Have you ever wondered why owls are known for being wise when the was always asking who? That is one thing that always puzzled me. Look at the Tootsie Pop commercial for instance. The owl is protrayed as being wise, yet he lacks in self control when it come to finding how many licks it take to get to the center. If you have wisdom then self control should come along with it. What is wisdom? Can you buy it? Where does it come from? How can man get wisdom? These are all questions that Job post as he ponders on wisdom.
WHAT IS WISDOM ?
Webster defines wisdom as:
: knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life
: the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand
: knowledge of what is proper or reasonable : good sense or judgment
Webster 1828 version says that wisdom is:
1. The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them. This is wisdom in act, effect, or practice. If wisdom is to be considered as a faculty of the mind, it is the faculty of discerning or judging what is most just, proper and useful, and if it is to be considered as an acquirement, it is the knowledge and use of what is best, most just, most proper, most conducive to prosperity or happiness. Wisdom in the first sense, or practical wisdom, is nearly synonymous with discretion. It differs somewhat from prudence, in this respect; prudence is the exercise of sound judgment in avoiding evils; wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good. Prudence then is a species, of which wisdom is the genus.
Wisdom gained by experience, is of inestimable value.
It is hoped that our rulers will act with dignity and wisdom; that they will yield every thing to reason, and refuse every thing to force.
2. In Scripture, human learning; erudition; knowledge of arts and sciences.
Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Acts 7.
3. Quickness of intellect; readiness of apprehension; dexterity in execution; as the wisdom of Bezaleel and Aholiab. Exodus 31.
4. Natural instinct and sagacity. Job 39.
5. In Scripture theology, wisdom is true religion; godliness; piety; the knowledge and fear of God, and sincere and uniform obedience to his commands. This is the wisdom which is from above. Psalm 90. Job 28.
6. Profitable words or doctrine. Psalm 37.
The wisdom of this world, mere human erudition; or the carnal policy of men, their craft and artifices in promoting their temporal interests; called also fleshly wisdom. 1 Corinthians 2. 2 Corinthians 1.
The wisdom of words, artificial or affected eloquence; or learning displayed in teaching. 1 Corinthians 1 and 2
So basically, wisdom is knowledge in action.
CAN YOU BUY WISDOM?
There are all kinds of self help books, how to books, even books for dummies out there that you can buy. According to the definition that wisdom is knowledge in action, just buying a book and reading it doesn't make you wise. Say you bought a book on how to fix a car. You read it and didn't fix your car but took it to a repair shop instead. Does reading the book to fix your car make you wise? You have the knowledge on what needs to be done to fix it. So why did you take it to the shop to be fixed? You trust that the guy is wiser than you in fixing your car. He may have read the same book that you have, does that make him any wiser? No, he is wiser because he has taken the knowledge that is in the book and applied it to his daily life by using it to repair your car and countless others. In other words wisdom is not bought it is what happens when we apply what we learned to a situation that we are in.
WHERE DOES WISDOM COME FROM?
In Proverbs 1:2-3, we read:
"Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:" (ESV)
Wisdom is all around us. It is in our everyday life and experiences. It is what we have learned form them and how we apply it to our lives. We can take heed from the warning of our parents that the pan is hot and we will get burned if we touch it. Don't know how many of us have learned what hot meant that way. Most of us learned what a hot pan feels like by touching it and getting burned. The wisdom comes when next time we use a hot pad and don't get burned. We can learn a lot from people around us. It is a good thing to be surrounded by people that are wise. As we learn from them we have to take that extra step with wisdom and apply it to our lives. Our parents in their wisdom warned us about the hot pan. Our wisdom about the hot pan began when we act either on their warning or our experience of being burned.
HOW DO WE GET WISDOM?
Job in his pondering on wisdom declares
"And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’” (Job 28:28 NLT)
James say this about getting wisdom,
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." (James 1:5 ESV)
When Solomon became king, he asked God for one thing and that was wisdom. He became known as the wisest man on Earth. Much of his wisdom can be found in the book of Proverbs.
One time I asked a friend that to pray that I would best know how to homeschool my oldest son and she pointed me to the verse in James.
So as we go about life and need wisdom in a certain area all we have to do is ask God for it.