Wisdom; March 14, 2018

Daniel 2:30 “As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.”

God’s acts always have a purpose. We tend to use the term, acts of God, for natural disasters, with the implication that they are without meaning. That’s an extreme misuse of language. God indeed created the natural universe, so in that sense everything that happens in it could be said to be something He has done, but He doesn’t pick on anyone. We would do much better to understand that God deliberately does all sorts of things, but they are always with the purpose of drawing people to Himself and otherwise blessing them. Here, Daniel is rightly deflecting the attention away from himself and giving God all the glory. I find it amusing that in so doing he is demonstrating that he is indeed wiser than other people, even though he explicitly denies it! However, his wisdom is of the kind mentioned in Proverbs: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10) He is a perfect example of what James talked about. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) He knew from the start that he had no ability to pull the king’s dream from his subconscious and explain it to him, but he also knew the One who indeed could do that, so he asked God, and God acted. That’s the kind of wisdom that is available to us all.

I have had a struggle with wisdom. I was blessed with a high IQ, but I didn’t always distinguish between being smart and being wise. Countless “geniuses” down through history have done very unwise things. It is interesting and often sad to read about such people. An example I recently read about was the German scientist who invented the method that is still used to extract nitrogen from the atmosphere to make fertilizer, thereby saving millions of lives from starvation. His other claim to fame is that he was also the chief architect of the use of poison gas in warfare, which the Germans started in WWI. That was unwise indeed! Looking back over my own life, I see that apart from the grace of God I could easily have been an extremely horrible person. I need to seek God for what He wants me to do with what He has placed in my hands, whether it is tangible, such as finances, or intangible, such as an ability or even a dream. Doing that would be exercising wisdom. As a child I was in the last of the pack when it came to sports, and I took refuge in my intellect. (Textbook definition of a nerd, right?) I would use words as weapons, cutting people down because I felt inferior myself. That’s certainly not wise! I have had to learn that I am indeed accountable for every word I speak, (Matthew 12:36) and submit my mouth, along with everything else, to God. I desire to be wise by the definition in Proverbs, for the glory of God.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for yesterday and all it held. Thank You for the two times of speaking for You that I was aware of, drawing people to You and standing against the lies of the enemy. I pray that every word that comes from my mouth – or through my fingers – would accomplish exactly what You intend, (Isaiah 55:10-11) drawing people to Yourself and destroying the works of the devil, (1 John 3:8) for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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