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Wisdom

Brian Mashburn

May 17, 2020

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Wisdom

King Solomon is best known for his wisdom. Today we will examine the most famous story concerning Solomon. But it is less about Solomon, and more about wisdom.

See, in the larger Biblical narrative, wisdom is elevated as one of God's biggest deals. Best I can tell, it is here with the story of Solomon that God seriously begins elevating this quality as one of His highest priorities for His people. And it will not be the last.

The book of Proverbs (identified among a section of scripture called "wisdom literature") says that the man who pursues wisdom is blessed, and the man who does not is a fool.

In Proverbs 8, wisdom is actually personified and speaks for herself (the text uses female pronouns, and the Greek word for wisdom is "sophia", and so wisdom is usually personified as a woman named Sophia). Wisdom declares that she was God's first work, present before the beginning, before the world began. Does this not sound fantastical and exalted? No other quality - NONE - gets the prestige that wisdom gets in scripture.

Not even the fruits of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control - are actually given a voice to speak for themselves in scripture.

Wisdom is special. Wisdom is important. She says, "For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death." (Proverbs 8:35-36)

Wow.

Ecclesiastes (also identified as "wisdom literature" - and written by Solomon, in fact) gives wisdom the power of very practical and felt human transformation. It says that "wisdom brightens a man's face and changes its hard appearance." (8:1)

There is so much more to say here, but suffice it to say that wisdom is both epic and practical. It touches the daily, and eternity.

It is very desirable. You should desire it.

And here is the good news: You can have it! The book of James is often considered the "wisdom literature" of the New Testament, and within it is a powerful promise: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (1:5)

Considering how lofty Wisdom is, it is amazing that Wisdom is so available. You would be a fool to not pursue it.

Brian Mashburn

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