Tag Archives: wisdom


William Andrew Dillard

Ranking at the top of intellectually stimulating reading in the Bible are the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. These books were written by Solomon, Son of David, King of Israel. He remains the wisest sinner who ever lived. His forty-year reign was the most glorious Israel ever had, and the nation rose to the zenith of its history in the construction of the temple and other works in a time of unparalleled peace. So, one may wonder in view of these things just what did Solomon do that was so right?
Usually, there are a number of things in the lives of people that may be pointed out as the underlying cause. However, it is often the more simple things that become the most profound. Such is true in the case of Solomon.
When Solomon was anointed King of Israel to succeed his father, David, he understood the magnitude of the task before him was overwhelming. He did not see his unique position as a springboard to fulfilling fleshly desires and wallowing in luxury so commonly the failure of many. Instead, he took the responsibility of his position quite seriously, and felt unequal to the task. In that frame of mind, Solomon earnestly prayed to the God of heaven for wisdom to lead His people. He did not pray for health, wealth, fame or any of the other common things men covet.
Accordingly, God both heard and answered his prayer. Moreover, God gave Solomon much more than he asked, including wisdom such as no man before him had possessed, and no man after him would possess. In words Solomon himself would later pen he said, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Solomon looked to God, he trusted God, and sought the help of God to fulfill the task that life had brought to him. In these things what Solomon did was so right!
What about you? Do you operate in the power and wisdom of yourself? Do you trust primarily in the advice of others? So many live their lives this way and it is wrong. Do you look to God in prayer for wisdom to live life as it pleases Him? Do you look to His word for instructions about decisions you must make? If you do, then you are following the example of Solomon, and that is so right!

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The Evidence of True Wisdom

Jas 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Key Verse: James 3:17 – “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

In these verses, James, guided by the Holy Spirit, gave us two contrasting types of wisdom. One is with bitterness, envy, dissension and selfishness. The other is pure, peaceable, gentle, approachable, merciful, fruitful, practices equality and is genuine. Is there any doubt where each one originated?

Earthy, sensual wisdom prompts us to feel superior, falsely important and causes us to think we are always right. People with this type of wisdom are difficult to live and work with. Nothing ever pleases them no will they sacrifice for others. Their wisdom is devilish.

On the other hand, wisdom from above will point away from self. Godly wisdom will cause our actions to be mindful of Christ, his love and sacrifice for us as well as others. Nothing, not even our feelings, will be more important than giving God the glory and telling the good news. It will blind our eyes to nationality, wealth or age and cause our Christian walk to be fruitful and genuine. Unbelievers will see Christian living as peaceable, gentle and merciful.

Thoughts: Live for Christ – practice godly wisdom.

Live for self – practice devilish wisdom.

Beverly Barnett

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Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Notice how this admonition comes right after the thoughts in the previous verses about temptations and patience? These are real trials in our everyday walk in the faith once delivered unto the saints. James is giving us some practical insight about our testimony to others when pressed beyond measure.

We should see that wisdom is required to live this life as a life a victory in overcoming the many different temptations in this world. When we overcome the temptation with wisdom, we honor God and bring glory to His Son. This wisdom brings the patience to get through this life overcoming the temptations and thereby having the joy of overcoming. We could say that wisdom brings joy to the christian life by overcoming the temptations that so easily beset us.

Christians should live with joy as a constant companion. We experience death of loved ones, heartache of sick children, sorrow of a loved one that strays; but with the wisdom of God we have that precious joy the each trial and temptation in life we have gone through and overcome and been the christian example that brings glory to God and the best example to the world of our sustaining faith.

Pray to God and ask for that wisdom of His that is so uncommon today. God’s wisdom is above the wisdom of this world. This wisdom is not in every garden.

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For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding,” Proverbs 2:6

Our society hungers for knowledge. We go to great lengths to obtain it, but somehow we miss getting wisdom because true wisdom comes from God. He generously gives wisdom to those who seek it (like a child looking for a hidden gift).

God, who made Heaven and earth, created the stars, perfectly positioned the sun and the moon in the expansive heavens, took “the dust to the ground” (Gen. 2:7) and formed the first man, filled his lungs with the breath of life and made him a living soul, then anesthetized him without drugs, removed a rib without leaving a scar, formed woman so perfect that Adam called her the “mother of all living,” offered us common, ordinary , fallible people His wisdom.

However, some shun God’s wisdom for the knowledge of a college professor, who has a finite mind and a possible IQ of one hundred fifty and who might not be sure there is a God. Whoever possesses godly wisdom will reverently and worshipfully love and respect God.

Reflection: I totally agree with having a college education when possible, but I would rather take advice from a graduate of high school whose wisdom is from God than from a graduate of Harvard whose only wisdom is from books.

Beverly Barnett

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KEY VERSE: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord,” I Corinthians 1:30, 31.

Two little boys debated whose father was smarter. Jon said his father was smarter because he discovered a medicine that stopped hair from falling out. Brad said his father was smarter because he discovered a medicine that caused hair to grow back. Both fathers were bald. This is about the amount of our earthly wisdom.

Jesus gives us heavenly wisdom that does not end when we die. God’s wisdom is Christ and Christ in us. We are given wisdom through Christ Jesus as the Holy Spirit tutors us in the love story of God. This story is so simple it confuses a genius but gives wisdom to an illiterate because he accepts it by faith. That message is this–God so loved the sinner that He sent His sinless Son to die in the sinner’s place.

REFLECTION: In Christ, one has His wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption; so if one is outside Christ, what does that make him?

Beverly Barnett

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Rev. S. M. Lockridge

My King is a seven-way king. He’s a king of the Jews, that’s a racial king. He’s a king of Israel, that’s a national king; He’s a king of righteousness; He’s a king of the ages; He’s a king of heaven; He’s a king of glory; He’s a king of kings; and He’s the Lord of Lords; that’s my King!
Well, I wonder, do you know Him? David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” My King is a sovereign King; no means of measure can define His limitless love; no far-seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply; no barrier can hinder Him from throwing out His blessings. He’s enduringly strong; He’s entirely sincere; He’s eternally steadfast; He’s immortally graceful; He’s imperially powerful; He’s impartially merciful.

He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world; He’s God’s Son; He’s the sinner’ s Savior; He’s the centerpiece of civilization; He stands in the solitude of Himself; He’s august and He’s unique; He’s unparalleled; He’s unprecedented. He is the loftiest idea in literature; He’s the highest personality in philosophy; He is the supreme problem in higher criticism; He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology; He is the core, the necessity for spiritual religion; He’s the miracle of the age; He is the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him; He’s the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient Savior!

He supplies strength for the weak; He’s available for the tempted and the tried; He sympathizes and He saves; He strengthens and sustains; He guards and He guides; He heals the sick; He cleansed the lepers; He forgives sinners; He discharges debtors; He delivers the captives; He defends the feeble; He blesses the young; He serves the unfortunate; He regards the aged; He rewards the diligent and He purified the meek.

Well, my King, He is a key to knowledge; He’s a wellspring of wisdom; He’s a doorway of deliverance; He’s a pathway of peace; He’s a roadway of righteousness; He’s a highway of holiness; He’s a gateway of glory.

Well, His office is manifold; His promise is sure; His light is matchless; His goodness is limitless; His mercy is everlasting; His love never changes; His Word is enough; His grace is sufficient; His reign is righteousness and His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

I wish I could describe Him to you! But He is indescribable! He’s God. He’s incomprehensible; He’s invincible; He’s irresistible; Well, you can’t get Him out of your mind; you can’t get Him off your hand; you can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him; The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him; Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him; the witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree; Herod couldn’t kill Him; death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him!

And thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever and ever (How long is that?) and ever and ever, and when you get through with all the forevers then AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!


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Wisdom of This World

1 Corinthians 3:18-23
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness,” 1 Corinthians 3:19.
God is a friend of wisdom and truth. He is not against science, chemistry, mathematics or medicine. True wisdom leads us to God.
Wilson A. Bentley, known as the Snowflake Man or Snowflake Bentley, became interested in snowflakes at the young age of fourteen. He studied them for nearly fifty years, and as an adult photographed, cataloged and wrote scientific articles that were published in countless magazines and scientific journals. In his study of snowflakes, Mr. Bentley concluded that, to the best of his knowledge, no snowflake “was an exact duplicate of any other snowflake!” (adding) “With profound humility, we acknowledge that the Great Designer is incomparable and unapproachable in the infinite prodigality and beauty of His works. Under the microscope I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty. The sheer scope of creation that fills us with praise for the Creator, when examining snowflakes, the wonders of God’s handiwork are to be found in the tiniest details of all He has made.”
Sadly, much of the wisdom of this present world denies that God exists. Why? They choose not to believe in Him. This false belief makes them the most foolish of all people.
Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail (Job 38:22).
Beverly Barnett

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HEBREW – Discern


One Hebrew authority digs to the true depth of biyn (H995) by noting: “The background idea of the verb is to ‘discern,’ and this lies behind the [derivatives, such as] . . . the preposition bên ‘between.’ The combination of these words, ‘discern between,’ is used in 1Ki_3:9, ‘That I may discern between good and evil.’ Biyn includes the concept of distinguishment that leads to understanding.”
In simpler terms, the key idea in biyn is “to discern, to distinguish between.” From where does understanding come? From discernment. 1Ki_3:9 is, indeed, pivotal. If you ask most Christians, “What did Solomon ask God for?” most will answer immediately, “He asked God for wisdom,” but that is not precise. He did not ask God for wisdom (chokmâ, March 22), rather he asked God for discernment. Our English word comes from the Latin discernere (dis, “apart,” and cernere, “to sift”), and Scripture repeatedly emphasizes this principle. We are to separate, sift through, and distinguish between in order to see and understand.
Catastrophically, however, discernment has all but vanished. Many Christians are tolerant of, or even embrace, false teaching, such as: mysticism, prosperity teaching, seeker-sensitive church ministry, user-friendliness, the “emerging church” movement, unity with Islam, and the list goes on. “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to [or discerns, biyn] his going” (Pro_14:15). What was the responsibility of the OT priests? To “teach [God’s] people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean” (Eze_44:23). That is likewise the responsibility of pastors today (Act_20:28-31; Eph_4:11-14).
So what does discernment mean? There is only a single principle: What does the Word of God say? It doesn’t matter if some new idea or teaching “sounds good,” but whether it’s right according to Scripture. At the very heart of the Reformation was the concept of sola scriptura (“Scripture Alone”), which is to dictate all we believe and practice—not church tradition, human opinion, pragmatism, or anything else.
As David again pleads in Psa_119:169, “Give me understanding [discernment, biyn] according to thy word.” While David had very little Scripture at his disposal and so cried for discernment, many today don’t even care about discernment even though they have God’s completed revelation in their hands.
Scriptures for Study: What did Job say about discernment (Job_6:30)? Carefully consider just a few NT passages that speak of the critical nature of discernment (Act_17:11; 1Ti_6:20-21; Heb_4:12; 2Pe_2:1-2; 1Jn_4:1).

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No examination of the names and titles of God would be complete without considering the title of Father. The Hebrew ’aḇ (H1), which “apparently is derived from such baby sounds as abab,” appears almost 1,200 times in the OT. We should also note that ’aḇ (H2) is the Aramaic form, the basis for the NT usage of abba (G5) that appears three times (Mar_14:36; Rom_8:15; Gal_4:6). Obviously, ’aḇ refers to a biological father (Gen_2:24), but it also refers to the head of a household (Gen_24:40), a grandfather (Gen_28:13), an ancestor (Gen_10:21), or even a patron of a class (Gen_4:20). What does such fatherhood indicate when we think of God as our Father? Let us consider five applications.


First, our Fatherbegets us. He gives us life. “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?” (Mal_2:10). Spiritually then, through Christ, we are “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible” (1Pe_1:23). Having thus been “born of God,” we know God (1Jn_4:7), love God (1Jn_5:1), overcome the world (1Jn_5:4), and guard our behavior (1Jn_5:18, “keepeth” is tēreō [G5083], “keep an eye on, watch over, observe attentively, guard protectively”), and do not habitually commit sin (1Jn_3:9).


Second, our Fatherteaches us. We are to “hear the instruction of [our] father” and learn doctrine, wisdom, and God’s law from Him (Pro_1:8; Pro_4:1-4; Pro_5:1). From where do we get our spiritual Father’s instruction? From His Word alone.


Third, our Fatherdisciplines us. As an earthly father corrects his child because of love (Pro_3:12; Deu_8:5), so God our Father “chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. . . . for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Heb_12:6-7; cf. 2Sa_7:14). Yes, discipline is painful, but it brings us back to obedience.


Fourth, our Fatherprovides for us. Why do we worry about clothing, food, and other basic needs of life? Our “Father knoweth that [we] have need of these things” and He will provide them when we seek Him (Luk_12:28-31; cf. Mat_6:9-11).


Fifth, our Fathergives us aname. As one’s family name is a precious thing, God has given us names that should be precious to us. Each of us is a “saint” (Php_4:21), a “Christian” (1Pe_4:16), and a believer (Act_5:14). Let us live up to those names’ lofty standards.


Scriptures for Study: How do we become children of God (Gal_3:26)? What proves we are children of God (1Jn_3:10; 1Jn_5:2)?




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Future Satanic Deception


Revelation 13:13-18


Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred three score and six,” Revelation 13:18.



During the ministry of Jesus, He encountered many who opposed Him. As you read through the Gospels, you might be surprised to notice that many people who opposed Him were possessed by powerful demons. Some demons worked so powerfully in the lives of their victims that the person was unable to speak or walk, or possessed super-human strength. It is interesting that the opponents of Jesus never questioned the strength of demons or the power of Satan, they simply refused to believe that Jesus was on God’s side. One day, they even accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Matt. 12:22-32), to which Jesus replied, “If Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?” (verse 26).


Here is the point. If Jesus recognized and battled against the power of Satan, even calling it a “kingdom,” why would we think that he is not just as powerful today and in the days to come? In the Revelation text, one of the most powerful teaching points is that Satan has the power to deceive large crowds of people. He has the ability—allowed by God —to perform works that most people will label as supernatural. Today, alarmingly, many Christians have become quite comfortable with Satan. In our minds, he may have become a mythical legend instead of a powerful fallen angel hell-bent on destroying every work of God. Do not take the enemy of God too lightly. Remember the words of Paul, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).





Will you arm yourself against Satan today?



Mark Clements



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