Summary: A sermon on the wisdom of God (Outline and some material adapted from Dr. Jack Cottrell in his book, God the Ruler; last point adapted from John Piper at: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/the-great-work-of-the-only-wise-god)
Who were the Wise Men in the long ago? Not Herod, fearful lest he lose his throne; Not Pharisees, too proud to claim their own; Not priests and scribes whose province was to know; Not money changers running too and fro; But three who traveled, weary and alone, With dauntless faith, because before them shone The star that led them to a manger low. Who are the Wise Men now, when all is told? Not men of science; not the great and strong;
Not those who wear a kingly diadem; Not those whose eager hands pile high the gold; But those amid the tumult and the throng Who follow still the star of Bethlehem.
God is all knowing and all powerful. However, if he was not good and wise we would have reason to be afraid. Since God is good and wise, He is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving.
In the doxology in Romans 16:25-27 God is specifically called wise so we are focusing on that this morning. Wisdom is the ability to choose the best possible end, and to choose the best possible means of achieving that end. It is not the same as knowledge, but is rather the ability to put one’s knowledge to practical use. Also wisdom is the ability to make the right decisions when judging between two different courses of action.
Paul has already said this: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor?”” Romans 11:33, 34, NIV.
Thesis: God is wise in 3 areas
In his work of creation
“By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place;” Proverbs 3:19, NIV.
“How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all” Psalms 104:24, NIV. We ought to take time to admire His wisdom in creation. I've read that if the proportion of gases in the air were changed ever so slightly, all of us would die. The way God tilted the earth, the way He arranged the seasons, the way He put creation together is a revelation of His great wisdom. It's logical that the God who is wise enough to run creation is wise enough to run our lives. If He can keep the stars and the planets and the seasons and all these things going as they should, can He not put our lives together and make them what they ought to be?
In his work of providence= ruling, preserving and caring for this world
God, in his wisdom, gave mankind laws to live by. “And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?” Deuteronomy 4:8, NIV. “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” Psalms 19:7, 8, NIV. God’s commands are indeed of such a nature that if they were followed, His purpose would be realized.
But God in His wisdom uses men’s decisions even when they do not obey his commands. Through God’s foreknowledge, God is able to use even the sinful acts of men to accomplish His good purpose. God used the evil actions of the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans to correct and punish His own sinful people. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.
God is not frustrated by anything. Even pain and suffering may be used for good results by the all wise Ruler. If we believe that God is all wise and as well as all knowing and all powerful, then we should not attempt to criticize or to judge what God brings to pass or even allows to happen in this world. We will not challenge God’s decisions and works. Even if God’s wisdom bring disaster, we should acknowledge that God makes no mistakes and take comfort in the words of Romans 8:28.
Only someone who is wiser than God (no person here) has a right to sit in judgment upon God’s providence. This is in a sense what Job was presuming to do, and God let him know in no uncertain terms that his wisdom was pea sized and puny in comparison to God’s. Because of this we can expect there will be things that we cannot understand about Providence.
The only response to an all wise Providence is complete trust in the God who makes all things work together for good. No one but the Only Wise God is worthy of our trust. If God were merely all powerful, we would have more reason to be afraid of him than to put our confidence in Him. But God is wise as well as powerful.