Preached at Zoar Chapel, London, on Thursday Evening, July 8th, 1841, by J. C. Philpot.
"A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance." Ecclesiastes 3:3,4.
But there is "a time to kill" not only a man's pride, but also his WISDOM; to slaughter it, and, as it were, drain away the life-blood from it. How delusively does this fleshly wisdom of ours act, in endeavoring to substitute the 'mere knowledge of truth in the letter', for the teachings of God in the soul!
And how many are deceived in various ways by leaning to their own wisdom, instead of feeling as fools before God, and looking up to Him for His blessed instruction! But the Lord will effectually kill creature-wisdom in the hearts of His people, by bringing them into those straits and difficulties, into those sharp and severe exercises, into those bitter and distressing temptations; where all human reasoning gives up the spirit, where knowledge and understanding are baffled and confounded, and the arm of the creature is so palsy-stricken that it cannot take any one promise out of the Word of God, to administer comfort to the troubled soul.
"I will destroy," says the Lord, "the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" 1Cor 1:19,20; The wise man is not to "glory in his wisdom" Jer 9:23, but glory in it he will until it is killed, and he learns, at the knife's point, that the Lord "turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish" Isaiah 44:25.
The best lessons are learned in affliction. A man never learns anything to profit while standing upon a lofty mountain. It is in the valley of humiliation, it is in seasons of distress, trouble, anxiety, perplexity, and temptation, that a man learns the secrets of heavenly wisdom, for in them he learns his own folly, and that "the Lord gives wisdom– out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding" Pr 2:6.