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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EXCUSE ME

The essence of an excuse is the word, no. If we get invited to a party that we don’t to go to and we make a polite excuse to decline the offer, in essence we are saying “No, I will not come to your party.” This is the gist of the parable that Christ told in Luke 14 about His Father who sent His Son as His Servant to personally invite those who had already received an invitation to come to a great banquet. (It’s interesting how Jesus describes His Father’s heaven as a great banquet.) By saying “No” to the great banquet invitation those who were declining this invitation were saying that they had a better offer. What offer could be better than dining with the Source of Life, Joy, Peace, and Power, as His special guest in His luxurious mansion? What happens next in this parable also says a lot about how God feels when people make excuses to decline His offer to dine.

BELONGING

I’m not sure about you, but one of my great wrestles in becoming more Christlike is that sinful tendency to see my time, my resources, my life as belonging to me. I like to control it. I like to own it. I like to decide what happens and when.

God, in His great grace and wisdom, seems to work in our lives reminding us how little we truly control and that it all truly does belong to Him. So often these reminders come in the way of hardship and loss with the call to surrender ownership and control.

If our Heavenly Father was a despotic God, a cruel, tyrannical God who acted arbitrarily and selfishly for His own ends, knowing we belonged to Him would cause us to tremble and live in fear and apprehension.

But praise Him that this is not our God!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies your with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:2-5

ROOFS AND DRAGONS – THE VALUE OF PLANNING

ROOFS AND  DRAGONS – THE VALUE OF PLANNING
John F. Kennedy once said, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”  J.R.R. Tolkien said, “It does not do to leave a live a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near one.” Having a plan is generally a strategy that will help us to get things done, or respond correctly when things go wrong. A plan may help us to find a solution and a way through an adverse situation that we are experiencing. A plan also helps us to know what resources we might need for dealing with situations that we can foresee.

When it comes to thinking about the importance of planning, a statement that is worth considering is one that I like to get my Maritime Passage Planning students to contemplate:

‘The best thing about failing to plan, is that disaster comes as a complete surprise that is not preceded by hours or days of stress and worry associated with the planning process.’

SOMETHING FOR SLUGGARDS TO CONSIDER

There are those who look busy but are not very productive. There are those who are busy but are highly productive. Often these people have learned that busy needs to be managed so that their time is focused on maintaining their important relationships, taking regular sabbaths, prioritising the important over the urgent, and cooperating with others. These busy people have learned to recognise God’s open doors and have confidence that the Apostle Paul had that it is God who gives them supernatural energy to toil, struggle and work to get things done when no-one else thought it could be.

WHAT COVID DID TO CHURCHES’ MOMENTUM

The Covid pandemic and its effect upon Churches has caused many church leaders and their teams to reevaluate what it means to be the Church. This leads into some really healthy questions that challenge what many had previously unquestionably accepted as “Church”. What ‘should’ a church do when it meets together for its weekly gathering (especially if it can’t actually ‘gather’)? How should the leaders and members of a church contribute to the issues confronting society and culture? Or should the Church be disengaged from ‘the world’ and treat its Christianity as purely ‘private’ matter between the worshiper and God? What do the ministries within a Church within a church — especially that of an evangelist — look like it the Church can not actually meet due to ongoing Covid lockdowns? Perhaps several of these questions might never have even been asked if it wasn’t for Covid. But one thing is for sure, the answer to these questions can be found within Scripture and the lessons from Church history and require that we prayerfully seek the Spirit’s guidance as we apply the best answers. Perhaps it will be then that we can build some fresh momentum and reach the current and next generation for Christ.

CONSPIRITUAL CONSPIRACIES

This is why we can have great confidence in the accounts given in the Bible. Two of the four evangelists (Matthew and John) who wrote Gospels were eye-witnesses to many of the events they describe – particularly and critically – the resurrection appearances of Christ. Rather than appealing to a “trust me when I tell you…” approach, the Biblical writers of the New Testament invite readers to examine the evidence for themselves and consider carefully what they have presented. They do not present their accounts anonymously or in an only share this after I’ve died memoir approach. When the apostle Paul could say that the physically resurrected Christ was seen by up to 500 people at one time and that most of these people are still alive (1Cor. 15:6), he was inviting verification of the facts that he presented (and we have no record of anyone ever refuting Paul’s claim). This made the claims of Christianity verifiable and it therefore makes the further claims of Christianity about a spiritual new birth testable and verifiable today.

¶ Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 20:30-31

THIS WILL ONLY TAKE A MINUTE!

When we reflect on the life of Christ we can’t help but notice that He was a supremely important mission but what we may not as easily notice is how often Jesus was interrupted. Out of these interruptions came miracles, moments, and monumental messages. It’s as if Christ considered these interruptions to be divine appointment that actually furthered His mission! For those of who live busy lifestyles and find interruptions to be frustrating, Christ’s example presents an inconvenient challenge. To meet this challenge involves a posture of worship and divinely ordering our priorities. And I do not at all suggest that this will only take a minute!

FAILING WELL

If there was a ’Year Book‘ for Christ’s Twelve Disciples, which one would have been voted “Most likely to succeed”? Probably Judas Iscariot would have. I doubt that Simon Peter would have received any votes. After all, he had failed and goofed up so many times! But in the end, both men failed in similar ways yet only Peter ‘failed well‘. How he did it should give those of us who regularly fail — and all too often feel like failures — hope that God is able to redeem both us and our failures.

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

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.

SCARED, SCARRED, SACRED

The gospel offers hope and healing for those who have been violated — those who were once scared (for good reason), and who have been scarred by the hurt they have endured — have found redemption and a sanctuary in the sacred community of God’s redeemed.