Have you ever asked questions like these?:
Why am I suffering when I have sought to please the Lord?
Does God really love me?
Will God forgive me of this sin?
How do I handle my child’s anger?
How do I live a life of purity in a sex-crazed culture?
What is the purpose of my life?
Will the Lord save my parents, my in-laws, my siblings, my best friend?
What do we do when such questions spring from our hearts? Perhaps the most common way is to proclaim God’s sovereignty or love. But I want to suggest that we also speak about God’s wisdom.
From creation to the consummation God reveals that He is the only wise God. He is the Creator and He is the King.
God’s Wisdom in Creation
In six days God spoke light, heaven, earth, seas, plants, trees, sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, birds, and beasts of the earth into existence. He also formed man out of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Then He made woman from one of man’s ribs (Gen. 1-2).
Significantly, God’s wisdom in creation is one of the ways God responds to Job’s interpretation of his suffering (see Job 38:4-11). When we cannot understand God’s ways in our lives, the remedy is not found in understanding what God is doing, but in knowing God. He is the all-wise Creator.
The New Testament reveals another mystery of God’s wisdom at creation. God the Father created the world through the Son by the Spirit (John 1:1-3). Not only were all things created through Christ. They were created for Christ (Col. 1:15-17).
God’s Wisdom Forsaken in the Fall
Sadly, God’s perfect creation became subject to futility and in bondage to corruption (Rom. 8:20). Into the gorgeous garden, God’s enemy entered in disguise. He approached Eve and questioned God’s wisdom. Tragically, she took the bait and sinned.
God’s Wisdom in Redemption
Because the Lord is wise, He had a perfect plan when Adam and Eve sinned. And He executed it immediately, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15).
The story of salvation that begins in the Old Testament consistently reveals God’s good and wise plan through prophets, priests and kings, feasts and festivals, sacrifices and ceremonies, in order to point His people to the Redeemer.
When we come to the New Testament we learn that Jesus Christ became to us wisdom from God (1 Cor. 1:30). Remarkably, one of the mysteries of God’s divine plan is His inclusion of the Gentiles in saving a people for His own glory. Significantly, Paul cannot talk about God’s salvation of the Gentiles without speaking of God’s wisdom, indeed, breaking into praise of God’s wisdom (see Rom. 11:33-36). God’s wisdom should motivate us not only to worship, but also to witness.
God’s Wisdom in the Consummation
When God’s plan of redemption is consummately fulfilled in the new heaven and the new earth, His wisdom will be supremely revealed. The songs of worship in the new creation will exalt God’s wisdom (see Rev. 5:9-12; 7:9-12). Significantly, these songs connect God’s wisdom with God’s plan of redemption, specifically His plan to save a people from every tribe, tongue and people.
The Practical Value of God’s Wisdom
What does God’s wisdom have to do with the fight you and your husband had last night? How does it relate to your broken heart over your son who told you he was gay? How does God’s wisdom comfort you as you weep by the grave of your loved one? When you get an unfavorable review from your boss or professor, why does God’s wisdom matter? When you have bitterness and jealousy toward all your social media friends because they seemingly have a picture-perfect life, how do you find freedom in God’s wisdom?
In your suffering, in your battle against sin, and in your service, God’s wisdom is both necessary and available.
First, recognize God’s wisdom (Rom. 11:33). Our circumstances have not caught Him off guard. He orchestrates everything in our lives by His wise plan. Recognize this.
Second, rest in God’s wisdom (Rom. 11:33). When we want to fight Him, when we want to scream, “No, don’t let this happen,” when we want to turn our backs and run away from Him. Don’t. Rest in His wisdom.
Third, request God’s wisdom (Jas. 1:5). When you don’t know what to do, run to Christ and request His wisdom first. Then reach out to godly family, friends, and counselors.
Fourth, reflect God’s wisdom (Jas. 3:13-18). In every situation, we are called to reflect the purity, peace, gentleness, reason, mercy, impartiality and sincerity of God’s wisdom.
Fifth, recite God’s wisdom (Col. 1:28; 3:16). We are to warn and teach everyone with all wisdom, proclaiming Christ, so that we may present those under our care, mature in Christ. To do this, we must first let the word of Christ (the Scriptures) dwell in us richly.
Father, help us to recognize your wisdom, rest in it in the midst of suffering and our battles against sin, request it continually, reflect it in our interactions with others, and recite it to the next generation. We know we cannot do this on our own, so we plead for the power of your Holy Spirit to make us wise. In Jesus’s Name we Pray, Amen.
About the Author:
Sarah Ivill (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is a Reformed author, wife, mom, Bible study teacher, and conference speaker who lives in Matthews, North Carolina and is a member of Christ Covenant Church. She is the author of Hebrews: His Hope, An Anchor for Our Souls; Revelation: Let the One Who Is Thirsty Come; Judges & Ruth: There Is A Redeemer; 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude: Steadfast in the Faith; and The Covenantal Life: Appreciating the Beauty of Theology and Community . You can learn more about Sarah at www.sarahivill.com.