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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SUPER NATURAL CHRISTIANITY

The early Christians were sensitive to the voice of God. Ananias, who prayed for the newly converted Saul of Tarsus, was told by the Spirit where to find Saul, what to say to him, and why it was important for him to do so (Acts 9:10-18). Sometimes followers of Christ are misled to believe that they need to “learn” how to hear the voice of God. There is no example of this need anywhere in Scripture. But there are, however, injunctions to seek the Lord (Deut. 4:29; 1Chron. 16:11; Ps. 34:10; 105:3-4; Isa. 51:1; 55:6; Matt. 6:33; 7:7). 

It was John Calvin who wrote in his commentary on Ephesians that the reasons believers today do not experience the divinely supernatural, as it seems the early Christians did, was the lack of desire. This is what I now want to both remind you of and encourage you to do: seek God. Seek Him. Be open to Him. Pray that you might pray effectively. Ask God to confirm His Word in the hearts of those who need a supernatural encounter with God that might lead to their conversion. And then, be still (Ps. 46:10).

DEEPER SPIRITUALITY

I don’t normally share like this so please excuse me for being a bit more personal than I am normally in these Pastor’s Desks. Last Sunday morning I awoke with a strong sense that I needed to incorporate the vision of Ezekiel’s Temple as a framework for us to think about our year ahead in my sermon for that day. I had to re-jig my presentation (which as you might be aware involves a bit more work than they way most other preachers do their slides). This is why I arrived at church a little later than I normally comfortable in doing. I was particularly gripped by this divine vision given to Ezekiel of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring in the New Covenant with Christ Himself being the Temple-Source (John 2:19-21). While I was preaching to our church community (in-person and online) I was also preaching to myself. As a result, Kim and I continued  in prayer and fasting for the rest of our Sunday. I now want to invite you to consider again Ezekiel’s picture of the Spirit-filled Christian life as the map for going deeper with God.

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¶ But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.  And God gave Daniel favour and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs
Daniel 1:8-9
Daniel’s world had been turned upside down. As a young well-to-do Jewish boy who grew up in a highly regarded family with parents who took their devotion to Yahweh seriously, he too would have expected that all of his training would have led him to follow in his father’s and Grandfather’s footsteps in the service of the King’s royal court. Even as a young man in his early teenage years he would have expected to one day take a wife and pass the baton of his knowledge and privilege to his son too. But then his world began to be shaken. The early stages of the disruption began when he was not yet a teen and a very upset and tearful young man from Anathoth, not too much older than himself, stood on the temple steps and denounced the wickedness of the King of Judah. Daniel would have remembered hearing this teenage prophet call the King and the people of Judah to repentance before the Lord’s wrath came upon them. This virgin prophet warned of the destruction of the temple and the invasion of the world’s most vile people — the Babylonians. The disruptions from this highly emotional priest-prophet continued until he was barred from entering the city, but undaunted, he wrote his prophecies out and his secretary, Baruch, deliver them in his stead. Despite the scorn, mocking, and eventual imprisonment, Daniel witnessed the tenacity of the one who came to be known as “ the Weeping Prophet” and some seventy years after Jerusalem was indeed destroyed by Babylonian forces (just as the prophet had foretold), Daniel referred to his copy of the now late prophet’s words and turned them into a …