In today’s world there are many, intelligent people. Both men and women all around the world excel at academia and the particular knowledge of their trade at such a high level that it boggles the mind of simple people like us. Knowledge and understanding have excelled in the world in areas that were unknown even 20 years ago. I remember the days when you left your home, no one was able to call you on the phone. I recall absolute absence of computers, screens, and car alarms. What has happened in just the last 20 years alone is staggering. You would think, then, that with the proliferation of knowledge of everything from nano-technology to cosmic travel, man has also become smarter. But, that is not the case. One would think that the ability to know good from bad, right from wrong, has also increased with the increase of knowledge. But, judging from the blindness of governments which put immorality, and other inarguably sinful behaviors, into law, the clear division between what is good and what is evil, is non-existent.
What is missing? If we have all this knowledge and all this technology, and all this advancement, what is missing that allows for men to be so confused on something as simple, and obvious as gender? What is missing is the very commodity that went missing the day Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What is missing is wisdom. An increase in knowledge does not equate to an increase in wisdom-ever. Let me explain.
Wisdom needs definition. Biblically, wisdom is the ability to discern right from wrong, good from evil, truth from error. But, it does not stop there. Wisdom goes further and learns how to choose right in the midst of wrong, good in the presence of evil, truth instead of error. Wisdom is that understanding that knows righteousness and is able to see it in the middle of blinding sin and obey it, in order to avoid evil.
In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is embodied in every verse. The depth of understanding and wisdom that each verse in Proverbs grants to the lover of God is staggering. In my home, our children read a chapter in Proverbs each day corresponding to the number of the day of the month. So, on the third day of the month, they read Proverbs chapter three. This is neat and tidy since there are thirty-one chapters in Proverbs and on average thirty days of each month. So, it works out. Each time we read these chapters, and we have been doing this for over four years now, the depth of wisdom found there simply boggles the mind.
There are statements about the creational origin and quality of wisdom. Proverbs 8:22-31 indicates that wisdom was the tool of God to create all the cosmos (see also Proverbs 3:18-20). The depth of God’s understanding in creating and manipulating everything from nothing that previously existed is incredible. Wisdom was there assisting Him. Wisdom necessitates some degree of the knowledge of facts. Understanding is basic to wisdom, as demonstrated in this section. It can be argued, then, that Adam was created in a state of wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 states, ”
“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
In order to gain wisdom, it must be pursued. And, as you run after her, the road that leads you to her is filled with understanding, insight, and the ability to discern perceptive words (Proverbs 1:2). Adam must have had tremendous wisdom, although it broke down in the face of deception by the evil one.
Currently, Adam’s offspring capitalize on only one segment of wisdom, and that is knowledge. The world has elevated only one slice of pie above the rest. It says that wisdom is not useful, but knowledge is king. It is as if man is saying that this slice of the pie tastes better than the rest of the pie.
Consider this. The Garden of Eden was the location of Adam’s obedience to God’s commands. In that garden were two trees. One tree promoted long life. The other tree promoted the knowledge of good and evil. Each and every day, Adam had to live by the command of God to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but had free access to the Tree of Life. So, every day, Adam, Eve, and their offspring, would need to exercise avoidance of what God had ordained that they avoid. Daily, they would continue to obey the command to enjoy all the garden, and the earth, had to offer, all the while keeping in mind constantly that they must not enjoy the beautiful fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3:6). That, in itself, was a constant state of wisdom. When Adam fell, with it fell pure wisdom. No longer was there the enjoyment of a clear conscience that kept away from that which God commanded to avoid. Now, there was the experience of evil. Now, the ability to walk in obedience to God’s created standards was lost and instead of fellowship with God being the norm, rebellion became the constant state of man. From that point on, Adam’s children must strive to regain wisdom. They must strive to regain how to choose good in the midst of evil, which is not only around them, but inside of them!
What does it take to return to this wisdom? How can we, now, choose the Tree of Life while dominated by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Paul teaches us how:
1 Corinthians 1:30–31:
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
The only way back to the Garden, as it were, is not by mastering the book of Proverbs, although that knowledge is helpful (2 Timothy 3:14-15). The way back is to follow Jesus Christ back there. According to Revelation 21-22, Jesus is coming back to His garden once again, in which is the Tree of Life (Revelation 22:1-2). If a man or woman or child wants to regain wisdom, the wisdom by which God founded the earth, and the wisdom by which Christ Jesus Himself avoided every temptation thrown at Him, then you must follow Jesus and learn deeply from Him (Matthew 11:27-30). Learn His ways, and you will know wisdom.