Get wisdom, get understanding !



Proverbs 4:5,’Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding..’

 Someone said that timeless wisdom of God gives timely action. Lack of wisdom can spoil a whole game & so can it destroy a great work. It’s the Lord who gives wisdom to those who seek it. The word of God has given ‘wisdom’ a special place and the book of proverbs exclusively emphasizes on its blessings. There are people with much love, much knowledge and much passion to do great things for the Lord but the lack of wisdom has made them loose time & energy beyond words can express. As the Word says, ‘ the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.’(Prov.9:10). In other words, the fear of the Lord is the fuel which energizes understanding or the knowledge of the holy  to be applied  in the right time in the right way. And this comes from the Lord. ‘The Spirit of the Lord is the spirit of wisdom and understanding (Is.11:2).

The great woman of Shunem is one of the characters in the Bible who has displayed wisdom in an amazing way. Usually, we see many lives being directed and counseled by the men and women of God but here the amazing wisdom of this great woman directs the man of God who had double portion of the Spirit of God . Prophet Elijah is said to have done sixteen miracles while prophet Elisha did thirty two. Yet in all these, we see that the woman of Shunem was the only person whom God allowed to be used in a different way and the only reason was her wisdom.

2 Kings 4:8, ‘Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a [a]notable woman, and she [b]persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food.’ This persuasion to eat food in her house was neither emotional, nor fleshy. The consequence reveals the motives of an action. The perception about the holiness of the man of God was the cause (2 Kings 4:9). She, being a woman dared to be bold to persuade a man of God for eating in her house. Wisdom does not fear man for it fears only the holiness of the Lord.  Take note that Elisha had to be persuaded only once. Later, he himself would turn in there to eat. This portrays the beauty of spiritual fellowship. Once tasted, one would taste it again and again but to taste it for the first time, certain persuasion might be needed. Lets realize and acknowledge that great fellowship times in churches and house are the result of one timely action of a person  endowed with timeless wisdom of God.

2 Kings 4:10, ‘Please, let us make [c]a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.”’  The lady soon made arrangements along with her husband to provide for the man of God. The fellowship which had only eating meals now extended to his staying over in the house of the family of Shunem. This portrays the growing presence of the Lord which grows with frequency of fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Note the provision made for Elisha : a bed, a table, a chair and a lampstand. It was simple and specific. More than that, it satisfied the needs of the man of God completely. God’s wisdom seeks completeness & contentment in divine provisions. Having much with no contentment is not wisdom.

 Later, as Elisha blessed the Shunem woman who was barren with a promise of a son, which came to pass in the said time. Later, after few years, the son died of some sickness. Though she saw her son dying on her own lap, she refused to accept the situation. Her faith strived against the situation. She laid her dead child on the bed of Elisha, closed the room and rushed out to meet Elisha. When asked, she answered ‘its well’ to both her husband and Gehazi, Elisha’s servant. Wisdom gives discernment. She knew and discerned  both her husband and Gehazi very well. She did not desire words of compassion and pity. Hence she did not tell them about the situation. There is no point in sharing our situations with people who cannot fight against our situation along with us in faith. Let’s discern people around us well enough before we confide in them. Lets note that unbelief is the greatest enemy of faith life. Spoken words have great influence over our lives and situations. Though we cannot stop the words of others around us, surely we can discern our own words.

 2 Kings 4:27, ‘ Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.”’ The Lord had hidden  the matter from Elisha. This was  unusual. Amos 3:7, ‘Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.’ But here, Elisha could see only her vexed soul. Prophets can see only what God reveals to them. Understanding the situation, he asked his servant to take his staff to the child and to lay it on him.  The staff of Elisha represented the authority bestowed upon him through the anointment power of the Holy Spirit. But the woman would not agree for anything less than his presence himself. Gehazi ran and kept the staff of Elisha on the child but was in vain. The dead child rose back to life only when the prophet himself came up and laid himself upon him. The woman had rightly discerned as to what exactly would bring her child back to life.  Had she settled for the staff of Elisha, its vain results would have weakened her faith and the best time would be lost. Hence the struggle would have been greater. But the great wisdom of this woman lead the prophet to perfect ways of restoring the child.

Wisdom applies the knowledge in such a  way that best results are received through best ways. The amazing wisdom of this woman is what made her ‘great’ in Scriptures. Her wisdom started off a blessed fellowship,  provided for the man of God, lead her to share with right people and restored her son back to life. In all these, she took initiative. All who are endowed with divine wisdom are usually the people of great initiatives . They are willing to take the first step for the Lord. They know how and when to use their knowledge. They know what exactly would establish divine purposes. Their attitude is different from the common folk. They have a unique way of thinking.

Mt.10:16, ‘ Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless[f] as doves.’  Jesus has commanded us to be wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.  Serpents use every opportunity to sneak into places and make their way. They are also expert to escape the snares laid for them. Jesus showed that He was as wise as a serpent in the way He taught. He discerned the differences in His audiences . He used the story-telling technique to both feed and weed (Matthew 13:10–13), and He refused to be caught in the many traps that His enemies laid for Him (Mark 8:11). At the same time He did not take revenge when persecuted, accused falsely and even when lead to be crucified, thus proving Himself to be as harmless as doves.

Time is fleeing and the end day is fast approaching. Time cannot be wasted anymore for many have not yet heard about our Lord. Lets pray for wisdom with faith (James 1:5). Apostle Paul used wisdom more than knowledge to present Christ as Saviour and Lord in Athens before their altar with the inscription of ‘TO THE UNKNOWN GOD’ (Acts 17). Wisdom is using every possible opportunity to portray Christ before the world. Our behavior, our speech, relationships, our hobbies etc are all great pulpits to preach the gospel.  Its amazing that we all have much knowledge, much capability and resources and yet our neighbors next door, colleagues with whom we have been for years have not yet known that we are God’s children. Have we lost the fear of the Lord ? Have we forgotten that we are all accountable to our Creator ? Where is wisdom placed in our lives ? A small word of love of God can turn a wicked person to Christ. A simple visit to a lonely person’s house can fill him with joy of salvation. A pat of encouragement can strengthen a weary soul. All we need to do is to fear the holiness of the Lord in order to  have the wisdom to make use of innumerable doors of ministry lying open all around us. God is faithful to bless us with His timeless wisdom to take timely action, provided we seek it in faith. Let’s close with these beautiful verses on wisdom. Prov.4:8-9, ‘Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

God bless us all

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