And this is what he says to all humanity:
‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom;
to forsake evil is real understanding.’
Job 28:28, NLT*
The Book of Proverbs spends a lot of time looking at the thoughts, actions, and ultimate ends of the wise and the foolish, the godly and the wicked.
Wise and foolish, here, aren’t about intelligence. They’re not natural temperaments or personality attributes. They’re choices and learned behaviour.
They begin with our choice to seek or to ignore God.
Growing in relationship with God, learning to trust, obey and love Him—and developing a healthy respect and reverence for the one who adopts us as His own but who is the all-powerful God and Judge of all creation—is the way to wisdom.
The Book of James promises, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (James 1:5, NLT*)
Wisdom isn’t always about specific guidance about the best thing to do or say in a given situation, although God can give us that. I like how Carolyn Watts puts it: “God promises to give us His wisdom, but the wisdom that He gives is sometimes more about learning to trust Him with the questions than about receiving specific answers.” [Rational Worship, p. 16]
Foolishness and wickedness are choices, and we don’t seem to need much help to excel at them. I’m so glad that wisdom and godliness are valid choices too, and that God offers all the help we’ll need to grow in them.
God who formed the universe, You are wiser than we’ll ever be. Thank You for inviting us into relationship with You. Thank You for the promise of wisdom if we’ll give our hearts to You and follow Your ways.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.