WHAT IS WISDOM?

At the beginning of the new year, I thought we might consider wisdom, an attempt to bring wisdom front and center at the beginning of the year, rather than at the end! The perfect picture of someone thinking about wisdom may be the bronze statue by Auguste Rodin. 

Wisdom is a subject that is discussed often in Scripture. 

Moses told the people to keep the statutes and rules that came from God and which he was teaching the people, for this reason:

Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’

Deuteronomy 4:6

In 1 Kings we read of Solomon, David’s son, who asked God for wisdom so he could govern Israel.  God gave Solomon wisdom:

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt

1 Kings 4:29-30

In the book of Job we find multiple references to wisdom, specifically asking where it comes from.  Here is one such reference:

“From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? …  And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'”

Job 28:20,28

In reference to the Savior who would come, Jesus Christ, Isaiah wrote this of Him:

And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

Isaiah 11:2

In the book of Daniel, we read that God gave Daniel and his three friends wisdom and understanding, to be used in the worship of God. 

As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.  …  And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.

Daniel 1:17-20

In the book of Proverbs, Wisdom is personified as a woman.  See for example:

Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:

Proverbs 1:20-21

In the New Testament, wisdom is again referenced multiple times.  Here, in Luke, we read this of Jesus as a child:

And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. …  And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

Luke 2:40, 52

The prophet Isaiah clarified the distinction between the wisdom of God and that of man when God stated:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

Paul wrote to the Corinthians that:

For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”

1 Corinthians 3:19

So, what does wisdom look like?  See Proverbs 1:7 and 15:33:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

In Colossians we are told that wisdom should abound in the Christian:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:16

James, Jesus’ half-brother, writes this of wisdom:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. …  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

James 1:5 and 3:17

Beloved, in 2021 let us be wise.  Not wise in our own eyes but let us be wise in Godly wisdom that comes from the Lord. 

Praise the Lord for His glorious works and for His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Father, thank You for the promise of wisdom from You if we only ask.  May we be wise, not in worldly wisdom but in the wisdom that comes from You through Your Holy Spirit in our lives.

Let me know if you agree, like or want to comment. Thanks. .

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