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Bible Topics: Wisdom
Definition: The God-given ability to judge or discern correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding; learning and experience acquired over a period of time; ability to see beneath the surface of things.
1. Wisdom is an invaluable gift of God.
- Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
- Job 28:12-19 Where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 13 Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. 15 It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. 17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
- Proverbs 3:13,14 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. [See also Pro:16:16.]
- Proverbs 8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
2. Wisdom is one of the most important virtues in life.
- Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
- Ecclesiastes 7:19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.
- Ecclesiastes 9:16a,18a Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength. 18a Wisdom is better than weapons of war.
- Ecclesiastes 7:12 Wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
- Isaiah 33:6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times.
3. Wisdom -- or the lack of it -- can make the difference between success and failure, victory and defeat.
- Proverbs 2:10-12 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things.
- Proverbs 3:21-23 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
- Proverbs 4:5,6 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
- Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
- Ephesians 5:15,16 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
4. Wisdom begins with a fear (reverence, respect) of the Lord.
- Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. [See also Psalm 111:10a .]
- Job 28:28 And unto man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
- Proverbs 8:13,14 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. 14 Counsel is Mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
- Proverbs 15:33a The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom.
5. Wisdom is the ability to see matters as the Lord sees them, in order to judge them correctly.
- John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
- 1 Samuel 16:7b For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
- Proverbs 24:23 These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
- Isaiah 55:8,9 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
- John 5:30 I can of Mine Own Self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine Own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.
- John 8:15,16 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 16 And yet if I judge, My judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me.
6. Wisdom is to rightly apply and then follow the Word of God. It is built upon a knowledge and understanding of God's Word.
- Deuteronomy 4:5,6 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. 6 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.
- Psalm 19:7b The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
- Psalm 119:98-100 Thou through Thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts.
- Psalm 119:104 Through Thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
- Psalm 119:130 The entrance of Thy Words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
- Psalm 119:169b Give me understanding according to Thy Word.
- Matthew 7:24,25 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
- Colossians 3:16a Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
- 2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto Salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. [See also verses 16-17 and 2 Timothy 2:15 .]
7. We behave wisely when we prayerfully look to the Lord for guidance.
- Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
- Isaiah 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
- Isaiah 48:17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
- Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
- Hosea 6:3a Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.
8. Wisdom is also gained through godly counsel, correction and instruction.
- Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.
- Proverbs 9:8b,9 Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
- Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
- Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
- Proverbs 13:10b With the well advised is wisdom.
- Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
- Proverbs 15:31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
- Proverbs 19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
- Ecclesiastes 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
9. Personal experience also teaches wisdom.
- Deuteronomy 32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.
- Job 32:7 I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
- Job 12:12 With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
10. Wisdom is a gift of the Spirit, which we can receive by petitioning God.
- 1 Corinthians 12:7,8 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.
- James 1:5 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.
- John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. [See also John 16:13 .]
- 1 Corinthians 2:9,10,12,13 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
- Ephesians 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
- 1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction [anointing] from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
11. Though wisdom is a gift of God, we must earnestly seek it and apply ourselves to receive it.
- Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
- Proverbs 2:1-6,9 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
- Proverbs 5:1,2 My son, attend unto My wisdom, and bow thine ear to My understanding: 2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.
- Proverbs 8:33,35 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. 35 For whoso findeth Me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.
- Proverbs 18:15 The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
12. The Lord gives His wisdom to those who do not trust in their own.
- 1 Kings 3:7-12 [Solomon's prayer, when he became king:] And now, O Lord my God, Thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which Thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine
enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 12 Behold, I have done according to Thy Words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
- Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
- Proverbs 11:2b With the lowly is wisdom.
- Proverbs 23:4b Cease from thine own wisdom.
- Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in Spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the [worldly] wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes [the unlearned]: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight.
13. The wisdom of this world is not the wisdom of God.
- 1 Corinthians 3:18,19 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
- Proverbs 26:12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
- Isaiah 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
- Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
- James 3:14-17 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from Above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
14. Wisdom and obedience to God go hand in hand.
- Psalm 111:10b A good understanding have all they that do His commandments.
- Psalm 119:34,35 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
- Ecclesiastes 2:26a For God giveth to a man that is good in His sight [obedient to Him] wisdom, and knowledge, and joy. [See also 2 Timothy 1:13,14 .]
15. The common sense that the Lord gives about practical matters is also a part of His gift of wisdom.
- Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
- Exodus 31:1-6 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: 3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. 6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee. [See also Exodus 36:2 .]
16. It's wise to be prayerful and cautious.
- Ecclesiastes 8:5 A wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.
- Proverbs 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
- Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
- James 1:19,20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
17. In conversation, the wise are sometimes silent, never hasty, always prayerful.
- Job 13:5 O that ye would altogether hold your peace! And it should be your wisdom.
- Job 15:2,3 Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind? 3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk? Or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?
- Proverbs 10:32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.
- Proverbs 17:27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
- James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
18. When we are guided by the Lord's wisdom, the results are always good.
- Proverbs 16:20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.
- Proverbs 19:8 He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.
- James 3:17,18 But the wisdom that is from Above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
- Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
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