17 Feb Get Wisdom
We live in extraordinary and uncertain times. A year ago none of us had any idea what was ahead and for those of us in the UK and much of the western world, it has felt like we have been in a perpetual lockdown! During this ongoing season and in the days ahead we need much wisdom.
The wisest man who ever lived said these words:
“Get Wisdom – Get Understanding!” (Prov. 4:5)
“Get wisdom—it’s worth more than money; choose insight over income every time.” (Proverbs 16:16)
The bible narrative tells us that Solomon, having become king, offered a spectacular offering to God of one thousand burnt offerings on the altar. It was quite some sacrifice and caused God to appear to Solomon during the night in a dream. He said to Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (1 Kings 3:5)
He must have felt for a moment like he’d won the lottery! How many of us have experienced an offer like that from Almighty God?!
Solomon made the right call and asked for wisdom. It was the right response and pleased God. Solomon’s wisdom opened many doors and brought him great personal prosperity and success. In fact, I would suggest that Israel has never experienced such a period of peace and prosperity either before Solomon or since that time.
Solomon’s advice and encouragement to us today is to “Get Wisdom!”
As Benjamin Franklin put it;
“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”
We need to get wisdom
I don’t know about you but I know that every day I need wisdom – in my family, my relationships, my health & exercise, my finances & giving, my leadership, my writing and speaking, my decision making, my future, my responses and reactions, my understanding of people and situations and when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’ etc. The list is endless.
I wonder – where would wisdom benefit you right now?
Perhaps you need to slow down a little before going any further and just get some wisdom…
Perhaps you just need to learn to trust God more in this season – I’ve written a post on this
Benefits of getting wisdom
Solomon in particular recorded the benefits for us:
‘I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honour, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.’ (Proverbs 8:17-21)
‘Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favour from the Lord. But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:34-36)
Wisdom is the key to an abundant life:
‘Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. Then he taught me, and he said to me, ‘Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honour you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.’ Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.’ (Proverbs 4:1-13)
‘My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.’ (Proverbs 4:20-22)
Have you noticed all the benefits of wisdom contained in just this one chapter?
- You’ll live -really live!
- Protection and watch over you – keep you from harm (v6)
- Exalt you above others (v8)
- Add years to your life (v10)
- Guide you – keep you on the straight & narrow! (v11)
- Steps won’t be hampered (v12)
- Help you to stay healthy (v20)
There are many more of course.
Solomon again sums up our need for this precious commodity;
“Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun. Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.” (Ecclesiastes 7:11-12)
How do we get wisdom?
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.” (Proverbs 9:10-11)
Wisdom comes in numerous ways but particularly from reading God’s Word regularly, learning to hear and recognise His voice and also seeking the wise counsel of others, but ultimately it comes from God himself.
Jesus said to the people of his day:
‘The Queen of the South will rise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom – and now one greater than Solomon is here!‘ (Matt. 12:42)
What an understatement! Solomon spoke God’s wisdom however Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24).
He is the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end. There is nothing He does not know.
‘For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.’ (Proverbs 2:6)
James encourages us to simply ask for it;
‘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. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.’ (James 1:5-6)
God promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it. So begin to ask Him.
Can I encourage you if you can, to pause right now and ask Him for wisdom in whatever area you need it.
I promise you He will provide it – sometimes immediately with a thought that comes into your mind or it maybe as you’re reading your Bible in the coming days or perhaps in a conversation or message you hear. God communicates in numerous ways and watch for Him to confirm what He is saying.
Grow in wisdom
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)
Two things you can do:
- Ask God for wisdom every day. This is something I do almost every day. Who knows what the day will bring and the wisdom that will be required?
- Grow in your wisdom. Somebody once said “we are what we read.” How about doing some reading, learning and growing in order to become a wiser person?
‘The wise accumulate wisdom’ (Prov. 14:24)
So can I encourage you today – get wisdom. We all very much need it, particularly in the times in which we live.
As Eugene Petersen said;
“Wisdom is the art of living skilfully in whatever actual conditions we find ourselves.”
COURAGE FOR THE DISCOURAGED
Perhaps you need some encouragement right now or know someone who does. My recently published book, described as “a book of help and a book of hope” will do exactly that. It can also be read as a 30 day devotional as each chapter contain readings and suggested prayers. It’s available at all good online bookstores and on Amazon here: