The Book of Proverbs tells us, “Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favour from the Lord. But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death” (Prov. 8:34-36). Indeed, there is a growing need to listen to and seek after wisdom. We are living at a time when fools abound—they have depraved minds. In his Psalm, King David said, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good” (Psalm 14:1). For us to be able to live godly lives, we need wisdom. But what is wisdom? Wisdom is not only the ability to apply knowledge in a given situation, but the ability to discern what is good and evil.
In his epistle, the apostle James emphasized that there are two kinds of wisdom – earthly and heavenly. He said, “If you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual and demonic. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:14-17). It is imperative that believers seek heavenly wisdom, for the obvious reason that earthly wisdom is of the devil. Wisdom calls that we be peacemakers and project the life of Christ in us. If we lack wisdom, we need to ask God and he gives generously.
When King Solomon was installed as king of Israel, he was young and inexperienced. He found the task of governing God’s people, the Israelites, a formidable task. When God appeared to him and asked what he wanted, King Solomon did not hesitate to admit his inadequacy and responded, “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 King 3:9). For not asking for anything else but wisdom, God was pleased. He gave King Solomon wisdom and a bonus. He said, “Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings” (1 King 3:11-13).
Wisdom requires that we be watchful. Even the Lord Jesus Christ commanded his disciples to watch and pray, lest they fall into temptation (Matt. 26:41). For failing to watch and pray, even the apostle Peter, who earlier professed his strong support for the Lord Jesus Christ, succumbed to temptations. He did not only fail once, but three times, when he denied Jesus Christ three times. On his part, the apostle Paul admonished believers to watch when he said, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim. 4:16). Unless we watch our life and doctrine, we might end up denying Jesus also—not with our words, but by the way we live our lives. If our lives do not project our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have denied him.
Wisdom also demands that we be patient. It is prudent for us not to rush. We are told that “to answer before listening—that is folly and shame” (Prov. 18:13). For us to be able to answer properly, we need to digest the information we receive. For us to blurt out whatever thought comes to our mind in response to a message that we were hardly understand is foolishness. In James’ epistle, this truth was re-emphasized when he said, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak” (James 1:19).
While wisdom is supreme, how do we get it? The Book of Proverbs tells us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). While this might not be very clear to many, the apostle Paul revealed the true source of this godly wisdom when he said, “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). Jesus is our wisdom. If we have him in our lives, we have the wisdom that comes from God. Therefore, let us seek him, listen to him, watch with him and wait for his second coming. Indeed, he is coming soon, bringing his reward to be given to those who are watching and waiting for him. Hallelujah!