Updated: Nov 18, 2021
Most of us desire wisdom. We recognize that not only do we need it, but wisdom helps us understand life in general. Wisdom can be found in may places but not all wisdom is the same. There is abstract wisdom which the Greeks developed. That wisdom included metaphysics (ultimate being/reality). From there we see the development of ethics and other subcategories of philosophy.
But what about practical wisdom that we can use every day? For that we go to the bible. Now many people desire wisdom in life but like many other things it will not come to you magically, you must work for it and pray for it!
The kind of wisdom God desires us to have comes through him! Christ Jesus and the indwelling person of the Holy Spirit are instrumental in us having any wisdom of value. Yes, we can learn from people who have lived a long life and acquired earthly wisdom, but true wisdom comes from God, from his Holy Word.
The Old Testament includes books known as Wisdom Literature — the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. The Wisdom Literature states: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111:10; Prov. 9:10). The Jews understood that wisdom meant a practical understanding of how to live a life that is pleasing to God. The pursuit of godliness was a central tenet and they understood that a necessary condition to have true wisdom is to fear the Lord.
The defined fear is how a child fears their parents with awe and respect, not horror or terror. Wisdom Literature further explains that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom so to acquire true wisdom we start with reverence and adoration for God.
Wisdom Literature makes it clear a person can have great knowledge and not have any wisdom. You however need knowledge to have wisdom therefore the difference is what is in our hearts and our relationship with God. Our era is anti-intellectual and anti-expert: many Christians believe “I don’t need to study or to know the Bible. All I need is to have a personal relationship with Jesus.” This is at the root of our church’s ills today, lukewarm Christians that are basically functional atheists.
When you read God’s word and study God’s word you acquire wisdom. It is folly to think you can have no knowledge of God or his word and fulfill your missional work (at work or in the home) for God.
That viewpoint is on a collision course with what the Wisdom Literature teaches. The purpose for learning the things of God is the acquisition of wisdom, and we cannot have wisdom without knowledge. Ignorance breeds foolishness, but true knowledge — the knowledge of God — leads to the wisdom that is more precious than rubies and pearls.
The consumer mentality that seeks comfort and material wealth above all else is foolishness and leads to ruin. Repent and renew your vows to Christ, make it a part of your day to read scripture, pray and get to know Christ Jesus!
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.