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Wednesday: The Benefit of Wisdom — 26 Comments

  1. Prov 2:1-5
    1My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
    2So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
    3Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
    4If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
    5Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

    Conditions of understanding "fear" or "the beginning of wisdom" are: simply an open willing heart - to listen; eager earnest desire for wisdom - crying; searching - study of word.

    We will not complain that it takes our precious time or commitment

    We will in fact, with same zeal as searching for earthly gain (putting up with losses and failures but forging on), search for it

    Wen we find it we will keep it in our hearts and minds with same exactness (and more) as we keep record of our achievements

    Prov 2:6-9
    6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

    While wisdom as much as is salvation, is a free gift of God, there are conditions to understanding and receive ie to surrender

    We must still be faithful in our total surrender and be zealous to seek it (wisdom) and find it regardless of it being free

    Prov 2:10-22
    10When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
    12To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
    13Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

    Given that there's surrender/ freewill in obtaining wisdom means there's possibility to willfully go into evil ways and the first step to evil is stepping out of righteous ways (study guide). We drift slowly till we don't realise how we got so far away from the shore

    Wisdom can deliver us from evil paths, and wen it has come, it marks final stage of conversion as study guide puts it. May God help us!

  2. Proverbs 2:1 first reveals our relationship with God when He calls us 'my son'. Secondly, it indicates where He is, 'within' us. If we continue to be (as Sundays lesson showed us) Acutely conscious of the personal presence of God within us, all we have to do is tap into that wisdom. Its already there and it's always there. This is what Proverbs 2:1-5 says to me. This is a major benefit to wisdom!

  3. The lesson says, "'When wisdom enters your heart,' it marks the final stage of conversion." Is this how conversion works?

    • Tyler, I hear where you are coming from and I concur with the concern you have raised. The fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING OF wisdom as Proverbs 1:7 puts it. True wisdom, heavenly wisdom begins when we accept Christ as Saviour and LORD. The acceptance of Christ happens at conversion. Accepting Christ as Lord means acknowledging Him as Ruler of our lives, giving Him first place in our hearts and seeking ever to live for His glory and honour - that to me sums up what it means to 'fear the Lord'. So to me conversion comes first then wisdom begins to get admittance into the heart. In any case, the experience of conversion propels us into the never-ending pathway of growing in Christ Who "became for us Wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord." (1 Corinthian 1:30).

      • Perhaps the best way would be to say, "When the fear of the Lord enters the heart this marks the final stage of conversion". This sounds correct to me. I dont know what others think.

    • The statement doesn't make a lot of sense, Tyler, when looked at from one perspective, because we do need wisdom to even be converted in the first place. In a way there can be no "final stages" of conversion. I agree that character development in spiritual things is a process, however, that may require a lifetime. Conversion when considered as submission to GOD is either complete or there is no conversation at all. GOD does not recognize or honor half conversation if or when we are willfully holding back from doing His will. We can't be saying "LORD, I submit to You here, but I won't submit there".

      I see wisdom, biblically defined, as the acceptance of GOD and His will and purposes for our lives. To hear or know about GOD and His will for us and yet refuse to accept Him in our hearts, shows a complete lack of wisdom.

  4. Wisdom entails experience which is far from information that is superficial. It shows and direct how Life and living should be so that we enjoy living not just for a time but also in the hereafter.

  5. May God help us not to reach the state where we enjoy doing evil or evil doesn't seem evil. That would mean that the Spirit has departed from us and our conscience has been as it were seared with a hot iron. This state only comes about when we constantly reject the pleadings and instructions of the Holy Spirit.

    Therefore, everyday we should ask the Lord to create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit. Also to remove the stony portions of our heart and give us heart of flesh. We need to constantly obey the instructions of God and ask for His wisdom so that we will reach the place of perfection where we can be sealed by the Holy Spirit. The time is now.

    • excellent comment Shabbaz, but the sad state of affairs is that our organization has watered down aspects of the gospel and its impact is being felt. Not enough prophecy is being preached. It is as if we are scared to do so. Additionally our health message has been stolen and perverted by the world. We are no longer leaders in the health message field

  6. Proverbs 2: 6-20 opened my eyes to something I didn't realize I hadn't fully grasped before. If I choose to avoid a sinful habit I have been struggling with God helps me and keeps me from harm. I have been thinking of this "...keeping me from harm..." as physical, no, it is a spiritual protection.

  7. A thought:
    Could wisdom be the knowledge and understanding of the true character of the LORD

    And this knowledge and understanding is found in His Word

    And we must search for it, receive it into our hearts, walk in the path of righteousness and we will be delivered from evil, and dwell safely with the LORD for ever.

    Prov 2
    1 words,commandments
    4 search for it as for hidden treasures
    6 from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
    7 he stores up sound wisdom

    • Shirley, I can't see wisdom the way you see it. You seem to be confusing data with how we use the data. To me Maurice has given a much better definition of wisdom under "Sabbath: The Call of Wisdom."

      I see wisdom as the ability to know how to use what we are given and part of that is to know that good wisdom comes from God.

      • Hi Tyler, it was a question, a thought starter, not a conclusion.

        How do you understand these texts?

        Prov 2
        5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
        and find the knowledge of God.
        6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
        from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

      • Shirley, I am sorry that I misunderstood your intention but I didn't see a question mark and thought of it more as a statement.

        In using Prov 2:5-6 could we get some context even though Proverbs is generally not a book where that works very well.

        Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding (Prov. 2:3-6 NKJ)

        To me it seems that what is being discussed is discernment and understanding. Concerning verse 6 the NET Bible has a technical note that says, "This is a causal clause. The reason one must fear and know the LORD is that he is the source of true, effectual wisdom." God gives both knowledge and understanding; knowledge is data, understanding is the thing that works on knowledge.

        Therefore, it is my understanding that wisdom is conceptually different than knowledge. It is a discerning and understanding of something but it is not the same as that something. An example in my view would be this: The Jews of Christ's time thought of adultery only as a physical act but Christ said, "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matt. 5:28 NKJV). They knew the data, the facts of the law, but they didn't have wisdom to understand the principle involved that was implicitly embedded in the law (the data).

    • Shirley, you wrote:

      Could wisdom be the knowledge and understanding of the true character of the LORD
      And this knowledge and understanding is found in His Word
      And we must search for it, receive it into our hearts, walk in the path of righteousness and we will be delivered from evil, and dwell safely with the LORD for ever.

      And I believe that's right on - especially when we remember that biblical "knowing" between a man and a woman generally results in babies. There is no way to "understand" the character of God without entering into a relationship with Him, and through this relationship, we enter into the kind of wisdom discussed in this book.

    • Education is the knowledge and understanding which comes from experiencing God's character. WISDOM therefore is the application of this knowledge and understanding

  8. Wisdom is not a magic word. It is built be doing and understanding, not by making cute statements or reciting texts from the Bible. There are three components to wisdom (there are probably more, but most of us can only count to three!)

    1) Listening: Whether we read the Bible or listen to people around us, we need to think about what we read and hear. Listening is more important than talking. A wise person is often silent, not because they have nothing to say, but because they choose to be silent.

    3) Acting: Wisdom is not about knowledge accumulation, but about putting knowledge into best practice. Dictionaries and encyclopedias have their place, but user manuals are more useful when a job needs to be done. Christianity has never been about just mental assent, but about living a practical Gospel shared with others.

    3) Reflecting: There are always going to be times when we make mistakes. A foolish person does the same action again and makes the same mistake. A wise person reflects on what has happened and thinks about how the strategy should be changed to achieve something different.

    As Christians we sometimes use the wise words of the Bible simply because we have respect for the Bible, when the Bible is really an invitation to grow in understanding and wisdom. I have had some students who see education as an exercise in seeing what sort of grade they can get, rather than a place where they can develop skills for life. Likewise with all our spiritual learning, we need to understand that the wisdom of the Bible is really about developing the skills for spiritual living. You do not get a certificate of attainment but the opportunity to grow you spiritual life.

    • Maurice, correct me if I am wrong but I interpret the first paragraph as roughly saying what God told Job, "Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2 NKJV). Perhaps it does fit me all too well but I am wrestling with trying to understand exactly what Solomon thought wisdom was. I suppose we could do without a definition but then we probably would be talking past one another and that technically is not communication. Neither do I think defining it as being everything is good because if we do then it becomes no definition at all.

      I must be honest in saying that I am not entirely happy with how you define wisdom here. I was happier with the way you presented it in your last comment. You say here that there are three components to wisdom and probably more and you might be absolutely right but I am a little uneasy about it for the same reason I get nervous when we say that faith includes works. To me wisdom is the thing that connects information to action; it is the reason why we do something but it isn't the action anymore than it is the information. Wisdom uses information and with it the results of that end up being action but it isn't the same as either of those - it is above both of them.

      After surveying the use of wisdom in Proverbs it seems that the book often ties wisdom to understanding in some way. Of the 49 verses in the book that have the word "wisdom" in them 26 of those verses have "understanding" along with it where there is only 8 verses that have both wisdom and knowledge in the same verse. Obviously there is some sort of connection between the words "wisdom" and "understanding."

      Strong's definition of the Hebrew defines it as: "1) wisdom 1a) skill (in war) 1b) wisdom (in administration) 1c) shrewdness, wisdom 1d) wisdom, prudence (in religious affairs) 1e) wisdom (ethical and religious)." This is basically the same definition that Brown, Driver, Briggs, Hebrew and English unabridged lexicon has. Also Harris, et als, Theological Wordbook of the OT also considers shrewdness and prudence to be aspects of wisdom. The modern definition as found in "dictionary.com" is "the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight."

      Ellen White also seems to see it as more than knowledge and considers the result of its application to be correct action:

      "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom." "The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright." Proverbs 4:7; 15:2. True education imparts this wisdom. It teaches the best use not only of one but of all our powers and acquirements. Thus it covers the whole circle of obligation--to ourselves, to the world, and to God. (Education, p 225)

      • I am trying to provide a working framework for wisdom rather than a precise definition. That is one of the reasons that I was imprecise about its definition. Frameworks have the advantage over definitions because they offer flexibility.

        I do not equate wisdom with action. Obviously there is a connection and what I was trying to say is that a wise person acts with thought both before and after acting.

        There is a relationship between wisdom and understanding but wisdom has an ethical/moral dimension that is not necessarily implied with understanding. For example I understand the physiological effects of drinking alcohol but I choose not to drink alcohol on the basis of that understanding together with the moral consideration of how it would affect my relationship with others.

        • Thank you so much, Maurice, for the clarification. I simply couldn't see where you were going with what you were saying.

    • Your statement is one that I can fully agree with. May the glory be to God who gives gifts to unworthy man so that he may have wisdom to know what is truth and therefore be saved.

  9. Thank you so much, Maurice. Your description of wisdom makes a lot of sense and if rightly applied by all Christians, this world would be a better place to live in.

  10. Maybe we can best understand what is wisdom by first defining what the "fear of the LORD" is. The Scripture says that the "fear of the LORD" that is wisdom, and to depart from evil that is understanding.

    The fear of the LORD is defines thus: "The fear of the Lord is an awareness that you are in the presence of a holy, just, and almighty God and that He will hold you accountable for your motives, thoughts, words, and actions. To fear God is to desire to live in harmony with His righteous standards and to honor Him in all that you do."

    In this definition it seems that both the fear of the LORD, and wisdom are referenced. Wisdom, as can be seen here is "to desire to live in harmony with His righteous standards and to honor Him in all that you do." (Enabled by His grace and strength). Emphasis supplied.

    We can conclude here what is wisdom, or we can still continue to come up with our pet definitions.


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