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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

FIND WISDOM & GET UNDERSTANDING

Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

This text is among the many wise sayings of Solomon. Of the many characteristics of mankind we find these two that are often mentioned together and appear to complement each other - wisdom and understanding.

Happiness is a state of contentment - an inner peace with oneself. When experienced, there seems to be a glow from within. Many passages in the bible refer to things that bring happiness. James 5:11, 1 Peter 3:14, and 4:14 tell us that happiness is found when one endures affliction, suffering, and reproach for the cause of Christ. Romans 14:22 indicates that happiness is found when one's conduct is not condemned by your conscience. John 13:17 says that one is happy when doing the things taught by Jesus. Job 5:17 says you are happy when you heed the correction from God. Psalm 146:5 tells us those that have their hope in the Lord are happy.

The text of this lesson indicates that, to find true happiness, we must find wisdom and get understanding. If wisdom and understanding are so desirable, where do we go to find them, and how are they obtained? Job 28:12 asks a similar question. But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Job, in his affliction, was conversing with some of his "friends". In this particular chapter, Job is relating the importance of wisdom and understanding.

The 28th chapter starts with Job telling his friends of the human pursuits of wisdom and understanding. Some search for it in mining for gold and silver; some for iron and brass. Precious gems are obtained by searching for them. Onyx, sapphire, crystal, coral, pearl, ruby, and topaz are mentioned as gems with great value. The thought posed by Job's friends is that one can find or purchase wisdom and understanding with these valuable possessions. Job refutes this statement in verse 15, saying that wisdom and understanding cannot be purchased with precious metals, and in verses 16 through 19 these desirable human traits are spoken of as far more valuable than precious gems.

The following verses, 20 through 27,indicate that it is not possible to find wisdom and understanding by human means. Why? It is because they come from God, and only through God can they be found. The same God that created the heavens and the earth created the atmosphere that sustains all manner of life on earth. The weight for the winds and waters referred to in verse 25 is the gravity that holds the atmosphere and water in place. Without these, life on earth could not be sustained. How delicately mankind is made. With slightly more atmospheric pressure, the body of a person would cave in and collapse. With less pressure, the body would literally explode. Without the correct amount of gravity, blood would not circulate within our bodies, and sap would not flow in plant life. This same God made the rain, the lightening, and the thunder. Indeed, this great Creator, our Heavenly Father,holds the key to our happiness.

In Job 28:28 we learn that the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. To fear God is to be in awe of His omnipotence; to accept Him as our Creator and our righteous Judge. Hewill determine our eternal destiny. Where we spend eternal life is in His hands. Once we accept the fact that God is our righteous Master and our Creator, then we will apply understanding by being obedient to His will and depart from doing evil. Not only are we to avoiddoing evil, but we are to do those things that are good in the sight of God. Truly, happiness is ours when we find wisdom and get understanding. Both are more precious than anything this world has to offer in gold, silver, or precious gems.