What’s The Difference? Part VIII: Wisdom!
Thoughts related to Casey Ingold’s Sermon, Covenant Baptist Church, May 8th, 2011
One of the most amazing gifts God gives us as Christians is wisdom. As Casey pointed out, we have the privilege of asking God for wisdom. And if we ask in faith without any doubting (James 1:5-6) we can know it will be given to us. Wisdom is very desirable. “For wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare to Her.” (Proverbs 8:11) We see that even Jesus “kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” when He was growing up as a man. (Luke 2:52)
But what is wisdom? How can we recognize wisdom in others and how can we pursue God’s wisdom for ourselves?
In the Bible, especially in Proverbs, the word wisdom is typically coupled with words like knowledge, understanding, instruction, and discernment. The opposite of wisdom is foolishness, and the wise and the foolish are often contrasted. Wisdom is often personified in female terminology – “Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget or turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; love her and she will guard you.” (Proverbs 4:5-6)
Wisdom is from God
The Lord possessed me (wisdom) at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.
Then I (wisdom) was beside Him, as a master workman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in the world, His earth, and having my delight in the sons of men.
Wisdom was present with God from the beginning of creation.
What Wisdom Looks Like
- The Beginning of Wisdom Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Wisdom begins with fearing God. Fear here refers to reverence and respect. If we don’t come to God as a creature, reverent and respectful, we cannot hope to find wisdom from Him.
Proverbs 4:7 The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding.
We get wisdom by understanding that we lack wisdom and that we need to acquire it. Only the fool does not know he lacks wisdom.
- The Wise Loves Wisdom Proverbs 4:8-9
Prize her (wisdom), and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a garland of grace; she will present you with a crown of beauty.
Also see: Proverbs 7:1-5
- The Wise Listen to Counsel and Reproof Proverbs 8:14
Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine.
- Wisdom Protects Us from Evil Proverbs 14:16
A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless.
Also see: Proverbs 7:4-27
- The Wise Reflect God’s Character James 3:13-18
Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
We see in the description of the “wisdom from above,” a picture of the character of Jesus Himself. Jesus is the last word in wisdom. He is wise beyond our wildest imagination.
How to Get Wisdom
- Become a Christ Follower. Since Jesus is wisdom personified, we must follow Him to have wisdom from above.
- Ask God for wisdom without doubting. As James told us, God is willing to give wisdom to anyone who asks.
- Read, meditate on, memorize, and study God’s Word. Here is the wisdom from above that the world knows nothing about. Soak in it daily.