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Two Approaches to Wisdom

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.  (Psalm 51:6)

In Psalm 51, David confesses his sin before God.  But in the midst of his repentance, he confesses something else— that God is the source of his wisdom.  God is his teacher of spiritual truth.

I was impressed by how God delights for us to know spiritual truth, and teaches it to us.  I wanted to know more, and so I did a search for the Hebrew words in this verse for “teach” and “wisdom” to see if they were used together in any other passages.

There are actually sixteen passages that use both of these Hebrew words, but there were three that stood out to me as a marked contrast to David’s insight.  These three were written by his son, Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes:

And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.  (Ecclesiates 1:17)

I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness. (Ecclesiastes 7:25)

When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one’s eyes see sleep, then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out. (Ecclesiastes 8:16-17)

Solomon, near the end of his life, turned from God as the source of his wisdom to his own self.  He applied his own heart to see truth, and all he saw was striving against wind, and a schizoid, embittered outlook on life.  The wisest of all, and yet he lost his vision by taking his eyes off God.

What about me?  Am I looking, am I listening, am I expecting God to be the true revealer of wisdom and truth to my soul?  I hope I am learning David’s approach to wisdom.

Facing Your Giants

David, first King of Israel, has been the subject of untold works of art: painting, sculpture, cinema, poetry, and prose, from Michangelo to Veggie Tales. Some describe his greatness; some describe his weakness; all describe a truly incredible life.

But what does David’s life mean to me, today, in the midst of the pressures and pain of the 21st century? That is the subject of this great read by Max Lucado. Each chapter of the book is a chapter from David’s life, from his encounter with Goliath to his life on the lam to his victories to his downfall with Bathsheba. With each glimpse into David’s strengths and weaknesses Lucado winsomely shows how we can apply insights from his life to our own. The truths presented are all Biblical and God-centered, although he sometimes draws out a point he wants to make a bit beyond where the Bible actually points.

There are some helpful study questions with practical applications in the back of the book. Overall, Facing Your Giants is an encouraging and helpful “applicational biography” of a very famous life.

More information from Amazon.com is available here.

Exegesis Gone Horribly Wrong

“You gotta practice.  David went out there and practiced—slinging those rocks at tin cans and old beer bottles for days.”—attributed to Florida State football coach Bill Peterson in the 2006 Stupidest Things Ever Said calendar.