“Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance..” (Ecclesiastes 8:1)
Our age is eager in its pursuit of knowledge. It professes to be a truth-loving, and a truth-seeking information age. It is quite awake to science, and thoroughly in love with its marvels and mysteries. It has obtained a far insight into the dark processes of that which is called "nature." It has witnessed one substance, and another, yielding up their hidden wonders; it has seen earth, and sea, and air giving out their treasures; What a insight of miracle there is contained in every ray of light, every drop of dew, every pebble of the brook, every fragment of rock, every blade of grass; what an exemplification of order and law there is revealed in every natural process– the motion of earth, and sun, and stars, the shock of earthquakes, the flow of tides, the rush of the breeze, the braiding of the rainbow on the cloud, the change of seasons, the springing, growth, blossoming, and fruit-bearing of flower, and shrub, and tree!
These are the works of God, the laws of God, the daily miracles of God. In all of them wisdom is seen; divine wisdom; wisdom as profound as it is perfect, as incomprehensible as it is glorious, as magnificent in its minuteness as in its vastness, in the grain of sand as in the mighty mountain, in the blush of the unnoticed desert-flower as in the splendor of a new-lighted star. In all this there is wisdom; wisdom which we do well to study. Yet all these are but parts– mere fragments; and, even when gathered together, they still form but the minutest portion of a whole, whose dimensions are vaster than the created universe– a whole, of which nothing less than the infinity of Godhead is the measure.
True Knowledge empowers people and it is the true wealth of the community. No one likes to be called a dummy or considered fool. The fact is our society places a high value on knowledge in our day and age because Knowledge is hope for the future and destiny. It fulfills our humanity by refining our human nature. People spend millions of rupees that they might get an advanced degree and be highly professional. Yet, we know that no matter how much book learning one gets or how many degrees a person has, that does not mean that person has any divine wisdom. Knowledge of God is a vital part of the process for the individual aspiration for a comprehensive and meaningful- life. Therefore true knowledge transforms the human heart and the transformed heart transforms the world. A step beyond book learning and a mere education, we want wisdom and insight, but wondering where to begin? We do have a choice to make, because the journey to true enlightenment, true wisdom, begins with the fear of the LORD.
Bible says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Prov. 1:7)
Becoming a follower of God does not give us all the answers to everything—certainly not in the areas of science, electronics, math, or any other field of strictly human learning. Many nonbelievers are more educated, brilliant, talented, and experienced than many believers. If we want our car fixed we go to the best mechanic we can find, even if he is not a believer. If we need an operation we go to the best surgeon. If we want to get an education we try to go the school that has the best faculty in the field in which we want to study. As long as they are used properly and wisely, medicine and technology and science and all such fields of human learning and achievement can be of great value. We should thank God for them.
The fact of the matter is that all wisdom, whether secular or spiritual, starts and ends with God. The secular wisdom about how to be successful in this life by acquiring knowledge, virtue, character, justice, wealth, or even family comes from God. That’s right. The successes obtained in this life in these mentioned areas also are biblical wisdom’s major focal points. However, the missing area, especially where secular wisdom is concerned, is the God kind of faith. The God kind of faith is the greatest focal point of biblical wisdom’s major focal points, because it is by acquiring faith in God and in His Son, Christ Jesus, as our Savior and Lord, that human beings are able to gain a Godly perspective, which only comes from the spiritual insights about living that He gives.
If you want answers to what life is all about—answers about where we came from, where we are going, and why we are here, what is our final destiny? About what is right and what is wrong—then human learning cannot help us. If we want to know the ultimate meaning and purpose of human life, and the source of salvation, happiness, joy, fulfillment, and peace, we have to look beyond what even the best human minds can discover. Human attempts to find such answers apart from God’s revelation are doomed to fail.
We do not have the resources even to find the answers about ourselves, much less about God. In regard to the most important truths—those about human nature, sin, God, morality and ethics, death, the spirit world, the transformation and future of human life—philosophy is bankrupt. We have become a planet without law of divine wisdom and order. When I use the word law, I am not referring to the laws that we have created. Whatever laws we create, we can always change. I am referring to the laws of God that have been set in motion and in place in His very own creation. We have to learn these laws and submit to them, study them, and obey them in order to experience God’s promises and benefits. Unfortunately, even many individuals who claim to believe in God have no fear of Him or His laws. God’s desire is that His law is written on the tables of our hearts. “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3). We need the law of God back in our hearts so that we can go into a new day with a strict, clear distinction of right and wrong.
Apostle Paul said "Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.."
1 Corinthians 1:23-24.
By and large People today run after two things: miraculous signs and knowledge. It was no different in Bible times. The apostle Paul acknowledged that “Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom”. Many of the Corinthian converts carried their spirit of philosophical factionalism into the church. Some of them still held onto beliefs of their former pagan philosophy. They were divided regarding philosophical viewpoints. They could not get over their love for human wisdom. Although they had trusted in Christ and recognized their redemption by grace through the cross, but they wanted to add human wisdom to what He had done for them.
Without exception, Human knowldge elevates the self and lowers God. It always, no matter how seemingly sincere and objective and scholarly, caters to human self–will, pride, fleshly inclinations, and independence. Those are the basic characteristics of the unredeemed, and they always direct and determine the unredeemed thinking, desires, and conclusions. The reason people love complex, elaborate philosophies and religions is because these appeal to human ego. They offer the challenge of understanding and doing something complex and difficult. For the same reason some people scoff at the gospel. It calls on them to do nothing—it allows them to do nothing—but accept in simple faith what God has done. The cross crushes human sin and crushes human pride. It also offers deliverance from sin and deliverance from pride.
The Jews required a sign, the Greeks seek after wisdom." If you met the Jew who believed not on Christ in the apostle's day, he said, "I cannot believe, because I want a sign;" and if you met the Greek, he said, "I cannot believe, because I want a philosophic system, one that is full of knowldge.
Both these objections are untenable and unreasonable. If you suppose that the Jew requires a sign, that sign is given him: Christ is the power of God. The miracles that Christ wrought upon earth were signs more than sufficiently abundant; and if the Jewish people had but the will to believe, they would have found abundant signs and reasons for believing in the personal acts of Christ and his apostles." And let the Greeks say, "I cannot believe, because I require wisdom: Paul specify that O Greek, Christ is the wisdom of God. If you could but investigate the subject, you could find in it profoundness of wisdom—a depth where the most gigantic intellect might be drowned. It is no shallow gospel, but a deep, and a great deep too, a deep which passes all understanding. Your objection is ill-founded; for Christ is the wisdom of God, and his gospel is the highest of all sciences. If you wish to find wisdom, you must find it in the word of revelation.
There is some proportion between the fragments of the split planet, that astronomy has detected in their wanderings, and the planet itself, of which they are the broken parts; there is some proportion between a drop and the ocean, between the stream and the fountain, between a beam and the sun, between a moment and millions of ages; but there is no proportion between the fragments of wisdom that lie scattered over creation and the great whole, which can be contained in no treasure-house except that which is infinite and divine. Hence it is that, while, in all the regions and departments of creation, may be seen portions of this wisdom, only in the Son of God– in Christ Jesus, the incarnate Word– is the mighty WHOLE contained. He and he only, is "the Wisdom of God." By the expression, "the Wisdom of God," thus applied to Christ, is not merely meant that he is wise, infinitely wise– but something much more comprehensive.
To say that he is infinitely wise is one thing– but to say that he is the wisdom of God is another. We say of the Father, he is infinitely wise; but we cannot say of him, he is the wisdom of God. Of the Son alone, the Christ of God, can this be said. Both things are true of him. He is infinitely wise, and he is the wisdom of God. Only of him can we affirm that he has, and he is, "the wisdom of God."
All that is in God and all that can come forth out of God is contained in him. He is the full representative of the invisible and incomprehensible Almighty God. Christ is the brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of his person. In the works of creation God has displayed fragments or portions of his wisdom– but in Christ he has summed up and put forth THE WHOLE of it; so that it can be said of this Christ, he is the wisdom of God. Hence it is that the knowledge of Christ not only transcends all other knowledge– but includes them all; the study of this wondrous embodiment of all that is in God is not only superior to– but actually embraces, all other studies. Here we cannot fathom this; hereafter we may. Here we cannot see how a discovered Christ should be the discovery of all other things, all science, all nature, all things in heaven and earth; hereafter we shall find it so. Wisdom is one of the last things which we are in the habit of connecting with the name of Christ. We connect with it salvation, pardon, life, righteousness, love– but not wisdom. Yet it is wisdom that God so especially associates with Christ. "He, of God, is made unto us wisdom." "In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
In Bible the book of Job, the Psalms, and the Proverbs are in the part of the Old Testament known as Wisdom Literature. This is because these books of the Bible purport to set forth practical knowledge and understanding regarding day-to-day living. The first principle of wisdom literature is this: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Job 28:28; Psa. 111:10; Prov. 9:10). The reason you find this principle in all three of these books is simple. All wisdom begins with God as He is the source, par excellence, of how the creation works. After all, He is its creator, and no one knows better how something operates than the one who made it.
The English word wisdom is derived from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning to see (hence also the origin of the term "I see" when one understands something).True wisdom is a moral quality, not necessarily a measure of intelligence i.e. there are some very intelligent people in the world who do some very unwise things, while conversely there are some people of lesser intellectual ability who have wisdom that is superior to people with supposedly greater intelligence (intelligence itself is manifested in two sometimes-conflicting forms, greater thinking power on one hand, and acquired knowledge on the other - activities that do not mean the same thing e.g. some worldly information-gathering management "intelligence" services have been known to do some very unintelligent things).
In the Holy Bible, "wisdom" is used to translate the Hebrew word of the Old Testament kok-maw meaning to be wise in thought and deed, and the Greek word of the New Testament (pronounced) sof-ee-ah meaning clear, or wise. The Scriptures make plain that wisdom that is based upon the Word of God is the only true wisdom, while carnal "worldly" wisdom is nothing more than dead-end self-righteous vanity i.e. "There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death." (Proverbs 14:12) and "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”.(1 Corinthians 3:19-20)
What does it mean to fear the Lord? The rabbis taught that the fear of God can mean two things—reverential fear and fear of retribution. Reverence means an eagerness to listen to God, a readiness to obey God, and willingness to live for God. The emphasis of the fear of the Lord in Proverbs is reverential awe towards God. But the fear of the Lord is also the fear of God as righteous judge. It is the fear of offending God who will judge us someday. Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body . . . But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him” (Lk. 12:4-5)! Heb. 10:31 says, “‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” ( Rev. 14:7). The two are intertwined. When you fear God as judge, you will revere Him. When God is the object of fear out of fear of offense, divine retribution, or divine presence, there is reverence.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom because when we fear God, we are going to have respect for His word. The Bible is the word of God, and it contains more than just facts. It is a history of God’s people as they interact with the world and with one another. While this history unfolds, those who read the Bible are taught how best to live so as to maximize good relationships with one’s fellow and with one’s God. God is always the priority in these relationships because He has the keys to knowing what will best suit each person’s effort to build these relationships. God stands as the source for all good relationships because He is the ultimate source of goodness, and He is the ultimate source for understanding what best perpetuates relationships. God’s word is key to fearing God, and fearing God is the key to having true wisdom.
Wisdom, however, may be appreciated not only from the standpoint of its utility in providing for good relationships, but for the beauty of what it reveals in and of itself. Wisdom as a virtue (and God is the source of all that is wholly virtuous) may be sought as a good in and of itself. One receives blessing simply by studying the wisdom literature, and simply by imbibing at God’s fount of knowledge and goodness, whether one seeks to apply what one has learned or not. This is because God is ultimately beautiful and may be appreciated in and of Himself for Who He ultimately is.
Wisdom, as an aspect of God’s character/nature, may also be so appreciated. This is partially why Proverbs 19:8 says,” The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper..” If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, perhaps the love of the Lord is the end of wisdom, for when this world ends, and all we have left after this life is our eternal relationships with one another and God, loving that which is truly beautiful in and of itself will prove to be an intrinsic good. The practical ends of wisdom for this world may come to an end, but the eternal aspects of and for an appreciation of wisdom will endure in heaven as we know God’s true beauty.
The bottom line is that our Godly perspective is “the fear of the Lord,” which simply put means living our entire lives in love, worship, submission, and obedience to God’s Perfect Will. Therefore, if we have faith in God, our corresponding action must be “the fear of the Lord,” because both wisdom and knowledge begin and end with “the fear of the Lord.” Moreover, it is our faith in God that keeps us believing that He constantly watches over the wisdom He gives us, as well as watches over EVERYTHING that happens in this life (Romans 8:28).
Wisdom is about a right understanding and a right application of the way things really are. The fundamental fact about the way things really are is that God exists and is engaged with the creation. Mark Roth says it this way: The fear of the Lord is to be God-conscious. To understand who God is, and who we are, is to understand that we are fundamentally flawed and broken; without this understanding, we will remain forever foolish. “The greatest ascetics, those who mortified themselves and who for a period of forty or fifty years daily and nightly lived a life of mortification until death, were filled with the fear of God and these, the most sinless among mortals, cried out in their hour of death: ‘O God, have mercy on me a sinner! So Living in the shadow of the Almighty–understanding what pleases, and what displeases, God–is clearly the most important thing to be wise about. God is eternal, and God’s praise “endures forever.” It is only the beginning of wisdom to fear God–we have all eternity to deepen and ripen our wisdom.
This world is a battleground between wisdom (wise living) and folly (foolish living), as well as a combat zone between righteousness and wickedness, good and evil, or right and wrong. But, God has placed in His creation a wise order, which speaks to mankind about God’s Wisdom—speaks about the Creator and every revelation He gives about His creation. God reveals knowledge and wisdom to us, not only through the voice of reason, but also He speaks to us through His entire creation. Those of us who fear God know that His creation speaks to us and lets us know that EVERY bit of ALL life has been created by God and belongs to God.
Moreover, we know that His authoritative Word (the Bible) also speaks to us about what is good and evil, urging us to choose to do “good” and to choose to avoid doing evil. The Word of God is the reason why our “fear of the Lord” initiates our faith in God, which in turn sets us on a journey toward obtaining heavenly insights by way of observation and instruction. However, the people who refuse God’s heavenly insights (refuse to hear His creation when it speaks, and refuse to be instructed by Him) will not operate in the kind of faith that will have the appropriate corresponding action. As a consequence, the foolish men and women, those who refuse to observe the voice of God’s creation and who refuse to follow God’s written instructions, will become people who are not loving, worshipping, submitting, nor obeying the God of creation.
Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens a man's face and changes its hard appearance (Ecclesiastes 8:1).There is a marvelous, fourfold description of what happens to one who discovers the true wisdom of righteousness as a gift from God, one who walks with God in the fear of God.
First, it will make that person a unique human being. Who is like the wise man? One of the follies of life is to try to imitate somebody else. The media constantly bombards us with subtle invitations to look like, dress, or talks like some popular Idol. If you succeed in that, of course, you will be nothing but a cheap imitation of another person. The glory of the good news is that when you become a new creature in Jesus Christ, you will be unique. You will become more and more like Christ, but unlike everyone else in personality. You will not be a copy, a cheap imitation, but an original from the Spirit of God.
Secondly, the Searcher says, godly wisdom will give you a secret knowledge: Who knows the explanation of things? The implication of that question is that the wise person knows. This is what Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 2: The spiritual man makes judgments about all things (1 Corinthians 2:15a). Spiritual people are in a position to pass moral judgment on the value of everything, not because they are so smart, but because the God who teaches them is wise.
Thirdly, such a person will experience a visible joy: Wisdom brightens a man's face. Grace—not grease—is what makes the face shine. Manufacturers put grease in cosmetics to make the face shine artificially, but it is grace that does it from within. Grace and the joy that results from it visibly expressed make a face shine.
Finally, it changes the inner disposition of a person: [Wisdom] changes its hard appearance. Have you ever watched somebody whose life was under the impact of the Spirit of God soften, mellow, and grow easier to live with? That is the work of the Spirit of God.
Christ is the wisdom of God; and in the knowledge of this Christ there is wisdom for you; nor wisdom only– but life, forgiveness, peace, glory, and an endless kingdom! Study him! Acquaint yourself with him! Whatever you are ignorant of, be not ignorant of him– whatever you overlook, overlook not him– whatever you lose, lose not him. To gain him is to gain eternal life, to gain a kingdom, to gain everlasting blessedness. To lose him is to lose your soul, to lose God, to lose God's favor, to lose God's heaven, to lose the eternal crown! Jesus Christ is worth more than any treasure this world offers. Loving Him and understanding what He’s done for you should be all the motivation you need to praise Him with your life. Don’t just acknowledge but admire Him; serve His kingdom and share the gospel. Help to make God’s throne room ring with worship. The wisest man of the Bible, King Solomon, wrote that the beginning of wisdom was to acquire it (Prov. 4:7). Determine in your heart to pursue this great treasure. As you study the Word, seek the Lord’s will, and observe His principles in action, God will pour wisdom into your mind and spirit.
Bible says “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)
God Bless you