Recommended Reading: Proverbs 1:1–7; 2:1–22; 4:1–27
Do you stay up on New Year’s Eve to wait for the clock to strike midnight? If you do, you probably don’t care that much about when the New Year begins in places like Fiji or Auckland, New Zealand. However, you probably cared a bit more on December 31, 1999, as TV cameras captured the stroke of midnight in those locations to see whether the world had avoided the Y2K disaster. As clocks struck 12:00, 12:01, 12:02 in each time zone around the world, we all breathed a collective sigh of relief that televisions still functioned, nuclear power plants hadn’t failed and cars continued running.
Remember the craziness that preceded Y2K? Companies and governments spent billions of dollars to hire software programmers to pore over and correct millions of lines of computer code. All because of a looming catastrophe if computers were to misread the last two zeroes in the year 2000 as 1900.
Ironically, most of us have zero understanding of computer code. The apostle Paul said that wisdom is much the same way. Unless we have the Holy Spirit to help us know the language of God’s wisdom, we won’t really understand it. “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:14). People who don’t have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them quite naturally struggle to grasp spiritual wisdom—God’s Word, his desires, his character, his values. In fact, God’s wisdom often seems foolish to non-Christians. It’s like a foreign language to them. But when people trust in Christ as Savior, God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within them (see John 14:16–17). They can begin learning God’s wisdom while the Holy Spirit helps them understand it.
If we believe that true wisdom comes only from God, where should we turn when we seek wisdom? Paul provides the answer: “’What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit’” (1 Corinthians 2:9–10). In the Bible God speaks the language that drives us—our spiritual operating system. If we want to know God’s wisdom so that we can process the joys and trials of everyday living, we need to turn often to God’s Word and ask the Spirit to help us understand it.