“Blessed (happy) is the one who finds wisdom… Get wisdom” (Proverbs 3:13, 4:5).
Perhaps never before have we, as a species, been so in need of wisdom. Which is rather ironic, since never before have we had so much knowledge.
“Wisdom” and “knowledge” are two very closely related ideas, and yet they are not the same—in Scripture or in everyday speech.
In 2021, we literally have countless “zettabytes” of information—data, facts, things we “know”—all at our fingertips, and yet we do not seem to know what any of them mean. We are choking on all of the “knowledge.”
Some would say, “We don’t simply need knowledge; we need knowledge of good and evil.”
Law is “knowledge of good and evil” in a book or written in stone.
The United States has more laws on the books than anyone seems able to count.
God once wrote ten laws in stone and gave them to Moses. And it didn’t go so well.
But the first place that we encountered “knowledge of Good and evil” was in a garden—it was hanging on a tree like fruit. We say that it was “to be desired to make one wise.” We took it. And it hasn’t gone so well.
So, what is wisdom? And how do we get it?
#1 Wisdom is a gift. You really can’t “earn” Wisdom or even judge Wisdom; Wisdom judges all things. Solomon, judge of all Israel, asked for wisdom and received it as a gift. His request so pleased God that he basically gave him all things with it. Evidently, “knowledge of Good and evil” is not evil, but taking it in the wrong way is.
#2 Wisdom is now. You can’t keep it in a book to use whenever you please, like knowledge. You can’t reduce wisdom to knowledge in a book without killing Wisdom, evidently
#3 Wisdom comes with time, even though it is received in moments. It comes with time… and pain. It is Wisdom that over time and with pain creates “Good Will” in each one of us. In the movie, “Good Will Hunting,” Will Hunting defends himself from Wisdom with knowledge until his counselor, or Wisdom, helps him face his pain.
#4 Wisdom creates; but with knowledge, we often desecrate. When I lust for knowledge, I am usually defending myself and attacking another self. But whenever I have spoken with Wisdom, it was in a moment in which I lost myself and loved another, as if Wisdom were the Logic of Love.
#5 Wisdom is a Spirit to whom we must surrender.
The book of Proverbs testifies to Wisdom. And so, it is far more than a collection of pithy sayings compiled in a book—bits of knowledge. Proverbs is the story of Wisdom; it is the Gospel according to Solomon. In Proverbs, Wisdom is a female. She calls to us—hunts us, if you will. All things were created through her. “She is your life,” writes Solomon. She “has built her house.” She calls out, “Come eat of my bread and drink of the wine that I have mixed.”
Wisdom is Life and has knowledge. So, you could kill her, theoretically, in an attempt to take her knowledge. You might succeed in a way, but you would be dead—Wisdom is “your life”—and you would be choking on knowledge.
#6 Wisdom is a person that looks like Jesus.
“But hey,” you say, “Wisdom is a gal and Jesus is a guy.” That is correct. But he has a Spirit—the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, “Spirit,” “Breath,” “Ruach,” is a feminine noun.
“In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” wrote Paul.
“God… has made him to be our wisdom.”
#7 “Wisdom is a tree of Life,” wrote Solomon.
The tree of knowledge and tree of life were both in the middle of the Garden.
In the fourth century, Ephrem the Syrian pictured the Flesh of Christ as the outer branches of the Tree of Knowledge, and of course the Life is inside.
We tore the flesh, and the Life spilled out.
So how do we get Wisdom?
Perhaps we take his life on a tree in a garden?
Dead wisdom is a type of knowledge—it is knowledge of evil.
I would suggest that this has already happened: You have knowledge… of evil; but that is not the same thing as Wisdom.
We take his life on a tree in a garden, but he fore-gives his life on the same tree in the same garden. This, too, has already happened. But unless you know it, for you have allowed Wisdom to know you, you only have knowledge; you are hiding in fig leaves and self-justifications, choking on knowledge, and unable to breathe—unable to lose your life and find it.
So how do we “let Wisdom know us”? We must return to the tree. It was there in the beginning, and it will be there at the end, but now it is with you on your journey; it probably looks like a cross.
You will return to the tree, for there is eternal seed in the fruit. Wisdom is the Seed. He dies in you and comes to life in you and his Spirit leads you home.
You surrender now and always by confessing your own judgment (your “knowledge of Good and evil”) and receiving God’s judgment: the living Word, the Logic of Love, Jesus, that is, Wisdom in the Flesh.
If you do that now and always, Wisdom has already risen from the dead within in you.
So, confess your sins. Believe his Mercy. And say, “Thank you.”
That’s Wisdom, and you are His Body.
You got Wisdom, for Wisdom suffered, died, and rose from the dead to get you.