Daniel 12:3 “Then the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever.”
Wisdom is an attribute I have sought for a long time. Since I was a teen, inspired by a Sunday preacher, seeking after wisdom became an endeavor I recognized as a worthy goal.
At such a young age I didn’t realize the importance of wisdom, I could read the Proverbs like everyone else and witness for myself that only good things came from acquiring wisdom.
Proverbs 15:7 “The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.”
What I wasn’t too sure of as a youth was how to gain wisdom and what it looked like if I did, so I included asking for wisdom each time I prayed at night with the hope that maybe one day God would lead me in it.
I would wonder, does it take a lifetime to acquire wisdom?
If it takes an entire lifetime to gain wisdom, it seems wisdom would be lost on the aged and infirm. The passing down of wisdom is often a difficult task to accomplish, older folks seem more apt to shake their heads at the youth of today while attributing another strange trend to the millennial generation that is practicing it.
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
If God’s promises are true, then asking for wisdom by one who is found approved of God is a reasonable request. Although it is often attributed to the aged, the young can never start to early to begin to grow.
1 Peter 5:5 “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Understanding the path to wisdom is wise itself. Knowing the fear of the Lord, understanding how that applies in life, then walking in it is for those who desire this path.
God’s expresses reproach through disapproval or disappointment. The way we place ourselves in positions of reproach is through the disobedience of sin.
- Those who shine are those who recognize sin and strive to avoid it.
I’ve heard many say how God didn’t hear them or didn’t respond and so they rejected the notion of following after Jesus, often because it “didn’t work for them”. Sadly, it was for lack of knowledge these folks turned away, the lack of knowledge concerning how to approach God and in the manner we are commanded to do so.
Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
The humble receive instruction by recognizing their ignorance and thus opening themselves up to receiving truth. Truth can be difficult to receive, when we walk in error it takes humility to receive God’s correction in our lives.
The path to wisdom has already began when for lack of knowledge the foolish seek after wisdom. The attribute of growing in wisdom is one I didn’t understand as a young man, I often tried to figure out everything myself and failed, instead of asking those who have gone through life’s difficulties and learned from their mistakes.
Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”
As I grew older, and started to grow in wisdom, I began to understand where to look for wisdom. The Spirit of wisdom and revelation is given to those who seek after God. Jesus is the door to eternal life, when a person steps through that door, wisdom is found.
Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding”
We can draw from advice and learn from those who have gone before us, but ultimately it is the Lord who imparts wisdom. Not everyone who is old has learned to grow wise.
Proverbs 28:26 “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”
I’ve known many older gentlemen who are full of pride, through either intellect or authority they have rested on their laurels to the neglect of their own souls. Sure, they may be wise to the world and know how to succeed in a world that strives after the wind, but in the end they return to the grave with nothing.
Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
What have they gained?
The legacy of the self-serving is a story of personal conquest for the sake of personal gain. By the accumulation of fortune they may say they are leaving a legacy for their kids or grandkids, but a life focused on acquiring more is a legacy that turns into a generational curse for those left behind.
James 3:13 “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.”
Wisdom is shown by the way life is lived. Knowing what to do and not doing it is for the foolish.
Conduct of the Wise
Proverbs 14:8 “The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving.”
Knowing where you are going in life and understanding your purpose is life for those who have gained wisdom. The only One who can established a good purpose for your life is God himself. The wise and discerning understand how to follow through obedience.
Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Jesus made it clear as to what His expectations are for His people. “Follow Me”, is the command and for those who have followed Jesus, the gain has far exceeded the loss. You may lose things in this world, the notoriety of exceeding according to the world’s standards is only done by following a worldly pattern. This doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy life, but if your life goals are only found in worldly excess, you’ll eventually find yourself compromising in your obedience to God to achieve these goals.
Proverbs 3:35 “The wise will inherit honor, but fools are held up to shame.”
True wisdom always leads to Jesus.
For those who learn to follow Jesus, wisdom leads in obedience.
- Walking in righteousness
- Fellowship with God
- Sharing the Gospel
- Making Disciples
- Trust and Obedience
Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”
Learning how to share the gospel requires wisdom, knowing how important it is to spread this Truth is kept in the courts of the wise. If you want to learn wisdom, walk with the wise. If you forsake wisdom, the foolish are always waiting for you to partake with them in their foolishness. Even if you make a mistake, the rebuke of the wise is for your growth and if you are a man of understanding, you will learn from those mistakes.
Proverbs 17:10 “A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.”
What do you hope for in life?
The path of the wise leads to eternal life, the question is whether you truly believe it? You do not have the freedom to make up your own rules, I’ve known many who only deceive themselves by thinking they can live in sin and say they believe in Jesus.
One day, the Lord will reveal those who are His and they will inherit a Kingdom He has prepared for them—It is then that the wise will truly shine in the light of God’s glory.