In the face of confusion and lack of clarity, I often find myself praying the essence of James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Thankfully, the Lord delivers on His promise. And yet, I suppose it is valid to ask, “How will I recognize the voice of wisdom when I hear it?” In Proverb-like style, Solomon peppers his writing in today’s text with some helpful insights.
- Wisdom may come from an unlikely source . . . like a poor man or a quiet voice (vv. 9:15, 17).
- The source of wisdom is not always remembered (9:15).
- Wisdom is preferable over strength (9:16, 18; 10:10).
- The way of wisdom may be quickly disregarded (9:16).
- Even a little foolishness can overshadow great wisdom (10:1).
- Wisdom is voiced in graciousness (10:12).
Even though wisdom may come to you in the form of a sudden thought void of any other input, that is likely not the norm. Instead, God’s wisdom is built upon the foundation of His Word. Jeremiah put it like this, “Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have?” (Jer. 8:9). Similarly, God’s wisdom often comes through the input of other godly men and women. Proverbs 24:6 reminds you: “for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.” Finally, keep in mind that godly wisdom has some very identifiable characteristics: “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (Js. 3:17).
If you find yourself today at an important crossroads where you really need God’s wisdom and guidance, make sure you are looking in the right places and listening to the right voices! Remember that God is the ultimate source of it. You can ask Him for it with boldness and faith. Then, you can be assured of His response.