The bullies come. So-called great ones flex their power. They seem to overwhelm little cities and little people. But the poor wise man, Jesus, has words that deliver. This Man is to be heard for He saves and yet is despised. Still, He is only away. Ecclesiastes 9:13-18
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 5/5/2021
P. Schaller –
Alright. So, let’s have a few minutes of prayer together. I think what our nation needs really in our hearts we
need righteousness and because we are unrighteous and rebellious, we need to face that and
say I have sinned. I am wrong. I need help. I need God. God bless America but it’s deeper than
that, isn’t it? God bless America. Yeah, that’s a great thing but how do you get the blessing? Not
by unrighteousness and by sin and by selfishness and by our own way, but it’s recognizing I’m
wrong and I need God and I need to turn to God. That’s what our country needs, you know. It’s
a turning to God. We’re going to preach about that a little tonight. Right now, turn to each other
and make a little group and for a few minutes together we can ask God to really move in our
country and turn people to him, amen! Let’s do that for five minutes or so. Would you stand with
me as we open in prayer. I mean we’ve been praying but this prayer. Praise the Lord! Greet one
another for a moment. High five! And then sit down.
God bless you. You’re looking good today. Praise the Lord! God bless you. Have you ever been corrected in your life some how? What? You’re a happy group here! Have you ever been corrected in your life somehow and reacted?
Yeah? Okay. Yes. Turn to Ecclesiastes 9, our famous text from some years ago. It caused quite a stir.
Ecclesiastes 9:13, by the way, two things. We have Susie Silva here from India. There she is. That’s
amazing! Last plane out of India. Last seat on the plane. Last helicopter out of Vietnam. She
made it out and is here with us and a blessing. Secondly, Linda Scibelli’s birthday. That’s great.
So, chapter 9:13-14. This is like a parable, a story. He’s talking about something that he’s kind
of amazed at what happened. vs. 14. Usually, if there is a little city with few men in it, you would
bypass it. If you are a king, you would not worry about it. If it’s a small city with few men in it, you
don’t have to be afraid of it. It is inconsequential maybe. And I kind of liken this unto us. How
many Christians are there in the world?
Maybe there are few. Narrow is the gate to life. Few that be that find it. Fear not – Jesus said to the disciples. How many disciples were there? You can talk back to me. We got many different numbers. We have 12 and one is a demon. So how many? Fear not little flock. How little was the flock? Eleven men. That’s a few in number. vs. 14.
It was a great king against it. Does that resonate with anybody here tonight? Who was the great
king against it? Is it Satan? Is he a great king against a little city with few men in it? vs. 14. He is
really an enemy of that city. He is overdoing it in wanting to destroy the city, fight against it, root
it out and destroy it and take it down. He is overpowered in his effort. You’ll see as we get
through the story. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, vs. 15. Who was the poor wise
man? Was that Jesus? Was Jesus so poor he could not pay the temple tax? Was he so wise
that they could not resist him. Was he so poor that he had no army, no political power. He had
no military ability. He had no credentials on the wall but he was wise. Isn’t that cool? How poor
was he? He was poor in many ways. He was humble.
The humility of Christ. How he was born in Bethlehem. He was humble subject to his parents. That Sunday morning message on humility in prayer was really a good message because the Spirit was teaching us that not only do I live
as a Christian on the outside but I must carry on the inside a brokenness in my heart in truth.
Humility. “Enter his courts with praise, gates with thanksgiving. Come before God knowing that
God has made us not we ourselves. This poor wise man knew these things and he was
powerful. Maybe that’s why the great king was against the little city with few people because
he’s insecure about the poor wise man who is Christ. Wait a minute! Maybe that’s you and me.
Maybe we are the poor wise man that is in the little city. Look at the text please. vs. 15. He by
his wisdom delivered the city. You know there was a time in our country’s history where Great
Britain, the navel power of the century, the largest navel fleet, the largest military, wealthiest
nation on the earth – we were a little colony subject to that great power. In a way, in our country,
we were the little city.
But in our population were poor, wise people. It was said by De Tocqueville, this French sociologist that came here to America to understand the victory and success of our prosperity and he said was it in our institutions? Was it in our general population? No. He said it was in the pulpits of the churches. It was in the pulpits where there
was fire in the church, spiritual fire. Where we can sit and be relaxed and be encouraged and
loved. Where we can be forgiven. Where God is personal and anointing us in our assembly,
where we are loving each other and not gossiping about each other but covering each other.
Love covers a multitude of sins. And the poor little wise man delivered the city from the big bully
that is outside the gates. Is that big tech? Is that social media? Is that the media generally in our
country? Do we have big bullies in our country? Do we have a big enemy that has surrounded the little city and saying with their laughing, they are making fun. They think we are ridiculous
but we are not. We have authority from the Lord in our hearts. We are Christ’s people. We are
the salt of the earth. We are the lights of the world. We are the wise ones. We are the ones that
raise our families and teach our children.
By the way, you teach your children everything you possibly can about our culture and God’s mind on it. You take them to the street. You teach them about what is going on in the street. You teach them about sex. You teach them about
their identity. You teach them about love. You teach them about honor and respect and very
importantly we teach them about humility and taking rebuke. Because when the poor wise man
is in the city, he will rebuke us. But the rebuke is healthy. It says it in the parable. Let’s read it.
Maybe we should read the whole thing and go back. vs. 15. Let’s read the verse. Have we
forgotten Jesus Christ? Have we put him away in our western world and we don’t remember him
anymore? Have we stopped going to church and having Sunday Schools? Have we forgotten
that same poor wise man who delivered the city? Have we as a nation forsaken God and as an
individual? vs. 16. Because I remember the story. I remember the story. Wisdom is better than
strength. I had a Volvo car, an old one.
Actually, I brought it over from Sweden and it would run for two miles and then [noise]. I would be cranking the ignition trying to get it [noise]. Then, I’d wait a minute and it would fire up and go two more miles and then go die. So, I’m not a
mechanic. I don’t know how this happened. Maybe somebody told me to do it. Take the
carburetor apart, so I did. I found in the float this piece of dirt. I put it back together and it ran
fine. Wow! I’m brilliant! No, it has nothing to do with me. Believe me. Believe me. That little piece
of dirt had a big effect, doesn’t it? A little bacteria. I don’t know why he died? But a wise man
could say it’s a bacteria that killed him. I don’t know why my marriage fell apart? A wise man
could say if you had changed your language, maybe if God had searched your heart, maybe if
you had submitted to the poor wise man he could have found the little piece of dirt that troubled
your marriage. Or raising our family. They say that businesses collapse – I think it’s 85% that
businesses collapse because of the relationships with the people. It’s not the product. It’s how
the whole thing is managed and run. What’s wrong with people? We need a poor wise man to
help us and instruct us.
Correct me, Lord. Correct me. vs. 16. You can take a sledge hammer or
lift the car up or do a lot of things, but strength will not solve the problem. Wisdom will. You can
be strong or emotional or violent or you could pay a lot of money but that won’t solve that
problem. We need a poor wise man. Maybe you could go around the world and do everything.
Strength. You might say by my strength I can do this, and God is saying no. Strength is not
going to solve the problem. It’s got to take something else and when Christ came he saw the
human race and he went there. Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water and a man of
understanding will draw it out. He will tell me what I need to hear. There are many things I need
to hear but to be honest, I’m afraid many times we cannot endure it. I cannot hear the counsel.
Many times I react to it. I don’t want to go to the church. I don’t want to go to the church. And
yet, that’s the very thing the poor wise man says sit.
Sit at the feet of Christ and be instructed. And be loved. And be forgiven and be counseled by the Word of God. Isn’t that amazing? Colossians 3:16, “let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly and abundantly.” he will help us and straighten
us out. When we get help, we will be able to help others. But I think the devil is afraid of us. He
comes rumbling into the hill side. [Noise]. He’s got his big machines, catapults. He’s got his
bombs and his technique and his operation and it’s big and he’s a great king. He’s very powerful
and he wants to take it out. But there is a poor wise man in the city who is going to deliver the
city. The devil is going to flee. He’s going to say I couldn’t do it. Let us think of America like this.
Let us think that he cannot take us down. We are a mighty people and we have found that God’s
way is actually our joy, isn’t it? Okay. Go to the next one. vs. 16. Yeah. When Jesus came,
some people heard him gladly, Luke 4:32. Some people they hated it.
They hated it. It was finally, – they heard it and they talked amongst themselves. We must kill him. We must kill him.
That’s how much it’s hated. Take the Bible out. Take the preachers out. Take the people of God
out. We despise it. We don’t like it. What about the abortion problem be dealt with by women not
having sex before marriage. Don’t have sex before marriage. Then you’ll never have to get an
abortion. You shouldn’t get one anyway. I’m trying to say, that’s a problem. Pro-life, pro-choice
questions and all of that. Why not teach the ladies be a woman. Be moral. Restrain yourself. Be
godly. Why not teach a woman the words of the poor wise man. Why not teach people to
restrain yourself. Be celibate and be not sexually active. Oh, no. Do not talk about that. Do not
even say that. What are you, a religious bigot? Woe! No, I don’t think I am. I’m just listening to the words of a poor wise man who is making sense to me and training our children and our
young adults and our teenagers how to live their life.
And how to get a blessing from God and get married. When you’re going to live with someone, get married. Why not? If you get hurt or despise these words, then I challenge you to go before God with these words. You see, I might
not like them but I can go before God with them. And say, Lord, show me in my heart. Help me
understand. I want to live in righteousness. This is what America – this is the salt of the earth
this righteousness. This poor wise man is saying God will deliver us from the big giant out there.
God is on our side. God will fill us with the Spirit. God will send us to the Roman Empire and in a
couple hundred years the whole Roman Empire is converted to Christianity as a way of life.
What an unbelievable story. That’s not possible. But that poor little wise man in that little city that
the devil knows what kind of authority is there, what kind of wisdom, how wisdom can change a
life, how people can turn to God and find joy and peace and happiness for their life and glorify
the living God. Isn’t that amazing! Wow! Last verse there. vs. 16.
One more time. You might despise some things that you hear from this pulpit. I think that would be normal. Actually, I hope you do. I hope you could despise. I do. There are things that I wrestle with and I think about. But
that’s good for me, because why do I just have to listen to everything that my flesh wants to
hear? That’s everywhere in the news, everywhere in the media, everywhere in Hollywood.
Everything they do is to cultivate and coddle the human race in their flesh and their sin and
reinforce it. Anybody that challenges it, you are a bigot. You are a narrow minded Christian, a
white supremacist, a dangerous, homophobic, Islamophobic human being, fundamentalist,
violent, dangerous person. They have all those names and labels. But if you get to know us, you
know, we ourselves – you’re speaking too highly of us. You’re exaggerating our – we are
nobody’s. We are nobody’s and we are learning to walk with God.
I mean it. Not in rebellion but in humility before God and say, God, search my heart. Is there any evil way in me. This love that is in our hearts is for people that have problems like the addictions and habits of life and
confusion that happens in a sinful way. I remember I was addicted to a drug and Dr. Stevens
was preaching. He never said it. He never said the drug. I had bad habits and he never said
them. He didn’t have to. I just realized that I need, I need Christ. I need the one he is talking
about. I need the Spirit to fill me. I need more than just the ABC’s of Christianity. I had that all
my life. The simple ABC’s. But I didn’t know what this was about until I got into the ministry
where I started to hear on a regular basis what God wanted to say to me and challenge me so I
would not despise the words of the poor wise man. I started to love them, obey them, embrace
them. They started to change me, help me.
Things fell away like the leaves off the trees in the fall. They just disappeared. I was in Cincinnati and one brother from Indianapolis – I said it on Sunday – he came to Cincinnati to meet us. He said I listen to you everyday. My life is changed. He’s a 45-year old car mechanic. He goes you would not believe how my life has changed. I am
so excited. I am so encouraged. He didn’t have the vocabulary to say what was in his heart and
life. He was very excited. I just thought this is so encouraging to me. To see a man whose life
changed by Jesus Christ. Beautiful. vs. 17. The words of wise men are heard in quiet. What kind
of quiet? Quiet in the heart. Quiet in the presence of God. Quiet in the church like now. Words of
the wise are heard in quiet. Quiet in my heart. I carry them home. Years ago when I was up in
Maine and I listened to Dr. Stevens, I remember his message about Abraham giving his son. I
remember where I was sitting in the church. I remember hearing it. I was so moved by that
message. I got up afterward and I went out and went for a walk.
I had to give up my mom and my dad. I had to give up my future. I had to give up my life. I had to give up my plans for my life. Abraham gave up his son and I heard those words and it was just me and God. I heard them in
quiet. I didn’t need a guy yelling and telling me to do this and that. I didn’t need a man yelling
and shouting. I didn’t need the Ten Commandments shouted at me and tell me to do this and do
that. No, we are being taught in a different way. We hear it in quiet in our hearts. We are
corrected. They are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that rules among fools, vs. 17.
There are people who are crying out loudly on the media. Instead of “fools” you can put in the
word of some political parties in history. There have been ruthless political parties. The famous
ones are the Nazi’s and the Communists. There have been many parties that lacked wisdom.
They are yelling and shouting and crying out. We that hear it in quietness, this is stronger than
what you hear yelling out there on the street.
This is something that makes my life personally accountable. This is that which gives comfort and peace. This is that which changes our lives. This summer, we have some trips. We are praying about going to Arkansas. I heard about South Dakota. People praying. I’m thinking about praying for West Virginia. I talked to P. Hadley
and I said maybe we could go there to some towns in Appalachia and preach off the back of a
pick up truck with a loud speaker. And go to one town and preach and look for young people,
anybody that will hear. People that are in need. People that are oppressed. People that are in
need. People that want to have a new life. And say come. Come to Christ and believe in him.
That’s what we do. They may hear it in quiet. vs. 18. Wisdom is better. I would like to say to the
world of academia, come on guys! Come on guys! We’re looking for your wisdom. I’d like to say
to those people that understand the nature of a democracy, the nature of our Constitution, come
on guys! We have freedom of religion. We have freedom of speech.
Come on guys! I want to hear more about that. I want to hear about our rights. I don’t agree with this. Is that okay? Are
you going to destroy me if I don’t agree with you? There is a woman in Finland. Her name is
Pivy Rasinen. And google her name even though it’s a foreign name to you. You don’t know
how to spell it. Google it. She’s a politican. Medical doctor. In trouble being brought to court.
Might face – it depends on how the case goes. Her crime is hate speech. She read Romans
chapter 1 – I don’t know all the details. I just want to make a general – I’m not covering the, I
don’t know it all but know it principle. She read Romans 1 about homosexuality and now she’s in
trouble for hate speech. And the government or somebody is bringing the case against here. I
believe it’s the government of Finland that is bringing the case. It’s like, are you kidding? I
cannot say that? Romans 1? I cannot read the Bible?
Are you kidding me? We don’t have freedom of religion and freedom of speech in this western world of democracies and human rights? You give all the human rights to the guy with all the big machines out there [noise].
Right? They got all the rights but the poor little wise man doesn’t have. He doesn’t have but
keep your eye on him for he is a wise man. And he will win. Christ wins. God wins. Keep your
eye on him. Do not back up and be part of the enemy. Be humble. Don’t despise the poor wise
man who is forgotten later. They all go back to life as usual. He is forgotten later and his words
are despised. No, we must be humble and say to God, I want to hear those words again. They
will deliver me. I want to know those words. I want to embrace those words. I want those words
on my bathroom wall. I want those words in my kid’s textbooks. I want those words in a
gymasium. It used to be YMCA. Remember? Young Men’s Christian Association. It used to be
in the pool halls. It was D. L. Moody and a whole movement in 1850 and 1860s. It was for
Christian young men. Why?
Because their dads were alcoholics and drunkards and the boys were without instruction and without investment. So they had YMCA’s. Where are they today? Where are the counselors? Where are the godly men? That’s okay. We can build again because we remember the poor little wise man. We remember the words of Jesus Christ. We remember
the way it’s supposed to go. We have found a new normal. We have found something that is
transforming and something that we embrace and we love. Let’s just take one last minute and
read the whole story. vs. 13. It was amazing what I saw. vs. 14. They should have just left it
alone but they were afraid of it. And built great catapults and bombs and armies came against it.
[noise]. Do you feel that? Do you know what that is? Do you know that the nations of the world
are against our faith? There are so many bad words that are said about people like you and I.
We are the ones that get down in the dirt with God and we say, God, help me raise my family.
Help me keep my job. Help me bless my company. Help me pay my bills. Oh, God. Fill me with
your Spirit. Help me to live a godly life.
Help me to honor women and honor men and honor children and live a godly life. Help me with my friends and our joy and our mission. Help us, God. That’s where we want to live. vs. 15. Oh no! Oh no! He delivered the city. That can’t be.
Oh no! Oh no! That’s wrong. He cannot deliver the city. We oppress the city. Oh no! What is he
doing now? What is he doing now? He delivered the city. He did, yet no man remembered that
same poor man. vs. 16-18. One Bible school. One Bible school is better. Wow. One disciple.
One man can change a city. One man of God, Billy Graham. Little Bible college. This is long but
I’m always saying I’m closing but I am. Wait a minute. Maybe you don’t know this. Billy Graham
went to this legalistic Bible school. What’s the name of it? Jones. What’s his first name? What
was it? Bob Jones. He went to Bob Jones University his first year and he didn’t like it. In a word,
– it’s in his biography. His first year he went to Bob Jones and then he wanted to leave, transfer
out. He gave his blessing. He went to a little Bible school in Florida, Pensacola. I think there
were about 30 students.
And the leader, he took Billy Graham and mentored him and taught him
and got him preaching in churches in Florida. Like little Baptist churches on Sunday as a guest
speaker. And he wanted to teach him because Billy Graham wanted to preach. He wanted to learn the Word and he wanted to preach. And he came – Billy Graham tells the story he came to
the end. He was very discouraged. He went to a golf course nearby on the 18th hole and he
gave it all up to God. He goes, this is yours. I give you everything. I trust you. And he said the
Spirit of God visited him and said I’m going to use you. It’s a beautiful story. You know, I don’t
need a legalistic church. I need the message of grace. I need the Spirit of God. I don’t need the
rules of do’s and don’ts. I need a golf course, the 18th hole where I give it all up and I say God, I
need the poor little wise man in my life. That’s what I need. I am following you and trusting you.
Use me or don’t. It’s okay. I’m a little person. I don’t need much but I need you. Okay.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.