Monday, January 30, 2017

The Beginning of Wisdom


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Wisdom. Have you ever contemplated this word and its meaning? No, of course not. Why would you waste time thinking about something humans gain with study, life experience, or just seem to possess? Still, as wasteful as it may seem, lately I’ve been pondering wisdom.

It’s true, wisdom abounds. There’s academic wisdom, science wisdom, business, sports, etc. Yet, this is acquired wisdom – knowledge gathered and expanded over years of study, trial and error. When knowledge in any subject is learned, wisdom usually follows. Wisdom applies the knowledge and these two fit together like a nut and bolt.

Isn’t it interesting we even have the capacity to develop wisdom? How do we do it? And why is our amazing brain able to take in all we learn and experience and then produce wisdom?

The explanation can only be God.


Jehovah, the Self-Existent One, is infinite, eternal, and omniscient or All-knowing. In Him “…are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”[1]

Wisdom originates and emanates from God for it is His nature. And, as incredible as it sounds, our potential to acquire wisdom is a result of being created in His image.

Yet, unlike the infinite God who created us, humans are finite. And, wisdom gained from books and life experience can go only so far. If the person attempting to increase wisdom refuses to acknowledge this eternal Creator, they actually diminish their own understanding.

Consider this, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”[2]

So, if we have no fear of God, what type of wisdom do we possess?

Human wisdom only – gained by achievement.

But, is it wrong to gain wisdom? No, because we were created with the capacity to learn. Still, those who are touted for their great wisdom rarely rejoice when another’s wisdom exceeds their own. And, because of sin, human wisdom is not peaceable for it lacks the Prince of Peace.  Human wisdom inspires envy, strife, and James calls it earthy, sensual, and demonic.[3]

King Solomon, the one to whom God had given a wise and understanding heart…”[4] decided to use his life as an experiment. In Ecclesiastes he writes of keeping nothing from himself. Anything his eyes and heart desired he did.

Finally, after years of indulgence, Solomon saw himself in comparison to a Holy God and penned his hypothesis. Among other profound statements, Solomon concluded, “…wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.”[5] ”… Wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, but the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.”[6] 

Yet, the only way wisdom can give life is if it begins with fear of the Lord.

But, why must true wisdom begin with fear of the Lord?

Wisdom exists because God exists. And from this eternal, Triune God, Jesus Christ became for us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.[7]

Wait a minute. Is that concept even logical? Probably not. “…God chose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.[8] Therefore, no human wisdom, knowledge, or counsel will ever succeed against the Lord.[9]

So, “…Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom…but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows  Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the Lord.”[10]

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”[11]




[1] Colossians 2:3
[2] Proverbs 9:10
[3] James 3:15
[4] I Kings 3:12
[5] Ecclesiastes 2:13
[6] Ecclesiastes 7:12
[7] I Corinthians 1:30
[8] I Corinthians 1:27
[9] Proverbs 21:30
[10] Jeremiah 9:23-24
[11] Romans 11:33

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