The Need for Wisdom


How has life been treating you? Are you faced with pressures? Is it a struggle to make ends meet? Do people often misunderstand your intentions? Are you making headway in life or do things seem at a standstill, fruitless and meaningless? Can you count it a joy when you face various trials? Maybe something in this article can help you make sense out of life’s issues.


Most of us can identify Proverbs as a book of wisdom, yet we can find wisdom throughout the Scriptures.


In a recent Bible study we were going through the book of James (you know the “faith without works is dead” book) and in my personal study I was reading through Proverbs. At this point I realized how much James had to say about wisdom.


I thought ‘Wisdom’ was something you asked for, you kind of stored it up, kept it on a back shelf for a time when you could pull it out, dust it off and like magic pull off an astounding feat - make a wise choice or make an incredible pronouncement.


Wisdom (as defined by Word Web):

The trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight

Accumulated knowledge or erudition or enlightenment

Ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight


What if one does not have the right knowledge, or experience, or insight, or understanding? Common sense seems to be in short supply also.


James helps us identify two kinds of wisdom, one bad and one good:

                          an earthy, natural, demonic wisdom which is evidenced by bitter jealousy and selfish ambition (James 3:14-16 NAS unless noted)

                          one from above which is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy (James 3:17).



Strong’s Greek # 4678   n f  AV-wisdom  51


1) wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters

1a) the wisdom which belongs to men

1b) supreme intelligence, such as belongs to God

1b1) to Christ

1b2) the wisdom of God as evinced in forming and executing counsels in the formation and government of the world and the scriptures


As in Luke 21:15 Yeshua says:  “for I will give you utterance and wisdom <4678> which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.”



1108 denotes knowledge by itself,

4678 denotes wisdom as exhibited in action,

1108 applies chiefly to the apprehension of truths,

4678 adds the power of reasoning about them and tracing their relationships.



4678 sofia is certainly the highest word of all these. It is properly

wisdom.  It denotes mental excellence in the highest and fullest

sense, expressing an attitude as well as an act of the mind.

It comprehends knowledge and implies goodness, including the striving

after the highest ends, as well as the using of the best means for

their attainment. It is never ascribed to any one but God and good

men, except in a plainly ironical sense.


James 3:13   Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.


James is showing us wisdom is something we act upon. To have wisdom means you are doing or using it. It is being exhibited in measurable ways. Of course we want to be exhibiting the wisdom from above. If you will note most of the Scriptures about wisdom and the wise will be expressed in or for some type of action.


Going back to James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


James begins his letter by telling us to count our trials a joy, that this will produce endurance if we succeed. Do you understand all about how this joy in various trials can produce a complete, perfect you - lacking nothing? I believe James is telling us to ask for the supreme intelligence, such as belongs to God – (verse 5) But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. So we can count our trials a joy – knowing we are His children – knowing the outcome will produce a faith leading to perfection.


James is assuring us that if we need wisdom (understanding) about what is happening in our life then ask God for His wisdom about it, for He gives generously and without reproach.


Generously (Strong’s #574  Adv - simply, openly, frankly, sincerely).


What does “without reproach” mean?

Some other translations say:

-          without scolding (NJB)

-          without finding fault (NIV)

-          He will not resent your asking (NLT)



Strong’s #3679   a verb meaning:  to reproach, upbraid, revile: (Express criticism towards - "The president reproached the general for his irresponsible behavior").


One of the most dramatic, generous giving of wisdom by YHVH is found in

1 Kings 3: 5-14   In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, "Ask what you wish me to give you." Then Solomon said, "You have shown great loving kindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great loving kindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. "Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. "Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. "So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?" It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. God said to him, "Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. "I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. "If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days."


1 Kings 4:29  Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind




Humility and wisdom:

It is evident that Solomon was humbly asking for wisdom (vs. 6-9), humility seems to be a key to wisdom. Proverbs 11:2  …But with the humble is wisdom.



“Humility is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”            Thomas Jefferson



James tells us we need to ask for wisdom in faith (1:6), he also is high on humility:

James 1:21  Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.


James 4:6  But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."


James 4:10  Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.



“True humility comes when before God we see ourselves as nothing,

 have put aside self, and let God be all.”                                Andrew Murray






Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in LORD (YHWH) with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths,

Acknowledging God is trusting Him – talking to Him – praising Him.



Acknowledging YHVH is wisdom:

Proverbs 3:19  The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens.



Deuteronomy 4: 5-6  "See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the LORD my God commanded me ... "So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding …


Job 28:28  "And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’"



Proverbs 9:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.


Hosea 14:9  Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.



Matthew 7:24  "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.


To acknowledge YHVH, as the Creator, to hear and obey is to acknowledge Him. To have that Wisdom we need to be ever mindful of His presence in our lives by living according to His words, by praising Him. Witnessing of Him is acknowledging Him.




Acknowledge [as defined by Word Web]

- Declaring to be true or admitting the existence or reality or truth of

 - Reporting the receipt of

 - Expressing recognition of the presence or existence of, or acquaintance with

 - Expressing obligation, thanks, or gratitude for

 - Accepting as legally binding and valid

 - Accepting to be what is claimed or accepting his power and authority.

Try going back and inserting YHVH in each listed point.



Who gives wisdom?

Proverbs 2:6  For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.


Daniel 1:17  As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams…20  As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.


Daniel 2:20  Daniel said, "Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. 21  "It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.


Luke 21:15  for I (Yeshua) will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.



Who is this wisdom?

Proverbs 8:12  "I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion.


Proverbs 8:14  "Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine.


1 Corinthians 1:24  but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.



Who has wisdom?

Proverbs 11:2  But with the humble is wisdom.


Psalms 19:7  The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.



How much better is wisdom?

Ecclesiastes 2:13  And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.


Proverbs 8:11  "For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her.


Romans 11:33  Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God



Any profit from wisdom?

2 Samuel 14:20 (about David)  ... But my lord is wise, like the wisdom of the angel of God, to know all that is in the earth."


Proverbs 3:35  The wise will inherit honor ...


Ecclesiastes 7:12  For wisdom is protection … But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors.


Ecclesiastes 8:1  A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.


Ecclesiastes 10:10  If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.


Ecclesiastes 8:5  He who keeps a royal command experiences no trouble, for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure.



Value is avoiding strife (war).

Ecclesiastes 9:18  Wisdom is better than weapons of war


1 Kings 5:12  The LORD gave wisdom to Solomon, just as He promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a covenant.


Ecclesiastes 9:15  But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom



Having wisdom profits others:

1 Kings 10:4  When the queen of Sheba perceived all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, … 8  "How blessed are your men, how blessed are these your servants who stand before you continually and hear your wisdom.



Yeshua the Messiah has the spirit of wisdom:

Isaiah 11:2  The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.


Jeremiah 10:12  It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.


Luke 11:31   The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them. For she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. (KJV)


1 Corinthians 1:30  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,


Colossians 1:2-3 resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.



YHVH (Yeshua) gives wisdom no one can stand against:

1 Kings 3:12  behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.


Luke 21:15  for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.


Acts 6:10  But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he (Stephen) was speaking.


1 Corinthians 12:8  For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;


Ephesians 1: 7-8  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight



Paul prays for the spirit of wisdom upon the assembly:

Ephesians 1:17  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.


Colossians 1:9  For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,



Paul had the wisdom from above:

2 Peter 3:15  and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,



The earthy – Worldly (Man’s wisdom):


There is a wisdom opposed to YHVH and/or Yeshua’s Wisdom:

Genesis 3:6  When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.


Isaiah 19:11  The princes of Zoan are mere fools; The advice of Pharaoh’s wisest advisers has become stupid. …


Jeremiah 8:9  "The wise men are put to shame, They are dismayed and caught; Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, And what kind of wisdom do they have?


Matthew 11:25  At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.


Romans 1:22  Professing to be wise, they became fools,


1 Corinthians 1:19-20  For it is written, "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE." Where is the wise man? … Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?


1 Corinthians 3:19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God.



Caution - consider:

Deuteronomy 16:19  "You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.


Deuteronomy 32:29  "Would that they were wise, that they understood this, That they would discern their future!


Job 9:4  "Wise in heart and mighty in strength, Who has defied Him without harm?


Job 32:9  "The abundant in years may not be wise, Nor may elders understand justice.


Psalms 36:3  The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good.


Proverbs 26:12  Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.


Ecclesiastes 9:11  I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.


Can we discern the events of our times?

Jeremiah 9: 12-15   Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined, laid waste like a desert, so that no one passes through? The LORD said, "Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it,  but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them," therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink.

Seems some have forgotten to acknowledge their Creator.


Jeremiah 9:23  Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;


Romans 12:16  Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.


Romans 16:19  be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.


1 Corinthians 1:26  For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;…


1 Corinthians 6:5  I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren,


Ephesians 5:15  Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,





Psalms 107:43  Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, And consider the loving kindnesses of the LORD.


Proverbs 1:3  To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity;


Ecclesiastes 7:16  Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?





Proverbs 6:6  Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise,


Proverbs 10:14  Wise men store up knowledge, …


Proverbs 10:19  When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.


Proverbs 12:15  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.


Proverbs 13:14  The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn aside from the snares of death.


Proverbs 13:20  He who walks with wise men will be wise


Proverbs 14:16  A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil…


Proverbs 15:2  The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable...


Proverbs 16:23  The heart of the wise instructs his mouth And adds persuasiveness to his lips.


Proverbs 17:28  Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.


Proverbs 19:20  Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.


Proverbs 21:20  There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up.


Proverbs 22:17  Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your mind to my knowledge;


Proverbs 24:23  These also are sayings of the wise. To show partiality in judgment is not good.


Proverbs 26:5  Answer a fool as his folly deserves, That he not be wise in his own eyes.


Proverbs 29:11  A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.


Ecclesiastes 4:13  A poor yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction.


Ecclesiastes 7:5  It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man Than for one to listen to the song of fools.


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