Wisdom. It’s a fairly common word, we often say that this person is wise or that person has great wisdom. But what exactly is wisdom? Specifically when it comes to the Biblical wisdom of God, many people confuse wisdom with trivia, they equate wisdom with merely knowing facts about God or having head-knowledge.

So today we will be studying about the wisdom of God, specifically what it is, how to apply it and how it benefits us in our daily life. I believe that at the end of us study, perceptions of God will be increased and chains will be broken as a result.

So let’s begin with our scripture text for today, which is found in Proverbs 3:19-28:

The LORD by wisdom has founded the earth; by understanding has he established the heavens.

By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

My son, let not them depart from your eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

So shall they be life to your soul, and grace to your neck.

Then shall you walk in your way safely, and your foot shall not stumble.

When you lie down, you shall not be afraid: yes, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.

Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes.

For the LORD shall be your confidence, and shall keep your foot from being taken.

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.

Say not to your neighbor, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when you have it by you.”

In verse 19 we see that the LORD by wisdom founded the earth. Perhaps you’ve experienced a time in your life where you’ve done a stupid thing. Where you disregarded wisdom and proceeded to do something foolish. Sometimes very smart people do very foolish things. That did not happen here in this verse. We see quite clearly that the earth was founded by God through wisdom. Everything was carefully planned and set in motion through the instrumentality of God’s divine wisdom.

Next we see in the same verse that the LORD by wisdom founded the earth This carries more meaning than simply establishing the earth. This means that He freely furnished the earth at no charge or cost. He created everything and He gave everything to mankind freely. This shows us several things. Firstly it shows God’s creativity… a world with such diversity and sheer wonder and vastness as ours, is the most amazing work of art you will ever see. This also shows us God’s skill. Not only did He create this world in all its diversity, but everything functions together. Every animal has its place, the times and seasons move with clockwork precision. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t even be able to keep time because every type of time-keeping device relies on at-least one law of nature, which God also created and set. Even more, your body would not function, nor would you even be here.

We also see that by understanding He has established the heavens. This word for “heavens” here is the sky, the place where the clouds are. God created it all, there is no Mother nature, but there is a Father God who has created and who maintains and sustains it all.

He controls the earth where blessing and provision springs up, and He controls the sky, where blessing and provision comes down. We see in verse 20 that by His knowledge, the waters are split and divided, and the clouds give the dew. It all comes from Him. It’s not your skill that causes blessings to come, it’s not your abilities, it is His providence. Notice also that the verse specifically says “drop down the dew” and not “gush down the crushing flood”. How many understand, it’s God’s mercy and His tender care that causes the water to come down as little raindrops. If He released the floodgates of the heavens all at once, nothing would survive… but God releases the water in such a way that even the most delicate flower is unharmed, and children can play in the light afternoon mist.

In verse 21, we see an exhortation to let them not depart from your eyes, keep sound wisdom and discretion. Now why is this verse necessary? It should be obvious that keeping wisdom and discretion is a good idea… but let’s remember that there are no insignificant details in the Bible. The verse says to keep sound wisdom. This is the wisdom of God, and the word discretion in this context means “judgment”.

The phrase “sound wisdom”, means wisdom that has quality.

You see, there is a type of worldly wisdom that is not sound, it has no quality because it lacks the foundation of scripture; it lacks Jesus Christ.

1st Corinthians 2:5 tells us that our faith (our information from God) should never stand in the wisdom of men. This is why preachers who teach from their own experience without ever opening a Bible are so dangerous… because your belief should never be on a man-made foundation, but on the eternal word and solid foundation of Jesus Christ alone.

We also see from this verse that we are told to not let sound wisdom depart from our eyes. To me this is very interesting phrasing. The verse could easily have said “Hey! Stay focused on wisdom!” It would’ve been more efficient. But there’s something else for us to see here. The word depart used in this verse, means “to turn aside or be lost from view.” and this bit of detail tells us specifically the way in which the enemy tries to steal the wisdom of God away from us… first with distractions, that turn our attention away from Jesus, and second, by placing barriers between us and Christ so that we feel so distant from Him that He is lost from view.

So what then is this wisdom of God? 1St Corinthians 1:23-25 tells us that the Wisdom of God is actually Jesus Himself:

But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness;

But to them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Christ crucified is a stumbling block to the Jews, because they expected a conquering king; not one that came to die. They expected a Lion, and Jesus came first as a Lamb. Also, the Jews hated the very notion of crucifixion, because it was a reminder to them that the Roman government had exclusive authority over capital punishment in Judea, rather than the Sanhedrin. (John 18:31), so every time the Jews saw a crucifixion, it was another reminder that they were under subjugation by the Roman empire.

Furthermore, the Jews have a deeper reason to detest those who are crucified because in Deuteronomy 21:23, in the Law it is written that anyone who hangs on a tree is cursed by God. They cannot fathom that the curse laid upon Jesus is as the sacrificial Lamb, the curse and punishment and judgment of the sin of the whole world laid upon Jesus that we may be free today.

It also states in verse 23 that Christ crucified is foolishness to the Gentiles. Roman citizens were typically exempt from crucifixion, except for serious crimes such as treason or murder. The Roman Empire would usually crucify rebellious slaves, conquered enemies, or the lowest of criminals, so the stigma upon anyone who was crucified was deeply ingrained in the mindset of the Gentiles. So crucified men were usually seen with contempt. They were either conquered enemies, unruly slaves, or treasonous criminals. In addition, the Roman Empire crucified its victims publicly to further humiliate them and to also maintain order among the people. The crucified person was public humiliated, mocked and beaten prior to the actual crucifixion. So in light of the crucified person’s pitiful condition, the Gentile view on anyone being crucified was the lowest estimation possible. This is why the idea of the LORD and Savior being crucified is utter foolishness to the Gentiles.

Now in verse 24 we see that to them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is both the power of God and the wisdom of God. What appears weak from a worldly perspective, is actually incredibly strong in reality. What appears foolish from a worldly mindset is, is actually amazingly wise in reality. Christ crucified is ultimate power and ultimate wisdom to us.

An example of this is one day when I was eating shrimp and I accidentally swallowed a tail. As it went down, it lacerated my throat to the point where it was very painful to talk or even to eat. A doctor would say there’s not really anything you can do, just try to talk as little as possible and watch for infection. A natural remedy book would say swallow several teaspoons of honey, go lay down and try not to stress your throat for a while. God told me to sing praise songs, out loud. And the Holy Spirit gave me this thought: As you sing, the words of praise to God will have to rise up through your throat and wash over the injured area, bringing healing. This is a totally illogical thought with absolutely no basis in medical science. If you were to say this to a doctor you’d be laughed at and possibly committed for insanity. I’ll tell you what though, before I even finished one song, my throat was completely healed.

So the wisdom of God is very powerful… now how is it applied to our life? Since we know that the wisdom of God is Christ crucified, we translate everything else through that knowledge. Every thought, every action, every desire, every feeling and every mood, must be weighed against and translated through the knowledge of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Let Jesus shape and mold your life, let His truth guide your path, let His wisdom correct your “stinking thinking”.

Back before I knew the LORD, I was running from Him. I was what I can only describe as a “professional hypocrite.” I knew all of the right and Christian things to say but I was living 180 degrees from what I was saying. I heard all of the religious stuff before, I was familiar with dying to self, making it all about Jesus, killing the flesh and all of that. I had heard it all before, but it never had an impact on me, except to push me further from God, because really it was still placing all of the effort on me. Until one day, laying in a hospital bed, waiting to die, the Grace of God came to me. God wasn’t lost, I was lost and He found me and He showed me His Grace and His perfect love. You see, it’s possible to be familiar with all of the things about God, but still be far from Him. But it’s the goodness of God that brings people to repentance (Romans 2:4). Don’t ever be ashamed or afraid to tell people about the Grace of God. Don’t ever be concerned that some people will take the message of God’s grace and use it to walk all over the blood of Jesus and live a lifestyle of sin and debauchery. Do people like that exist? Yes! But we are to tell people about the Gospel just the same. When you are forgiven much you love much (Luke 7:47). It’s only when you see the absolute divine love of God that you can begin to respond back to Him in love. You do not even have the ability to worship God honestly until you see His amazing love for you in what He has done.

There is so much teaching and preaching in the world today that tells people that life is hard, and that you will always fail, you are nothing but a dirty rotten sinner, and it gets you so focused on your failure that by the time you leave the service you are cowering in a spiritual corner. But none of that is translated through the finished work of Jesus Christ; because the truth is that if you are a believer, but are still identifying yourself as a person covered in sin and living in defeat, then there is something very wrong.

Turn back to our text in Proverbs 3:22-28:

So shall they be life to your soul, and grace to your neck.

Then shall you walk in your way safely, and your foot shall not stumble.

When you lie down, you shall not be afraid: yes, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.

Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes.

For the LORD shall be your confidence, and shall keep your foot from being taken.

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.

Say not to your neighbor, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when you have it by you.”

The wisdom of God, which is for us Christ crucified, has amazing benefits for us today. We can see in verse 22, that as we attend to His words, they will be life to our soul, and grace to our neck. The wisdom of Christ crucified will bring life (freshness and strength) to your soul (your mind). Again, Jesus will correct your thought-life. He will do what we have discussed tonight and teach you to see every area of life through the revelation of His finished work.. Today when people ask me if I have any problems, I tell them that I have none – and most Christians look at me as if I am in deep denial or being dishonest. But I don’t see life the way most believers see life. I see life through the lens of Grace. I had one single problem: I was separated from Jesus, and now I’m not. My one problem has already been solved.

Once Jesus has corrected your thought life, we see from our text that it has an effect on every other area of life. It also is grace to your neck. How many understand that your neck holds your head up. It keeps your from always “losing your head”, and it keeps you from always “looking down”. Furthermore your neck controls which direction you look in, and has an effect on which way you go. All of this is a result of the Wisdom of God, Christ crucified in your life.

Verse 23 tells us that then you will walk in safety, and your foot shall not stumble. Whether the danger on the way is a wild beast on the road, a pitfall, a robber or even a stumbling block, you will be kept safe from harm by the truth of Jesus Christ. The first half of the verse deals with enemies and traps, while the second half deals with our own accidents, an idea that is also addressed in Psalms 91:11-12.

Verse 24 goes on to say that when you lie down, you shall not be afraid… you shall lie down and your sleep shall be sweet. It’s possible to be resting in bed at night, but have no rest. It’s possible to sleep but not have it be sweet; you wake up feeling as though you haven’t slept at all and still be tired. However here in this verse, we are guarantied both peace and not only sleep, but sweet sleep.

Verse 25 continues on, telling you to not be afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes. Sudden fear is shocking or surprising fear, terror or dread. This verse says not to be afraid of it. And also when you see the wicked being desolated, devastated or ruined, don’t sit there in shock wondering if you will be next. Why? The next verse 26 tells us the answer.

We see that the LORD will be our confidence, and will keep our foot from being taken. The word “taken” used in this verse means “caught or captured”. Another benefit of the wisdom and grace of God in our life is that we are protected from those who would capture, trap or ensnare us.

Now these last two verses almost seem out of place. It seems out of place to start talking about behavior towards a neighbor when the previous verses have all been about wisdom and its benefits to us. However take a closer look at these verses, and you will see something amazing that will bless you greatly:

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.

Say not to your neighbor, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when you have it by you.”

This is the way that God instructs us to behave towards one-another. He says that it is wrong to withhold a good thing from someone to whom it is due; that it is wrong to tell them to come back later when we have the ability to give to them now. So if that is the way that God expects us to behave to each-other, then surely it is the way which He behaves toward us – His beloved children. God is not being stingy, He is not withholding any good thing or blessing from us; we have them all now, so let’s start believing and practicing these truths in our life. Let’s believe the Word of God and begin trusting Him for what He has said.

See everything through the Wisdom of Christ crucified, live life through the lens of the Grace of Jesus Christ, and you will find true Freedom through the Wisdom of God.

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