God is Perfectly Wise (God, Part 7)

We saw last time that God knows everything. Today, I want to push one step farther: not only does God know everything, but He also knows what to do with everything He knows. This is the distinction between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge has to do with facts. Wisdom has to do with the application of facts. Knowledge is the accumulation of data. Wisdom is the application and use of that data. It is possible to have knowledge without wisdom, but it is impossible to have wisdom without knowledge. Not only is God “omniscient” (meaning He knows everything) but He is also all-wise. Put simply: this means that God knows precisely what to do with all the things He knows. Based on His perfect knowledge, He knows what is best and most valuable and most worthwhile, and He also knows the best way to reach and obtain those things. He knows everything, and He also knows how best to put all that knowledge to use.

The Bible is clear on this fact. In Job 9:4, Job says God is “wise in heart”. He later declares: “With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding” (Job 12:13). He is “the only wise God” (Rom. 16:27), and His wisdom is so deep that it cannot be fully fathomed or understood by human beings (Rom. 11:33). Just as His perfect knowledge puts our limited knowledge to shame, so His application of that perfect knowledge puts our use of our own limited knowledge to shame. As I said above, He knows what is most valuable and worthwhile, so he always pursues that end. Moreover, He knows the best way to reach that end, and He never wastes time pursuing it any other way. Just as His knowledge is perfect, so His actions are perfect. He always does that which is most wise, and He never errs by choosing the more foolish path or plan.

The wisdom of God is seen in creation itself. Psalm 104:24 says, “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” The very things God made demonstrate His perfect use of the perfect knowledge He possesses. Even more, though, the wisdom of God is seen in the person and work of Christ. Even though the world sees the good news of Jesus as foolishness, it is actually supreme demonstration of God’s wisdom. In order to demonstrate the futility of human wisdom, God ordained that salvation would come only through the sacrifice of Christ as a substitute on the cross. Christ Himself is the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:18-31). Just as Jesus is the clearest demonstration both of God’s power and of God’s love, He is also the clearest demonstration of God’s wisdom. In Christ, God is able to be both just and justifier – to both declare His perfect righteousness and save sinners (Rom. 3:26). In fact, one of the primary reasons God made this world was to demonstrate His wisdom – not just to humans but even to the creatures in the heavens – through Christ’s redemption of a people for Himself (Eph. 3:9-10).

God is perfectly, supremely wise. And that wisdom has been clearly put on display both in creation and – even more – in redemption.

But why do we care? Why is it important that we truly see God as all-wise? First, it provides yet more reason to praise Him. Like Paul (Rom. 11:33-36), our knowledge of God’s perfection should move our heart to praise Him. Second, it should motivate us to seek God’s word with even more diligence and fervor. If God knows what is best and most valuable and most worthwhile as well as the best way to reach those things and He has given us that wisdom, should we not make it a priority to hear what He has to say and learn from Him?! God has given us His perfect wisdom in the Bible. Indeed, His word is able to “make wise the simple” (Ps. 19:7). If we truly believe God is perfectly wise and that He has spoken, then we will want to hear what He has to say. Third, it is important to know that God is all-wise because it gives us confidence to come to Him and receive His wisdom. He has actually promised that if we seek His wisdom, we will have it (James 1:5). The all-wise God will give (at least some of) that wisdom to us. Why would we not take Him up on the offer?

God is perfectly wise. Praise Him, learn from Him, listen to Him.