Wisdom for the Ages

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Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding. (Prov. 3:13)

After watching this year’s Presidential Inauguration, I was pleasantly surprised by the regular references to Scripture, the Providence and Sovereignty of God, and prayer in Jesus’ name. It was not what I expected, though the incongruity was noticeable. On the other hand, it was a refreshing reminder of the foundations upon which this nation was birthed. Upon these truths, this same nation will perish if those foundations crumble.

The verdict is still out on whether this President will build and rebuild upon those foundations, or whether he will continue to build on the efforts of men rather than the leading of God. I’m not particularly optimistic, but I was grateful, at least, for those on the podium who prayed or read Scriptures referencing the need for wisdom rooted in truth—from God, not men.

Remember it was Job, out of great personal tragedy, who responded to the foolishness of his friends with a measure of sarcasm saying, “Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food? Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” (Job 12:11-12) Good question. Does it? We do know what comes out of a man’s mouth exposes his heart. 

During the furor over the presidential election, like Job, I sometimes find myself wondering if wisdom is still to be found among those who are older and should know better. Those who have lived long ought to be setting the example for righteousness and godliness. And yet, on our watch, this nation’s political and cultural mores have degraded to the place where good is called evil and evil, good; where lying and deception is natural and comfortable; where self-seeking agendas supersede the good of the community. It’s disappointing that so many older adults claiming to be followers of Christ are oblivious to their part in this degradation, and the shifted values represented on both sides of the aisle. Wisdom cries aloud, but we have ignored her.

Lip service, too, is meaningless. If a clear commitment to the truth about morality, character, virtue and civility is ignored, freedom and blessing are at risk. Followers of Christ may give lip service to being Christ-like, but if we lose our cool in both private and public discourses about our political divisions, where is Christ honored in that? Yes, truth must be proclaimed, but without love, kindness, and compassion, who will hear it.

As this nation starts the next four years under new leadership, we must not neglect to pray (regardless of how we feel about them) that our President and political leaders will seek wisdom. Pray for wisdom to understand the difference between returning the rule of government back to ungodly people, and leading with integrity, honor and humility. Pray that our leaders, and we ourselves, will acknowledge and humbly submit to the rule of God in everyday life and political decisions. We must not forget what is at stake, not only for today, but for generations to come.

Job asked whether wisdom resides with the aged. His question ought to cause us to pause and ponder. Those who are wise in years understand that only when we humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways, will God heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

During the bombings of London in WWII, one of Churchill’s advisors organized a group of people to pray for protection every night at a prescribed hour for one minute. Not long afterward, the bombing stopped. Would God honor their example through us if we did as little ourselves?

Now imagine the impact that nearly 30 million grandparents, who claim to be followers of Christ in this country, could have upon a nation and the generations to follow if we were on our knees every day, not for one minute, but for 30 minutes praying for our leaders and our young? Will you join hands with grandparents like you throughout this land to do just that? Pray for the restoration of faith and virtue as cornerstones of our national character. Pray for wisdom for your children and grandchildren, and invite them to pray with you as well. If there is to be revival in the land, it must begin with us.

Joshua challenged the Israelites to choose whether they would serve God or the gods of the land. It's still the same choice today. We must carefully consider whom we will serve. If we are not serving God, how can we call the next generation, or those currently in leadership, to serve Him? Regardless of what others choose, he who is truly wise will stand with Joshua and declare: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” That is wisdom for all ages.

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