Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance. Ecclesiastes 8:1 Some people devote their entire lives to acquire wisdom. Many go to remote places (monasteries, caves) so they can concentrate on their true selves and obtain a higher level of wisdom than most. Yet wisdom is far more than a skill to acquire. Wisdom cannot be learned from books. It is more than knowledge, and it transcends our understanding. It is described by Theologian Fenton Hort as “the endowment of heart and mind which is needed for the good conduct of life. It is God’s gift of rare beauty to our souls—what the scriptures call “the beauty of holiness—and it always looks best against the dark background of deep suffering.” Wisdom is beautiful because it is the reflection of God. The search for wisdom is always contemplative because it forces us to deny our false selves so we can come before God in brokenness and surrender. Wisdom is elusive to the learned because it transcends head-knowledge. It is perplexing to the powerful because its strength is perfected through weakness. Though we can see the manifestation of wisdom with our physical eyes, wisdom is only visible with the eyes of our hearts. In today’s text, the writer asks the question, “Who is like the wise?” He does not provide an answer. Instead, he focuses on the appearance of the wise. That is because the wise is unequaled. True wisdom is incomparable because it is “reasonable, flexible, forgiving, peaceful, caring, and given to friendly visits. It is manifested through small acts of courtesy and kind words. It is humble, transparent, simple, gentle, and gracious to the core.” (David Roper) Wisdom has the power to brighten our faces and change our hard appearance. Wisdom will help us get to places that talent, education, and social standing cannot. That is why the writer of Proverbs says; wisdom is more precious than rubies (Proverbs 1:5). We have to give up selfishness, pride, the need for recognition, and our insatiable desire for worldly elevation to pursue wisdom. The aroma of wisdom is a sweet sacrificial offering to God. The wise have unrestrained access to God’s throne of grace because they cultivate a life of surrender. The beauty of the wise is in their speech—it is seasoned with grace. The countenance of the wise is lovely because it reflects the glory of God. The appearance of the wise is peaceful because their minds stay on the Lord, and they put their trust in Him. The language of the wise is seasoned with love and is life-affirming. The perception of the wise is far-reaching because it is not focused on flaws and failures. Wisdom is beyond the reach of human comprehension. It does not emanate from us and cannot be contained by us. James 3:17 tells us that wisdom comes from the God of heaven. So if any of us lacks wisdom, we should ask God. It takes a person growing in wisdom to know they lack wisdom. The unwise make decisions without discerning the will of God. But those who reverence God grow in wisdom and walk in the path of righteousness. Wherever we are on the wisdom development continuum, there is a need and opportunity for acquiring more wisdom. Wisdom helps to improve physical health, relationships, finances, career choices, and indeed our worship of God. The absence of wisdom leads to brokenness, wars, terrorism, oppression, and depression. Where spiritual wisdom is lacking, fellowship with other saints becomes networking.
The wise are magnets for peace, hope, love, and joy. They cultivate healthier and spirit-filled relationships. God is well pleased with the wise, and He delights in the beauty of their holiness.
Questions For Reflection?
How is the Holy Spirit pushing you toward wisdom? What can you do to cultivate wisdom daily? Who has God placed in your life to steer you toward wisdom?
Prayer- God of wisdom, please increase in us a thirst for wisdom that only you can quench.