TITLE: Wisdom's Advantage, March 16, 2016
By Ginger Kasser
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Would you consider yourself successful, both in your personal life and your career? Here is exciting news, my friend: The Bible says that God-centered wisdom has the advantage of success (Ecclesiastes 10:10 NASB). If you are looking for an edge that will alter your life, simply apply wisdom. Victory will come your way—it’s guaranteed!
Wisdom is the principal thing (Proverbs 4:7). It is more valuable than the highest-quality gold or fine jewels. As you know, true success is fantastic, but hardship and adversity can ravage your soul. Unfortunately, young and old persons alike do not always have the ability to envision the inevitable, but you can make wise decisions with training and practice (2 Timothy 2:15).
What is wisdom, you ask? Wisdom is the teaching of a personal God who is holy and just, who expects those who know him to exhibit his character in many practical affairs of life. Wisdom is expressed in shrewdness.
According to Solomon and other writers of Scripture, wisdom has a house built on seven pillars (Proverbs 9:1). A pillar is a foundation that something rests on to make it secure, such as a house or a skyscraper.
What are wisdom’s seven pillars? The author of Proverbs does not immediately answer the question; but it is a riddle that is meant to be solved? Perhaps he chuckled a little when he wrote it.
Most Bible commentaries disagree on what the seven pillars are. Some say they are the pillars of the famous temple Solomon built. Another source lists the seven pillars as purity, peaceableness, gentleness, reasonableness, helpfulness, humility, and sincerity.
Yet, some of these words are synonymous in the Hebrew language; therefore, they do not actually add up to seven. For instance, purity and sincerity mean practically the same thing in the Hebrew and Greek languages. For further proof, compare the meanings of these words in the original Greek (Biblehub.com is a great source).
Proverbs chapter 1 reveals the purpose for the entire book: to know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; to give prudence to the naïve; and to give knowledge and discretion to the young man (Proverbs 1:2-4).
But what if the pillars and the purpose are the same? Sort of a dual purpose. That would be tricky, just like a riddle.
If so, it can be deduced that the pillars are as follows: understanding, instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity, prudence for the naïve, and knowledge and discretion for youth.
Here is something to think about:
• You can’t get understanding until you know God.
• You can’t exhibit wise behavior without understanding.
• You must be willing to listen and be ready to receive instruction in righteousness.
• Do you want justice? In truth, you and I deserve punishment for our sinful nature.
• Do you want everything to be fair? Believers would be punished, except for one thing: Jesus took our punishment.
• You must be cautious or prudent, not naïve, when you make decisions.
• You must learn to use knowledge and discretion to avoid disaster. The younger you learn it, the better.
If these are indeed the seven pillars, they provide a very firm foundation for wisdom. The beginning of wisdom is the knowledge of the Holy One (Proverbs 9:10), and according to Webster it is sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good.
The Holy One is God, the Creator of the universe. The Holy One is also Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, who came to earth in human form. His Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of believers. Together, the three are called the Trinity.
Some of God’s attributes or characteristics include love, wisdom, and faithfulness. He has no boundaries, knows everything, and is all-powerful.
Jesus is a manifestation of wisdom itself (1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT). He shows us how to be wise. If you want to be wise, ask the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5). He will not condemn or disgrace you for asking. Instead, He promises to be very generous.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.