Wisdom is a concept that appears multiple times throughout the Bible. It is often spoken of with reverence, as it is the highest form of truth, understanding, and insight. While wisdom appears in various forms throughout the Bible, there is no single definition of who “Wisdom” is. In fact, biblical scholars have long debated who or what wisdom is in the Bible.
The Bible first mentions wisdom when King Solomon asks God for it as part of what is known as “the Solomon Request”. God is pleased with Solomon’s request and grants him wisdom and much other knowledge. He is known as the wisest monarch in the Bible and uses his wisdom to resolve disputes, among other feats. Most people agree that Solomon was the first in the Bible to possess wisdom and the power to use it.
However, it is not only Solomon who is known as wise in the Bible. In the Old Testament, many leaders were praised for their wisdom and counsel. These include Joseph, David, Job, and Daniel. Furthermore, the Bible indicates that wisdom is not merely mortal understanding, but instead, it is closely connected to divine understanding. In Proverbs, wisdom is said to be a gift from God, and is repeatedly indicated as being infused into the understanding of those who exhibit it. The book of Proverbs is full of wise sayings that were attributed to famous wise men and – inspiring the reader to pursue a life of upright behavior.
In the New Testament, Jesus is said to be the embodiment of wisdom. He is often referred to as “the wisdom of God” and is said to be the ultimate source of divine understanding, revealed in his teaching and works. In Matthew 11:19, he speaks of himself as one greater than Solomon and in John 14:10, he claims to be the source of all knowledge. The central figure of Christianity is deemed to have the highest level of insight of all the figures of the Bible.
Wisdom can also be seen as an attribute that exists in the world around us. In both the Old and New Testament, wisdom is said to exist in nature, depicting the inherent truth and orderliness of the universe. In Job 12:7-8, it is said that “all nature testifies to the presence of wisdom” suggesting that wisdom can be found in the works and acts of nature. In the New Testament, Jesus often speaks of how we can learn from the birds of the air, the lilies of the field and the foxes in the desert, emphasizing the importance of wisdom that exists in the everyday.
It appears the Bible presents wisdom in various forms and with many different faces. However, it is important to note that wisdom is not simply intelligence, or knowledge of the world, but rather, goes far deeper. It involves understanding the truths of the world and of the divine and using this knowledge to seek God and make wise decisions.
Wisdom In Scripture
The Bible provides us with multiple examples of wisdom in action and offers sage advice to help live a righteous, godly life and pursue wisdom. One classic example of wisdom in Scripture is found in Proverbs 3:13-18 which presents a pattern for how to live a righteous life. Along with looking to Scripture, we can also look to the life of Christ to gain insight. Jesus’ parables often convey practical and life changing demonstrations of wisdom that we can use in our own lives.
The Bible also speaks to us about wisdom through the lense of caution. We are advised to not only seek wisdom but also to put it into practice. As Proverbs 11:14 says, “where there is no prudent guidance, the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety”. Christian communities, such as churches and Bible study, also provide opportunities to learn from and share wisdom.
Educational opportunities also provide a place to learn and grow in wisdom. Schools are one example of this and can provide important learning experiences. Additionally, books and courses can help us to expand our understanding and knowledge of wisdom in relation to the Bible. Overall, it is important to recognize that wisdom can be gained through different sources and by drawing on multiple life experiences.
The Bible speaks of a type of wisdom that is ‘of God.’ This divinely enlightened wisdom is said to be the highest form of knowledge and understanding and is often sought after and praised in Scripture. This wisdom is insights, understanding, and perceptions that come directly from God, rather than acquired or learned. It can often be unexpected or surprising and can bring clarity to complex situations, allowing us to see situations with a new perspective.
Godly wisdom encompasses many facets of life, and can be applicable in different situations, embracing spirituality, morality, relationships, history, and many other areas. It is often said to be a ‘gift’ from God and something we should seek after. Although we may not be able to understand it fully, from Ecclesiastes we can understand that seeking Godly wisdom is something we should strive for, “for people may be snared in an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.” (Ecclesiastes 9:12)
Godly wisdom can also be seen in how we interact with others and how we treat one another. Jesus emphasizes this in Luke 6:31, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This type of wisdom centers around loving and serving one another, understanding our differences and acting with respect and kindness.
The pursuit of wisdom is something that should be the goal of all believers. It is something we are actively supposed to seek out, while recognizing that it is a spiritual gift from God. To make it part of our lives, it is best to maintain an open mind, actively seek out wise advice and counsel, and strive to develop daily habits that seek out wisdom. This might look like regularly engaging in theology courses and books, attending church and Bible studies, or both.
In pursuing wisdom, we should remember that it is a process, one that is often hidden but not complacent in its pursuit. Although at times it may seem hard to discern the true knowledge and understanding from the noise, seeking wisdom is an opportunity to draw closer to God and be more like Him.
We must strive to ask God for guidance and support as we seek wisdom, just as Solomon sought God for his grace and assistance in his pursuit of wisdom. If we open our minds and hearts for Godly wisdom, it is a valuable pursuit we can enjoy especially in our life today.
Living By Wisdom
Living by wisdom is often a difficult endeavor. Many of us can become overwhelmed with the constantly changing choices and directions that life takes. To live by wisdom, we must have the courage to find our unique wisdom, be disciplined enough to live it and be willing to risk our comfort to own it.
It is also essential to implement practices in our day-to-day lives that demonstrate wisdom. Slowing down to pause and reflect on decisions can often lead to us making wiser choices. We should also make use of the wisdom of people close to us, such as friends and family, who can help us discern what is wise and make informed decisions accordingly.
We should also remember the importance of patience, one of the cornerstones of wisdom. Time is often a crucial factor in gaining wisdom, as it allows us to gain experience and a greater understanding. Tapping into this inner wisdom allows us to become more aware of our emotions and recognize how our decisions, behaviour and attitude will affect ourselves and others.
Wisdom Of Humility
Scripture advises us to nurture a wise, humble attitude in our pursuit of understanding. Humility is a priceless virtue in our quest for wisdom, as it recognizes that all knowledge comes from a place beyond our understanding. We must be willing to admit when we do not have the answers and seek advice from others who have more insight and experience.
Proverbs also speaks of the importance of humility in relation to understanding “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2). Interacting with and listening to others, looking to those wiser than ourselves, and understanding the perspective of different cultures and ages, allows us to gain greater insight and understanding.
Overall, the pursuit of wisdom is a worthwhile endeavor, one which can lead us closer to God and help form a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us. The Bible indicates that wisdom is a vital part of living a righteous life, and it is something we should actively seek if we wish to live in accordance with God’s will.