Hello and welcome to episode 71 of The Berean Manifesto brought to you by The Ekklesian House.This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we’re going to take a look at wisdom.
Proverbs 8:11 says, “For wisdom is better than jewels, and nothing desirable can equal it.”Yet, it’s this intangible thing that is difficult to even define.Sitting down to write this podcast I found it difficult with any certainty to narrow down exactly what I would even say that wisdom is.Conventional thinking says that wisdom is to use good judgement, based off of knowledge and experience.However, I’ve heard it said that knowledge is knowing that you’re turning onto a one way street; whereas wisdom is still looking both ways before you pull out.
So how do we attain something that is “better than jewels, and nothing desirable can equal it,” when it’s so elusive that’s it’s difficult to even define?Proverbs 9:7-9 tells us, “The one who corrects a mocker will bring abuse on himself; the one who rebukes the wicked will get hurt.Don’t rebuke a mocker, or he will hate you; rebuke the wise, and he will love you.Instruct the wise, and he will be wiser still; teach the righteous, and he will learn more.”To me, I’ve always seen this passage of scripture as informing me that if I want to be wise then I should welcome rebuke and love those who are willing to let me know when they see something in me that isn’t above reproach.
James 3:13-17 says, “Who among you is wise and understanding?By his good conduct he should show that his works are done in the gentleness that comes from wisdom.But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and deny the truth.Such wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice.But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, without hypocrisy.”And there my friends we find the biblical definition of wisdom; embodying purity, loving peace, having gentleness, being compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and without hypocrisy; certainly no small order or quick task to achieve.
Let’s take a look at those words in the Greek so we can get a better idea of what we’re trying to achieve.First, “pure” is the word:
G53 ἁγνός hagnos hag-nos' From the same as G40; properly clean, that is, (figuratively) innocent, modest, perfect: - chaste, clean, pure.
In modern English we would say, “unadulterated:” as in not mixed or diluted with any different or extra elements; complete and absolute. We could also say, unalloyed, unsullied, untainted, virgin, or untouched.
“Peace-loving” is the word:
G1516 εἰρηνικός eirēnikos i-ray-nee-kos' From G1515; pacific; by implication salutary: - peaceable.
This is a pacifist, or at least someone who is slow to anger; specifically because they see challenges as opportunities to better themselves.
“Gentle” is the word:
G1933 ἐπιεικής epieikēs ep-ee-i-kace' From G1909 and G1503; appropriate, that is, (by implication) mild: - gentle, moderation, patient.
However, you see there how this word is the combination of two other words? That first word is epi (ep-ee’) and the second eiko (i-ko). Epi is a primary preposition denoting superimposition; things like over, upon, at, etc. Eiko is a primary verb that means to resemble or to be like someone or something. I found this altogether insufficient for painting a picture that would lead me to mild: - gentle, moderation, patient as the definition of this word that is the combination of these two other words. So I took to some other lexicons to look for more definition and examples of usage. As it turns out this word is used to denote gentleness, moderation and patience directly in reference to the relaxing of strict standards when it is necessary to keep the “spirit of the law,” in contrast to upholding every jot and tittle. This concept would be why as we spoke of in EP 68 when a young engaged women was caught in the act of adultery she was given time to make it known if she had been forced and was therefore not guilty of adultery. This is a core tenant of the New Testament church and the in filling of the Holy Spirit. It is the embodiment of God being interested not in our sacrifices and actions, but in our hearts.
“Compliant” is the word:
G2138 εὐπειθής eupeithēs yoo-pi-thace' From G2095 and G3982; good for persuasion, that is, (intransitively) compliant: - easy to be intreated.
That last phrase there, “easy to be intreated,” really sums up the word. To not hold on to stubbornness or pride when asked in earnest to put away old wrongs, or to forgive old debts, ect.
“Mercy” is the word:
G1656 ἔλεος eleos el'-eh-os Of uncertain affinity; compassion (human or divine, especially active): - (+ tender) mercy.
Mercy is giving what hasn’t been earned, like the release of Barabbas under the judgement of Pontius Pilate, or Christ dying for us.
Then good fruits; which is actually pretty straight forwardly working towards good in what you do.
“Impartial” is the word:
G87 ἀδιάκριτος adiakritos ad-ee-ak'-ree-tos From G1 (as a negative particle) and a derivative of G1252; properly undistinguished, that is, (actively) impartial: - without partiality.
The wise man is impartial; he doesn’t treat a man who appears to be rich with higher regard than one who appears to be poor. Or refuse justice to an enemy that he insists his closest friends and allies should enjoy.
“Without hypocrisy” is the word:
G505 ἀνυπόκριτος anupokritos an-oo-pok'-ree-tos From G1 (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of G5271; undissembled, that is, sincere: - without dissimulation (hypocrisy), unfeigned.
It brings to mind Matthew 5:36-37, “Do not swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black.But let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no.’Anything more than this is from the evil one.”
In closing, let’s take a look at Proverbs 1:20-33, “Wisdom calls out in the street; she makes her voice heard in the public squares. She cries out above the commotion: she speaks at the entrance of the city gates: “How long, inexperienced ones, will you love ignorance? How long will you mockers enjoy mocking and you fools hate knowledge? If you respond to my warning, then I will pour out my spirit on you and teach you my words.Since I called out and you refused, extended my hand and no one paid attention, since you neglected all my counsel and did not accept my correction, I, in turn, will laugh at your calamity.I will mock when terror strikes you, when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when trouble and stress overcome you. Then they will call me, but I won’t answer; they will search for me, but won’t find me. Because they hated knowledge, didn’t choose to fear the Lord, were not interested in my counsel, and rejected all my correction, they will eat the fruit of their way and be glutted with their own schemes.For the apostasy of the inexperienced will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But whoever listens to me will live securely and be undisturbed by the dread of danger.”
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”