Proverbs 3:13-15 (HCSB)13 Happy is a man who finds wisdom and who acquires understanding,14 for she is more profitable than silver, and her revenue is better than gold.15 She is more precious than jewels; nothing you desire compares with her.
Proverbs 9:10 (HCSB) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Psalm 111:10 (HCSB)10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His instructions have good insight. His praise endures forever.
Job 28:28 (HCSB)28 He said to mankind, “The fear of the Lord is this: wisdom. And to turn from evil is understanding.”
What is Wisdom?
- The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.
- The soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.
- The body of knowledge and principles that develops within a specified society or period.
- Knowing what to do next, given an understanding of the facts and circumstances
Ecclesiastes 8:1 (HCSB) Who is like the wise person, and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom brightens his face, and the sternness of his face is changed.
James 3:17 (HCSB)17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy.
Wisdom is connected, or linked to knowledge and understanding.
Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and information.
Proverbs 18:15 (HCSB) The mind of the discerning acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks it.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 (HCSB)1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,2 for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.3 This is good, and it pleases God our Savior,4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Understanding is the ability to translate meaning from the facts.
Psalm 119:130 (HCSB)130 The revelation of Your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.
Proverbs 3:5-7 (HCSB)5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;6 think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.7 Don’t consider yourself to be wise; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
Philippians 1:9 (HCSB)9 And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, (understanding) (Bold mine)
Wisdom isn't just knowledge, but “know how.”
Wisdom includes the skills to create a plan and then execute it. Bezalel, the craftsman that God enabled to make the furnishings for the Tabernacle in the wilderness, had the skills and was given incredible wisdom through the Spirit of God.
Exodus 31:1-5 (HCSB)1 The LORD also spoke to Moses:2 “Look, I have appointed by name Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.3 I have filled him with God’s Spirit, with wisdom, understanding, and ability in every craft4 to design artistic works in gold, silver, and bronze,5 to cut gemstones for mounting, and to carve wood for work in every craft.
Solomon asked for and was given the wisdom and knowledge that he needed to rule Israel.
2 Chronicles 1:7-12 (HCSB)7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him: “Ask. What should I give you?”8 And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great and faithful love to my father David, and You have made me king in his place.9 LORD God, let Your promise to my father David now come true. For You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth.10 Now grant me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people, for who can judge this great people of Yours?”11 God said to Solomon, “Since this was in your heart, and you have not requested riches, wealth, or glory, or for the life of those who hate you, and you have not even requested long life, but you have requested for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king,12 wisdom and knowledge are given to you. I will also give you riches, wealth, and glory, unlike what was ⌊given⌋ to the kings who were before you, or will be ⌊given⌋ to those after you.”
Charles Spurgeon wrote - Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.
The Bible links wisdom and knowledge and wisdom and understanding.
Job 28:28 (HCSB) He said to mankind, “The fear of the Lord is this: wisdom. And to turn from evil is understanding.”
Romans 11:33 (HCSB) Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!
Colossians 2:1-3 (HCSB)1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person.2 ⌊I want⌋ their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery—Christ.3 All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him.
Here are two more definitions of wisdom by A. W. Tozer ( Christian pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor) and J. I. Packer Canadian Christian theologian) - “In the Holy Scriptures wisdom, when used of God and good men, always carries a strong moral connotation. It is conceived as being pure, loving, and good.… Wisdom, among other things, is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve those ends by the most perfect means. It sees the end from the beginning, so there can be no need to guess or conjecture. Wisdom sees everything in focus, each in proper relation to all, and is thus able to work toward predestined goals with flawless precision.”
“Wisdom is the power to see, and the inclination to choose, the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it. Wisdom is, in fact, the practical side of moral goodness. As such, it is found in its fullness only in God. He alone is naturally and entirely and invariable wise.”
Job 28:12-28 (HCSB)12 But where can wisdom be found, and where is understanding located?13 No man can know its value, since it cannot be found in the land of the living.14 The ocean depths say, “It’s not in me,” while the sea declares, “I don’t have it.”15 Gold cannot be exchanged for it, and silver cannot be weighed out for its price.16 Wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire.17 Gold and glass do not compare with it, and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it.18 Coral and quartz are not worth mentioning. The price of wisdom is beyond pearls.19 Topaz from Cush cannot compare with it, and it cannot be valued in pure gold.20 Where then does wisdom come from, and where is understanding located?21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing and concealed from the birds of the sky.22 Abaddon and Death say, “We have heard news of it with our ears.”23 But God understands the way to wisdom, and He knows its location.24 For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.25 When God fixed the weight of the wind and limited the water by measure,26 when He established a limit for the rain and a path for the lightning,27 He considered wisdom and evaluated it; He established it and examined it.28 He said to mankind, “The fear of the Lord is this: wisdom. And to turn from evil is understanding.”
According to this passage, only God knows the origin of wisdom, because He’s it’s source. His wisdom is seen in the order and magnificence of His creation.
Psalm 19:1-4 (HCSB)1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.2 Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge.3 There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard.4 Their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is also evident in His personage, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 13:13 (HCSB)13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Matthew 28:18-20 (HCSB)18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Proverbs 8:22 (NKJV)22 "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.
This from Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible - The Lord possessed me,.... Not "created me",
Here's additional commentary from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary - The deeper question is, What function is here ascribed to wisdom? It seems clear that she is pictured as eternal—having existed even before God created the world. She was not active in creation, but was with God while he created.
The short answer is that wisdom always existed, it is an attribute of God. Some think that wisdom is a personification of Christ however wisdom is described a “she” in Proverbs. That’s a discussion for another post. The point I make here is that wisdom was not created but is eternal and has always existed.
It’s as simple as asking. God wants to give you wisdom.
James 1:5 (HCSB)5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.
Just like it pleased God when Solomon asked for wisdom. It will please Him when you ask.
1 Kings 3:10-14 (HCSB)10 Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had requested this.11 So God said to him, “Because you have requested this and did not ask for long life or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies, but you asked discernment for yourself to understand justice,12 I will therefore do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again.13 In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor, so that no man in any kingdom will be your equal during your entire life.14 If you walk in My ways and keep My statutes and commands just as your father David did, I will give you a long life.”
There is a caveat however. In order to receive wisdom you must believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that He will give it to you.
James 1:6-8 (HCSB)6 But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.8 An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.
In other words, if you have any doubt you’re not going to get godly wisdom because you’re "wishy washy".
One Last Very Important Point
To effectively walk in and utilize the wisdom that God gives you must completely yield yourself to the Holy Spirit. You must stay filled with Him. To be filled with the Spirit implies freedom for Him to occupy every part of your life, guiding and controlling you. The filling of the Spirit doesn’t just show up in outward acts alone; it also applies to your innermost thoughts and the motives of your actions.
Galatians 5:22-23 (HCSB)22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Those who have God’s wisdom will show it in how they live:
James 3:13-17 (HCSB)13 Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness.14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and deny the truth.15 Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.16 For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil.17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy.
Before I make a big decision, big or small, I seek God and ask for wisdom in that decision. I asked for wisdom in preparing this blog post. I do that because I know that my wisdom is at best limited and often foolish in God’s sight.
1 Corinthians 3:18-20 (HCSB)18 No one should deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age, he must become foolish so that he can become wise.19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness;20 and again, The Lord knows that the reasonings of the wise are meaningless.
God desires to give you His wisdom. Are you willing to be led by that wisdom?
Jesus is the Embodiment of God’s Wisdom
1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (HCSB)30 But ⌊it is⌋ from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us—⌊our⌋ righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written: The one who boasts must boast in the Lord.
Wisdom in this scripture, is not practical wisdom, but positional wisdom. It’s God's plan for our complete salvation. Righteousness, sanctification, and redemption amplify and explain this wisdom.
If you have already accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior you can have His wisdom by asking and if you believe, without a shadow of doubt, He’ll give it to you.
If you want His wisdom, the wisdom that will enable you to navigate your life with all its ups and downs and curves, and you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, there's one simple, but necessary step you must take.
Romans 10:9 (HCSB)9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. le are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.
If you want this wisdom and all the other benefits that God has promised to His children then pray this prayer in all sincerity (only you and God know if you’re really sincere);
“Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.”
If you have just prayed this prayer, in all sincerity, call, text, email, Tweet, change your Facebook status and tell somebody, leave me a comment here or send me an email with this Link. Then find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers. Welcome to the family of God.
Now ask for and receive wisdom!