“Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.” (Proverbs 4:5–7, ESV)
Of all the things that are valuable and desirable for us in every day life, the Bible speaks of wisdom as being the essential. Essentially the Wisdom writer says, if you’re going to get anything, then get wisdom — everything else is secondary to that. You might pause here and say, “wait, I thought love was the most important virtue, or righteousness, or justice, or mercy… why are you saying get wisdom above anything else? Here’s why:
Wisdom, in the Scriptures is the basis or the bedrock of all other virtues. Solomon asked God for wisdom and God was pleased to give it to him because from a heart of wisdom would flow a heart of love. A life of service or a devotion to compassion, justice, and equity are all fruits borne out of a heart of wisdom. The Proverbs demonstrate that the wise person is the person who is loving, merciful, compassionate, just, hard working, faithful, diligent, disciplined, righteous, and equitable. Wisdom becomes the means by which these other virtues are displayed.
Consider this, if we are people of justice but don’t possess wisdom in how to direct and display that love, we probably will end up being overbearing with a law, but never compassionate to those who are in need. Wisdom requires understanding all the angles of a situation to be able to rightly apply justice and mercy. The Pharisees were great lovers of the Law, but they weren’t wise — they didn’t know how to display mercy. On the other hand, if we are solely people of mercy, but never employ wisdom we can be taken advantage of, walked all over and mishandle the resources and skills God has given us to steward for his glory. We must be wise so we are compassionate and fair.
This is why the Holy Spirit in the Bible directs us to pursue wisdom as if it were above all else. If we don’t get anything else, be sure to get wisdom. This of course centers us on the gospel. When we really ask what wisdom is, and where real wisdom comes from the Bible gives us one direct and clear answer: Christ. Jesus is “the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). If we want to get wisdom, it most purely, doesn’t come from reading lots of books or having lots of experience in life, or spending time with older people (although those can be supplemental resources for wisdom). Pure and true wisdom ultimately comes from Christ.
How did Jesus know how to display mercy to an adulterous woman? It was because he is wise. How did Jesus know to rebuke the legalist stuck in their religiosity? It was because he is wise. How did Jesus know how to answer the traps set before him by the Jewish lawyers? It was because Jesus was wise? How did Jesus know how to receive and bless the little children? It was because Jesus is wisdom.
So run to Jesus. Get wisdom from Christ. Turn off the talking heads of the worldly philosophy and babble of political pundits. Get Christ. Stop listening to the cacophony of life coaches and religious tradesmen selling you a “best life now” and get Jesus. Run to Him for wisdom, pursue him like you would silver and fine gold. Be wise and consider Jesus the treasure in the field, in which you would give up everything you have to possess him. Be wise, get Jesus!
Wisdom Concerning Our Words
Sunday morning we will continue our Five° series and address the singular largest topic of the book of Proverbs; our words. As we gather for worship we will be singing the following songs and have posted them on our Spotify playlist so you can be more familiar (and sing on your own!) with our music.
- Open Up the Heavens
- Raised to Life
- Good Good Father
- O Praise the Name
- Lord, I Need You
Also - let me encourage you to come to the 9:30 service this week… but you’ll have to join us then to find out why!
The Meaning of Marriage
Sunday night we will also begin an new Thrive class for the months of April and May at 6pm. This class will address the important reality of marriage and is intended for both married people and single people. The course will be part video dialog, part live discussion, and totally helpful for everyone! The class is based off of Timothy and Kathy Keller’s excellent book The Meaning of Marriage. The course is $10 and includes a copy of the book. We hope that you’ll join us, and even invite others to listen in and learn together about the value and importance of marriage from the Scriptures.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday and growing together in wisdom as we pursue Christ!