What is Wisdom?

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Prov. 4:7).

Where can we find this wisdom? How can we differentiate true wisdom from a counterfeit? The Bible answers this question in several ways. The preamble to Proverbs declares that the purpose of the book is to enable its readers “to know wisdom” (Prov. 1:2). Paul reminded Timothy that the study of the scriptures would make him “wise unto salvation” (2 Tim. 3:15). After cataloging the areas where wisdom is not found, Job chapter 28 concludes, “The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Jesus Christ is called “the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24). Those who “hear the words and do them” are equated with the man who built his house on a rock-solid foundation (Matt. 7:24–27). And in Daniel 12:3 wisdom is defined as “turning many to righteousness.”

In concluding his cryptic prophecy of the last days, Daniel proclaims that “none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” And who are the wise? They are those who fear God, look to Christ, study and obey the scriptures and actively lead others to saving relationships with Jesus. And the promise is that not only will the wise understand the mysteries of the last days, they will also “shine like the brightness of the firmament” (Dan. 12:3).

When Job was estimating the value of wisdom, he discovered that it surpassed any precious metal, jewel or earthly treasure. Surely such a commodity as wisdom—of higher value than gold or rubies—would be a good investment. The promised rate of return far exceeds any Wall Street hedge fund. Health, happiness, hope and heaven are all found in wisdom. But how can one invest in wisdom?

First is an investment of time—time in prayer and in God’s word, in “following on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:30). Time in personally leading others to Christ. Second is an investment of means through the mission offering, sponsoring Bible workers, supporting missionaries and funding literature and media ministries and other evangelistic efforts. It is wise to invest means so that others may “turn many to righteousness.”

It is our prayer that through your wise investment you will share in the crown of rejoicing, seeing many experience the saving power of knowing Jesus.

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