Servants All (3)
Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17
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Both the Old and New Testaments call us to seek wisdom. In Proverbs 8, wisdom – which is embodied in the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 2:3) – is portrayed as crying out to men, calling them to find wisdom and thus know the fullness of life. From the examples of Solomon and Jesus we can see that there is much wisdom to be gained in understanding the works of the creation.
Wisdom is that skill in living that comes to expression when people do God’s work in God’s way. In its simplest form, wisdom is a combination of excellence, efficiency, industry, and love which brings good to others and points them to the reality of God. People are not inherently wise; however, most of us appreciate those who are, and we’d like to think we’re becoming more like them and less like the foolish person we tend to be much of the time. Wisdom can be learned, and, since, according to Paul, wisdom is important to our walk with the Lord, we should give ourselves to whatever will help us to be wise.
God wants us to be wise, and, while Scripture provides much helpful counsel in this matter, there is also much to learn from the creation. As we see in his proverbs, Solomon found wisdom in contemplating the industry of ants, the ferocity of lions, the tenacity of spiders, and the common sense of a rock badger. In Ecclesiastes we find Solomon teasing out the common sense wisdom which is to be gained from understanding such things as fire, fragrances, the ways of snakes and other creatures, and the patterns of wind and water.
Jesus did the same. He led those who heard Him to consider the wisdom that could be learned from flowers, birds, plants and seeds, and the ways things grow. The Apostle Paul said such works of creation are meant to bear witness to God, to turn our thoughts to Him and to lead us to find in His works the wisdom we need in order to know and serve Him according to His purposes (Acts 14:17).
Taking up the study of creation can better equip us for building the Church because it can lead us to understand and practice the wisdom of God. The works of creation reveal many facets of wisdom – such as beauty, patience, perseverance, cooperation, efficiency, and a preference for things that endure. Could we – like Solomon and Jesus – increase in wisdom by a more careful and consistent study of the works of God? We must believe it is so, for the creation serves the purpose of God, not only in turning our thoughts to Him, but in displaying the variegated wisdom of God, so that we might better learn how to serve Him and love our neighbors.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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