Searching for Wisdom

by Scarlett Stough

One of our greatest desires is to be wise and to be considered wise by other people. The first woman, Eve who is referred to as “the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20), wanted to be wise. She was persuaded she could not trust God’s word. God had warned Adam* and Eve if they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they would die (Genesis 2:16-17). The serpent (Revelation 12:9) told her, “You will not surely die.” “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Eve decided, that since it looked eatable and pretty, not a bit harmful, and would make her wise as God, she would eat it. She offered it to her husband and he ate it, too (Genesis 3:4-6).

God did not intend to withhold wisdom from mankind. In fact, when he commanded them to not eat of that tree, he was revealing his wisdom to them. Instead of accepting God’s wisdom, they believed the devil’s lie which says we can’t trust God’s word or trust his good intentions for us.

God wants to give us wisdom:

For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6.)

The author of Psalm 119 enthusiastically praises the law of God, his word, as a source of God’s wisdom:

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders for I obey your precepts (Psalm 119:97-100.)

Paul affirmed this truth to Timothy:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (II Timothy 3:14-15.)

There is wisdom in the Scriptures, but something more is needed. Notice what Jesus said to those who were persecuting him and looking for a way to kill him:

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life (John 5:39-40.)

Notice in Paul’s letter to Timothy being “wise for salvation” comes through “faith in Christ Jesus” as well as by knowing Scripture. Christ is “our wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30.)”

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to reveal his wisdom. Without the Holy Spirit and apart from faith in Christ, we are not wise:

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “ who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:12-17.)

Paul wrote to the church at Corinth expressing his concern over their quarreling (I Corinthians 1:11.) He reminded them of the good news he had taught them during his 18 months with them. The people who made up the church at Corinth had gotten their minds off of the Lord Jesus Christ and were boasting in who they followed and in what gifts they had. They were listening to arrogant people who were talking foolishness. They were being led away from the simplicity that is in Christ. Paul wrote:

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (II Corinthians 11:3 KJV.)” Or as the NIV translates the same verse: “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

Just like the church at Corinth, we, also, have to guard against being led away from sincere, pure devotion to Christ. We have to know the genuine original message, found in the Scriptures, so we can recognize and avoid the false ones. We have to guard against believing the lie that fooled Eve into thinking she could not trust God’s word as truth.

*In Genesis 1:27, man or Adam is God’s name for both man and woman: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” When God commanded “Adam” or “man” in Genesis 2:16-17, the warning was for both the man and the woman. See The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible on Number 120 “man.”

For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Wisdom From God.

Volume 11 Issue 6 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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