“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding” (Psalm 111:10 ESV).
Wisdom. What so many people desire, yet do they understand how to get wisdom? In fact, what is wisdom?
Many confuse wisdom with knowledge. Knowledge is the gaining of facts and information. Just because we know some things does not mean that we have wisdom. We can have knowledge without wisdom.
Wisdom is being able to apply and use the knowledge we have gained. Wisdom is often gained through experience. And experience sometimes comes from making bad decisions (which did not show wisdom).
There are many things about God that we should know.
“He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever” (Psalm 111:5 SV). We need to remember that it is God who provides what we need for our lives. Even though we may go to the supermarket to purchase the food, we did not plant it. And even though a farmer planted it, he didn’t make it grow. It is God who provides the sun and the rain that are necessary for us to have food. God is the source of what we eat.
But as important as food is, isn’t it more important that God remembers his covenant? Israel had a covenant with God that as long as they were faithful God would continue to bless them and take care of them, that they would remain in the land.
Connected with God’s new covenant for his people today, for us as Christians, is the redemption that we have. “He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!” (Psalm 111:9). Redemption, forgiveness of sin, is realized in Jesus. He came so that the sin of all in the world could be forgiven. We have redemption through his shed blood.
Israel was “given the inheritance of the nations” (Psalm 111:6). Our inheritance is eternal life. This is given to us because of who God is – he is righteous, gracious and merciful.
By applying the knowledge that all we have is from God, that he supplies everything we need to have eternal life with him, we can begin to have wisdom. By applying this knowledge to our lives so that we serve him and live for him, we gain understanding. We better understand God and our relationship with him including our reliance on him.
Sadly, so many who are seeking wisdom don’t acknowledge God. They think that they do everything for themselves and have no need for God. They have no time for God and no knowledge of him. Because they don’t acknowledge God, how can they even begin to have wisdom?
God is truly a great God who does great things. We need to devote our lives to learning more of him, of studying all that he does for us.
“Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and merciful” (Psalm 111:2–4).
As we grow in our relationship with God, growing in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, we give all praise to God because of all that he does for us.
“Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation…His praise endures forever!” (Psalm 111:1, 10).
Readings for next week:
3 December – Psalm 106
4 December – Psalm 107
5 December – Psalm 108, 110-111
6 December – Psalm 109
7 December – Psalm 112-114, 120