Sermon Notes

Today we heard a sermon preached by Pastor Greg Price on the text

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

The two main points made in the sermon were:

  1. A prudent man wisely flees from evil.
  2. A simple man carelessly falls into evil.

Under point one, Pastor Price stated that the prudent man is wise in applying knowledge to practical situations in life. He considers the long-term effects of his decision. He is not an existentialist, living only in the present. He does not make hasty, rash decisions.

Specifically, the prudent man considers the revealed Word of God.

O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
~Psalm 119:97-104

The prudent man actually doesright now what he knows to be the will of God, as stated in John 7:17 “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” After doing God’s revealed will, he is then in a position to pray that God would give him wisdom concerning decisions to be made.

The prudent man also listens to the godly counsel of his elders, parents, and other mature Christian friends. Two verses cited were Proverbs 19:20, “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end,” and Proverbs 23:9, “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.” He does not poll everyone for the majority opinion, but selects a few mature counselors.

The prudent man prays diligently for wisdom, as he is instructed so to do in James 1:5-7, “If any of you lack widsom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” As we trust Him, He will grant us wisdom, in His time.

The prudent man realizes that “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Gal. 6:7. He sows in righteousness, not corruption, realizing that the sad consequences of foolish decisions will catch up with one. He considers the welfare of others in the decisions he makes, and doesn’t sacrifice his testimony for Christ by choosing to flirt with sin. He abstains from even the appearance of evil, as stated in I Thess. 5:22.

As an example of a prudent man whose history is given to us in the Bible, Pastor Price cited Joseph, who fled from the evil advances of his master’s wife. When accosted by the captain of the guard’s wife, Joseph said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Gen.39:9. Like Joseph, the prudent man should be prepared ahead of time, through communion with the Lord, knowing that such temptations will come. Such a man realizes that he is not the slave of sin. He is not bound to obey temptations, since Christ has overcome the power of sin in the life of a Christian. Pastor Price then quoted Romans 6:12-14:

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

The prudent man, the true Christian, can say, “No!” to sin. Beyond that, he is wise in not even placing himself in places or situations where he is likely to be tempted.

Another Biblical example of prudence given by Pastor Price was Hannah, the mother of Samuel. She had an adversary who provoked her sorely, but Hannah did not lash out at her cruel rival, but committed her cause to God. She serves as an example of one who did not succumb to ungodly anger, bitterness, resentment, or a revengeful spirit. Rather, she used the means of grace, such as prayer to God and meditation upon His Word, to avoid such sinful attitudes and behavior. The prudent person, likewise, seeks the Lord constantly, consistently, and also hates and despises not only sin, but the temptations to sin as well.

In the second main point of the sermon, the simple man was described. Pastor Price examined the meaning of the word “simple” in the text. This word indicates open, spacious and wide, as in “broad-minded” or “open-minded”. Such a person is gullible, and entertains whatever idea or practice presents itself to him/her. Are Christians then, “narrow-minded”? Certainly Christians should be informed about world events, and they should be no more narrow than what God’s Word teaches. However, Christians know:

  1. There is only oneway to God, through the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. The gate is wide, and the way is broad, that leads to destruction, and there are many going that way (paraphrase of Mt. 7:13,14)

A Christian is not “open-minded” to all music, fashions, sexual practices, philosophies, and religions, knowing that God’s Word bears on all these things. He receives instruction from God’s Word. He also learns from the mistakes of others.

Samson was given as an example of a simple man. He is noted as one who had faith (in Hebrews 11:32), but he was immoral. He was not wise when it came to women.

We, rather, should receive instruction and live.

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