by Eric Dunbar
What Is Wisdom?
A simple way to define wisdom is that it is the ability to use acquired knowledge. Wisdom and knowledge go hand-in-hand. In the Bible, wisdom and knowledge are often mentioned together (Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 11:33; Colossians 2:3).
The Bible teaches us that God is all-wise or infinitely wise. Job says, “With Him are wisdom and might; to Him belong counsel and understanding.” Isaiah writes, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.“
Wisdom is more than just knowledge. Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge to achieve a perfect desired end. When the scriptures speak of wisdom, it is perceived as pure, loving, and good. Wisdom sees the end from the beginning.
God’s wisdom is superior to man’s wisdom because God is omniscient, meaning, He knows everything about everything. In His written word He says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God is the source of all wisdom. The scriptures teach that God alone is wise. Throughout the Bible God’s wisdom is proclaimed (Proverbs 2:6; Daniel 2:20; Romans 16:25-27; 1 Corinthians 1:21-24; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 3:10; James 1:5).
The wisdom of God is revealed in His magnificent works. When we look at the magnificence of creation we see the genius and wisdom of God. Only a wise God could conceive the wonders of space with its many galaxies and stars, not to mention the wonders of earth with its diversity of plant and animal life.See how God has decorated the earth with thousands of species of flowers that are for beauty and fragrance. God in His wisdom placed the earth at just the right distance from the sun to sustain life on the blue planet. If it had been placed any closer it would be too hot, any closer and it would be too cold for habitation.
The Masterpiece of Wisdom
The wisdom of God devised a foolproof plan whereby He would redeem His beloved seed of Adam from death. The fact that He would do this astonishes men and angels. How did He do it? The wisdom of God made the plan of redemption so simple that many people dismiss it as foolishness. You see, the sinful acts of mankind had alienated us from God. But God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were still sinners, God’s Son died for us.
The wisdom of God recognized the futility of our works. No amount of our own goodness, works, morality or religious worship can gain acceptance with God. With God, good people, moral people, religious people and non-religious people are the same. All of these groups fall short of the righteousness of God.
Nevertheless,God provided a way by which all people — religious people, non-religious people, good people, moral people — can be saved. The Apostle Paul made it as clear as possible. He writes, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” Paul backs up this statement by adding, “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh,discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about — but not before God. What does Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”
No human goodness can measure up to God’s perfect righteousness and holiness. But God is not only righteous and holy, God is perfect love and He is full of grace and mercy. Therefore in His wisdom He has given us hope in His Son who justifies the ungodly, thereby we are made righteous by our faith in Him.
This is the mystery of the Bible, the good news of the gospel. It’s the message of how God gave His own Son who became a man, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sin, and was raised from the grave as proof that He is the Son of God and the importance of His death as our substitute.