And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
1 Corinthians 1:30
I’m afraid of being stupid. I realized it a few years ago.
None of us wants to be dumb. We all need wisdom.
- To make godly decisions
- To raise children who know the Lord
- To love others in helpful ways
- To glorify God in word and deed
Who’s the wisest man who ever lived? Solomon? He asked God for wisdom when he could have asked for anything (1 Kings 3:9). He subsequently authored much of the wisdom literature in the Bible.
Yet someone wiser than Solomon is here: Jesus (Matthew 12:42). In the Bible we typically seek His wisdom in the gospels where we see Him teaching about wisdom and living wisely (Matthew 13:54).
But Jesus can also be found in the wisdom literature of the Old Testament (2 Timothy 3:15).
THE WISDOM OF HUMILITY (JOB)
When Job suffered greatly as an apparently innocent man, his friends tried to find a reason. He obviously hadn’t been wise about keeping a rule or two; why else would he have lost so much? Eventually Job himself demanded answers from God (Job 3:11 ff).
But here we see foreshadowing of another Man who suffered—despite total innocence. Not only did He not question God about it, He wisely chose to obey at painful costs to Himself.
His wisdom teaches us to let go of demanding the answers. Instead, we’re to throw ourselves on His mercy in humility. Even when we don’t understand. Maybe especially when we don’t understand.
THE WISDOM OF WORSHIP (PSALMS)
The authors of these songs put word to emotions, not only for themselves, but also for us. Jesus Himself often quoted the Psalms (Psalm 31:5, for example).
In these laments, confessions, and praises, we learn to choose the wisdom of worship, verbalizing our adoration of and to Wisdom Himself—the Rock we rest on, the Refuge we hide in, the Shepherd we walk behind.
THE WISDOM OF THE WAY (PROVERBS)
We learn in this series of sayings that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Solomon urged over and over to choose the way of wisdom over the way of foolishness.
But what we know that he didn’t is that Jesus is the Way, the truth, and the life. He is wisdom personified (Proverbs 8:17), and to be truly wise, we’ll seek Him, empowered by His Spirit in us to choose the right over wrong that Solomon was preaching about.
THE WISDOM OF HOPE (ECCLESIASTES)
This book contains questions that can haunt us still: What is life’s true meaning? What is my purpose? Is all really hopeless?
While the world’s wisdom leaves us empty of lasting answers (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18), eternal wisdom from hoping in Jesus fills us up. In Him we live and love with meaning. Instead of chasing after knowledge, we chase after Him. Only then do we find purpose renewed and hope restored.
THE WISDOM OF CONNECTION (SONG OF SOLOMON)
Whether you see this collection of poems as an analogy or as pure story, this message comes across: the intimacy of love is to be desired (Song of Solomon 1:4).
While the original audience knew about God, they lacked full knowledge about Jesus. But from our vantage point in history, we see God’s wisdom in creating a beloved bride for the perfect Bridegroom. We are wise to recognize and delight in the love of the One who makes us His spotless bride.
Study deeper in these Old Testament books to find more.
And as you do, remember: True wisdom isn’t one more piece of knowledge we learn; it’s a Person we can know.
Which of the five Wisdom Books is your favorite? Why? Do you see Jesus in it?
For more on Jesus in the wisdom literature, see Nancy Guthrie’s The Wisdom of God: Seeing Jesus in the Psalms & Wisdom Books