by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Study # 27 March 11, 1998 Harlingen, Texas
Thesis:God's wisdom is absolutely trustworthy.
Introduction:Last week we noted that James called for a cessation of the recurring drift from the path. We said that people only leave off following the path because of two issues: 1) Suspicion of ulterior and hurtful motives; and 2) Suspicion of foolishness of instruction (the failure of wisdom). In 1:13-15, the issue of the divine motives was addressed and it was revealed that the dangerous motives are in US and not in Him. Now, in 1:17-18, the issue of divine wisdom is addressed and it is revealed that it is rock solid to our benefit. This evening we want to try to understand James' words regarding the trustworthiness of divine wisdom. To do this we are going to FIRST address the character of the Father of the Lights, then we shall look into the actions He takes in our behalf.
I. The Meaning of the Father of the Lights.
A. Most likely, this is a reference to Genesis 1:14.
1. This is where "the lights" are introduced to us.
2. This is also where the issue of the lights is given to us in respect to the issues of formlessness and emptiness.
a. Under the "new creation" thesis of the new birth, the imagery of chaos and emptiness form the roots of man's lostness.
b. The resolution of these twin difficulties forms the foundation for fruitfulness in the future.
B. The Father created these lights for man's sake.
C. But He is different from these lights in two ways.
1. They constantly shift; He never does.
2. They generate shadows; He never does.
II. The Implications of the Father in Respect to His Actions Toward Us.
A. He gives good 'gifts'--i.e., provisions for life.
1. This means we have to define what the provisions really are.
2. This also means that we have to define what good really is.
B. His giving is ultimately completed into a firm understanding of His wisdom.
1. The only 'gifts' James mentions in this context are wisdom and the crown of life.
2. In dealing with difficulties, the primary need is for wisdom to use the lesser gifts (assets, energy, and time).
III. The Conclusion is that God's Wisdom is Trustworthy in Terms of its Goodness and its Applicability.