J.I. Packer’s Picture of Wisdom

In his book Knowing God, J.I. Packer gives an interesting, and I believe, Biblical, view of wisdom: Here is my shot at paraphrasing and recapturing his thoughts:

Many people believe wisdom is having prefect insight into all of God’s dealing. In other words, they would say wisdom is being able to comprehend why God allows and causes certain things to happen. For instance, says Packer, if we were at a train station, we would see trains coming and going. Some on schedule. Some late. We would not understand why unless we were given access to the information of where every train on the tracks was at. With such knowledge we could see why some trains were forced to slow down or delay because of the location of other trains.

This is NOT however the Biblical definition of wisdom. Being wise doesn’t mean that we understand how everything in life connects. Being wise is understanding that even though we do not have perfect insight into every life-situation we can revere the God who does.

As a Pastor, many times people come to me seeking how and why God could allow certain things to happen. Let it be known, I do not know. I do not have perfect insight in the the movements of life. But I do know the One who does and so can you. We can trust that though we do not have such ability, God does. God is both sovereign and good. All-knowing and All-loving. All-powerful and full of grace. He will ultimately work all things for His glory and the good of those who love Him. In light of this, we can trust Him, serve Him, and strive to respond to everything in a way that pleases. This is WISDOM!

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Proverbs 9:10

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

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