News for the week of Friday, June 27, 2014

Sunday School Lesson — Bible Studies for Life
June 29: God Is Wise
By Gene Nelson
pastor, Russellville Baptist, Russellville


Focal Passage: Proverbs 2:1-6, 3:5-7

“The ability to live life skillfully … to understand what is right, true, and enduring.” I found this definition for wisdom and thought it to be true according to the Word of God, and specifically, to the Scriptures given in the book of Proverbs. In today’s world, there is no lack of information. Just go to the internet, do a Google search, and you can acquire more information about any topic than you really cared to know in the first place! As a matter of fact, you can get so much information that you do not know where to start in the discovery! However, all that information does not necessarily translate into wisdom. It may not give you the ability to discover truth, and live life skillfully. What is needed more and more in today’s world, is not more information, but rather, a lot more wisdom. And that comes from the God “who alone is wise … (Jude 25).

While God is wise in the purest sense, James 1:5 tells us that God will share His wisdom with those who ask. The wisdom He willingly shares is not just given in moderation, but “liberally and without reproach … .” There are a few words that the wisdom of God provides for those who are His, and He shows us those words in these verses in the chosen text.

The first is the word “understanding.” A form of the word is used five times in these nine verses, so I think God wants us to have a firm understanding of understanding. The meaning of the word carries with it the ability to grasp the truth; to gain insight and discernment. Verse 6 tells us that from God’s mouth comes this great gift. I believe this is the evidence of wisdom — it is having the insight to know the consequences of decisions and personal choices. Godly wisdom sees the reality of what lies on the other side of decisions and choices. It makes one fully aware of the effects these decisions will have upon our lives, and the lives of others involved. When understanding is gained, it helps the believer to choose the godly path.

A second word is “knowledge” also translated “acknowledge” (ch. 3:6). This is the ability to distinguish. It is the intellectual aspects of God’s wisdom. Parents will often tell their children “use the brain God gave you.” In other words, think before you act. Exercise some common sense! Paul admonishes believers to have the “Mind of Christ,” later, in Philippians 2 when He calls the church to “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus … .” Our wise God has empirical understanding to discover through evidence. I think it is significant that the Latin equivalent to the word “knowledge” used in our text gives us the English word “Science.”

A final word for us to discover is the word “fear” (chs. 1:5 and 3:7).Oh, if believers got hold of this biblical mandate, it would change lives. The fear of the Lord is not a terror, but rather a holy awe and reverence. It is not being scared that He will send a lightning bolt to zap you, but there is the understanding that He could if He desired. If you do not believe that, ask Sodom or Gomorrah, maybe even Ananias and Sapphira. Solomon says that a holy awe for a Holy God is where wisdom begins. To seek after understanding and knowledge without first having a reverence for the God from which it all flows, would be a futile effort. It is time that Christians reclaim the fear of the God who is wise!

— Nelson is pastor of Russellville Baptist Church, Russellville.


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