15”Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15–17 (ESV)
Believers in Christ must understand the distinction between wisdom and foolishness. To understand both words, we draw helpful definitions from the Tyndale Bible Dictionary.
Today, we consider the subject of wisdom. Wisdom is not simply any amount of intelligence an individual may have while foolishness is the lack of the same.
Wisdom is the ability to direct one’s mind toward a full understanding of human life and toward its moral fulfillment. Wisdom is thus a special capacity, necessary for full human living; it can be acquired through education and the application of the mind. In brief, wisdom is the application of one’s knowledge from God and His Word.
The word “wisdom,” with reference to human beings, is used in a variety of different ways in the Old Testament (OT). The word is often used as virtually synonymous with the term “knowledge,” but in its general and secular uses it commonly indicates applied knowledge, skill, or even cunning. Wisdom could be defined as either “superior mental capacity” or “superior skill.”
Although the term “wisdom” is used primarily in the OT with reference to human beings, all wisdom is ultimately rooted and grounded in God. Wisdom forms a central part of the nature of God. In wisdom God created the universe (Prov. 3:19) and human beings (Ps. 104:24). Thus wisdom, in its positive connotations, is something inherent in God, reflected in creation, and a part of the reason for human existence.
Thus, wisdom is used to describe both the cunning of King Solomon (1 Kings 2:1–6) and the skill of the craftsman Bezalel (Ex. 35:33). But it was also used to describe mental capacities and skills that had a moral component—the capacity to understand and to do good.
Thus, when Moses delegated some of his authority to newly appointed judges, he chose men who were wise, understanding, and experienced (Deut. 1:13). Such men were considered the wise men in ancient Israel. Human wisdom, in this special sense, was not merely a gift from God, inherent at birth; it had to be developed consciously during a life lived in relationship with God.
Consider these four Old Testament references concerning wisdom. Deuteronomy 4:1-8; 2 Chronicles 1:1-13; Proverbs 1:1-7; 9:9-12. Have a blessed and wisdom filled day in the LORD.
Soli deo Gloria!