Wisdom For Life

By Not Known

To us, wisdom tends to be intellectual erudition. ON this model, the wise person is someone who thinks deep thoughts about deep matters and perhaps expresses them in incomprehensible prose.

Biblical wisdom is about life. It is practical, Biblical wisdom is a road map to a life that is happy and successful because it is lived with God.

The practical nature of Biblical wisdom is seen in three of the prominent ‘Wisdom books’. The book of Job grapples with the painful reality of suffering through the concrete story of a man, not through abstract theory. The book of Ecclesiastes tells of a man who discovered by experience the emptiness of a godless life of ‘wine, women and song’ and then tells of the fulfilment of a life lived with god. Proverbs is packed with practical and down to earth advice as it expounds the two ways to live.

The story of King Solomon is an object lesson in Biblical wisdom (and it opposite). Given a choice of anything he wanted, Solomon asked God for wisdom and , as a consequence, wealth and honour were added to the package by God (1 Kings 3: 1-11). Solomon’s wisdom earned him great renown at home and abroad (eg 1 Kings 3:28; 10:1-5,7)

Solomon was not a philosopher or theologian, but a person of skillful and effective actions (1 Kings 3: 9). His wisdom gave him practical understanding for his task of civil government and, in particular, discernment of good and evil. His wisdom came from God, had a moral rather than an intellectual edge and was of practical benefit.

Solomon’s wisdom came with a condition. So long as he walked in God’s ways he would know God’s blessing (1 Kings 3: 14; 9: 4-6). Conversely, a turning from God would mean a loss of blessings (1 Kings 9: 6- 9). Solomon did walk in God’s wisdom and way for a time and this was the period associated with his enormous success as a king. But then the days came when his heart stayed into folly through his pursuit of many foreign wives, with the associated idolatry, and his provoked God’s anger (1 Kings 11: 1-9)

How about us? Our culture values intellectual success and many of us enjoy it. But have we connected to and stayed with the practical wisdom that is found in God and gained through Christ? Do we have wisdom for life?