Wisdom: Powerful Advice At Your Fingertips

Current Sermon Series: Proverbs - The Way of Wisdom

The Wisdom Literature of the Bible Written For Us

As we walk through this summer, it’s essential to realize that the Bible offers a wealth of wisdom literature just waiting to be read. Proverbs is often the go-to source for biblical wisdom, but it also includes other books such as Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon which fall under this same category. These books were written by sages and are designed to impart wisdom, helping anyone who reads them to know how to handle various and specific situations in life.

Understanding Wisdom Literature

Proverbs are short statements that express a truth about human behavior. The primary purpose of these proverbs is to make us wise. But what does it mean to be wise? Pastor Jim says that it’s crucial to distinguish between intelligence and wisdom. Having intelligence means you know things; you have a wealth of information at your disposal. However, having wisdom means you know what to do in various situations. You can be smart without being wise, so it’s essential to be aware of this and be careful. Wisdom literature is there to help us avoid the pitfalls of being foolish. It gives us warnings and teaches us good judgment and common sense, giving knowledge and caution to the young.

Playing With Fire

Jim gives an example in his sermon of why it’s good to heed words of wisdom. “When I was a kid I remember my parents saying to me many times don’t play with fire or you’ll get burned. I guess I wasn’t a very smart child because I got burned and they were right. And many times, it wasn’t just once they were trying to instill in me this healthy fear of what fire could do. They didn’t want me to be terrified of it, but to beware and be careful, to understand what it’s like so I wouldn’t get hurt.” God’s wisdom has the same purpose. It’s truthful guidance that is to prevent damaging experiences we will regret.

The Book of Proverbs: A Treasure Trove of Wisdom

Most of the book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon who is known for his unparalleled wisdom. Solomon’s discernment was a gift from God, and he used it to write thousands of proverbs and songs. In 1 Kings 4:32-34, we read that Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and his songs numbered 1,005. He spoke about nature, self-reflection, and people, and many traveled from all nations to come hear his wisdom.

These wise sayings are compiled in the Bible to guide us in righteous living and show the superiority of wisdom over foolishness. They cover various topics, from the importance of fearing the Lord to practical advice on relationships, work, and personal conduct. Proverbs 1:7 sets the tone for the entire book: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” This kind of fear means to have reverence, to understand and respect the power and greatness of God.

Other Books of Wisdom Literature

While Proverbs is a cornerstone of biblical wisdom, other books also contain beneficial insights:

  1. Job: This book tackles the complex issue of suffering and God’s sovereignty. Job’s story teaches us about faith, patience, and the limits of human understanding.
  2. Psalms: A collection of songs and prayers, Psalms covers a wide range of human emotions and experiences. It offers advice on worship, trust in God, and the importance of a righteous life.
  3. Ecclesiastes: Written by Solomon, this book explores the meaning of life and the human condition. It challenges us to find purpose and fulfillment in God rather than in worldly pursuits.
  4. Song of Solomon: This poetic book celebrates love and marriage. It offers insight into relationships and the beauty of marital love.

Applying Wisdom in Our Lives

The wise advice found in these books is not just theoretical; it’s practical, time-tested, and applicable to everyday life for every person. Because God designed us, He is the ideal one to understand how things work and what is best for us. Through Solomon, who had asked God for the gift of wisdom, we are shown the path to wise-living. Here are some ways to apply biblical wisdom:

  1. Fear the Lord: Proverbs 1:7 emphasizes that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. This fear is not about being scared but having a deep reverence and respect for God. It means acknowledging His authority and aligning our lives with His will.
  2. Seek Wise Counsel: Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety.” Surround yourself with wise and godly people who can offer sound advice.
  3. Practice Humility: Proverbs 3:7 advises, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” Humility is a hallmark of wisdom. Recognize that you don’t have all the answers and be open to learning from others.
  4. Avoid Sinful Influences: Proverbs 1:10 warns, “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” Be mindful of the company you keep and avoid those who lead you astray.
  5. Listen for Wisdom Everywhere: Proverbs 1:20-21 personifies wisdom as a woman calling out in the streets. Wisdom can be found in various places and through different people. Be attentive and open to learning from everyday experiences.

Conclusion

The wisdom literature of the Bible transcends time, and it is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. Simply because human nature has not changed. By studying and applying what is written in Proverbs, Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon, we can be prepared for life’s challenges with the knowledge to make good choices and avoid bad ones. Remember, as Jim stated, having intelligence means you know things, but having wisdom means you know what to do in various situations. So, let’s choose to be wise, not just smart, and live lives that honor God and lead to happiness.


Lakeview Christian Church of Portage Lakes invites you to join us in this Sunday. Together, we can experience God’s Grace and share the love of Jesus with those around us.

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