FEBRUARY 2019 STUDY
Text: Proverbs 1 - 10
Key Lesson: The importance of spiritual wisdom
What is Wisdom?
English - Wisdom | Greek - Chokmah | Hebrew - Chakam
In the New Testament, wisdom is called ‘Sophia’ which is divine wisdom or ‘Phronesis’ meaning mental\intellectual wisdom (Luke 1:17)
Wisdom is basically skill for living, primarily relational and spiritual
Understanding means you must live it to truly comprehend it
- There is a spirit of wisdom which was given to people in the OT (Deut 34:9)
- Wisdom to do work\basic tasks was and can be given by God (1 Kgs 7:14, Dan 1:4)
- The commandments of God were wisdom & understanding to the people (Deut 4:5-6) i.e. in obeying the commandments God gave, the people proved themselves to be wise. These commandments weren’t just the 10 commandments but also daily and on the go information given by God. This is why before every major task, the people always sought for God’s wisdom on the matter.
- Wisdom was given to certain people in the Old Testament (OT) for the accomplishment of certain tasks (1 Kg 4:29)
- Through wisdom Solomon received more than what he asked for from God (2 Chr 1:11-12)
B. How do i get Wisdom?
Let’s examine some verse from Job 28 AMP
12 “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 23“God understands the way [to wisdom] And He knows its place [for wisdom is with God alone].27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He established it and searched it out. 28 “But to man He said, ‘Behold, the reverential and worshipful fear of the Lord--that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
Read it also in other versions such as NLT, CEV for further reflection
The simple answer is Wisdom comes from God!
“You will grow in wisdom as you learn, reflect and live in relationship with God. This wisdom is a kind of sanctified common sense. It leads to greater self-understanding. It gives you the ability to cope in life and to steer through and master its challenges. It is the sort of legacy good parents want to hand on to their children. Ultimately, wisdom is found in Jesus Christ, who is the ‘wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24).”
Nowadays, the common answer is to follow your heart or instinct or your conscience. While not completing correct, this advice is not far from the truth. As a child of God, we realize that our wisdom (which is above and beyond the wisdom of the world - 1Cor 3:19, 2:6) comes from God who dwells in us as the Holy Spirit. So how do you get day - to - day wisdom, by asking the Holy Spirit!
There have been several testimonies of people who locked themselves up to seek the face of God about a matter and after which executed the instruction they have been given and were able to do exploits. Businesses, marriages, parenting, jobs, legacies and so much more have been built on getting the wisdom of God through instruction from the Holy Ghost.
Consider this scripture - 1 Cor 2: 15 - 16 AMP
But the spiritual man [the spiritually mature Christian] judges all things [questions, examines and applies what the Holy Spirit reveals], yet is himself judged by no one [the unbeliever cannot judge and understand the believer’s spiritual nature].16 For who has known the mind and purposes of the Lord, so as to instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ [to be guided by His thoughts and purposes].
We have the mind of Christ!
A born again child of God who is filled with the Holy Spirit has the mind of Christ! Christ is the wisdom of God and we have the same mind that he has! That’s a major wow!
So we don't need to go helter skelter looking for wisdom because we have (1) the spirit of wisdom and (2) the mind of Christ...that's awesome if you ask me.
- The Holy spirit is the spirit of wisdom (Isa 11:12)
- You can be filled with Sophia (Acts 6:3)
C. The Fear of God
Fearing the Lord means fearing to run away from him. It means fearing to seek refuge, and joy, and hope anywhere other than in God. It means keeping before our eyes what a fearful prospect it is to stop trusting and depending on God to meet our needs - John Piper
This is the beginning i.e. pre-requisite, first in rank & order to getting wisdom but what does it mean to fear God. This is a reverential kind of fear, the fear that knows that the person has no wisdom in himself and thus needs to seek the higher power to gain it. It’s the type of fear we have for our parents that make us ask their advice and opinion on matters...we fear them i.e. we revere their opinion. (Provs 1:23- 33)
God wants us to count his advice as gold. He wants us to so revere/fear his wisdom that we don’t move until we’ve obtained it; that’s how to fear God. It’s a knowing that he is in charge of our everyday and we should thus obtain his wisdom to help us navigate it.\
When we begin to ask God’s opinion over everything, we would be at the beginning of our walk in spiritual wisdom. (Provs 2:1 - 6, James 1:5, Provs 2:5 -6)
Worldly Wisdom Vs. Godly Wisdom
It’s important for us to differentiate between spiritual wisdom and worldly wisdom. Worldly wisdom is common sense/street sense/sharp guy etc. and is obtained from experience/books/motivational speakers/people etc. Its is what seems to be the right things based on the situation at hand. Its main goal is for you to appear on top, uncheated and looking smart.
But godly wisdom is divine. It comes from God. Its aim is to glorify God and fulfill his purpose. It would not always look like the best option but it is always the right option. It was God’s wisdom to get Jesus to die so we could be saved. According to worldly wisdom that is a stupid tactic but God’s way wins and wins forever.
Yes, people could appear to be on top by using worldly wisdom but a man who practices godly wisdom would appear on top always.
Benefits of Godly Wisdom
What are the benefits of wisdom?
- It results in eventual victory all the time e.g. how the wall of Jericho fell down, how Jesus died for us (Prov 2:7 -8)
- It leads to happiness and fulfillment. You don’t have to sell your soul to the devil to succeed. (Prov 3:13)
- It helps in leadership (Provs 8:16)
- It would cause you to live at ease, without fear of harm because you’ll know how to conduct your affairs(Prov 1:33, 3: 16, 3:24 - 26)
- It would save you from evil people and plots, you’ll stop falling into traps (Provs 2: 12 - 16)
- It will bring you prosperity, we see this so clearly in the life of Solomon Provs 3:2, 13 -15, 8:18-19
Some wisdom tips from the book of Proverbs
- Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them - Prov 3:27 - 28
- Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you. Don’t pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm. (3:30-31)
- Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers. Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving. (4:14-15)
- Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (4:23)
- Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. (4:24)
- Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife. (5:15)
- If you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said— follow my advice and save yourself, for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy. Now swallow your pride; go and beg to have your name erased. (6:2-3)
- But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. ( 6: 9-11, 10:4)
- Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. (10:19)
- Lord help me to fear you, to seek your wisdom before i do anything.
- Lord help to do your instructions, to do as you have commanded me to do.
- Make me a wise woman o Lord, remove every foolishness from my life.