What is true wisdom? What’s the best source of advice? How can the Bible help me? Are there different kinds of wisdom? How is God’s wisdom different from the world’s wisdom?
Let’s Hunt For The Answers In The Treasure Chest
And he said to mankind, ‘The fear of the LORD—that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’” ~Job 28:28 (NET)
“The fear of the Lord” is a key theme in the wisdom literature of the Bible (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs). It means to have respect and reverence for God and to be in awe of his majesty and power. This is the starting point to finding real wisdom.
I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.’ ~Job 32:7 (NLT)
“The breath of the Almighty within them…makes them intelligent.” It is not enough to recognize a great truth; it must be lived out each day. Elihu recognized the truth that God was the only source of real wisdom, but he did not use God’s wisdom to help Job. While he recognized where wisdom came from, he did not seek to acquire it. Becoming wise is an ongoing, life long pursuit. Don’t be content just to know about wisdom; make it a part of your life.
To obey the LORD is the fundamental principle for wise living; all who carry out his precepts acquire good moral insight. He will receive praise forever. ~Psalm 111:10 (NET)
The only way to become truly wise is to fear (revere) God. This same thought is expressed in Proverbs 1:7-9. Too often people want to skip this step, thinking they can become wise by life experience and academic knowledge alone. But if we do not acknowledge God as the source of wisdom, then our foundation for making wise decisions is shaky and we are prone to mistakes and foolish choices.
A healthy fear of the Lord is a strong motivator to walk in holiness. When we have revelation (life changing understanding) of God’s holiness, purity, and perfection, we stand in awe and amazement of Him. This reverence motivates us to walk in His ways and to follow His commandments.
Understand that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Warning Against Disregarding Wisdom
Wisdom calls out in the street, she shouts loudly in the plazas; ~Proverbs 1:20 (NET)
The picture of Wisdom shouting in the streets is a personification – a literary device to make wisdom come alive for us. Wisdom is not a living being; it is the mind of God revealed. By reading about Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, we can see Wisdom in action.
In order to understand how to become wise, we need to heed Wisdom calling and instructing us in the book of Proverbs. For a New Testament call to wisdom, see James 1:5. Make sure you don’t reject God’s offer of wisdom to you.
The beginning of Wisdom is: get Wisdom (skillful and godly Wisdom)! [For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing.] And with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation). ~Proverbs 4:7 (AMP)
David taught Solomon as a young boy that seeking God’s wisdom was the most important choice he could make. Solomon learned the lesson well. When God appeared to Solomon to fulfill any request, the new king chose wisdom above all else.
We should also make God’s wisdom our first choice. We don’t have to wait for God to appear to us. We can boldly ask him for wisdom today through prayer. James 1:5 assures us that God will grant our request.
Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven columns. ~Proverbs 9:1 (NLT)
The seven columns are figurative; they do not represent seven principles of wisdom. In the Bible, the number seven represents completeness and perfection. This verse poetically states that wisdom lacks nothing – it is complete and perfect.
Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the LORD are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths, sinners stumble and fall. ~Hosea 14:9 (NLT)
Hosea closes with an appeal to listen, learn, and benefit from God’s word. To those receiving the Lord’s message through Hosea, this meant the difference between life and death.
For you, the reader of the book of Hosea, the choice is similar: You can either listen to the book’s message and follow God’s ways or refuse to walk along the Lord’s path.
But people who insist on following their own direction without God’s guidance are in “total darkness” and “have no idea what they are stumbling over” (Prov 4:19).
If you are lost, you can find the way by turning from your sin and following God.
All who listen to my instructions and follow them are wise, like a man who builds his house on solid rock. ~Matthew 7:24 (TLB)
To build “on solid rock” means to be a hearing, responding disciple, not a phony, superficial one. Practicing obedience becomes the solid foundation to weather the storms of life. See James 1:22-27 for more on putting into practice what we hear.
Christianity is not merely a set of ideas and propositions. One can agree with all the truths of the Bible and still miss the power of God. Paul knows the brothers and sisters in Corinth might attempt to reduce Christianity to a new philosophy based on human understanding, but our eight-pound brains cannot fully grasp the power of God . We must approach God humbly as creations, not as those aspiring to explain the Creator of the universe fully.
Yet when I am among mature Christians I do speak with words of great wisdom, but not the kind that comes from here on earth, and not the kind that appeals to the great men of this world, who are doomed to fall. ~1 Corinthians 2:6 (TLB)
To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another, the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. ~1 Corinthians 12:8 (NLT)
You have been taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. ~2 Timothy 3:15 (NLT)
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity). ~James 3:17 (AMP)
But you are not like that, for the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you know the truth.~1 John 2:20 (TLB)
God’s wisdom is best. His word in the Bible gives you the best advice you’ll ever get. Read his word and do what it says, and you will soon be wiser than ever.
The Treasure Study Bible
Chronological Life Application Study Bible