The Bible, both Old and New Testament, has much to say about wisdom. While many of us may think that wisdom is mentioned in the Bible just once or twice, the truth is that it is mentioned over two hundred times.
Biblical scholars agree that wisdom is mentioned in the Bible repeatedly and with a profound meaning. A study of the Bible’s emphasis on wisdom provides helpful insight into the nature of God and a look into the lessons and realities of our Christian faith. In a deeper sense, wisdom also highlights for us what it looks like to live a life pleasurable and pleasing to God.
Early in the Bible, God offers a deeper understanding to Solomon, knowing that he will need it to rule effectively. God says, “I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you and that there will be no one like you after you” (1 Kings 3:12). This passage highlights the importance of wisdom to what it means to live life in a way that honors God.
The New Testament emphasizes the importance of wisdom by indicating that it is by faith in Christ, who is wisdom itself, that we are enabled to live our lives according to God’s plan. This faith is essential for us to both gain wisdom and to understand it. The bible says, “This is why we continually thank God, because when you received his message from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God. You accepted it and gained wisdom through the faith you have in him” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
Moreover, the Bible ties wisdom together with faith and both of these are essential in leading and living a godly life. Without wisdom, it is impossible to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. For this reason, many Bible teachers consider wisdom a “life skill.” Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” This passage highlights for us the importance of understanding God’s character if we are to live life according to God’s principles.
The Bible also speaks to us about wisdom in terms of the practicality of our lives. For example, the book of Proverbs contains a wealth of wisdom about how to manage money, relationships, and our daily lives. These passages emphasize the practical and tangible aspects of wisdom and provide helpful instructions for living our lives. Proverbs 22:4 says, “Humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life”. The passage here emphasizes that humility is essential to gaining and keeping wisdom.
While wisdom is mentioned several times in scripture, it is important to remember that the source of wisdom is God. As James 1:5 states, “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.” Ultimately, what this means is that we must draw near to God if we are to gain a deeper understanding of His wisdom for our lives.
The Bible is clear on the importance of not just seeking wisdom but also denying it without wisdom. Proverbs 9:10 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” This passage emphasizes that a person can gain wisdom only by recognizing God’s sovereignty and understanding the majesty of His character. Therefore, those who gain wisdom must first recognize God’s power and purpose. This knowledge is essential to obtaining wisdom and understanding the principles used to live a life that is pleasing to God.
The Bible also warns us against relying on worldly knowledge and wisdom instead of searching for wisdom from God. Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” This passage reminds us that worldly wisdom will not satisfy the needs of our lives, and instead, we should seek out Godly wisdom.
Further, the Bible calls for humility in order for one to gain true wisdom. Proverbs 15:33 states, “The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor is humility.” This passage reminds us that wisdom comes from our humility before God and is attainable only when a person humbles themselves before Him. This passage indicates that we must cultivate a humility before God, depending on Him for our wisdom and understanding, rather than relying on our own strength and knowledge.
Wisdom from the Heart
The Bible says that wisdom also comes from the heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” This passage encourages us to look after our heart, because it is the source of our wisdom. This verse suggests that if we ourselves are wise, it will be because our hearts have connected with God’s wisdom. Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you.” This passage encourages us to seek out the Lord and turn to Him for wisdom and understanding as we go about our daily lives.
Proverbs 2:6-7 tells us that “the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity.” By storing up wisdom in our hearts, and leaning on the Lord when needed, we can move forward in our daily lives knowing that we have the backup of God’s wisdom.
The Bible tells us that it is possible to obtain wisdom, even if we don’t naturally seem to posses it. Proverbs 2:4-5 tells us that “if you seek it like hidden treasure, 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.” This passage indicates that wisdom can be attained by anyone, regardless of their current aptitude or expertise, if they are willing to search for it and to seek it out from God.
The Bible also tells us that wisdom can be obtained through prayer. James 1:5 says, “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.” By simply asking God humbly, we can gain His wisdom and knowledge, both spiritually and practically. This verse highlights the necessity of prayer when one is seeking wisdom, and indicates that wisdom is obtainable through a relationship with God.
Moreover, the Bible instructs us to be attentive and diligent in finding wisdom and knowledge. The book of Proverbs indicates that one can gain wisdom through any number of activities, such as through reading, teaching, and listening to wise people. Proverbs 15:22 states, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.” This passage reminds us that wisdom comes from many sources, and that by listening to advice from a variety of people, we can gain knowledge and insight.
The Bible teaches that wisdom cannot only be obtained but also must be exercised. Worshiping God, reading and meditating on scripture, and relying on Him for guidance, can help us in developing a healthy relationship with Him. Proverbs 16:20 tells us, “Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.” This passage encourages us to give thought to God’s word and to trust in Him, in order to obtain guidance and wisdom.
The Bible also encourages us to use the wisdom that God has given us. Proverbs 18:15 states, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” This passage teaches us that wisdom must be acquired, but then applied, in order for it to be of use. This applies to both spiritual wisdom and practical wisdom. We should strive to use our wisdom for the benefit of others, rather than selfish gain.
Further, the Bible encourages us to embrace glory for our growth as well. In 2 Corinthians 1:12, we are encouraged to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This verse reminds us to embrace all of our circumstances, whether good or bad, as an opportunity to grow and to exercise our wisdom. In this way, we will be able to use the wisdom that God has given us to the fullest.
The Benefits of Wisdom
The Bible tells us that when we put our trust in God and exercise wisdom, we will be blessed. Proverbs 28:10 says, “If one gives heed to the word, they will prosper; happy is the one who trusts in the Lord.” This passage encourages us to trust in God and to make decisions that honor Him, in order to be blessed by Him. We can only experience the fullness of blessing if we seek out wisdom and rely on God for our decisions.
In addition, the Bible tells us that those who lack wisdom are liable to fall into trouble. Proverbs 14:18 states, “Those without sense will go to ruin, and those who accept correction are honored.” This passage indicates that those who lack wisdom will come to a bad end, while those who accept guidance will be blessed. It also tells us that wisdom must be sought out and applied to prevent falling into destitution and risk.
The Bible also tells us that wisdom provides ultimate satisfaction. Proverbs 3:13-15 says, “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.” This passage encourages us to seek out wisdom and understanding, for it provides us with the ultimate satisfaction and will bless us exponentially in the future.