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.”

Courage to Be Unoffendable Part 2

  “And anyone who is not offended because of Me is blessed.” 

                                      Luke 7:23

      A good friend invited us to visit her church a few months ago. We finally got a chance to go last Wednesday night since our church has not been having services this summer on Wednesdays.  Our visit was the beginning catalyst for these posts on being unoffendable. We came in on the next to last week of a study that they had been doing together based on the book The Prisoner in the Third Cell  by Gene Edwards. Just that morning I had prayed about a situation that had occurred; I thought I had resolved any ill feelings over it. Sadly, a fresh feeling of rejection reared it’s little head. I actually caught the potential offense quickly. I set out to put all my feelings on paper in the form of a prayer and to try to objectively look at each possible side of the my situation. Just writing out my thoughts was very cathartic to my soul. It helped to see things in a broader perspective and not have tunnel vision about the incident. Yet and still the sting lingered a bit. I digress, so back to the story…

       We were very graciously welcomed by our friend and the fellowship she attends! They began by meeting corporately and a Pastor introducing the topic. Afterwards we broke into small groups that I later found out were based on gifting. We had a great discussion time and then reconvened as a large group for more discussion and teaching. Imagine my surprise when the scripture from Luke 7:23 was the main scripture and the topic was John the Baptist.

     Foe some background, a little bit about John’s story…Recently imprisoned and with the threat of death upon his head literally; John asked friends to seek out Jesus and ask “When the men reached Him, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to ask You, ‘Are You the One who is to come, or should we look for someone else?’” Luke 7:20. We don’t really know exactly why John asked this but it doesn’t take much imagination to wonder if John’s unexpected imprisonment and the threat of death made him question his beliefs. After all, he was sent to prepare the way for Jesus the Messiah. Jesus was just getting started in ministry and John may have been questioning if he had really understood how things were to go. If Jesus was truly the foretold Messiah.

    Many believed when the Messiah came that His rule would be a governmental rule; an earthly kingdom. God had other plans. They were looking for relief from the Roman rulers of the day and a kingdom of their own.  Isn’t that just like us as humans? We try to understand God in human terms rather than accept Him on His own terms. We put God in a box that we can understand rather than accepting that His ways are not ours. If you will allow me leeway here, we make Him a god in our own image often times rather than truly studying His character by studying His Word.  If we are not careful, we loose track of  Isaiah’s words in  Isaiah 55:8-9 (NET Bible): “Indeed, my plans are not like your plans and my deeds are not like your deeds, for just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans.  (many translations use the word higher when describing God’s ways and plans)  As Creator, He is sovereign; supreme ruler, ultimate power, not controlled by outside forces. There is no higher authority than God.

      John’s friends found Jesus and relayed John’s question to Him. Later they returned to see John with the answer,  “Go and report to John the things you have seen and heard: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news.   Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”   Luke 7:22-23  These scriptures were the springboard for a spirited discussion on what we would want to take care of if our death was imminent; questions we might have about or for God;  why offense might come and the reasons we become offended. Lastly, a question about our potential reaction when thinking we have been given a task by God and taking on the belief that we will be the one to see it to fruition. Is it possible that the very supposition can be or is a challenge to the authority of God in our lives?  The immediate thought that came to my mind was God calling Abraham the “Father of many nations” only to later tell him to go and sacrifice his only child as an offering. Then what if Abraham had carried it out to the finish and had not heard and obeyed when God said “Stop” and provided the ram instead. SurelyAbraham had a hard time understanding God’s directions and yet he listened and obeyed. His faith was unwavering despite his circumstances. How about ours?

       Do we really want a God we can completely understand? One that always act as we expect  him to act? One that grants us our every wish? Do we really want a God who answers every question we have? Not me! I have asked for things that in hindsight would have been very bad for me. I have asked questions that God in His sovereignty has not answered and I am glad He did not answer. I am wise enough now to understand that I could not have handled that information at the time I asked! Is our faith in God and His ways (His sovereignty) enough to accept those things we do not understand and continue to trust Him? Does it hold up even when our pain seems unbearable? How about when our loss seems too much to bear? What happens when tragedy strikes? And finally, do we really want a God that always or only meets our expectations? Again, not me! Sometimes my expectations are not the best answer and more often than not God exceeds my expectations on the flip side. Blessed are we if we are not offended on His account!

   “And anyone who is not offended because of Me is blessed.” Jesus Christ

Grace and Peace to you!


Friends, I highly recommend the above book. I read it cover to cover over the holiday weekend. The chapters are short and it is only eighty-one pages but it is quite thought provoking and challenging!