January 05, 2008

Wise Guys

Deuteronomy 4:1-8

"Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people."
Deuteronomy 4:6


Older people are often wiser than younger ones, we say, because they've learned from past experience. Failure to learn from the ups and downs of life is folly.

There are many wise and understanding people in the world: thoughtful parents and diplomats, understanding judges and teachers, fine finishing carpenters and seamstresses-all 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 in the sun and rain of human experience. God's Word was Israel's wisdom; no nation had such a righteous and just law. Without this God and his Word, there can be no true wisdom (Psalm 53:1).

Without the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7; 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 (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).

Long experience in education, parenting, medicine, gardening, or computers 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 of God (see 1 Corinthians 13).

Lord, hold us fast in Jesus Christ, 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.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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