Where did wisdom come from? What is the value of wisdom? When did Wisdom begin and how? Let’s look at Proverbs 8 today to learn the origin of wisdom.
So many verses in each chapter of Proverbs so far, contain these words: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, good judgment, discernment, advice, and guidance. These terms all apply somehow to wisdom, although they do not all equal wisdom. A person can be given knowledge, for example, or guidance, or counsel, but until they use what they are given, they have not applied this knowledge correctly, they do not have wisdom. An example of this is in raising my children. I can read books and listen to information all day(have knowledge, advice, guidance, understanding), but until I have applied what I know, I do not have wisdom, so hopefully I can give it to others.
Defining Wisdom Vs Knowledge
Wisdom is defined as the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge and good judgment. An additional definition is the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgment. Also, the quality of being wise. Webster’s Unabridged dictionary defines wisdom as “knowledge and the capacity to make due use of it.”
So, what is the definition between knowledge and wisdom? Knowledge is simply knowing.
Wisdom, though, means the ability to apply the knowledge. Using good judgment is a way to apply knowledge, so yes, wisdom is used, not only knowledge. Understanding is the accurate knowledge of how the world works in fundamental ways(https://joshkaufman.net/). Another way to apply wisdom is through discernment. Discernment is the ability to judge well, to make a smart judgment about something. It is a wise way of judging between things, or a particularly perceptive way of seeing things.
So, what is the opposite of being wise? It is being simple or foolish. Solomon tried SO hard with his wife to instill wisdom in his children’s life, at least in this time period when he wrote the book of Proverbs. He did not want to see his children go down a bad path and pay hard consequences, even death, for what they did. When he describes what happens with adultery in previous chapters, he really makes a point to tell them that the consequences of being with an adulterous woman will lead to death.
So look at Verse 1 in Chapter 8. “Listen as wisdom calls out!” I call to you, I raise my voice to you! I have important things to tell you! He tells the simple people to use good judgment and he tells the foolish people(opposite of wise) to show some understanding. Verse 8 states that wisdom’s advice is wholesome, they are easy to understand and there is nothing crooked or wrong in wisdom. This covers the first 10 verses in this chapter.
The Value of Wisdom
Verses 10-21 state that the value of wisdom is better than riches, silver, gold, rubies. Wisdom pays for more than silver. The gifts that wisdom provides are better than even the purest gold. Think for a minute about if you are already married or are looking for a spouse. If you looked to the Lord in wisdom, for the best person to marry, is God’s wisdom in this area worth having? Did He bless you when you sought His wisdom? Is it worth more than gold to find a spouse that is best for you? God will bless us when we use wisdom He offers. Life will be better. It won’t be without any trials or tribulations because that is part of being in this world and having a relationship with Him. Using wisdom though to make the best decisions, will make life better.
Where Did Wisdom Come From?
Verses 22-31 The Lord formed me from the beginning.
We can see by this description, wisdom has been around since the beginning, even before God created the earth, when He was establishing the heavens. Before He created ANYTHING else, according to verse 27, Wisdom existed. Wisdom was EVEN God’s Architect! according to verse 30.
- In ages past, before the earth began
- Before oceans created, springs bubbled with waters, mountains formed, hills created, earth, fields and first handfuls of soil created.
- I was there when He established heavens
- When He drew the horizon on the oceans, He set the clouds above, He established springs deep in the earth, He set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries
- He marked off the earths foundations, I(wisdom) was the architect at His side. I was His constant delight, and rejoiced always in His presence
- How happy I was with the world He created
- And I rejoiced with the human family!
Again, Listen! If You Don’t…
So, my children, listen to me!, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But those who miss me injure themselves. All who hate me love death.Proverbs 8:32-36
Again, we see the value of loving and applying wisdom and the consequences of declining and hating wisdom.
So, as long as wisdom has been around and as precious and valuable as it is, is it worth listening to others with wisdom and applying wisdom? I would say so!