From Creation to Revelation, there are many facets to God’s character. Only after reading cover to cover multiple times do we begin to glean a more complete picture. Much like we learn in our human relationships, we discover more about God when we invest time with Him. A more complete picture, however, will never amount to a full understanding. He is beyond human comprehension (1 Corinthians 2:16).

From what we do know as Christians, similar to humans, there are layers to God’s character. Certain traits resonate with us, while other traits do not. When you consider the totality of His character, which trait stands out to you the most? God as a loving father? God as a forgiving deity? Or God as something else? One quality that resonates with many is the wisdom of God. 

We witness the Lord’s wisdom throughout all of Scripture. He instructs believers on how to carry out His will. God gives insight to those seeking direction. People are delivered from harm thanks to the Lord's wisdom. What exactly is wisdom, in the biblical sense? And what does it mean that God is wise?

The Bible says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Clearly, there are plenty of insightful lessons to be found in the Bible. This verse in itself speaks to the wisdom of God and thankfully, that knowledge can dwell within us. With a deeper dive into God’s Word, we can better understand His wisdom and how that can proliferate our own lives.

What Does the Bible Say about Wisdom?

Would you consider yourself wise or a fool? What would other people estimate about you? Scripture speaks plenty about wisdom, and multiple times portrays the wise in direct contrast with the foolish. There are plenty of examples found in the Book of Proverbs.

  • “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son, heartache to his mother.” (Proverbs 10:1)
  • “A wise heart accepts commands, but foolish lips will be destroyed.” (Proverbs 10:8)
  • “A fool’s way is right in his own eyes, but whoever listens to counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15)

In our lives, we too have to choose: wisdom or folly. The Bible clearly wants us to pick the former. There are benefits to being wise. God has a desire for us to claim these benefits, and in the process, strengthen our relationship with Him. Why is wisdom so essential?

Proverbs provides an answer. Scripture defines wisdom as a fear of the Lord. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7)

By biblical standards, wise people follow God. And if someone follows God, they believe in Him. We then surmise that wise people have faith in the Lord. Foolish people do not, and they, therefore, do not follow His teachings. This does not mean only wise people follow God, but rather following God is in itself wise.

There are blessings that come with wisdom. Proverbs makes clear the benefits wisdom has in families, and in our relationship with God. By looking at our natural world, we can easily discern more positive outcomes. Wisdom leads to stronger and healthier relationships, better job performance, deeper conversations, and more. If we want to be wiser, all we need to do is follow the actions of whom the Bible considers to be wise.

There are biblical figures too we can look at as examples of wisdom. Jesus, Solomon, Paul, are but a few. Wisdom in their lives produced fruits or outcomes. Jesus led an indelible three-year ministry. Solomon was one of the wisest men to ever walk the Earth. Paul’s transformation from persecutor to Christ-follower continues to influence churches today. The effects of wisdom are different in our lives, but there is always an effect. Godly wisdom produces godly results.

There is a difference between God’s wisdom and our own. We only understand wisdom because we are made in His image and He has given us a mind to understand. Nonetheless, we always know in part, but never fully (1 Corinthians 13:12). There is beauty in knowing God’s wisdom surpasses our own. Without that wisdom, ours would be rendered void.

Why Is it Significant That God Is Wise?

Based on the previous verse from Proverbs, the Bible defines wisdom according to a fear of the Lord, a love, a devotion to Him, and His teachings. Who would then be able to consider themselves wise without the Lord? We as Christians need God to be wise. We in part worship God because he is greater than us.

If God were not wise, He would not be God. The wisdom He provides us through Scripture would be rendered obsolete. If God were not wise, much like the first believers who called on His name for guidance and deliverance, He would have none to offer. Wisdom not given to believers then, would not be given to Christians today. Therefore, God must be wise, for our faith to exist, and for us to understand God. He must be wise in order to be the creator of all things, all-powerful, and all-knowing.

What Is the Difference between God's Wisdom and Man's Wisdom?

The Bible’s display of wisdom helps us make an important distinction. Man’s wisdom is similar to God’s wisdom, but there are differences. There are three key factors to note.

Man’s wisdom is flawed by sin.
Solomon was one of history’s wisest men, but that did not stop him from sinning. Wisdom is a fear of the Lord, but Solomon still struggled to follow God in all walks of life. The same is true about us, There are areas in our life where wisdom is apparent to any who look. However, there are other areas of our lives where we could exercise more discernment, and more closely God’s precepts.

Man’s wisdom is limited by the human ability to think.
Humankind has the ability to use logic and emotion, but what we know about reality is limited to our own experiences and those we hear from. Whatever we don’t experience or learn from others, we cannot know. God knows everything at all times. Nothing is hidden from Him, but plenty is hidden from us.

God’s wisdom transcends time.
Scripture says that God’s word endures forever (Isaiah 40:8). For people, what we consider wise by cultural standards will change with time, just like culture changes. What God considers wise will always be wise and always true. Therefore, if we want to be wise as believers, we need to define wisdom according to the Creator, not His creations.

God is wise and desires for us to be wise. We don’t have to be, but the only other options are to be wise according to the world, which at times ostensibly means to be fools. Wisdom is a fear of the Lord. We need to ensure we are ever devoted to the Lord, ever strengthening our faith. Solomon is a good example of wisdom, but also a reminder of our sinful nature.

In wisdom, let’s choose to continue to grow in all areas of our lives. Wisdom is a blessing and should be sought after, always. God is wise and appreciates when we are wise as well. Jesus was the role model for the Christian faith. He walked in wisdom. If we are to be conformed to the image of Christ, then we too must strive to be wise.

This is not a journey made overnight but is one we can make in due time. Day by day.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/YoriHirokawa

headshot of author Aaron BrownAaron Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He's an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo.