These verses are Wisdom’s call to all of humanity…with the basic purpose of wisdom described in Proverbs 1:4-5, “For giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young – let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” But why do we need wisdom? Simple, because our hearts can be easily deceived, and a deluded heart will certainly mislead us.(Isaiah 44:20) So how do we start to obtain wisdom? Easy, Proverbs 1:7 tells us that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” And James 1:5 goes on to add, “If any of you lack wisdom ask, for the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” Wisdom is calling today, and if you’re like me, you could definitely use an extra measure of insight, discernment, and common sense in order to navigate through the mountains of information we’re being bombarded with right now.
For months now we have been bombarded with information about the Corona Virus. Everyone from experts in the field, to people who know nothing about it, are giving their opinions. But no one knows for sure what this virus is going to do or not do…for the name “Novel” Corona Virus tells it all. It is a new, unfamiliar, and unknown viral type that has the world scrambling to figure it out. But until they do, we’ll be inundated with information…good, bad, and indifferent. So how can we then make sense of all this information? How can we discern what’s true and what’s false? We have only to look at this verse…for man can give us knowledge/information, but only God can give us wisdom. That’s because all wisdom has its source in God and He is the Giver of all wisdom. (Proverbs 2:6) And when we lack wisdom, all we have to do is ask and He will give it generously. (James 1:5) In the months ahead, I feel wisdom is going to become paramount in our decision making.
Fear of the unknown…it seems like the entire world is reacting. So how can we as Believers respond the most appropriately to it? First, let’s ask ourselves a few questions. Has the Lord suddenly lost control and climbed down off His throne? The answer is no, for Hebrews 13:8 tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Next, do we believe in the authority and sufficiency of God’s word? If the answer is yes, then we must believe this Scripture that God did not give us a spirit of fear but of strength, love, and a sound mind…a sound mind meaning wisdom, good judgment, and prudence. And if this is so, we must also believe Scriptures such as Hebrews 2:51 that exhort us to not give in and become a slave to fear. Finally, as Paul exhorted Timothy to lead by example, we must then apply our God-given sound mind to everyday actions, all the while praying Psalm 91 to counteract this fear of the unknown.
Elsewhere in Isaiah, God laments, “O My people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.” (Isaiah 3:12) It’s almost like the blind leading the blind…with all of them wandering around in the dark. So how can we guard ourselves from this? The answer is discernment, wisdom, and sound judgment, based on personal knowledge of God’s word. No one will be able to lead you astray if you know the truth, and no one will be able to turn you from the correct way if you acknowledge that only Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Even though Ralph Waldo Emerson grappled with his faith, one of his quotes fits this Scripture very well. He said, ” The purpose of life isn’t to be happy. It’s to be useful, honorable, compassionate, and to have made some kind of difference that you’ve lived and lived well.” This living our life worthy is also found in Ephesians 4:1, where Paul wrote, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you’ve received.” For when we conduct our life filled with good works and wisdom – God’s perfect plan and purpose will be fulfilled…and in the end we’ll have made a difference in the world.
As human beings we think we are so smart! We’ve put people on the moon, developed cutting edge technology, and taken us from the horse and buggy era to modern transportation in a short span of time. But compared to God’s wisdom…we have nothing, for it was by God’s wisdom that He made the heavens and spread out the earth upon the waters, He made the great lights – the sun to govern the day and the moon and stars to govern the night. (Psalm 136: 5-9)… and I don’t think human wisdom will ever come close to duplicating that! So when the world in all its infinite “wisdom” looks at the Gospel Message…they scoff and laugh at the absurdity…”For the Message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18) Yes, as human beings we think we are so incredibility smart…but are we?
The Writer of this proverb was pretty blunt…if you’re opposed to God’s correction in your life, you’re dumb! We know that God disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12), but until we can realize it’s for our benefit not detriment…we’ll continue to rebel against His correction. Proverbs 9:9 says, ” Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.” Greater wisdom and understanding can only be found in the “education” of God’s discipline.
Our lips are called the gateway to honesty or deception. And while this Proverb extols the benefits of wisdom, and thinking before we speak… Job 15:5 shows the opposite when it says, “Your sin prompts (or incites) your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty.” We all have the ability to select the words that come out of our lips, for it’s our prudent or deceptive heart that guides them.
Godly wisdom is pragmatic…for there are very practical and economic benefits to gaining Godly insight and discernment over worldly wisdom. It tells us in Proverbs 3:13-14 that wisdom is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. Worldly wisdom, like worldly riches, are fleeting…here today and gone tomorrow. But Godly wisdom stays with you…ever increasing…and lasting forever.
You’ll find there’s two different and distinct types of wisdom out there today…worldly wisdom, and Godly wisdom. Worldly wisdom is of man’s making. So it’s no surprise that it’s full of ego, arrogance, and selfish ambition…with a motto that reads, “Look what I’ve done!” While Godly wisdom is full of humility, mercy, and peace…and always is seeking God’s perspective and counsel in all matters both big and small. With worldly wisdom we become unteachable, but with wisdom from above, we are continually growing into the person God wants us to be.