Monday, November 27, 2017

The Wisdom of God

Have you ever pondered the wisdom of God?

Everything He does is wise.

First, Jesus is wiser than Solomon and the embodiment of wisdom. So, Jesus claimed of Himself, "For Paul proclaims, "Because of him [God] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God," (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Second, God shows His wisdom in creation, for "The LORD by wisdom founded the earth," (Proverbs 3:19).

God also shows His wisdom in the incarnation. So Paul told the Corinthians that even though this plan to put on flesh seems foolish to the world, Jesus, the God-Man reveals God's wisdom: "We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God," (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).

Further, God reveals His wisdom in His sovereign grace. Paul reflects on God's wisdom in using the salvation of the Gentiles to make the Jews jealous and bring them to repentance and faith. He then concludes, "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!" (Romans 11:33).

Finally, God shows His wisdom in the message of the Gospel. Again in his letter to the Corinthians Paul emphasized the wisdom of God in the Gospel, "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe," (1 Corinthians 1:21).

If marveling at God's wisdom isn't enough to prompt our hearts to worship, consider that this attribute is communicable. In fact, God commands us to ask for wisdom and commends us when we do. James wrote, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him," (James 1:5). Further, Solomon was praised by God for asking for wisdom to rule God's people: "It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this [for wisdom]. And God said to him, 'Because you have asked this [for wisdom], and have not asked for long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you," (1 Kings 3:10-12).

God, in His gift of wisdom to Solomon, also explained to us what wisdom looks like. It looks like discerning right from wrong. Fools see everything gray. The wise discern the right path or course. And right is defined by God's righteous character. Thus wisdom is that God-given ability to navigate life God's way.

Is it any wonder that Solomon implores his son (and us): "Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed," (Proverbs 3:13-18). How could Solomon make such claims? Because true wisdom from God always leads us back to God.

James, reflecting on true wisdom concludes, "The wisdom from above [from God] is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere," (James 3:17). These are not natural qualities, but accurate descriptions of a soul governed by the Holy Spirit of God Himself.

Therefore, it is entirely in God's character to call us not only to holiness, but to wisdom. He invites us to live not only right, but well. The paths of righteousness are not only morally praiseworthy they are smart. The opposite is equally true and revealing. The paths of wickedness are not only morally blameworthy they are stupid.

Forever the angels praise God in part for His wisdom. In fact, one way that we give worship and glory to God is by praising His wisdom, "And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying 'Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever!'" (Revelation 7:12).

And last, Paul says we will never explore the depths of God's wisdom. Again, consider the climax of his reflection on God's sovereign grace, "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!" (Romans 11:33).

May I humbly invite you to worship God for His wisdom as all of His actions and attributes are wise. Moreover, do not stop only with praise, but leap into the delight of practicing wisdom. Ask for wisdom. Pray for a wise and discerning heart. Pursue wisdom like great treasure. Walk in a manner worthy of your calling in Christ Jesus, both holy and wise.

No comments:

Post a Comment