“Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” Verse 6 (NIV)
In some cultures, age is immediately crowned with respect and it is assumed there is much wisdom accumulated in this person. It is believed that with age has come the experience of learning from past victories and mistakes.
There are many wise and understanding people in the world: thoughtful parents and diplomats, understanding judges and teachers, fine finishing carpenters and seamstresses – all of whom practice a form of wisdom. God created the world in such a way that people can be wise and understanding.
Israel’s wisdom, however, did not emerge from long years of human experience. God’s Word was Israel’s wisdom; no nation had such a righteous and just law. God’s law would set Israel apart from all other nations. Without God and his Word, there can be no true wisdom.
Without the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 9:10), all human wisdom comes to nothing. Living by the message of the cross of Jesus may look like foolishness in the eyes of the world, but it makes us wise and understanding in God’s eyes.
Long experience in education, parenting, medicine, gardening, computers or any other vocation or discipline will make you wise – sort of. In a technical way you will have great understanding, and this may even help make the world a better place. But if you do not fear the Lord, you cannot be truly wise, for you will lack the love and wisdom of God.
Father, keep us close in Jesus, who is your wisdom for us, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Fill us with the wisdom of your love, we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.