Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Three Sisters ~ Wisdom

"And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge..." (Exodus 31:3)

     Let's take a look at one of these three sisters, the first of the three essential keys to thriving relationships--Wisdom. Before moving too far ahead, we must first ask, "What is wisdom?"  

Wisdom ~ The Right Response to Truth

     "Wisdom [is] the right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and the best means of accomplishing 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."  ~ 1828 Webster Dictionary

Wisdom & A Virtuous Woman

     There are several similarities we have found shared between the descriptions of wisdom and a virtuous woman. Did you know that God bestows the same value to a virtuous woman as He does to wisdom?  One of the richest descriptions of value shared between them is that their price is above rubies.

     "[Wisdom] cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: 
for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
(Job 28:16-18)

    "Who can find a virtuous woman? 
for her price is far above rubies?"  
(Proverbs 31:10) 

Could it be that such is the case because a virtuous woman manifests true wisdom?
 The second description of value is that they are a crown to those who embrace them.

"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, 
when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: 
a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee." 
(Proverbs 4:7-9)

"A virtuous woman is a crown..." 
(Proverbs 12:4a)

     A crown brings honor and admiration to the one it adorns. It is a beautiful symbol of the greater authority it represents. In the case of wisdom, that higher Authority would be God.  For, as it brings grace and honor to the one whom it adorns, it ultimately brings glory to the One Who gives wisdom. 
     A virtuous woman is a crown to her earthly authority, namely her husband. (For those of us who are not married, Proverbs 31:11 states that a virtuous woman will do her husband good ALL the days of her life--she can bring him honor through her wise living even if she has not yet even met him!) However, we can also bring glory to the Kingship of Christ as single young ladies, and part of His diadem, through our wise decisions and actions of discretion. As others see our conversation in wisdom, they will be able to see our King more clearly.   

"Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my 
God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. 
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding 
in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, 
Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." 
(Deuteronomy 4:5-6) 

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your 
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." 
(Matthew 5:16)

Where Can I Get Wisdom?

     "But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof... Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding... And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdomand to depart from evil is understanding." (Job 28:12-15, 20, 28)

     True wisdom can only be found through the fear of the Lord, as discussed in the previous post, An Excellent Spirit. Without a healthy fear of God, without a desire for righteousness, wisdom will be forever out of your reach, though always at your fingertips. Like a young child, who is blindfolded, tries to strike a piñata for the treasure inside, yet he cannot see what it is that he endeavors to aim for and, therefore, he is never quite able to strike his mark successfully, so is a person who attempts to strike the treasure of wisdom, yet is blinded from clearly understanding what it is that he strives for because the fear of God has not removed the blindfold of sin. But, once that blindfold has been removed and the soul begins to view life from the new perspective, responding to his circumstances with the fear of God, he will then be a life into which wisdom can freely enter. 

     "I do fear God," you may say, "And I have a strong desire for wisdom, but I just don't have it." James 1:5-6a answers that by saying,"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering..."  If you are truly walking in the fear of God, and you sincerely desire to know wisdom, then you must bow before the Giver of wisdom and seek to know His heart, asking Him to give you His wisdom, and be open and ready to receive it, for, according to His promise, He will give it to you. As you seek Him with all your heart, endeavoring to make His desires your own, He will give you the discretion and sound judgment you need to make wise decisions and act according to wisdom. 

Wisdom Applied

*You must desire it
     Solomon desired wisdom more than any other thing he could have been given. He longed for the sound judgment necessary to rule his kingdom well. Above riches, fame, popularity, and even his own comfort and well being, he desired that which would help him win the hearts of those under his jurisdiction, something that would enable him to guide the land so that others could thrive, something that would out-live even his own time on earth--and that was what he was given. 

    No one is going to force wisdom upon you. You are not required to have thriving relationships within your home. However, if you do want to have flourishing relationships with those around you, then you must desire wisdom with all your heart, you must want to truly know how to meet the needs of others, even if it means realizing where you are wrong or sacrificing your own comfort. For, if wisdom is not your desire, then wisdom will not help you and nothing that even the wisest person on earth may say will aid you in building lasting relationships.     

*You must exercise it
     King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, made some foolish mistakes. It is not enough to know wisdom--to be aware of every end goal, knowing just how to respond properly in every situation--if we neglect to utilize the wisdom God gives us. If you seek wisdom, God will give it to you, but you must use it.

*Don't waste time  
     Time is short. We never know how long we will be on this earth. There comes a day when wisdom backs off from those who did not heed her and laughs as they crash to their doom. Also, consider this, dear sister; as "forever" as this season in life may seem, we do not know how much longer we have under our father's roof, living with those dear, precious ones who call us "sister". Many a sister has walked away, gone off to college, or gotten married and left scars that will forever ache within the hearts of their siblings. But, if things are going to be different for us, we have to desire a change that will send ripples even farther than just ourselves and our circumstances. We must personally pray, "[Lord], teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)

Something "Tangible"

The Wisdom From Above is:
Pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, 
without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." (Psalm 111:10)

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