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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Personal Attributes of God

Don Stewart :: Is God a Wise God?

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Is God a Wise God?

The Personal Attributes of God – Question 4

The Bible says that God is wise. When we speak of the wisdom of God it is a combination of Him having all knowledge, being all-powerful, and knowing how to use these attributes.

The Apostle Paul acknowledged God’s wisdom. At the close of his letter to the Romans he wrote the following.

To God, who alone is wise, be the glory forever through Jesus Christ. Amen. (Romans 16:27 NLT)

According to Paul, God alone is wise.

In Job, we read about the ultimate source of wisdom, God Himself. The Bible says,

But God is the real source of wisdom and strength. (Job 12:13 CEV).

The God of Scripture is where wisdom resides.

This being the case, it is important to find out what the Bible has to say about God’s wisdom. We can make the following observations about what the Scripture teaches.

1. There Is an Intellectual Element of God’s Character

The wisdom of God may be called the intellectual element in God’s character. Wisdom is both an intellectual and moral quality. Wisdom is not merely having a large amount of knowledge it is putting the knowledge for good use.

The psalmist wrote about the wisdom of God that can be seen in His works.

O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. (Psalm 104:24 ESV)

God’s wisdom becomes evident in the things which He does.

2. God Showed His Wisdom in Creation

In the Book of Proverbs, it speaks of God’s wisdom in creating the heaven and the earth. The Bible says,

By wisdom the LORD founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens. (Proverbs 3:19 NLT)

With wisdom, the universe was created.

Jeremiah the prophet also declared that God’s power in creation was directed by His wisdom. He wrote,

It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. (Jeremiah 10:12 ESV)

This world has been established by the wisdom of God.

3. God Gave His Prophets Special Wisdom

The prophet Daniel was given special knowledge and wisdom by God to interpret the dream of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. The prophet gave this testimony.

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.” (Daniel 2:20-22 NIV)

God gives wisdom to the wise. In this case, the prophet Daniel was given wisdom to interpret the dream of this pagan king.

4. The Wisdom of God Cannot Be Comprehended by Humans

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul declared that the wisdom of God cannot be comprehended by any of us. He wrote,

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (Romans 11:33 NIV)

Indeed, we cannot discover the ways of the Lord. Neither should we attempt to do so.

Paul compared the wisdom of God to the wisdom of this evil world-system. In his first letter to the Corinthians we read that the wisdom of this world-system does not lead us to the God of the Bible. He said,

What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn’t God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish? God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him. (1 Corinthians 1:20, 21 CEV)

The wisdom of the world is foolishness compared to God’s wisdom. Indeed, this is why so few of the “wise” people have not turned to the Lord in faith. They think that they are too wise for Him, that they do not need Him. This only reveals their utter foolishness.

5. He Displays Wisdom in Dealing with Humanity

In His gracious dealings with humanity, God displays His wisdom to the various intelligences in the heavenly realm. Paul wrote about this to the Ephesians.

...so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:10 ESV)

Those in the heavenly realm witness God’s power and majesty.

Paul wished for believers to have an understanding of that divine wisdom that only the Lord can give. He wrote the following to the Colossians.

My goal is that they will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have full confidence because they have complete understanding of God’s secret plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2, 3 NLT)

In Jesus Christ, we find that the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.

6. God Applies His Knowledge for the Best Results

God has the ability to apply His knowledge in such a way that will bring about the best possible results. Because God is wise He always does the right thing, in the right way, and at the right time. God is perfect in skill in employing His omniscience that accords with His holy nature. In Job, we read,

“He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength—who has resisted him, and succeeded?” (Job 9:4 NRSV)

The knowledge that belongs to the Lord is always applied righteously. This is so important for us to understand. Nobody who tries to resist Him can succeed. Indeed, success for them is not possible.

7. We Will Not Always Understand His Wise Decisions

While all of God’s decisions are wise, this does not mean that we will always understand them. Peter wrote about how some believers will suffer according to God’s will.

So if you are suffering according to God’s will, keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you. (1 Peter 4:19 NLT)

God’s wisdom and will are not always revealed to us. Therefore, we must put our trust in Him by faith. This includes the times we are suffering.

Moses wrote about the “secret things” which belong to the Lord.

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV)

Therefore, we should not expect to always discover “why” certain things happen. All we need to know is that God is a wise and good God.

8. In the Old Testament Period, Israel Was in a Unique Position to Reveal God’s Wisdom

Moses ordered the people of Israel to obey God’s commandments. In doing so, the nations of the world would be able to see God’s wisdom as being uniquely in them. Moses wrote the following commandments.

Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?” (Deuteronomy 4:6-8 NIV)

Israel, by displaying God’s wisdom, would be a testimony of God to the world. During the entire Old Testament period they had this opportunity.

9. Today, God Works through the New Testament Church

This has all changed. Now that Jesus Christ, Israel’s promised Messiah, has come into the world God is no longer displaying His wisdom and majesty through one nation. Indeed, the wisdom of God is manifest in the New Testament church.

Today, believers can become that testimony of the wisdom of God as they display His truths in their lives.

Indeed, because God is a wise God, believers are to imitate Him and act wise. James said that God wants to give us His wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5 ESV)

We can receive God’s wisdom if we ask Him.

Therefore, it is our responsibility to ask. God has promised to answer our requests for the wisdom which He wants to give to believers.

Summary – Question 4
Is God a Wise God?

Scripture testifies that the God of the Bible is wise. Indeed, He is the only wise God. Wisdom, however, is more than mere knowledge; it is the proper use of knowledge. A number of important points need to be made.

We must note that there is an intellectual element in God’s character. While He has all-knowledge He also knows how to apply this knowledge. This is wisdom.

God display this wisdom when He deals with the human race. His dealings always bring about the best possible results.

God always does the wisest thing possible. There is no question about this. While God’s decisions are always wise, this does not mean that we will always understand them.

While God displayed His wisdom to the world through the nation Israel in the Old Testament period, today He is doing it through the New Testament church. Indeed, we are told that in Jesus Christ all the wisdom of God is hidden. Those of us who have believed in Jesus are said to be “in Christ.”

This means we can avail ourselves of God’s wisdom. Believers are to imitate God’s wisdom, and act wisely. In doing so, the world will take notice of our actions, and God will receive the glory.

Is God Good? ← Prior Section
Is God a God of Truth? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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