Studying the attributes of God, it is critical to address the issue of God’s wisdom. Can God be trusted to make the right decisions?
Incorrect Perception: The Pollster God
A pollster is someone who organizes, conducts, and analyzes opinion polls. Due to their research, they are able to take a cross-section of society, ask some pertinent questions, and provide the rest of the culture with information regarding the leanings of the majority people polled. In light of this information, many people will acknowledge the trends, adjust their thinking, and align their methods with the popular opinion.
The times are a changing. That’s why the Pollster God is such an alluring candidate for our societal flavor-of-the-month theology. Because we can’t fathom adhering to archaic directives in such a progressive time, the Pollster God exists to ascertain what people want and then give it to them. As soon as he obtains the direction of the culture, he adjusts his thinking to be relevant with the times.
God is not a pollster. God is supremely wise.
The Wisdom of God
In our culture, we depend upon the popular leanings of the day to determine our positions on current issues. The wisdom of God balks at any position limited by time and culture. If a concept only has a temporal shelf life, it cannot be categorized as truth. Only God is able to determine, define, and demand authentic wisdom.
The wisdom of God means that only God knows how to come to the best destination by the best path at the best time.
- God’s wisdom over Creation justifies his wisdom for Creation. In God’s unique wisdom, he was able to create all good works that we are able to behold (Ps. 104:24; Prov. 3:19; Jer. 10:12). If God is every creature’s beginning, it implies that he is also their end.
- God’s wisdom can never be slightly improved. If God’s plans could become wiser by any iota, they are not perfectly wise which would mean he would not be God. His understanding is infinite and without limitations (Ps. 147:5).
- God’s wisdom doesn’t require input from others. God’s wisdom is brilliantly flawless independent of any outside help – he is only wise (Rom. 16:27). He is not dependent upon the assistance of angels, the suggestions of followers, or the opinions of the masses to decide his direction.
- God’s wisdom must always be viewed in light of eternity. We question the wisdom of God when we focus on the current situation rather than the future glory (Rom. 8:18). It takes time for true wisdom to be vindicated (Luke 7:35).
- God’s wisdom is available yet restricted. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7; 9:10), but there is some wisdom that God does not provide us with right now (Ecc. 3:11; Deut. 29:29). While we cannot ascertain all of his decisions right now (2 Cor. 12:7-10), we can trust that he is working all things together for our good (Rom. 8:28).
- God’s wisdom rarely provides instant gratification. The wisdom of the world seeks to provide immediate pleasure (Prov. 9:17) while the wisdom of the Word seeks to provide lasting joy (Prov. 9:6). The wisdom of God guides us to make decisions for our eternal joy rather than our temporal happiness (Matt. 18:7-9; Heb. 11:25-26).
- God’s wisdom should alter our daily decisions. The infinite wisdom of God is meant to be transferred to our finite decisions today. If we lack wisdom, God has promised to give it to us if we simply ask (James 1:5). God is the source of wisdom for us to make sound decisions in this life (1 Kings 3:9; Ps. 51:6; Prov. 2:6; 3:6; Dan. 2:21).
Regarding God’s wisdom, each of us is either:
- Ignorant – You aren’t aware of His wisdom.
- Stubborn – You are aware but unwilling to heed it.
- Wise – You are aware and obedient.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.