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THEOLOGY > God > God's Essence > God is Wise  


God is wise (Job 9:4; 12:13; 36:5; Ps. 104;24; Dan. 2:20; Rom. 11:33; I Cor. 2:7; Eph. 3:10; I Tim. 1:17). He is the God who is “alone wise” (Rom. 16:27). Not only is God wise, but God “only” is wise.

To affirm that God is wise is to characterize God as the God of wisdom. Wisdom is not something He possesses but wisdom is identified with His essence. His wisdom is His essence, not separate from His essence, and it is not increased by experience and age; it remains constant. He is eternally and infinitely wise.

“The wisdom of God is God acting prudently” (Charnock, E and A, I, 509). It refers to God choosing the proper end and the proper means to the end. Wisdom is the right use by God of His infinite knowledge—knowledge is the resource wisdom uses. Of the infinite possibilities known only to God the one He deems right is the one that is actualized. History is the holy expression of knowledge guided by wisdom.

God makes no mistakes. In wisdom He created (Ps. 104:24); in wisdom He rules; and in wisdom He will conclude. From creation to consummation every act of God is the right act. “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (Rom. 11:33). All of His acts flow from His wisdom. Not only does He do the right things, but He does them for the right reasons. There are no arbitrary or capricious aspects of His will and ways. Our God is worthy of glory because He is the “God who alone is wise” (I Tim. 1:17).

Often in Scripture wisdom and power are mentioned together as in Daniel 2:20: “Wisdom and might are His.” How tragic to have one without the other: wisdom without power is pathetic, power without wisdom is ruthless. The perfect union of the two is found in God. He exercises His power with wisdom, and He is able to bring to pass that which He deems wise. Wisdom determines the exercise of omnipotence.

A practical benefit is the confidence that the believer has that God will answer his prayers in wisdom. Most often we do not know how we ought to pray; we pray in ignorance, often selfishly. Perhaps at times it is best not to pray, but to wait. But the child needs to talk to the Father. And in praying we know that the all wise God—our Father who is in heaven—knows what is best and does what is best in answering our feeble prayers. Our trust is in Him, in His wisdom.

Another benefit appears when trouble and trials come. Things we do not deem desirable or acceptable meet us in life. We shun suffering, fleeing ridicule, and striving to avoid hardship.  But all these things come, and sometimes they keep on coming. Consider Joseph and consider Job. Behind or above all of this is God who “will choose our inheritance for us” (Ps. 47:4), and His choice is guided by His wisdom. Who is to find fault with the only One who is wise? We accept all that comes, not because we understand, but because we trust the wise Father!

To question our lot in life is to question God’s wisdom; it is presumptuously to elevate our wisdom over His, thinking that we know best. How arrogant and prideful on the part of the creature! How sinful and evil for man to question God’s wisdom. Man is not God and cannot be God. Acquiescence by man to the ways of God is the only acceptable option.

Wisdom, according to Proverbs, is to be highly prized; “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Prov. 4:7). The essence of wisdom is “the fear of YHWH” (Prov. 1:7; 9:10; 15:33). To be wise is to hold in awe the Lord, to reverence Him, to honor Him, to submit to Him, to hear and obey His Word.

Wisdom can only be contemplated from the perspective of God with any other reference point yielding improper contemplation. In terms of Biblical Theism and its wisdom, therefore, everything must be interpreted. Observations not anchored in Revelation and the God of Revelation will be erroneous (see: Foundations). To increase in wisdom is to think God’s thoughts and adopt His perspective. It is man who must adjust his thinking and reasoning.

Wisdom is not of man but of God. It comes to man from God, communicated through the Word of God (Ja. 1:5; Prov. 2:6). The psalmist says: “A good understanding” have all those who do His commandments” (Ps. 111:10; see: Deut. 4:5-6). God imparts wisdom to man through His law, His statutes, His instructions. To know the Bible is to have the wisdom of God. No wonder Paul says: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom (Col. 3:16), and to Timothy he writes: “You have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation” (II Tim. 3:15). A wise man is a man filled with God’s Truth, that is, “the word of Christ,” (Col. 3:16), “the Holy Scriptures” (II Tim. 3:15).

To get wisdom is to be blessed (Prov. 3:13-18). It is to be blessed by God who is the source of wisdom and the giver of wisdom, and it is to be blessed by the wisdom that is received from Him. 

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible,
to God who alone is wise,
be honor and glory forever and ever.
I Tim. 1:17

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