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August 3. 2013

THE VIRTUES OF WISDOM


The Virtues of Wisdom

Wisdom of Solomon 8:7,

Virtue:

Moral

excellence,

a

beneficial quality or power of a thing, a commendable quality or trait.

“And if a man love righteousness, her labours are virtues: for she teacheth temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude: which are such things, as men can have nothing more profitable in their life.”

Wisdom’s

virtues

are

her

characteristics. Her virtues are also the things that she bestows upon her children and upon all of the things that God created in heaven and on earth that allows everything to function according to the will of God. This year we will discuss just a few of the manifold, countless and infinite virtues of Mother

Wisdom, namely temperance, prudence, justice and fortitude. Let’s start with temperance.


Temperance: moderation in action, thought or feeling: restraint. The Wisdom of God teaches us how to restrain ourselves. Restraint is necessary to be able to resist temptation. It allows us to have self control when in difficult situations. It keeps us from becoming drunk with the things and desires of the world. Temperance is one of the fruits of the Spirit. The saints that we read about in the bible are perfect examples of temperance. We also have read a few examples of those who failed at critical times. Moses lost control one time when he became so angry with the people that had so provoked him that he hit the rock rather than spoke to the rock. In all other instances he was a perfect example of temperance. David fell at the lust of the flesh when he lay with Bathsheba, a married woman and then tried to hide his sin by having her husband killed in battle when she became pregnant. Both Moses and David were punished by God as they were leaders of the people. Temperance is not just about controlling lust or anger but about showing self control in every aspect of your life. With temperance we are able to resist the devil


that is always tempting us. Without temperance we will not obey God. Prudence: the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason, shrewdness, skill and judgment in the management of affairs and in resources, wisdom or judiciousness. Prudence allows us to manage ourselves and our affairs in wisdom. It helps us in our relationship with others. A prudent person has a keen ability to discern or understand things and will also use discretion in the things that they do or say. In Proverbs we learn how the prudent person controls his tongue, looks well to his household, foresees evil and prepares for it, is filled with knowledge and will accept reproof and correction. An example of a prudent woman is Abigail. When her servants came to her and told her how her husband had railed on the servants of David, she packed up food and brought it to him. She humbled herself before him and spoke to him with wise counsel that saved her life and the life of her household. Another example of course is Jacob who


through the mercy of the Lord was able to provide for his household though Laban continually tried to defraud him. Justice: being in conformity with what is morally right, the maintenance or administration of what is just according to the rules of law or equity, conforming to the law, righteousness. Justice is obedience to the law of God as well as maintaining or administering what is just according to the law of God. Some of us may be in a position of authority over others. A just person will temper the things that they do and will base them not only on the rules of the organization but according to the law of God. In other words they will show compassion and be fair. This does not mean they must allow people to break rules and be insubordinate, but that they must be fair and compassionate in their dealings them. Israel had many kings that were not just. Many of the laws of the land that we must obey are not just. An example is the unfair burden of taxes on the middle class. Another example is how the companies were allowed to move the jobs overseas so that they could become wealthy but the worker would lose their


job in this country. Nehemiah was a great leader who was a perfect example of justice in all of the laws that he established in Israel. He based everything that he did on the law of God in order to bring the children of Israel back into conformity. Fortitude: strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage. The children of God must all endure suffering and persecution. The spirit of God strengthens us to be able to withstand all of the things that we must go through with. The bible is full of examples of righteous men and women that had to endure with patience. One example that we speak about is Job who suffered more than anybody in the losses that he had. Job never lost his integrity. Daniel obeyed God in Babylon while his life was always in jeopardy by a king who was unjust and cruel and by the machinations of those who were envious of him. All of the prophets had to have fortitude and endurance. God is our strength. If we trust in him he will strengthen us.


We have discussed several of the saints of the bible that were examples of these four virtues of Wisdom. All of God’s children must have temperance, prudence, justice and fortitude in order to obey the law of God in perfection. We all have to have temperance to control ourselves and resist the devil. We must have prudence to be able to manage ourselves and our families without making stupid mistakes. We must have justice whether we are in positions of authority or not because justice is more than being fair, it is being morally right or righteous, and we must have fortitude because all of us go through trials and tribulations and in order to overcome we must be able to stand. I would like us to study about and consider one saint of God who exemplified all of these things. Joseph was a perfect example in all of these virtues. See if you can define how he had temperance, prudence, justice and fortitude and give a specific example. We will discuss it in church.


Please read: Genesis 37:1-28, Genesis 39:1-23, Genesis 41:1-57, Genesis 45:1-28, Genesis 47:1-31. We will not be reading all of the scriptures in church. But please readthese scriptures and if you have time, read from Genesis chapters 37 to 50 and bring scriptures to define how Joseph had all of these four virtues of Wisdom.

Bce 2013 the virtues of wisdom