Tuesday, July 17, 2012

God's Wisdom (an excerpt)

For the past few months, I've been reading through JI Packer's Knowing God with a friend. We are moving slowly through this beefy exposition of God's character and ways... and we are enjoying it so much.

One of our more recent chapters was on God's wisdom. Only recently have I realized that any wisdom I have is only a sparkle to what God's wisdom is like. God is perfect, and therefore his wisdom follows suit. Spurgeon said that when we cannot "trace God's hand, we can trust his heart." That, I think, is a helpful way to start thinking about the question of, "what is wise?" or the prayer, "Lord, give me wisdom."

A section I've really loved:

"Such, then, is the wisdom with which God makes us wise. And our analysis of it discloses to us still further the wisdom of the God who gives it. We have said that wisdom consists in choosing the best means to the best end. God's work of giving wisdom is a means to his chosen end of restoring and perfecting the relationship between himself and human beings -- the relationship for which he made them. For what is this wisdom that he gives? As we have seen, it is not a sharing in all his knowledge, but a disposition to confess that he is wise, and to cleave to him and live for him in the light of his Word through thick and thin.

Thus the effect of his gift of wisdom is to make us more humble, more joyful, more godly, more quick-sighted as to his will, more resolute in the doing of it and less troubled (not less sensitive, but less bewildered) than we were at the dark and painful things of which our life in this fallen world is full. The New Testament tells us that the fruit of wisdom is Christlikeness -- peace, and humility, and love (James 3:17) -- and the root of it is faith in Christ (1 Cor. 3:18; 2 Tim 3:15) as the manifested wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24, 30).

Thus, the kind of wisdom that God waits to give to those who ask him is a wisdom that will bind us to himself, a wisdom that will find expression in a spirit of faith and a life of faithfulness."

Chapter 10, p. 108

Lord, give me your wisdom.