The Sinner Appealed To
"When will you be wise?" Psalm 94:8
In what does true wisdom consist?
Wisdom consists in hearkening to counsel (Proverbs 12:5) — the counsel of the wise, the experienced and the holy; but especially in hearkening to the counsel of God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who counsels us to procure from Him wealth, clothing, and wisdom, which last forever. (Rev. 3:18.)
Wisdom consists in gathering in summer — and so providing for winter which is approaching. (Proverbs 10:5.) In the summer of youth — we should provide for the winter of old age; and in the summer of life — we should provide for the winter of death. Now we are surrounded by the means of salvation; now we are hailed by the inviting voice of the Savior, saying, "Seek me — and you shall live;" and now we are encouraged by the gracious assurance, "Every one that seeks, finds."
Wisdom consists in obtaining salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, for which purpose the Holy Scriptures are given us, which are able to make us "wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (3 Tim. 3:15.)
In a word, it is our wisdom to avoid misery, disgrace, and death; and to secure the greatest happiness, honor, and everlasting safety!
But what folly is generally displayed! Men prefer a course which must secure misery, disgrace, and destruction! Is this wisdom — or is it folly? "The wages of sin is death." "The way of transgressors is hard." Is it wisdom — to slight the warnings of mercy — which are given that we may avoid the snare, escape the pit, and obtain invaluable blessings? Is it wisdom — to excuse ourselves from sitting down at the gospel feast, when invited to partake of the benevolence of God, and feed on the bread which endures to everlasting life? Is it wisdom — to reject the word of the Lord, which counsels us in kindness, and sets before us the way of life and the way of death? Is it wisdom to trifle, with . . .
death at our elbow,
judgment in prospect, and
Hell or Heaven but a short distance before us?
Was Cain wise, who slew his brother, went out from the presence of the Lord, ruined his own soul, and entailed a curse on his posterity?
Was Esau wise, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright?
Was Achan wise, who for a wedge of gold and a Babylonish garment ruined himself and his family?
Was Judas wise, who for gain sold his Master, and went to his own place?
Ah! if you could hear their groans, their lamentations, their self-reproaches — you would not, you could not say that they were wise.
But are you wise, or do you follow their pernicious ways? Do you believe in Jesus? Are you united with the saints? Will you now consecrate yourself to the Lord? When will you be wise?
You have, perhaps, heard the gospel, you have sometimes felt something of its power, you have promised at some future time to attend to it, you have postponed it again and again, you have delayed until now. Surely you are foolish, you are in the greatest danger, you are totally inexcusable! When will you be wise?
Are you now young? Youth is the time to incline the ear unto wisdom, and apply the heart unto understanding; to cry after knowledge, and lift up the voice for understanding; to seek for her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you shall understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. "For the Lord gives wisdom; out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:2-6.)
If you are not wise in youth, it is probable you never will be. Few become wise when settled down in life, and fewer still in old age. My young friend, look at the mirthful young man on his dying pillow, hear his dying regrets, mark his gloomy end — was he wise? Look for one moment at the state and condition of lost souls — were they wise?
Now pause, solemnly pause and listen:
God asks you from His throne, "When will you be wise?"
Jesus asks you from His cross, "When will you be wise?"
The Holy Spirit speaks to you by the Bible, and asks, "When will you be wise?"
The preacher cries to you from the pulpit, "When will you be wise?"
The godly friends ask you, "When will you be wise?"
See the end of the wise: "they shine as the brightness of the skies." (Dan 12:3.) See the end of the foolish; they cry, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!" (Jeremiah 8:20.)