Two Kinds of Wisdom
When God created man, He created him in His image. This implies that man was created with spiritual faculties enabling him to readily commune with God and learn wisdom from Him. Man was designed to be taught by God Himself – to become His disciple. And through man, God intended to reveal His wisdom and His glory to all creation. What an honor and privilege!
These spiritual faculties can be compared to man’s natural senses, of which the direct ones are spiritual ears and spiritual eyes. These allow man to hear God and see His glory, and thus learn of His Wisdom, walk in His Ways, and change into His Nature and transform into His Glory. God wanted to father man as His own son and teach him everything He knows. Imagine how sad He was when man chose to forfeit this wonderful relationship with Him.
Yet, man lost this privilege when seduced by the serpent as recorded in Genesis 3:
Gen. 3:4-5 [NIV]
4“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When Adam and Eve both partook of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their natural eyes and ears were opened. They felt shamed when they found themselves naked and were afraid when they heard God’s voice calling them. Their relationship with God and each other was defiled with unclean conscience, which is the essence of sin.
Consequently, Man was cast out of the Garden of Eden, away from God’s presence, and forever cut off from the Fatherhood of God, His family and His education. He lost the chance to “become just like Him”.
David knew this very well. He was given amazing revelation of the ordinances of God. In Psalm 32, after describing his painful struggle of sin and his joy in the forgiveness of God, he heard God utter something more promising than anything else:
Ps 32:8 [NIV]
8I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.
Like many of David’s psalms, this one is also a messianic psalm. Its application is beyond that of David himself, but applies to the whole human race. In it is the hope of the restitution of man’s privilege to be taught and protected by God, which is fulfilled through Christ Jesus, the second Adam, the life-giving Spirit.
It is God’s desire to teach us His wisdom, the wisdom from above, not the one from below.
James offers us a clear distinction between the two:
James 3:13-18 [NIV]
13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17But 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. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
We will explore this more in more detail in the coming chapters.
This post is _Part 3_ in the series Spiritual Reality, Order, and Wisdom. To continue with this series, click on Pt 4. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series, Pt 1 and Pt 2.
Photo credit: Donald L.