The High Value of Wisdom

William Phelps taught English literature at Yale for forty-one years until his retirement in 1933. Marking an examination paper shortly before Christmas one year, Phelps came across the note: “God only knows the answer to this question. Merry Christmas.” Phelps returned … More


Happy is the person who finds wisdom and gains understanding (v. 1). No precious jewels or earthly treasures are worthy to be compared with true wisdom, whether in time or eternity (vv. 14-15). We must make wisdom our business; we must be willing to part with everything we have to gain it. This wisdom can be compared to the Lord Jesus Christ and his salvation, sought and obtained by faith and prayer. Were it not for unbelief, remaining sinfulness, and carelessness, we would find all our ways pleasant, and our paths leading to peace, but we too often step aside from them, to our own hurt and grief (vv. 16-17). Christ is that Wisdom, by whom the worlds were made; happy are those who realize they are made by God (vv. 18-19). He has the means to make good all his promises.

All happiness comes from wisdom. Proverbs 15:21 says, “Folly is a joy to him who has no sense.” Our thirst for happiness is foolish if we do not have the wisdom to seek it in God, then we will find whatever substitutes we can in the world. Terrorists may find it in shooting people. Executives may find it in climbing the corporate ladder. Athletes in breaking world records. Writers in publishing books. Gamblers may find it in Reno. Musicians in selling a million records. The sources where people seek happiness apart from God are countless: drink, drugs, sex, suntans, television, tubing, eating, talking, walking, etc., etc. But the happiness these things bring is not true and lasting. It is not ultimate and eternal. It is not the joy for which we were made. And therefore it leaves us unsatisfied, frustrated, incomplete, knowing that there must be something more. But that ultimate and eternal happiness that we crave is only found through wisdom in Christ. Therefore it is supremely important that we “seek wisdom.”


It is my desire to have wisdom that only God can give. It will never come apart from the Word of God and the Holy Spirit being my teacher. Therefore I want this to be the motivation of my life as long as the Lord gives me life to live.

Proverbs 3:13-20 (English Standard Version)

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.

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