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Some brief thoughts on wisdom

Part of my daily Bible reading has been through the book of Proverbs lately and tonight I happened upon a sermon of mine from Proverbs 1. Apparently I’m forgetful enough that my own sermon notes can help me just a few years later. Anyway, here are just a few thoughts about Biblical wisdom, specifically about God’s promise to make us wise:

Biblically, wisdom is always associated with skill.  This same word is used of the craftsmen in Exodus – craftsmen to whom God had given the wisdom of working with wood and metal.  What this means for you is that God promises to give you skill in living, if you are willing to heed the call and search for wisdom.

Second, according to Scripture, wisdom is always alien, or foreign, to us.  That is, the Bible never speaks of wisdom like it’s a seed planted in you, a seed you only need to water to make it grow.  Wisdom is not an inborn quality, and to pretend that it is will keep us from hearing this book well. This means it’s absolutely necessary to come to Proverbs with humility.

A third, and related, point is that wisdom always comes from God.  Throughout Scripture, whenever wisdom is spoken of, it is always clear that it is a gift from the Almighty God.  Thus, we are to take seriously the call of James that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”  Seeking wisdom is an activity done with an open Bible and with much prayer.

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