The Oxford Dictionary defines wisdom as “the state of being wise.” It says that wisdom has to do with judgment, discernment, judiciousness, insight, knowledge and learning. And from a human standpoint, we might agree with these words that define wisdom.
But at the same time, we can conclude that mankind on the whole man can’t solve his problems. It appears that mankind simply lacks the wisdom to do so. Man doesn’t know how to achieve peace, put an end to terrorism, wipe out illegal drugs, or put an end to murder, crime, divorce, child abuse, abortion or any of the other evils that plague mankind. He simply doesn’t know how to do it.
God inspired Jeremiah to write: “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).
However, Man does have a certain amount of intellectual wisdom, a physical, material wisdom, but not sufficient to solve this world’s problems. The apostle Paul tells followers of Christ: “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. . . .” (1 Corinthians 3:18-19). So, if man’s wisdom is sheer foolishness, what must godly wisdom be like? Job has some very interesting things to say about wisdom. Notice Job chapter 28.
“Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold that they refine. Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore. Man puts an end to darkness and searches out to the farthest limit the ore in gloom and deep darkness. . . . Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold. . . . Man puts his hand to the flinty rock and overturns mountains by the roots. He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing” (Job 28:1-3, 6, 9-10).
“But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living. The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’ and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’ It cannot be bought for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price. It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire. Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls. The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, nor can it be valued in pure gold” (Job 28:12-19 ESV).
Man goes to great lengths to find the wealth that is hidden in the depths of the earth. He’ll do just about anything to gain material wealth. But notice what Job says about wisdom in Job 28:20-28 ESV:
“From where then does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all living, And concealed from the birds of the air. Destruction and Death say, ‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’ God understands its way, And He knows its place. For He looks to the ends of the earth, And sees under the whole heavens, To establish a weight for the wind, And apportion the waters by measure. When He made a law for the rain, And a path for the thunderbolt, Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out. And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
God says He views the ends of the earth, that He sees everything under heaven, and He Is asking, “Where are those who fear or revere Me?” “Where are those who shun evil?” In Proverbs 8, God inspired Solomon to write: “Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice? . . .To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind” (Proverbs 8:1,4). Yet, Godly wisdom cannot be found by a humanity that continues to reject the Source of it.
In the opening verses of the book of Proverbs it states that all of the proverbs were written for the purpose of obtaining wisdom. For understanding words of insight; for learning to do what is right, just and fair. Solomon wrote: “Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars;” (Proverbs 9:1).
James also discusses wisdom: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:13–16).
Then James continues with seven traits of godly wisdom: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).
There are Seven Pillars that Wisdom has built her house on:
Number 1: pure. Strong’s number 53, which means clean, innocent, modest, perfect, or pure in thought.
Number 2: peaceable or peace-loving. That’s Strong’s number 5116. It has to do with having quietness or being at rest.
Number 3: gentle. Strong’s number 1933. It means appropriate, mild, moderate, patient, considerate.
Number 4: easy to be entreated. That’s Strong’s number 2138, which means good for persuasion, compliant, submissive.
Number 5: full of mercy and good fruit. That’s Strong’s number 1656, meaning full of compassion and tenderness. Good fruit implies effort.
Number 6: without partiality. Strong’s number 87, which means impartial, undistinguished, not favoring one or another, and it also means without wrangling.
Number 7: without hypocrisy. Strong’s number 505. Which means sincere, unfeigned, genuine, not hiding under a false appearance.
This is the godly wisdom that comes from above. This is the wisdom that is able to support the temple (the Church collectively and individually) that houses God’s Spirit. This is not wisdom designed by man. This is the wisdom that only comes from God, the source of true wisdom. This is the wisdom that, when applied, solves relationship problems between individuals and nations.
These are not just seven interesting points about godly wisdom. These are seven traits that describe the character and nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ. These character traits are what followers of Christ must inculcate into their lives in order to enter God’s family. This is the kind of wisdom that this world desperately needs. Until mankind accepts the wisdom that comes from above, man will continue to suffer the consequences of living by the wisdom of this world.
Who can seriously argue against that which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy?