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Dear children, we are going to read this season about something that is extremely important in order to live and walk according to God’s will and purpose in our life. And that is WISDOM
The Bible talks so much about wisdom. The word wisdom is used 222 times in the Bible and is one of the central themes of the old testament scripture.
Did you know that wisdom is one of the attributes of God? The prophet Isaiah prophesied about Jesus and about the Spirit that would come upon Jesus and the key attribute of the Holy Spirit is WISDOM
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
The Bible contains 5 books commonly called the Wisdom Literature. The books are,
- Song of Songs
What is wisdom? And how is it different from Knowledge?
We hear the words wisdom and knowledge very frequently and most people use it interchangeably. But, these two words have quite different meanings.
“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.
Let’s break down the key words in the above verse,
Prudence is being able to discipline oneself, having skill and good judgement.
A fool spurns a parent’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
Whoever strays from the path of prudence comes to rest in the company of the dead.
Discretion means the ability to make a good judgement, being cautious in deeds and the use of words. The ability to make responsible decisions.
Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;
Knowledge comprises of the facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.
To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning.
Knowledge helps us make better decisions. However, knowledge by itself without prudence or discernment is a recipe for disaster
1 Corinthians 8:1b
Knowledge puffs up while love builds up.
The goal of wisdom is not that we show others how clever we are, but that we receive instruction “in righteousness.” Wisdom Literature shows us what it means to please God; thus, all can benefit from it. Young and old, educated and uneducated—everyone who pays heed to biblical wisdom will become wise.
Now that’s that, let’s move on to What’s in it for me?
There is a whole lot out there for you if you seek and acquire wisdom. Few of them are
Clear guidance from God
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
God’s Divine Protection – Wisdom protects you from various sources of wickedness
16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you,
12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things;
13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness;
14 Who delight in doing evil And rejoice in the perversity of evil;
15 Whose paths are crooked, And who are devious in their ways;
26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.
A good self-image – Wisdom gives you confidence and a strong self-image
Proverbs 8:1, 34-35
1 Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.
A good health & long life
Godly living is characterized by healthier living and length of days.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.
Next up, how can we get this wisdom?
It’s not rocket science. It just requires you to ask God for it with all sincerity!!! Simple as that !!
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Well really?? Is it that easy? There was once a King who asked God for wisdom, let’s see what happened
1 Kings 3:5-15
5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
7 “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.
That was pretty easy !! Did you know the Bible quotes that King Solomon was the wisest and one of the most riches men in the world
1 Kings 4:29, 34
29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.
34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.
23 King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 24 The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.
During the reign of Solomon, the Bible says there was peace on all sides.
1 Kings 4:24
For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides.
1 Chronicles 22:9
But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign.
In the story of Daniel, we see that God gave Daniel and his friends wisdom when they honored God.
Daniel 1: 3-17
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
5 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
Did you know, that once King Nebuchanezzar had a dream and he called all the magicians and wisemen in his kingdom and asked them to not only to explain the dream, but he told them they would need to describe the dream as well as the meaning.
2 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. 2 So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers[a] to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, 3 he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.”
4 Then the astrologers answered the king, “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”
5 The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. 6 But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.”
7 Once more they replied, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”
8 Then the king answered, “I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided: 9 If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.”
10 The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. 11 What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.”
12 This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.
14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. 15 He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.
17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said:
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
you have made known to us the dream of the king.”
When Daniel described the dream and its explanation,
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”
On another occasion, we see that the queen mother of one of the successors of King Nebuchadnezzar saying,
10 The queen, hearing the voices of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet hall. “May the king live forever!” she said. “Don’t be alarmed! Don’t look so pale! 11 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods.
Inevitably when you are filled with God’s spirit, you will have wisdom!
31 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills
Another way wisdom is given to us is through obedience to God’s word
5 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
But in this world there are many people who do not know the living God or His Spirit and yet claim to be wise, how is that so?
True wisdom is from God alone. Any other wisdom is as the below words say, foolishness in God’s sight.
We see that in Paul’s letters he deals with this topic because during the time of the early church, there were many people who were thinkers, philosophers especially the Greeks who were trying to explain natural phenomenon, planets and space, science and so many other things.
1 Corinthians 3:18 – 19
18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”;
1 Corinthians 2:13
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words
1 Corinthians 1:25-31
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 2: 12-15
12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[c] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments
How do we distinguish between the wisdom of God and the Wisdom of this world?
It is amazing and a testimony to God’s wisdom, how the word of God has all the answers to questions we could ever ask !!
14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
So then any words of wisdom that do not match these attributes, is definitely not from God !! It is worldly craftiness
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.