Hans Christian Andersen, in his famed story The Emperor’s New Clothes, sketched a comical view of everyman’s bent toward foolishness.
In short, the emperor thought he was clothed when in fact he was naked, and no one was willing to tell him.
The Master’s University’s President, Dr. John MacArthur, referenced the story Wednesday night as he opened the first session of the annual Truth and Life Conference at TMU. This year’s theme, “Walking in Wisdom,” is centered on the book of Proverbs, and MacArthur didn’t dance around the subject.
“You are either a fool or wise,” MacArthur said to a gymnasium packed with students back from winter break. “If you don’t know God, you are a fool. If you do know God, you are wise. That’s the dividing line.”
MacArthur led off with a bird’s-eye view for the theme of the next two days, a theme that will be explored by speakers Steven J. Lawson and Tom Pennington, both of whom spoke at last year’s conference.
The foolish, MacArthur said, are characterized by four main qualities: One, they reject God. Two, they worship themselves. Three, they mock at sin and “fail to give any weight to the destructive nature of sin.” And, four, they proceed to corrupt each other, propagating their own folly and ignorance.
Where then does this wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?
As Proverbs 1:7 illustrates, wisdom comes from knowing and fearing God.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. . . for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck” (Prov. 1:7,9).
Of course, wisdom manifests itself in a variety of ways. Continuing to unpack Proverbs, MacArthur said the wise guard their minds, submit to authority, are selective of their friends, subdue their desires, are faithful to their spouse, watch their words, work hard, manage their money well and serve others.
Before closing the night in prayer, MacArthur said, “This whole effort at wisdom should be going on every day, every hour. Buy up your time so you can walk in wisdom. Wisdom is found with God, nowhere else. That’s where the quest will take you, to God and to Him alone.”
*To watch the entire session, go to our [Facebook] page (https://www.facebook.com/mastersuniv/).