The Wisdom of the Word

 

Wisdom is defined in the dictionary as the 'power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action based on knowledge, experience, and understanding'. E. W. Bullinger described wisdom more simply as 'the right application of knowledge'. In order to practice the wisdom of the Word of God, we must first have knowledge of the Word. By reading, studying, and learning the Word, we can apply the knowledge we gain, thus acting with wisdom.

THE OLD TESTAMENT:

The Old Testament has many passages concerning the wisdom of God and His Word. Here we will look at a few of them.

I Kings 3: 5 - 13 -- In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it isthis day. And now, O Lord my God, thou has made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am buta little child: I know not howto go out or come in [I know not how to rule]. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment [justice]; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.

God was very pleased with Solomon's answer. All Solomon desired was that he have the knowledge and understanding to make sound judgments, to act with wisdom. Not only would God grant this request, but He would also give to Solomon things he had not asked for: riches and honor, so that no other king or ruler would appear as splendid as Solomon. A few verses later in the same chapter, Solomon had the opportunity to use this wisdom.

I Kings 3: 16 - 28 -- Then came there two women, that wereharlots, unto the king, and stood before him. And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this women was delivered also: and we were together; there wasno stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house. And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it. And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear. And the other woman said, Nay; but the living ismy son, and the dead isthy son. And this said, No; but the dead isthy son, and the living ismy son. Thus they spake before the king. Then said the king, The one saith, This ismy son that liveth, and thy son isthe dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son isthe dead, and my son isthe living. And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other. Then spake the woman whose the living child wasunto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, butdivide it.Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof. And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared [respected] the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God wasin him, to do judgment.

This is the story that everyone has heard concerning the wisdom of Solomon. All of Israel also heard the tale, and they greatly respected Solomon, not because he was a great man with riches and honor, but because they knew he had the wisdom of God in him. More is said about the wisdom of Solomon in the next chapter.

I Kings 4: 29 - 34 -- And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that ison the sea shore. And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that isin Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.

It was God who gave wisdom to Solomon. Not only did he say wise sayings, but he knew so much about God's creation -- the trees, the animals, the fishes. Solomon didn't achieve this wisdom by studying at a big university or seminary. There were other men at the time who were considered wise, but they paled in comparison to Solomon. Their wisdom came from the world, while Solomonís came from God. Solomon asked God to give him wisdom, and other Old Testament believers did the same.

Psalm 90: 12 -- So teach usto number our days, that we may apply ourhearts unto wisdom.

A literal translation according to usage:

Psalm 90: 12 -- Teach us to order our days rightly, so that we can cause our hearts to come to wisdom.

By listening to God, we can do His Will day by day. This causes our hearts (our innermost self) to become wise. We know what to do and when to do it.

To obtain wisdom, we must be meek and humble when we go to God. Someone seeking wisdom for his own glory won't find any coming from God.

Psalm 111: 10 -- The fear [respect] of the Lord isthe beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:his praise endureth for ever.

Having a deep respect for God and His Word is the first step towards becoming wise. By doing the Word, we gain understanding.

There are many records in the book of Proverbs that reveal the source and benefits of God's wisdom. Here are just a few:

Proverbs 2: 1 - 4 -- My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, andapply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

We are to be proactive when it comes to gaining the wisdom of God. We are to 'receive' the Word, 'hide' it within our heart, 'incline' our ears to hear it, and 'apply' our hearts to understand it. We are to 'cry out', calling out for it as we would call out the name of a person we were 'searching' for. We are to earnestly 'seek' knowledge, as though it were a treasure hidden away.

Proverbs: 2: 5, 6 -- Then shall thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth comethknowledge and understanding.

Then [a condition], after doing verses 1 - 4, we will gain the wisdom of God. He doesn't give it if we don't go looking for it.

Proverbs 2: 7 - 13 -- He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he isa buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea,every good path. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man,from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

These verses list some of the many benefits of practicing God's wisdom. We will know the right course to take. We will use discretion (the ability to discern what is right and wrong -- what is good and evil), and sound judgment to make decisions. Wisdom will protect us from evil men who forsake righteousness and walk in darkness. Several verses in Proverbs chapter 3 reiterate these benefits.

Proverbs 3: 13 - 17 -- Happy is the man thatfindeth wisdom, and the man thatgetteth understanding. For the merchandise of it isbetter than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She [Wisdom] ismore precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days isin her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways areways of pleasantness, and all her paths arepeace.

Proverbs 3: 21 - 26 -- My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken [keep thy foot from slipping].

Wisdom is what will keep us safe, and we will be able to lie down to sleep without worry or fear keeping us awake. Even when the 'desolation of the wicked comes', we can walk without fear. God is there with us, and will keep our feet from slipping.

Proverbs 4: 7 -- Wisdom is the principal thing; thereforeget wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

This verse shows the importance that God places on wisdom. The New English Bible translation of this verse reads:

Proverbs 4: 7 -- [New English Bible] The first thing is to acquire wisdom; gain understanding though it cost you all you have. [emphasis added]

Wisdom is necessary to live the best Christian life available. We have reviewed just a small portion of what the Old Testament says about wisdom, and now we will look at the New Testament.

THE NEW TESTAMENT:

In the Church Epistles, wisdom is one of the benefits of being born again, provided that we know it is available, and how to obtain it [a condition]. Many Christians don't know that they can have this wisdom, and stumble through life without it. 'Word of Wisdom' is one of the nine manifestations of the gift of holy spirit. By operating the holy spirit via the nine manifestations, we can receive the wisdom needed for guidance in our lives.

I Corinthians 12: 7, 8 -- But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

Literal translation according to usage:

I Corinthians 12: 7, 8 -- The manifestations of holy spirit are given to every born again believer for profit. Word of wisdom is given for one profit; for another profit, word of knowledge is given.

We see here that wisdom is provided because we can profit by it. Using wisdom to make the right decision or the right judgment puts us 'in the black' spiritually. We read in the Church epistles how much God wants us to have and use this wisdom.

Ephesians 1: 17, 18, 19 -- That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: [That] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance [is] in the saints, And what isthe exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

Colossians 1: 9 -- For this cause we also, since the day we heard it,do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Colossians 3: 16 -- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

We are exhorted to allow the word of Christ, his life and example, to dwell within us, using it with wisdom which we are then to use to teach others. The only thing better than a single believer acting with wisdom is a group of believers acting with wisdom.

There is another kind of wisdom mentioned in the Bible -- the wisdom of the world. Worldly wisdom is the opposite of God's wisdom.

I Corinthians 1: 20 -- Where is the wise? where isthe scribe? where isthe disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

I Corinthians 1: 25 -- Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

In I Corinthians, worldly wisdom is described as foolish (dullness of mind; not acute). Verse 25 shows how absurd it is to compare the two, because the 'foolishness' of God (which doesn't even exist), is wiser than anything man can do or even think.

The epistle of James describes the wisdom of the world as sensual and devilish because that is exactly what it is.

James 3: 13 - 17 -- Who isa wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but isearthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is,there isconfusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, andeasy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Wisdom that causes strife and confusion is worldly wisdom, inspired by Satan and his devil spirits. True wisdom from God is the opposite, pure and unadulterated, promoting only peace and mercy.

We as believers have vast resources of God's wisdom available to us in His written Word. The direction and guidance provided by the Bible will help us to make the right decisions and judgments on a daily basis. There is also the manifestation of 'word of wisdom' that we can believe to operate via the manifestations of the gift of holy spirit. God can tell our spirit what we need to know for a given situation, and how to act upon it. The wisdom of God will always bring profit, peace, and good fruit. We will make the proper decisions and choose the right paths as long as our only source for wisdom is the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We gain access to this wisdom by seeking it out from God's Word -- GOD IS HIS WORD. We STUDY -- that is the one criteria/condition that God expects and requires us to fulfil.

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