In search of Wisdom
Greetings precious people, I do hope that you are doing well today and rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ. In today’s article we will continue our study in search of wisdom. We are using the greatest book on wisdom that has ever been written, the Word of God, the Bible. Though we will be using many parts of the Bible, our major focus will be in the Book of Proverbs. A man believed to be both the wealthiest and wisest man that ever lived, his name was Solomon, wrote the Book of Proverbs.
In last week’s study we saw that there is a difference between the wisdom of the world (man’s wisdom) and the wisdom of God. Much of the problems that we see occurring in the world today are caused by man’s insistence on relying upon his own wisdom rather than upon God’s wisdom. The wisdom of man is foolishness to God. Though God is willing and desirous of giving man His wisdom from above, man rejects God’s offer and stubbornly relies on himself.
Lets take a look now at what the second chapter of Proverbs has to say about wisdom. In Proverbs 2:1-4 we read, “My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures;”
There are two things that I would like you to take note of here in these verses. First, God qualifies the way or degree of seriousness that man is to seek God’s wisdom if he expects to acquire it. It is not to be done with any halfhearted effort, rather as one search for hidden treasure. I told you earlier that God wants to give to everyone the wisdom from above, but only to those who are serious about obtaining it and realize the value of it.
The second thing I want you to notice is how Solomon (the author of most of Proverbs) personifies wisdom. Here and in many other places in this book, he will give wisdom the personification of a good woman. In other places he will personify foolishness and folly as being a wicked woman. He does this to show the contrast and the end of following one or the other.
Look at what God promises the one who gets Godly wisdom. In Proverbs 2:5-16 we read of the benefits of such wisdom, “Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, Equity and every good path. When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you, To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things, From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice in doing evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and who are devious in their paths; To deliver you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words.”
Wouldn’t you agree that the wisdom and it’s benefits that are spoken of here is greatly needed today? Think of the numerous problems that exist in people’s lives as a result of not having and exercising true, godly wisdom. The many problems within and among nations that could be bypassed if the rulers would simply submit themselves to God and seek His wisdom in matters. Consider our present judicial system that continues to make many foolish rulings favoring criminals and further punishing the victims. There is little justice and equity due to the departure of seeking God’s wisdom over what is popular. Finally, think of all the sorrow and heartache that is caused to children and spouses alike when husband or wife fails to use discretion and is taken captive by the seductress man or woman.
It is important to understand why such importance is placed upon the first benefit of gaining wisdom, which is the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord and wisdom from above go hand in hand. One is the result or by product of the other. We read that, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
There are many misunderstandings when it comes to what the ‘Fear of the Lord’ is. The fear of the Lord is to have a reverential awe and respect of God. It includes but is not limited to truly believing that God will do exactly what He has said He will do. This includes both the longed for promises as well as the not so longed for promises of God. For example, the Apostle Paul warns in Galatians 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
It is interesting how large numbers of Christians claim and believe the “positive” promises but ignore and disbelieve the “negative” promises of God. These are, as Paul tells, deceived. Many are foolish to think that they can sow to their flesh, (live contrary to the Word of God) and not reap any consequences. God speaks to the contrary. If / when a Christian lives contrary to the Word of God there will be consequences, undesirable fruit will crop up. The Bible is full of examples to this end. Such examples as the life of David. King David as you know got involved with a woman named Bathsheba and had a child. Bathsheba was not David’s wife when this happened, the Bible calls this adultery. The undesirable fruit from this adulterous relationship was a child, the child died, David was chastened by the Lord, and worst of all was that his actions gave those that hated God an occasion to blaspheme God.
A true fear of the Lord knows that God will do exactly what He has said He will do whether it be blessing or cursing. And this fear of the Lord will keep a person form sin.
Solomon goes on to tell of the end destruction of the one who heeds not God’s wisdom, rather falls prey to the ways of the foolish. In Proverbs 2:17-22, “Who forsakes the companion of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God. For her house leads down to death, and her paths to the dead; None who go to her return, nor do they regain the paths of life-- So you may walk in the way of goodness, and keep to the paths of righteousness. For the upright will dwell in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;
But the wicked will be cut off from the earth, and the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.”
It is important to understand from where this wisdom is to be acquired. We are told in Proverbs 2:6, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Wisdom comes from the spoken Word of God which has been recorded in the written Word of God the Bible. We read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” And 2 Peter 1:19-21, “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
God has given us all that we need pertaining to life and godliness dear ones. Where is it that you are seeking wisdom to live by? Is it from the world and man or from the riches of God and His Word? I do hope that you seek the Lord for His wisdom and direction for your life, God will never fail you.
Next time we will continue our study in search of wisdom, until then may the Lord richly bless you beloved.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site to read all previous articles at www.calvarychapel.org/alpine/index.htm
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine