Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Word of Wisdom


The Word of Wisdom

 

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9

The Word of Wisdom is a revelatory gift of the Holy Spirit given to His people for the benefit of others.  It is not based on knowledge or education, nor is it based on natural wisdom, which we all have.  It is the divine wisdom of God, given for a specific situation, to be beneficial to the hearer.
Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if the wisdom came from God, or from the sanctified mind of the one who delivered it.  As you walk closer and closer to God the communion of your mind and the mind of Christ in you becomes so intertwined that they are inseparable.  That’s the transformation process that God seeks in us.  But at other times His voice in delivering the words of wisdom is profoundly clear.

Elisha was one that many times heard God’s voice and received words of wisdom.  He was a prophet, but prophecy wasn’t his only Spiritual gift.  In 2 Kings 3 we read of a time when Elisha spoke a word of wisdom from God.  The Israelites were living in a valley when the Moabites rose up against them.  They were sitting ducks in the valley, and not as large in number as the Moabites.  The Kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom were desperate for God, and came to Elisha asking for a word from God.  
Elisha called for a musician to play.  As the musician played, God spoke to Elisha and gave him some strange instructions.  It had nothing to do with weaponry of war, or strategic warfare, but with digging ditches.  Elisha spoke the word of wisdom, saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ For thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’ And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand. Also you shall attack every fortified city and every choice city, and shall cut down every good tree, and stop up every spring of water, and ruin every good piece of land with stones.

Now these were ditches, not riverbeds that could not be crossed by the Moabite army.  It may seem strange that with a looming army watching they were to dig ditches.  It would seem even stranger that God had said that they could water their cattle there and drink the water when He also said it wouldn’t rain.  That’s what makes this divine wisdom.  With our simple minds, we cannot comprehend how the ditches would be beneficial for war or how water would fill them without rain.  But the next day water began to flow down from the mountains of Edom and it filled the ditches. 
When the Moabites rose up to fight against the Israelites, they looked down upon them in the valley and the sun, shining on the water in the ditches, looked as red as blood.  They presumed that the other kings of surrounding lands had fought and killed the Israelites, and ran down to the valley unarmed to collect the spoils of war.  The Israelites attacked the army and defeated them, then cut down the trees, stopped up the springs, and littered the planting fields with rocks just as God had ordered.

Paul received a word of Wisdom while on the ship headed for Malta.  The ship was being thrown about in a terrible storm, and everyone feared for their lives – except Paul.  God told Paul in Acts 27:24, Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.”  Paul had been reassured by God of their survival. 
As the storm broke out, many wanted to abandon the ship.  They dropped their anchors and were about to board the small boats attached to the ship to try to get to land. But Paul spoke up to the centurion in charge and said “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”  This was a word of wisdom from God. They cut loose the boats to prevent anyone from trying to abandon the ship, and all of the ship’s passengers and crew survived.

A word of wisdom is God imparting a small portion of His infinite wisdom to us for the benefit of others.  It can be received by His audible voice, a vision, a dream, or simply dropped into our simple minds as the next thought we have.  The ways of God are endless. 
Receiving the word of wisdom can be a pride booster, and we have to be mindful that the wisdom is not our own, but a gift from God.  One gift is not more important than another. We don’t pick our gifts, nor do we continually possess them.  They are given by God as He wills and when He wills, for the benefit of the entire body of Christ.  No one gift is greater than another.  They are all equally needed, as 1 Corinthians 12:20-26 tells us, thinking otherwise would be like the head saying to the feet “I have no need of you.”  We are all joined together by His Holy Spirit into one body, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.  

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