This week, we will begin a new sermon series looking to The Wisdom of God in the book of Proverbs. In anticipation of our first week in Proverbs 1, let’s look to Romans 1 where we also confront the source of all wisdom: our Creator God.
Wednesday, July 10th
Larger Portion of Scripture - Romans 1
Focused Passage for Reflection - Romans 1:18-23
Reflecting on the Text:
Last March, for one beautiful evening in Uganda, the power went out. While this is not all that unusual for Uganda, this particular night was memorable because I actually took the opportunity to walk outside and look up. The darkness of the night sky was muted, not by street lamps or the headlights of passing cars, but by a blanket of stars which stretched from horizon to horizon. It was a glorious sight! Or rather, it was a sight which pointed to true glory. The words of Psalm 19:1 immediately came to mind:
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
The psalmist knew the beauty of the stars above pointed beyond the stars themselves, and to the Creator. Paul knew the same, and captured this rich theological truth in Romans 1. There, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote that mankind is without excuse as to the knowledge of our Creator God, because He has made His presence plainly known through the creation itself.
Christian and non-Christian alike would agree that it is foolish to ignore what is plainly obvious. Yet for many, that is precisely what we do. Romans 1 describes this ignoring the obvious as suppressing the truth. The truth being suppressed in Romans 1:18 is ultimately the truth of the knowledge of God. This truth is a plan truth, as evidenced in creation. So why do so many suppress it?
Paul goes on to say that to know God is to honor Him as God. When we refuse to honor God with our heart, our minds begin to suppress the plain truth of Him. And there we see ultimately that truth suppression is an issue of the heart more than the head. The head knows that a God big enough to create the universe didn’t merely step away from His creation. He also reigns over it. And the heart set on self rejects (or suppresses) the God who rules over self.
Just like the leg bone connects to the ankle bone, the heart connects to the head. “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.” (vv. 21-22)
As we begin to explore the Wisdom of God in Proverbs, let us protect ourselves from thinking this is merely a book of worldly wisdom. God’s Word is clear. True wisdom is ultimately a matter of the heart. So together, let us look for true wisdom, and true joy, in hearts which honor our Creator God.
And if you get a chance, take another look at the beauty of creation. That night in Uganda….I felt small, and it felt good. I knew afresh that my God is big. Be reminded of the same, and see it as His wisdom for you.
Questions for personal reflection:
Where do you see God’s eternal power and divine nature (v. 20)?
Are there particular settings, or friend groups, where you are tempted to suppress this truth? What are the issues going on in your heart when you face that temptation?
Are they external temptations, or do they come from something inside of you?
Do you have a trusted friend with whom you can share those temptations or doubts? If not, please reach out to one of your elders and talk/pray with them.