Exodus 28:3 -Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest.
What is wisdom? How do you get it? As the verse above states, sometimes we are given wisdom from God. Somehow we just KNOW something that we can’t explain. Often, someone will share something they’ve learned with us based on their own experiences. It can come from something we’ve read that has had an impact on us. Often, however, wisdom comes from learning and experiencing life for ourselves over a period of time. There is truth to wisdom.
I thought of these questions as I read through Chapter 4 in the book of Proverbs. I know much of the book is attributed to Solomon. There is nothing biblical about this, but I imagined Solomon sharing about a time when he was a young boy, sitting with his father, David, as he imparted words of wisdom to his son.
3-7: When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”
14-15: Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.
20-22: My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
23: Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
We are not born with wisdom, it is acquired over time. Some of us have attained it the hard way. I can honestly say if I have any wisdom at all, it has come from learning things through making many mistakes, getting banged up because I didn’t take someone else’s advice, and just general immaturity. Did my parents sit me down and try to warn me, to share with me all they learned? Yes. Unfortunately, I was not wise enough to listen to them. I had to find my own way. I am smiling as I think of a perfect example of this. When I was 6 or 7, my best friend was Connie. She lived across the street and we played together almost every day. One day I wanted to go across the street to play with her but my mother said I couldn’t because she had Chicken Pox and if I went around her I might get it too. But I snuck over to her house and played with her anyway. Guess who got the Chicken Pox a week later? My mother was wise to warn me, my not listening was “folly” (a word used quite often in Proverbs). That experience taught me the wisdom of staying away from someone contagious!
That is a silly example, no doubt, but experience has taught me other things as well. Through the years I’ve learned the wisdom of “guarding my heart” and “avoiding walking in the way of evil men”. There is wisdom in learning that God has set in place a certain order of things, a process, and trying to shortcut or bypass this can have serious consequences. As my daughters have grown and they’ve encountered similar situations, I have tried to share the lessons life has taught me. Sometimes they listen; sometimes they have to find their own way to wisdom. God can say the same thing about me!
Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” This wisest thing I have ever learned is that I don’t know everything but I have a Father who does. If I am wise, I will seek His advice, direction, and purpose for my life for He alone can direct me in the path I should take. If I am wise, I will give Him complete control. I am sorry to say, I am not always wise!
Abba, Father, any wisdom I have has come from You. Through studying Your Word, I learn what is good for me and what is not. I learn where you set your boundaries and why they are good for me. By trusting your process and timing, I change and grow. I thank you for your patience over the years as sometimes I am a slow learner. Lord, please give me ears to hear and a heart ever open to You. In Jesus precious name, Amen