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Intelligence,Wisdom, Understanding: A Biblical View

     It is easy to locate "Intelligence" in the world of academics, science, industry, government and social status. The "smartest" among us tend to ascend to positions of authority and position.  In the natural world intelligence can bring achievement and success. So let us look at the difference between Intelligence and wisdom. The Bible offers an enormous amount of information on the subject.            

What is Intelligence: is intellectual capacity to acquire knowledge and information.

What is Wisdom: has within it the ability to foresee long term consequences of actions or decisions. As described in Proverbs by the wisest of men, wisdom has a measure of the divine in it. In Scripture we see that the Holy Spirit is the agent which imparts higher wisdom.

     Solomon, the son of David, is said to have been the "wisest" of all men described in the Bible. He was gifted in knowledge and understanding but was especially graced by God to have great Wisdom. He is the author of the book of Proverbs and Ecclessiastes. Proverbs describes the attributes of Godly Wisdom and the book of Job gives a number of examples of worldly wisdom.

1 Kings 4:29 “- God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart - ”

The value of wisdom (in God's eyes) Job 28:18 For the price of wisdom is above rubies.”

Proverbs 3:15She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.”

Add Understanding: Psalm 49:3 “ - My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.”

Proverbs 4:7
Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.

How does one get wisdom?
James 1:5
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and without reproach; and it shall be given him.” James 1:6 - - “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

WORLDLY WISDOM: Not Equivalent To Godly Wisdom

     Brilliant and Clever individuals may rise to prominence and worldly success but often have no Godly understanding. Such individuals are often focused only on themselves. We have seen evidence of corruption and brutality which can accompany such acquisition of power and authority. Self exaltation was the motivation of Lucifer, the fallen cherub. Pride seems to be the adornment of those who made a mark for themselves in this world. There are some who seem to be "above the law" but in the end they will not escape the penalty of pride, corruption and greed.

1 COR 1:20Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer (philosopher or debater) of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”

1 COR 1:21 “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

1 COR 3:19 “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness.”

JAMES 3:13-15 “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15) This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16) For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy

C. Pinkney  06-15-2020
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