Done! I slap my Anatomy final exam face down on my teacher’s desk and walk out with my head held high, shoulders back, and the most confident steps seen since the landing on the moon. There’s not a shadow of doubt in my mind that I ACED that test! I may have sacrificed the past three nights of sleep and every social gathering I was invited to over the past week…but I ACED it. After hours of dedicated study, I feel like a master of the material, like I am adequately prepared to perform surgery on someone tomorrow! Many of you can relate to this feeling after a test…or maybe you just dream of experiencing this rush one day. We subject ourselves to relentless hours of studying for exams at school. But why? Why do we even go to school? Simple. We all desire to be wise (or someone desires it for you and makes you go!). The world pursues wisdom through education; however, King David of the Israelites directs our attention to the true, sustaining source of wisdom in Psalm 119.
Before we can look to the source, we must ask ourselves—what is wisdom? Solomon says that wisdom is the fear of the Lord and knowledge of Him (Proverbs 9:10). We see in Psalm 119:97-104 that the pursuit of wisdom leads us to God’s Word, requires the application of His truth, and reaps the fruit of obedience. First, we see that in order
To Pursue Wisdom, We Must Feast on God’s Word
Verse 97 states, “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.”
In Psalm 119, David emphasizes the sweet gift of God’s Word. David loves it and thinks about it continually. Just as the names of bones and blood vessels were oozing from my brain after a week of intensive study for my anatomy final, God’s Word fully occupies David’s mind. He is willing to study God’s law deeply so he can still remember it throughout his daily routine and tasks. Think about that. We can study hours on end for a final exam for school, but do we offer this same rigor of study for God’s Word? The Word will never impact your life if you can’t even remember it 5 minutes after you read it. Ladies, I challenge you to sit still and ponder. Sit in silence so you can soak in His truth and bask in the beauty of His promises.
Sometimes, I read my bible to check it off my to-do list. Sometimes, I come to my Bible with a million other things on my mind. I can get up and walk away with no recollection of what I “studied.” James 1:22-25 calls us to be doers of the Word, not just hearers. When we put the truth of the Word into practice, we make our heart available to God to be molded and conformed to a heart of wisdom. Next, David teaches us
When We Feast on God’s Word, We Find Wisdom
Verses 98-100 say, “Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts.”
David squelches the idea that wisdom is gray hair. We still respect those older than us and acknowledge the wisdom they have acquired from their life experiences, but David’s point is that nothing can compare to wisdom gleaned from the Bible. Notice the order. He talks about studying God’s Word in verse 97. Then he says he has wisdom because of God’s Word in verse 98. Plain and simple: wisdom is the internalization of God’s truth. When we act on God’s truth, we exercise wisdom; but we must know His truth first in order to act on it.
This truth serves as an encouragement to us as younger women. It can be intimidating to step up and serve alongside older people in the church—people with a lot of experience. Yes, we can learn much from them; but, we too are equipped with wisdom if we have spent time studying the Word. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” God equips us with the wisdom we need in order to serve Him; we need only to open His Word. Lastly, let’s look at the results of wisdom.
When We Find Wisdom and Walk in It, We Forsake Wickedness
In verses 101-102, David writes, “I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your Word. I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me.”
David knows God’s Word, so he easily recognizes anything that contradicts it. Let me tell you a quick story. A boy started an apprenticeship in a pawnshop. He was eager to learn the skills behind the profession. Every day when he arrived, the storeowner sat him on a stool and handed him a jade rock. He would hold the rock for the next four hours, then sweep the floor and go home. This continued for six weeks. Finally, the frustrated boy erupted and exclaimed, “I’m here to learn your skill, and you haven’t taught me anything! Every day, I sit in a corner with a rock, sweep, and leave! You haven’t taught me anything about the store!” The owner walked to a drawer, pulled out a second rock, mixed them up, and handed them to the boy. He said, “Which one is jade?” Without any hesitation, the boy handed him the rock he had been handling for the past six weeks. The owner smiled and said, “You have to know what is real before you know what is not.”
Just as this boy only handled the authentic product, we need only to handle the truth of God’s Word. Thank the Lord that we don’t have to know everything we shouldn’t do! That would be an exhausting list with no end. We study God’s commands so we can know His ways and walk in His wisdom and obedience.
Take a moment to reflect. If God were to give you a “spiritual exam” next week, would you ace it? Would you be found wise based on your dedication in studying the Bible? Girls, let’s study God’s Word with the same sense or urgency and fervency we dedicate to our school exams. Let’s be women of the Word. Let’s be women of wisdom.
Lord, allow me to discipline myself for the purpose of godliness. Give me wisdom from the truth of Your Word so that I can be more like You. Birth in me a desire to run to Your Word every morning when I rise. Let Your Word linger on my mind throughout the day and influence my every thought and action. God, make me a woman of Your wisdom.