Proverbs 3:13-15,  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

We are living in the age of merchandising.

The world presses upon you its merchandise from every possible direction.

We are even cautioned against taking a breath of God's air without a TIC TAC in our mouth.

The voices of the world appeal to you in every possible manner.

Music, soft words, loud words, sights, colors, smells, alluring women, handsome men are used by the world to elevate its merchandise to lofty heights promising that every need will be satisfied by its wares.

There is a product to meet every need, every perceived need!

There is a place where that product can be had 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Holidays not excepted!

We no longer go to the market place, we are always in the marketplace.

The marketplace is in our homes, as we travel from place to place, where we work, where we play.

The whole world is the marketplace! We cannot escape its siren call.

We are called from dinner to decide on long distance merchandise.

It is critical to our lives to switch from Sprint to AT&T.

Just think of it, 10 cents a minute! I've got to get in on that!

Then later a call will come: You are not with AT&T are you? Are you happy?

No! I'm not happy. Can you make me happy?

Happiness is measured by whether you have AT&T or not!

Lack of vinyl siding on your house is life threatening and a decision must be made before it is too late.

This offer is only good today, Mr. Opager and the window of opportunity is fast closing.

Time is of the essence. The clock is ticking.

Read the billboards of the marketplace.

Read the labels on each others clothing.

What fools we be as unpaid pawns for the advertising industry.

(Remember the sandwich boards people were paid to carry through town?) At least that was honest work .

Read the brand names and team names on shirts and hats.

Read the bumper stickers, read the ads in the papers.

No! read the few news articles you may find amongst the ads.

Newspapers are not for news anymore, they are the merchant's tool to sell their wares. Honesty demands that be called adpapers!

You can even shop while you are in your easy chair.

QVC is at the ready! Informerchals provide you with more opportunity.

Everything today is merchandising.

To the world you are simply a consumer and if you are to be a good citizen of the world you must consume to the maximum!

Consume, consume, consume then throw away what you consume so you can consume some more.

The world knows how to market its wares!

Paul writing to the Philippians in Chapter 4 verse 11, said "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

This is not a merchants verse! Paul, be quiet about your contentment in the marketplace!

Merchants do not like contented people.

Every effort of the merchants is aimed at making you discontented.

Merchants try to create dissatisfaction with your current state.

Merchants try to convince you that you are not a complete person unless you buy their products.

Christians have needs but God provides for all Christians to be contented.

But the world system of commerce makes every attempt to make you discontented in whatsoever state you are in.

The world promotes discontent in order to sell its products.

But the word of God as usual is opposed to this worldly principle and instead promotes contentment.

Just look at the rapid technological advances that make most discontented with whatever issue of the product they have.

Just look at the computer industry.

Each advance is built upon discontent with the current state of the computer used by the consumer.

Each advance requires new software, new hardware and additional training of the work force.

Increased giga bites and increased megahertz are a must for the modern man.

I want to be happy and I'm not happy unless my computer is state of the art!

There seems to be no end to the world's road of discontent.

But the world will never arrive at the destination of contentment.

There is no end to the gigabites required to be content.

Peter in 2nd Peter speaks of,  false prophets who through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

These false prophets are part of the world system that promotes materialism.

They make merchandise of you. You become the product. You become what is bought and sold.

Multitudes are on the road being beguiled by the merchants.

They are headed for the ultimate merchant of them all who intends to make merchandise of the multitudes who desire to be beguiled.

Will not the multitudes willingly have his mark upon their foreheads or upon their hand? They will try to be first in line!

They will simply be his product, his ultimate merchandise to deliver to the devil.

Will the mark of the beast of Revelation be a computer read mark like the mark upon the canned goods of the grocery store?

A simple unique bar code imprinted on the hand or the forehead allowing buying and selling in the kingdom of the Anti-Christ?

Simply like the millions of other products peddled by the world's merchants.

Human being, can of beans, same thing to the merchants.

This is what discontentment brings. But how did Paul learn to be content?

What did he guard himself with against the onslaughts of the discontent of the world?

He wasn't born with it! He says he learned it. for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

He learned it from the word of God!

That is the weapon against the system of the world, the system of discontent.

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

This is contentment. This is true happiness.

The wise man or woman seeks the merchandise of wisdom.

The merchandise of wisdom is that merchandise that the greatest merchant of all offers.

Jesus Christ, the true Merchant invites all to partake of his wares when he says in:

Isaiah 55:1-3,  Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live;....

The true Merchant receives not money for his wares. His wares are freely given to all who will partake.

The world offers its silver, the world offers its gold and rubies, its Lexus, its mansions, its stock options and on and on.

The world offers its gain, its interest rates that are designed to entice you into its system and to turn your heart away from God.

Profit, gain, ever increasing wealth and power.

This is the system of the one opposed to Christ. Christ who is Wisdom personified.

The world promises happiness through its abundant merchandise, but God makes it very clear that only by wisdom can happiness or blessedness be found.

One simple little proverb: Thus saith the LORD:

For the merchandise of (wisdom) is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

Proverbs 3:13-15,  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

Eliphaz the Temanite said to Job in Job 5:17,18,  Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.

Son, if this teaching sticks with you; if you hold to this important teaching you will be a happy man for you have found wisdom and understanding.

Those who delight in God's correction are rare indeed, more rare than any precious jewel or any earthly treasure.

For those who delight in God's correction are wise because they know that as God makes sore, that sore is bound up and God's wounding will lead to God's healing.

The word merchandise as used twice in this passage refers to profit.

Son, the profit of wisdom is better than the profit of silver or gold or rubies or anything you can desire in this world.

The world's happiness is vanity for it is tied up in material things and the seeking of profit in material things.

Things that you can hold and see and touch and taste; gold and silver and rubies and all the things desired by the flesh for the comfort of the flesh.

Oh, how that profit that is but a vapor, is sought after, with little or no thought for the profit that abides.

The world's happiness is tied to the body and the benefit of the body but God's happiness is tied to the spirit of a man.

The world's happiness may bring profit to the body, but the body is simply a temporary vessel.

But those who only see the body, only value that which is profit to the body.

But the happiness that comes with wisdom brings far greater profit because it is tied to the spirit which is eternal.

Notice how happiness is connected to the correcting hand of the Lord.

The Psalmist writes of this in Psalm 94:12,  Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

The blessings of God come with the correction of God which causes true happiness in the man.

The world's happiness is based on fleeting happenings which benefit the flesh but the happiness of the spirit is based upon the blessings of God that come through his correcting hand

Jeremiah wrote in Jeremiah 17:7,8,  Blessed is the man that trusteth (that flees for refuge) in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

That man who trusts in the Lord yields himself to God's instruction for he is in training for something higher and better.

For a tree planted by the waters need not fear the heat or the drought because there is unlimited supply of water from the river.

And so the man who plants himself in the arms of the Lord need not fear the heat or drought of man but enjoys true happiness for he continually enjoys the correcting and conforming work of the Lord.

The believer who welcomes the correction of the Lord knows that all that he faces is working out his highest good.

Therefore he is a blessed or happy man however much his outward circumstances may show a different story.

Son, we must make wisdom our business, we must give our all to its quest; we must be willing to part with all for it.

And wisdom is found by knowing God and letting God work his work in your life.

"PROVERB PRACTICALS" Article in "The Projector" for Proverbs 3:13-15, Merchant of discontent