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The Meaning of Wisdom

The Meaning of Wisdom



Proverbs 8:10-16; 22-29

10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,

    knowledge rather than choice gold,

11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,

    and nothing you desire can compare with her.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;

    I possess knowledge and discretion.

13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;

    I hate pride and arrogance,

    evil behavior and perverse speech.

14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;

    I have insight, I have power.

15 By me kings reign

    and rulers issue decrees that are just;

16 by me princes govern,

    and nobles—all who rule on earth


22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,

    before his deeds of old;

23 I was formed long ages ago,

    at the very beginning, when the world came to be.

24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,

    when there were no springs overflowing with water;

25 before the mountains were settled in place,

    before the hills, I was given birth,

26 before he made the world or its fields

    or any of the dust of the earth.

27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,

    when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,

28 when he established the clouds above

    and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,

29 when he gave the sea its boundary

    so the waters would not overstep his command,

and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. 

1. Wisdom is infinitely more important than wealth, fame or power 

Choose my instruction instead of silver,

    knowledge rather than choice gold,

11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,

    and nothing you desire can compare with her.

There are many people who have all those things and yet are unable to enjoy them because they have no wisdom.  Wisdom is not the same as moral goodness.  Obviously it is true that being unethical is stupid- every business professor would tell you that. 

The vast majority of the important decisions we make defy all the rules we know about.   The moral rules don’t cover most important choices- knowledge is not enough.  

Some of you are feeling sick today because you are going through something today that you don’t feel like you have the wisdom to get through it.  

2. Wisdom is knowing how things really are and understanding what to do

14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;

    I have insight, I have power.

Wisdom is competence about the realities of life.  It is doing the right thing even when the rules don’t apply.   

3. Wisdom is submitting to the ONE who has perfect knowledge and understanding

The biblical creation accounts are different from all other- there is a physical and pattern to the realities of life.  We see this in science-  example: aerodynamics or thermodynamics.  

There is also a reality to relational and spiritual realities. 

Wisdom is acknowledging there is a pattern to life. Foolishness is going against the pattern of creation.  

Two things to know:   

  1. There is a pattern 
  2. You cannot know it all  

What if wisdom is a person?  What if the wisdom of scripture and of creation points to a particular person?  Jesus said “Come to me and I will give you rest for your souls…”  

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)

Discussion Questions 

  1. Why is wisdom more important than wealth or power?
  2. What is wisdom?
  3. How do we get an understanding of wisdom by looking at creation?
  4. How is wisdom personified in Jesus Christ?
  5. Why is a relationship with Christ important to wisdom?





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