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Wisdom of God

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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is that grand attribute of his nature by which he knows and orders all things for the promotion of his glory and the good of his creatures. It is that perfection of God, by virtue of which he realizes the highest designs by the use of best means. The assertion of Spinoza and Strauss, that no design at all can be ascribed to God, is connected with the pantheistic idea of the impersonality of God. Certainly there does not exist for the infinite understanding the opposition, nor even the great disparity, between means and ends, which so frequently hinder us. The exclusion here of the idea of design is the exclusion of the idea that God is a Spirit who thinks and wills. As such he must not only be the All-wise, but also the Only-wise One, in comparison with whom all human wisdom is as nothing. Holy Scripture also presents him to us precisely in this light (1 Timothy 1:17). He is a God who not only possesses in himself wisdom in perfection (Proverbs 8:22), but communicates it to others (James 1:5) and possesses a manifold wisdom manifest for the eye of angels, although for that of man unsearchable (Ephesians 3:10; Romans 11:33).

This wisdom appears in all the works of God's hands (Psalms 104:24); in the dispensations of his providence (Psalms 97:1-2); in the work of redemption (Ephesians 3:10); in the government and preservation of his Church in all ages (Psalms 107:7). This doctrine should teach us admiration (Revelation 15:3-4); trust and confidence (Psalms 9:10); prayer (Proverbs 3:5-6); submission (Hebrews 12:9); praise (Psalms 103:1; Psalms 103:4). See Charnock, Works, volume 1; Saurin, Sermons, 1:157, Engl. transl.; Gill, Divinity, 1:93; Abernethy, Sermons, volume 1, sermon 10; Ray, Wisdom of God in Creation; Paley, Natural Theology.

In Proverbs 8:12-36, we have a beautiful and poetic personification of divine wisdom. Some understand wisdom here to be the same as the Logos (q.v.) or Word, mentioned in John 1:1; John 1:14. We only need observe here that wisdom, in the passage mentioned, is spoken of as an attribute and not a person; a virtue, and not a concrete being. See the article following. The term wisdom is used of the divine wisdom as revealed in and by Christ (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:37; Luke 11:49; Mark 6:2); also of Christ himself, as the author and source of wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). See Bibliotheca Sacra, April 1858; July 1858.

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Wisdom of God'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​w/wisdom-of-god.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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