Godly wisdom is to realize that we are all just passing through this life, that there is life after this, that the only things that will last are the treasures we store up in heaven. As the psalmist wrote, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Tehillim [Psalms] 90:12).

YESHUA AND WISDOM

The Brit Hadashah comments frequently concerning the wisdom of Yeshua. Even as a child, Yeshua was “strong in spirit, filled with wisdom” (Luke 2:40). Following his twelfth birthday, we are told that Yeshua “increased in wisdom and stature, and indeed a greater than Solomon is here” (Mattityahu [Matthew] 12:42). When Yeshua taught in the synagogue in Nazareth, they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?” (Mattityahu [Matthew] 13:54).

We read in 1 Corinthians that Yeshua became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1Corinthians 1:30). All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in the Messiah Yeshua (Colossians 2:3).

Pray with us: Father, we praise You according to 1 Timothy 1:17. You are the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the God who alone is wise. Honor and glory are Yours forever and ever. You are the source of true wisdom. We acknowledge our need of this gift, and ask You today to fill us with the spirit of wisdom and understanding. You say in Ya’akov (James) 1:5 that if we lack wisdom we can ask you for it, and you will give it liberally to all of us. Thank you! We want wisdom like that of Joseph and Stephen. We desire Your deep wisdom (Romans 11:33), and acknowledge that without You we can do nothing. Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of our Messiah (Ephesians 1:17). “Fill us with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that we may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9-10). In the name of our Messiah Yeshua, AMEN.