Wednesday, October 6, 2021
All my life I have loved tools. I have trouble walking through a home improvement store and not picking up a new tool and trying to justify why I need it. I think my love for tools comes from a couple of childhood memories about my grandfather, Gunnar Gabrielson, who lived in Cleveland, Ohio. I loved to go down to the basement and look at his tools. I don’t ever remember seeing a power tool, just the old-fashioned hand tools. But what beautiful work he would do with those tools. He was a skilled craftsman. In fact, he designed and built one of the first sewing machine cabinets in America. I believe it is still on display in a museum in Cleveland.
The major difference between my love for tools and my grandfather’s love for tools is that he knew how to use them well. He was careful and precise about everything he did. I do not understand those concepts. I am the proverbial bull in a china closet. I have tried to discipline myself to be careful. I have accomplished some nice projects, but they are always flawed in some way. It is usually traceable to my lack of patience and carefulness, and to my pride that says I know just enough to do the job. The fact is that I lack the wisdom to do the job perfectly.
In today’s wisdom, Solomon uses the analogy of building a house to reveal to us the wisdom necessary for building a real life. He takes us through a natural progression of spiritual growth.
Proverbs 24:3-4 “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”
Today would be a good day for us to evaluate our progress in building the house of our lives. Maybe there’s a project that needs to be completed before the Building Inspector arrives.
The first thing that is necessary in building a life of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Solomon says that by wisdom a house is built, and he wrote earlier in Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
There is a common foundation under every spiritual house – Jesus Christ. That foundation is only available to those who have come face to face with God and recognized their hopeless and worthless condition in light of His awesome perfection and holiness. “Woe is me, I am undone,” says the prophet Isaiah. From that encounter with God comes faith in the mercy and grace of God to forgive. By renouncing our wisdom we can choose to build our house on Jesus Christ.
The second thing that is necessary in building a house is for it to be established using the building material of understanding. In other words, everything built on top of the foundation must be connected to the foundation so it remains strong and unmovable by the storms of life. Here’s how the Apostle Paul states it in Colossians 2:2-4. Notice how understanding provides security.
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”
The more we come to understand our great salvation and the God who provided it, the stronger our house becomes. That is why a daily study of God’s Word is so important to our spiritual vitality. But it cannot stop with just understanding it, we must also do what we understand. James 3:3 says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” It’s not enough to have all of the building materials delivered to the construction site. Let’s pound some nails!
Finally, after laying the foundation of salvation, and establishing our house firmly on that foundation through understanding of how we were saved, we furnish the inside of the house by growing in our knowledge of God and His purpose. We tend to furnish our house with inferior goods that come from the world, when we have available to us all the riches of God in Christ Jesus to furnish every room. It’s time to remodel and redecorate. Go through all the rooms in your spiritual house. Are they furnished with the eternal riches of God’s grace or the cheap imitations of a failing world system? Your life can be filled with the finest furnishings – God’s grace and God’s love. (See Ephesians 1:7-8; Ephesians 3:16-19, and Philippians 4:19)
So, how is your house construction going? I know I have a couple of rooms that still need work. I’d better get at it. The Building Inspector could come today.