Get the Advantage!
The meaning of wisdom is simple. It is the teaching of a personal God who is holy and just, who expects those who know him to exhibit his character in many practical affairs of life. It is expressed in shrewdness (Harris, Archer & Waltke, 1980, The Wordbook of the Old Testament, Vol. I, p 283).
If you’re looking for an edge that will alter your life, simply apply wisdom. Victory will come your way—it’s guaranteed. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success (Ecclesiastes 10:10 NASB). Remember, you must view victory from God’s perspective.
This doesn’t mean everything will be just as you picture it. The Lord always wants what is best for you, but his timetable and perspective are different from ours. It isn’t easy, but with perseverance, victory will come. In the meantime, consider what God wants you to learn from your experiences.
Wisdom doesn’t want you to suffer needlessly, because of bad choices. You already know that hardship and adversity ravage your soul. Instead, get wisdom, because wisdom is the principal thing you need (Proverbs 4:7), more valuable than the highest-quality gold or fine jewels. With training and practice, you can make wise decisions.
Wisdom will teach you to be perceptive, to detect the evil before you. The Bible says that wisdom has built her house … [on] seven pillars (Proverbs 9:1). They are the secure foundation she rests upon. We can use these pillars to develop shrewdness and learn to do what is sensible yet harmless, just as Jesus instructed.
The author of Proverbs does not directly state the seven pillars. I think it is a riddle that is meant to be solved. Perhaps he chuckled a little, because he understood that it takes hard work and devoted study to figure out what the pillars are. He wanted you and me to search for the answers and learn to be wise.
Bible commentaries offer various opinions, but they don’t agree. Some say that the seven pillars of Solomon’s temple are the foundation of wisdom. Another source lists them as purity, peaceableness, gentleness, reasonableness, helpfulness, humility, and sincerity. Yet, some of these words are synonymous in the Hebrew language; therefore, they don’t add up to seven. For instance, purity and sincerity mean practically the same thing in Hebrew and Greek. For further proof, compare the meanings of these words in the original Greek (Biblehub.com is a great source).
In my study, I took into consideration the purpose of the entire book of Proverbs revealed in the first chapter.
To know wisdom and instruction,
perceive the words of understanding,
receive the instruction of wisdom,
justice, judgment, and equity;
give prudence to the naïve,
And to the young man knowledge and discretion.
I wondered if the pillars and the purpose were perhaps the same, with sort of a dual function. Then, I deduced that the pillars must be as follows: understanding, instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity, prudence for the naïve, and knowledge and discretion for youth.
- We can’t get understanding until we know God.
- It is impossible to exhibit wise behavior without understanding.
- A willingness to listen and be ready to receive instruction in righteousness is imperative.
- Do you want justice? In truth, you and I deserve punishment for our sinful nature.
- Do you want everything to be fair? Believers are spared because Jesus took their punishment.
- You must be cautious or prudent, not naïve when you make decisions.
- You must learn to use knowledge and discretion to avoid disaster. The younger you learn it, the better.
If these are indeed the seven pillars, they provide a firm foundation for wisdom. They are for our benefit. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, (1 Corinthians 1:30 NASB). In James 1:5, God promises to give liberally to all who ask him for wisdom.
Ask him for wisdom today.
Looking for more on the meaning of Wisdom? Check out my book Wisdom’s High Way on Amazon.