It Started in the Garden

The search for wisdom is an age old search. In fact, we are told it began in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:6 tells us, ” The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” NABRE   The search for wisdom is apparently as old as mankind itself.  His Word tells us that “He (God) has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.”   Ecclesiastes 3:11 NASB  Is it possible that our need to learn and grow, to seek wisdom, is innate to us? Could it be that this is just a part of that eternity that God has placed in our heart? A yearning to know more about God? To seek and understand Him? It certainly seems reasonable to me. God created us for relationship; with Him and with others and if there is one thing needed in relationships, I submit to you it is wisdom! Wisdom when to speak and when to keep quiet; wisdom in decisions that must be made; wisdom to know and understand each other; and wisdom to know and understand ourselves.

Where does wisdom originate? According to scripture, wisdom or more specifically the spirit of wisdom comes from God. “You are to instruct all the skilled craftsmen, whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom, to make Aaron’s garments for consecrating him to serve Me as priest. Exodus 28:3  Also, “I have filled him with God’s Spirit, with wisdom, understanding, and ability in every craft. Exodus 31:3 (Also, Exodus 35:31; 36:1 & 2)

Wisdom is sought after, it’s not automatic. We must desire and seek after wisdom. Here’s an interesting example. When King David, known as the man after God’s on heart, died; his son, Solomon began his reign as king. One night God appeared to Solomon in a dream telling him He, God, would give Solomon whatever he asked. This was Solomon’s reply: ““You have shown great kindness to your servant, David my father, because he walked before you with fidelity, justice, and an upright heart; and you have continued this great kindness toward him today, giving him a son to sit upon his throne. Now, Lord, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed David my father; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act— I, your servant, among the people you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, a listening heart to judge your people and to distinguish between good and evil. For who is able to give judgment for this vast people of yours?” 1 Kings 3:6-9

God was very pleased at Solomon. Not only was he granted wisdom and discernment beyond any man prior to Solomon or after; but because of his unselfish request, God also gave  him riches, glory and a long life. Not only proving God as the source of wisdom but also wisdom is quite important to God! There are many things recorded about the great wisdom of Solomon through his reign.

Job tells us this about wisdom: “Wisdom is found with the elderly, and understanding comes with long life. Wisdom and strength belong to God; counsel and understanding are His.” Job 12:12-13  HCSB  “When He established a limit for the rain and a path for the lightning, He considered wisdom and evaluated it; He established it and examined it. He said to mankind, “The fear of the Lord is this: wisdom. And to turn from evil is understanding.” Job 28:26-28 HCSB

Psalm 111:9-10   “He has sent redemption to His people. He has ordained His covenant forever. His name is holy and awe-inspiring. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His instructions have good insight. His praise endures forever.”  

We learned with Solomon and Job that wisdom is a gift from God and begins with the “fear of the Lord”. What is the fear of the Lord?  The original word for fear in this verse is yir ‘ah, meaning fear, terror, awesome, terror (object causing fear), respect, reverence, piety, and revered. It’s root word, yare, is an adjective meaning fearing, reverent, afraid.  Basically, God wants us to have an understanding of who He is; His sovereignty, character, goodness, and power. Our job is to view Him appropriately for who He is and have reverence and respect for who He is and consequently see our selves in comparison to His greatness and might. In our culture that is often hard to do. We have been programed over many years to think of everyone as equals and no one greater than another. In a democracy, we are encouraged to think this way.  Even in the Word we are told: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28  We are equal in Christ, but we are not equal to Christ or to God.

If you are in a conflict of opinion, action or ideas with an equal, compromise or a meeting of the minds may be in order; however, if it is with a superior, most likely the superior will prevail because of his or her place of authority.  Typically, authority comes because of a measure of wisdom that has been gained bringing recognition to our abilities in a particular area. God, as the Creator and Designer is the ultimate authority and expert. Wisdom belongs to Him and it comes from Him, there is no greater authority; therefore with great respect and reverence our job is to acknowledge His position and seek His wisdom.  His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways—oracle of the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways,
my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Blessings, Grace and Peace to you!

Psalm 90:12                                                                                                                                                    “Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.”

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