Ralph's Daily Devotional - Monday, January 22

Proverbs and the Hidden Wisdom of God

Wisdom is not restricted to persons of a particular religious faith.  Chinese proverbs, Hindu sagas, ancient Egyptian myths and the Koran, to name a few, are replete with wisdom.  All people are endowed, to a degree, with a God-given common sense. 

What separates the Bible from other wisdom literature is God's covenant with His people, endowing them not only with common sense but special grace.  Its basis rests with God's faithfulness and purpose, extending first to His chosen people and then to all the world, as seen in His promises made to Abraham.  So when the chosen people of God fail through foolishness (and they often do!), God still brings forth His good purpose for them and through them.  This is what we might call "the hidden wisdom of God."  Such wisdom is only discerned through the eyes of faith.  Proverbs 3:5-6 touches on this theme.

We see that this worked out for the life of Joseph.  Through youthful foolishness, he aroused the envy and anger of his brothers, who in turn sold him into slavery.  By all counts, everyone fails. 

End of story?  No.  As a result - even of foolish decisions by all - Joseph and the family are later saved from starvation.  Joseph receives this "hidden wisdom from God" in Genesis 50:20, enabling him to interpret God's grace and purpose.  And so with ourselves.  We need all the wisdom we can get.  But we need God's grace even more.  We need not exempt one from the other.

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