Friday, August 23, 2013

O Wisdom, Precious Wisdom

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! Romans 11:33

As a new school year gets underway, I thought it would be edifying to look at the idea of wisdom. As we train up children in how they should go, we want to not only help them become well-read and educated, but also wise according to God's standard. We want them to be able to live in the world as God's children, knowing what it is to be wise and to act with wisdom.

The Bible has a lot to say about wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Psalm 111:10

To start, we must fear the Lord. This doesn't mean being scared of Him, it means approaching Him with awe and reverence. As C. S. Lewis describes it, this kind of fear is filled with awe, in which you "feel wonder and a certain shrinking" or "a sense of inadequacy to cope with such a visitant of or prostration before it." It is a fear that comes forth out of love for the Lord. This verse tells us that we act wisely when we are influenced by the fear of the Lord. When we understand our position in relation to His, we can make good, wise decisions.

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. Proverbs 3:13

Proverbs tells us that those who find wisdom and gain understanding are blessed. I can think of a couple of reasons why those who find true wisdom would be happy: true wisdom comes from the knowledge and love of God, and those who love Him do His will and are conformed to His truths and laws. I am happiest when I am living a life of obedience. And that obedience brings wisdom.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6

The Lord is also the One who gives us wisdom. He is the ultimate Wise One, and from Him we get knowledge and understanding. How do we get this? By listening to His voice! And we hear His voice most readily when we read His word. So, to receive the wisdom, knowledge and understanding that our Lord has, and wants to impart to us, we must become students of His word and actively engage with Him through the reading and study of the Bible.

Why would we want to do this? Why should we seek after wisdom and aim to become wise? Proverbs has answers for us.

For wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her. Proverbs 8:11

All desirable things cannot compare! When we are wise, and our lives demonstrate wisdom, the true wisdom that is from knowing God, it is better than wearing jewels and precious stones of the greatest value - we show the value of wisdom which is greater than the value of things of this world. This verse also encourages us in how our time should be spent - seeking the things that are above - the wisdom of God - instead of the things that are of this world, like precious jewels. When we attain Godly wisdom, it is far more valuable than even the most precious of metals.

How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. Proverbs 16:16

Solomon is bold in his exclamation about the value of wisdom - HOW MUCH BETTER it is than gold! Heavenly wisdom is for sure better than worldly wealth, and as Christians, there is a soul-satisfying element of attaining wisdom, which is not only preferable, but more beneficial, than worldly things.

Know that wisdom is thus for your soul; if you find it, then there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:14

Here, the writer is comparing honey, which is good and sweet to taste, to wisdom, which is good for the soul. I love this verse because it gives us a promise if we work hard to attain wisdom. The promise is that we will have a future, and our hope will not be cut off. This is an encouragement as we work to become wise, and as we encourage our children in seeking after wisdom. There will be a future! Our Lord has promised. And we would be wise to trust and obey.

O Wisdom, Precious Wisdom
Words by Deborah Blossom

Oh wisdom, precious wisdom,
We sing in praise of thee;
Thy ways are surely pleasant,
Thy works we wondering see.
There’s pleasure in the seeking,
And those who seek may find,
Within thy halls of learning
A cultivated mind.

To Thee, the God of wisdom,
Let grateful praise abound,
For now within our churches,
Fair learning’s court is found.
And he who longs for knowledge,
That He may work for Thee,
Can find in school and college
An education free.

The power of mind is mighty
If it be used aright,
And Christian education
Can best bestow this might.
So let us gain the scepter
And throne of true success
That waits for those who’re worthy
Its honors to possess.

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