home > Pastor’s Desk > 2021 > March > EVEN THOUGH IT’S UNFATHOMABLE, UNSEARCHABLE, AND UNCOMPREHENSIBLE, YOU STILL NEED IT!

EVEN THOUGH IT’S UNFATHOMABLE, UNSEARCHABLE, AND UNCOMPREHENSIBLE, YOU STILL NEED IT!

God, according to James the brother of Jesus, gives to His children wisdom (James 1:5). While James tells us that God gladly and generously gives this wisdom, there is more that the Scriptures tell us about how God gives wisdom to His people than what James tells us. I suspect that there are some of you reading this who could do with some godly wisdom right now. If that’s you, you might benefit from taking the next few moments to consider what else God’s Word says about God’s wisdom.

 

WHAT IS WISDOM?

¶ And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man.
Luke 2:52

When asked to define wisdom, most people end up describing it or giving examples of it, rather than actually defining it. Perhaps defining wisdom is similar to the difficulty we have in defining the colour red. without referring to examples of something red? We might attempt to define wisdom by noting that it is both acquired through learning (Prov. 9:9) and is also given by God (James 1:5) and that it results in godly decision making and virtuous courses. Wisdom is not merely, as some have inadequately defined it, the application of knowledge. You might know how to steal, but applying that knowledge is not very wise! Wisdom is the godly use of knowledge which leads to the righteous application of that knowledge for the highest welfare of those you are responsible for. Therefore there is no greater example of wisdom than Jesus (1Cor. 1:24, 30).

 

YOU DO NOT NEED MONEY TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS!

Feasts are made for laughter,
and wine makes life merry,
but money is the answer for everything.
Ecclesiastes 10:19

The Book of Ecclesiastes appears to have been written sometime during the Babylonian Exile. It’s author used a “persona literary device” where an author would write as if he or she was an actual historical character—in this instance, King Solomon. Thus the author of Ecclesiastes voices the backslidden King Solomon as saying that “money is the answer for everything” or, that money solves every problem. But, as I suspect, the author was expecting all readers to disagree with this absurd claim – just ask some of the world’s wealthiest celebrities whether their mind-boggling wealth helped them solve their marriage problems or give their lives meaning. Money certainly does not solve all problems. But wisdom can.

But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man.
Ecclesiastes 9:15

  

HOW WE LEARN WISDOM

Wisdom can be acquired by learning. The Book of Proverbs reveals that there are three ways that a person can learn to be wise.

1. INSTRUCTION – Wisdom can be learned from a wise instructor either directly or by seeking out their advice.

Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
Proverbs 8:33

2. BY (OUR) MISTAKES – Wisdom can be learned from the mistakes we make and from learning from the mistakes of others. I wonder if God allows us to make mistakes and even fail so that others can learn from our mistakes.

For the righteous falls seven times and rises again
Proverbs 24:16a

3. BY CONTEMPLATION – Wisdom can be learned by reflecting, thinking things through, and contemplating options and possible outcomes.

The simple believes everything,
but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
Proverbs 14:15

Proverbs also describes several sources of wisdom. These include wise counsellors, lessons from the history, the wisdom in God’s Word, and from our parents. 

 

ABOUT GOD’S WISDOM

¶ Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!  ¶ “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor?”  “Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?”  ¶ For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11:33-36

Jesus Christ Himself was the ultimate personification of wisdom (1Cor. 1:24, 30), yet He Himself, when He became incarnate, had to ‘increase’ in wisdom. And chances are that if Jesus had to ‘increase in wisdom’ then so do we! In God’s unfathomable wisdom He permits us to learn how to increase in wisdom by learning from our mistake and failures. Yet, there are times when, as James the brother of Jesus wrote, that God gifts wisdom to His children. This may not be a ‘Matrix type’ of human-software update, but it could come to you in way you did not expect in response to your prayer for God’s wisdom where you have a “light-bulb moment”. And when you experience one of those rarer moments of ‘received’ wisdom (where God gives us wisdom), it might be time to implement some wisdom from the life of Daniel, who, when it happened to him, he gave God the glory for it.

Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Daniel 2:19

I wonder if this lesson from the life of Daniel informed the apostle Paul about how to process the reception of divine wisdom? He described encountering the magnitude of this divine wisdom as unfathomable, unsearchable, and inscrutable (Romans 11:33). (And I’m fairly confident that if uncomprehensable was a word he would have used that word as well. I’m less confident that if he was to ever read this week’s Pastor’s Desk that he would be impressed with my clever list of un- words in its title.) After Paul described the incomparable wisdom of God, he then drops to his knees in worship and gives God glory for His amazing wisdom. This is what I suggest we do too, even if we have never received a dose of God’s wisdom or a revelation of how magnificent it is.

Your pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

3 Comments

  1. John Sands

    A considered and helpful exposition of a piece of scripture that worries some.
    Why is wisdom given the feminine gender on scripture?

    Reply
  2. Norman Macdonald

    Is it wise to say what a great article this is? I think so

    Reply
  3. Mike Sladden

    Excellent Andrew. Many of our politicians need an infusion of God’s wisdom given the appalling euthanasia (VAD) Bill which has just passed the lower House of Parliament. Blessings, Brother Mike

    Reply

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AMAZING ACCESS

Anyone who has attended a large event such as the recent Will Graham Outreach event that was held at the Launceston Silverdome would be familiar with the varying levels of access that are provided to staff and volunteers associated with this type of event. The security system used included identification in the form of different coloured shirts, prayer volunteer cards, and all access cards that permitted access to the entire venue with no questions asked by security personnel. This is like the access level that God has to our lives. Being omnipresent, He has unhindered access to every aspect of our lives. He knows our innermost thoughts, sees all that we do, hears all that we say. God has the ultimate ‘all access’ card.

WHY FINDING TRUTH MATTERS

How can we determine whether a claim is true or false? Some people think there are different kinds of truth — my truth, their truth, and your truth. But how do they know that their assessment of truth is true? After all, their assessment – that there is my/their/your truth might just be based on their truth rather than the truth. Truth has certain qualities that distinguishes it from what is false-
 Truth corresponds to reality.
 Truth is verifiable (that is, if it is true, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is falsifiable (that is, if it is false, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is sometimes testable (that is, claims that are experiential can be tested by experience – including scientific claims, historic claims, and existential claims).
We have good reasons for the believing that the Bible is true because it is the divinely inspired, reliable and authoritative Word of God which has been superintendedly preserved by the Holy Spirit (read more about this).

THE 5 MOST IMPORTANT YEARS OF ANYONE’S LIFE

Parents, Kids Church leaders, and Christian school teachers should be intentional about shaping children to be fully devoted followers of Christ who have reasons for believing Christianity is true – which shapes them into virtuous contributors to society and to find their role in God’s Kingdom. This will be one of the necessary and indispensable means for the Church to fulfil the Great Commission of Christ.

TIME- YOU CAN’T CONTROL IT – BUT YOU CAN LEARN FROM IT

We live in a fast paced world. We expect things to happen quickly. None of us like to be kept waiting. Even when we order something online we expect it delivered straight away. Some of us having to work two or even three jobs just to be able to pay the bills. We describe ourselves as time-poor. Yet, we all get twenty-four-hours in a day. Sixty-minutes in an hour. And sixty-seconds in a minute. Most of us need to adjust how we see, understand, and treat our time. This will involve, what will be for some, adopting a foreign and largely unaccustomed view of time that involves worship, sabbath, and deepening relationships. From this biblical perspective we will come to see time as a gift from God, not a curse, or source of frustration. Within this gift of time God teaches us how to worship in those times when it is difficult to do so. Rather than thinking this divine gift of time is ours to do with what ever we want, God uses this gift to teach us that we should gift it back to Him beginning with (but not limited to) treating Sunday as a sabbath to come together to recommit our hearts, voices, minds, and presence with God’s people, back to God. God gives us passing time to learn to deepen relationships – especially with our kin, and our friends. Time is meant for relationship building. 

I AM WHO I AM BUT I AM NOT WHO I USED TO BE BUT I AM NOT YET WHO I WILL BE

One of the greatest lies that the would-be enemy of all our souls attempts to perpetuate is that we are what we are and we can never change. This lie is whispered into the ears of many people’s invisible ears so imperceptibly that they actually think it originated with them. “You were born this way – and you can never change”, “This is who you really are – and you can never change”, “There’s no hope of anything ever changing for better – so you might as well just kill yourself” and so on. But these sly alien voices inside the heads of the vulnerable are lies. People can change. People do change. Some circumstances were always going to be temporary and were always going to change. I know this is true because I am living proof. I am who I am but I am not who I used to be and I am not yet who I will be.

WHO DOES THIS EPHESIANS FELLA THINK HE IS?!

It may well still be the best-selling book of all time – and continues year-by-year to be so – but certainly is not the best-read of our current times! If there was ever any doubt about this, the events this week in Hobart, at St. Mary’s (Catholic) College Girl’s School, should remove all doubt! A furore erupted over the news that the prescribed Scripture reading for the year-end graduation celebration, which incorporated a Mass, was “Wives submit to your husbands” taken from Ephesians. Callers into ABC radio’s breakfast program decried this assault against women – especially young, vulnerable girls. One caller, responding to the news that the text being used was a citation from Ephesians, denounced Ephesians and apparently demanded, “Just who does this Ephesians bloke think he is?!” Another caller stated, “Why are they quoting ancient Roman philosophers in the twenty-first century?!” And yet another caller somehow linked all religious wars to passages like this one in the Bible! He remarked, “I’m an atheist. All wars are started by those who are religious! No war was ever started by atheists!” (Perhaps he had never heard of Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Vladimir Putin, who were collectively responsible for the deaths of over 20,000,000?) This furore led to the Archbishop conceding that the Ephesians passage did not have to be used at the graduation ceremony. But this furore has highlighted just how unaware many Tasmanians are about what the Bible is, what is actually says, and why it says it. And I am now about to correct this deficiency.  

THE LORD IS MY ROCK

Of the many tributes paid to her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was the often noted reflection that during her reign the world underwent a series of rapid changes that were dramatic and unprecedented in human history. There were technological inventions that revolutionised the way people could access international travel options enabling them to be virtually anywhere in the world within a matter of hours. New forms of communication emerged with the development of a global satellite communications network enabling people to watch Neil Armstrong take his one giant leap Live on their black-and-white TV screens (as I did in the corridors of Corio Primary School in 1969). Space exploration, the stuff previously just in the realm of science fiction writers, became a reality with manned and unmanned voyages to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But the past one hundred years have also been a time of great upheaval with empires crumbling, governments toppled, wars waged, genocides committed, pandemics raging, nations birthed, rulers assassinated, and massive refugee movements from oppressive Islamic and Communist regimes. Added to this has been the demise of professional journalism and the rise of internet-citizen-journalism where it is now common for TV News reports to feature footage taken from someone’s cell-phone which was posted on social media rather than the more expensive option of sending their own film crew there. And while we’re mentioning the internet, let’s not forget to mention – the internet. This alone has possibly been the most monumental change in the way people communicate, work, learn, and shop. But while it was noted that the Queen had witnessed all of these many changes, it was also noted that the Queen herself was an unchanging constant during all these upheavals who brought about a sense of stability, peace and reassurance. To millions of people around the world, she was their rock in a world of turmoil and change. Yet this was only possible because she herself had an immovable, dependable rock upon which she had built her life.

WHO BUILDS A CITY ON A HILL?

home > Pastor's Desk > 2022 > October 7th > Who Builds A City On A HillFor those who don’t know, I was born in Geelong, and have always been fan of the Geelong Football Club. But I’m not just a fan, I’m a paid-up member of the Club. In fact, I’m a student...

5 INDISPENSABLE GUIDELINES FOR NEW PARENTS

This is not for everyone. If you are already a parent, this is not for you. Instead of reading this I suggest you read one of my other more abstract Pastor’s Desk articles. If you are not a parent and have no intention of ever being a parent, this is not for you. Instead of reading this I suggest you read one of my more weighty articles on FindingTruthMatters.org. If you are not yet a parent and one day hope to become a parent, this is for you. Find a quiet place, take the next six minutes thirteen seconds and use the reading of this article as an investment into your future parenting strategies. I did not invent these guidelines. Like many parents who have also discovered the value of these guidelines, once discovered, they seem obvious. These successful parents probably grew up with own parents who inculcated these guidelines almost intuitively. However, my suspicion is that this is becoming increasingly rarer. As with all true guidelines they are adaptable, flexible, and are not a guarantee of parental success — but if ignored they become the point in the mathematical problem solving where you can see you made an error in your working out. In other words, while these guidelines may not guarantee success, if ignored their neglect almost certainly leads to frustration and disappointment. Here are five indispensable guidelines for every prospective new parent.

WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR ATHEIST & MAGICIAN PENN JILLETTE TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN?

I’ve been praying for Penn Jillette for some time now. It began when I first heard him ridicule the Bible and Christianity. My fascination with Penn (and Teller), and other world-class magicians, has been due to my pursuit to develop my craft of preaching. There are a lot of similarities between preachers and magicians (just as there is also a lot similarities between solo musicians and preachers). I seek to learn from magicians about how to keep an audience’s attention, how to tell a story, and how to make a point by employing the element of surprise. But there are some significant differences between what magicians do and what preachers do though. A magician is deliberately deceptive. A preacher is striving to uphold truth in an honest way.