Chapter 2 Wisdom–What Is It Exactly?
Wisdom is the main thing, but what exactly is it? It seems so mystical, so ethereal, so other-worldly. It is just a little bit intimidating and mysterious when you try to figure out what wisdom is according to man’s conception of it. So you go to the scripture of truth and find the definition of it in Job 28:28: “…Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” I read the words but I’m not much closer in comprehending just what that means. I consult a dictionary and find that “fear” means reverential awe and respect. “Awe” is defined as an emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired as by authority, genius, great beauty, or might. So then, the scripture of truth says that the main thing, the principal thing is to be awestruck, to have this awe and profound respect of our Maker.
When we realize just who He is and how powerful and wonderful He is, then more awe will come over us. Solomon, who had it all as far as worldly riches was concerned, summed it all up in Ecclesiastes 12:13: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.” Be in awe and respect Him and keep his ten commandment law, and you will be doing your duty.
Awe and respect of God—that is wisdom, and that is the key to open the door to God’s heart. But what are we humans in awe of? “Oh, she’s awesome! Oh, he’s awesome!” is heard when a movie star comes on TV plugging their next movie. Hollywood is awesome? Sports stars and music stars of pop and rock are awesome? We humans have sold out to very poor gods who cannot deliver. These movie and music idols offer nothing to their worshippers. But they are modern mankind’s idols. Isn’t it amazing that modern man idolizes personalities who make millions by being something other than what they really are? Our movie idols are phony; they are not real.
Your god is
who you are in awe of
Your god is who you are in awe of. Man has it built into his makeup to be in awe of something. It is man’s nature to think that something or someone is awesome. Sometimes it is a star; sometimes it is himself. But man is in awe of something or someone.
To be in awe, then, is the first step in worship. So, it turns out that man is in awe of almost everything except God. Humans will go onto a mountaintop and exclaim how awe-inspiring the view is and how the waterfall in the distance is awesome. Man is in awe of things of the earth and this world. Therefore, man just doesn’t have any true wisdom from above because to be awestruck of Him is wisdom.
How does one get wisdom? “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering…” James l: 5-7. Faith is assurance that He will do what he said He will do without you having to see or feel it beforehand. Faith believes and is assured before you receive whatever you ask for. When you waver, you are not totally sure that He will do what He said He would do.
So, we then ask Him for that emotion of being in awe of Him, instead of some worldly figure or thing–and we ask with assurance.
This may sound like a dumb question, but one may wonder just what is He and what has He done to warrant such awe. Go outside on a clear night and count the billions of stars. With the new Hubbel space telescope, the astronomers have reported recently that there are 12 billion galaxies like ours! That’s galaxies like our Milky Way which have hundreds of millions of stars—one of which, of course, is our sun. Now I know why the Great Creator was perplexed by the ancients’ worship of the sun. The sun is small fry—very small potatoes.
We’ve got to get back to the Supreme Power that created all of this flabbergasting universe. And when we begin to get a tiny glimpse of the majesty of this kind of power that created all things, then that’s the beginning of wisdom.