What is Wisdom?
For this lesson we are going to look at what the definition of wisdom is according to the Bible.
King Solomon is widely known as the wisest man who ever lived. It was also King Solomon who wrote the book of Proverbs in the Bible. But where did King Solomon get his wisdom and what is wisdom exactly? Many people are familiar with the story where God appeared to Solomon in a dream at night and told Solomon that he could ask for anything to be given to him. We read about this in 1 Kings 3:5 “In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.” What did he ask for? Yes! It was wisdom! Many Bibles have even added a heading for this story “Solomon asks for wisdom”.
In 1 Kings 3:12 God said that he asked for wisdom and wisdom was given to him, “Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.”
The Spirit of Prophecy is also clear that Solomon asked for wisdom, “The wisdom that Solomon desired above riches, honor, or long life, God gave him.” Prophets and Kings, p. 31
So now we know that Solomon asked for wisdom and it was given to him by God. But what exactly is this wisdom? If we know what Solomon exactly asked for, then we will know what God calls wisdom. So what is it exactly that Solomon asked for that God calls wisdom?
1 Kings 3:9 “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?”
Solomon asked for the ability to discern between good and bad. He did not even use the word wisdom, but God identified it as wisdom. So what is wisdom according to God, and according to the Bible? Wisdom is to be able to discern between good and evil.
In a previous lesson entitled “What does it mean to Fear God?” we saw that the Bible teaches in Proverbs 8:13 that to Fear God is to hate evil, and thus love good.
So when the Bible says in Proverbs 9:10 that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”, then it means that to love what God calls good and hate what God calls evil is the beginning of discerning between good and evil.
In Proverbs 15:33 the Bible says “the fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom”. What does this mean? It means that to love what God calls good and hate what God calls evil teaches us how to discern between true good and evil.
God gave wisdom to Solomon so that he can discern between good and evil. God also wants you and me to discern between good and evil.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Why don’t you claim this promise by faith today?