I like to start everyday digging for gold in God’s Word to fill me up with His wisdom, love, grace, and goodness so that I am able to share it with others! I know that if I take on the day without learning and applying what God is teaching me, it doesn’t take long for the ugliest parts of me to surface, and that doesn’t help anyone including myself.
Yesterday in my time with God, I did all of my usual reading, including a chapter from the book of Proverbs (Proverbs is my “go to” book for wisdom)! As I was reading Proverbs 14, I saw comparisons and contrasts with greater clarity. As I looked over the chapter it was full of not only the comparisons and contrasts but the results from each of them as well.
As I got toward the end of the chapter, I noticed that there were two verses that were not either of these things. Out of the 35 verses, it made a brief break from what had been, and switched to talking about the “fear of the Lord”. I wondered why the rhythm of comparisons and contrasts of this chapter had paused, talked about the fear of the Lord, and then resumed its prior rhythm.
I have lots of notes in the margins, phrases underlined, and words highlighted to help me to have quick references from past study, but nothing about this new revelation! So I studied the “fear of the Lord”. There were three verses that kept me digging for gold!
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; All those who follow His commandments have a good understanding; His praise endures forever.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
So I began to ask questions!
WISDOM - WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
According to the Holy Bible, wisdom is a principal thing for one to get, and its fundamental principle is to fear (revere, respect) God. It means to be intelligent, skillful, or artful; to be endowed with reasoning and using it; wise from experience of life and skillful with regard to affairs of both human and divine; endued with the ability to judge; strong and steadfast in mind.
King Solomon asked God for an understanding heart to lead his nation and God’s people. Proverbs is the book that he compiled more than 3,000 true sayings intended to give us wisdom and instruction so that we would know how to conduct our lives with righteousness, justice, equity, prudence and knowledge that begins with reverence and loyalty for God. It is acquired by those who seek and ask the Lord for it.
Digging deeper, I wanted to know more!
WISDOM - WHAT IS IT’S SOURCE?
According to the James chapter 3:13-18, there are two kinds of wisdom:
1.“Wisdom is not that which comes down from above” (Worldly - Fool's Gold)
(verses 15-16) is earthly, natural (unspiritual), demonic.
“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.”
2. "Wisdom from above” (Godly - Pure Gold)
(verses 17-18) is first pure, then peaceable, gently, reasonable (willing to yield), full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy (pretense or fraud).
“And where the seed (fruit or righteousness) is sown in peace, by those who make peace.”
WISDOM - WHAT IS IT’S WORTH?
The wisdom that King Solomon asked God for and made him the wisest of all men and the most wealthy king in history! There are many ways to measure it as it is talked about all throughout the Bible. If we focus on the book of Proverbs only, we learn that it:
*is better than silver *is better than fine gold *more precious than jewels *incomparable * is enduring wealth *is a precious treasure and oil
As I continued digging, I wondered why WISDOM is so important to me!
WISDOM - WHY DO I NEED IT?
In my own life, one of the things that I pray to God for more than any other thing is His wisdom! Many times throughout the day I am faced with decisions that are far above my paygrade or understanding and I need some help to guide me. While I may not have the answers to questions or solutions to problems I know where to begin my search for them as I seek out wisdom and understanding!
Another reason is because, like me, most people that ask for prayer, begin by asking for God to give them wisdom to know the good or the right things to say or do in a situation they are dealing with. They are humble enough to recognize that they need what they don’t have!
WISDOM - WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IT TO ME?
The Bible tells us that there is much that we gain from the benefits of wisdom! Once again, if we look only in Proverbs, we learn that Godly wisdom:
*protects *guards *speaks *true wisdom comes from the Lord *will be pleasant to your soul
*leads to long life *riches *honor *pleasant ways *paths of peace *directs *counsels *builds *prepares *sends *prolongs life *wins souls *brings healing *accepts correction and discipline *it is a fountain of life *is cautious *turns away from evil *spreads knowledge *makes others glad *whoever has it loves his own soul *guides *instructs *enables us to receive knowledge and understanding *is victorious *is respected *delivers *teaches
WISDOM - HOW DO I START MY SEARCH FOR WISDOM?
Step 1- CHOOSE YOUR SOURCE
It begins by choosing your source for wisdom. As we go back and read James 3:13-18, we can clearly see two kinds of wisdom and what they produce:
“Wisdom is NOT that which comes down from above” (Worldly - Fool's Gold)
“Wisdom from above” (Godly - Pure Gold)
Personally, I look at what they produce and that makes the choice for my source easy! I want the results from the “wisdom from above”!
Step 2- ASK FOR SUPPLIES
James 1:5-8 it says,
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach (scolding), and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
We recognize we are lacking it
We ask God for it (who has it and gives it)
We ask with faith without any doubting (knowing the character of who we ask; believe He has it and will give it)
Step 3-READ THE MAP
Commit to reading a chapter in Proverbs everyday pursuing God’s wisdom! There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs and the easiest way to get started and stay with it is to read the chapter that corresponds with the date. (If it is the 14th of the month, read chapter 14)!
Step 4-MARK WHERE TO BEGIN
As you begin to see the word or some form of the word “wisdom” repeated or in phrases in each chapter, you can mark it the same each time (maybe a green or red circle around the word). You can mark that word the same anywhere you go in the Scriptures to study beyond Proverbs!
Step 5-USE THE TOOLS TO START DIGGING
You can begin to study that word by reading what is in the same verse, phrase, and in the context of what is before and after it, and why it is being talked about. You can start to study using any or all of these tools:
-Asking questions and searching for answers in that passage (Who? What? When? Where? How? Why?)
-References listed in the margins of your Bible for that verse
-Commentaries (Matthew Henry is my favorite!)
-Original language and root definitions
-Meditation (Thinking deeply about what you are learning and asking God about it)
-Journaling (Writing out what you are learning or from your meditation)
You can get involved in a church Bible Study!
As you study, you will begin to understand bit by bit, and that will enable you to apply what you are learning! These steps allow you to begin to experience the benefits of WISDOM!
Here’s the GOLD that we have been digging for!
As we consider all that we have unearthed so far, the GOLD of
“wisdom from above” are:
As we study, we understand, and as we understand we can apply His wisdom! It is incalculable in price as we put it to work in every part of our lives and reap the benefits of it!
We also see that it is precious in our relationship with God showing Him the respect He deserves! His Word and His Gospel support His care and concern for the condition of our relationship with Him and our relationships with others. No one is excluded from His invitation to a reconciled relationship with Him through Jesus Christ!
His promises and word are true! His character is completely trustworthy because He cannot lie! He is the same yesterday, today and forever and will continue to supply His wisdom to all who ask in faith without doubting Him, and He will give it generously and without reproach! His supply is endless!
The Good News:
KEEP DIGGING EVERYDAY! There is more GOLD for you!
The Question Is:
Where will you dig next and what tools will you use?