In the book of Daniel chapter 12, verse 3, we read these words: "Those who are wise will shine, like the brightness of the heavens."
I do not know what you think about the topic of wisdom, but to me there seems to be a lack of it. The wisdom Daniel describes, heavenly wisdom that shines bright from the heavens, appears to be in short supply.
Common sense is missing. Right seems wrong and wrong seems right in the world we live in today. Even simple logic has disappeared from the decision making process. However, in the book of James, the subject of wisdom is discussed, and he makes some interesting points.
For example, in chapter 1, verse 5, James states, "If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously." How novel - going to God for wisdom. What do you think would happen at a personal level, at a family level, at a governmental level if we got on our knees and sought heavenly wisdom from above for the answers to our problems? Would we save ourselves, our families, and our society some pain and grief?
Next, James discusses two kinds of wisdom in the third chapter of his book. Beginning in chapter 3, verse 13, he makes some interesting observations about these two kinds.
First, there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is what we know; and wisdom is how we live and apply what we know. However, the crux of James discussion centers on the idea that there exists two types of wisdom.
One type is earthly wisdom. It is not from heaven. If we follow it, we descend into confusion, disharmony, unrest and a general state of disorder.
The second kind, however, is wisdom from God. James tells us that this wisdom is pure. In addition, he goes on to say that it is peaceable, gentle and conciliatory. Therefore, instead of disorder, we reap all the benefits of a wise God, the source of all wisdom. And if God is the source of this wisdom, we will find order.
If earthly wisdom breeds disorder and heavenly wisdom brings order, what kind of wisdom do you think is permeating our decision making processes? I would suggest that we are dealing with the problems that confront us, as individuals and as a society, by primarily relying on earthly wisdom.
Unfortunately, it is not a pretty picture. Confusion, disharmony, unrest and disorder reign just as James predicts.
Perhaps it is time we all get on our hands and knees and seek heavenly guidance from an all knowing God, who is the source of wisdom.
It is my belief that by doing this, God can make sense out of all the questions that confront us as we live out our lives in a world that often makes no sense.
- Messinger is the pastor at Cedar Run Baptist Church.