But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? (Job 28:12)
And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28)
Wisdom. Don't we all want it? I know I do. But where do we find it and how do we know that we have it? Job had some inkling of what wisdom was and how it was to be found, but he wound up being reprimanded by God for thinking he was wise (see Job 38). The truth of the matter is that we can have some wisdom - all given to us by God - but we must never forget our place in this world next to God. He is everything and all knowing, we are really nothing and know very little in the whole scheme of things.
Job was a wise man. We can be wise too, in a relative sort of way, but we must keep in mind that we will never have the capacity to understand as God does. The verses above, taken from yet another speech by Job answer these questions. When we combine the two verses we can see that
1) Wisdom can be found by fearing God.
2) Understanding can be found by departing from evil, or obedience to God.
There you have it. Wisdom and understanding in a simple nutshell. But how then can we practically "fear God" and "obey God"? Fearing God comes by knowing His word and thus by knowing God. If we know His word, which can only come by a daily reading of it, we can develop a deep knowledge of who God is through both the old and new testament. Seeing who God is and how He reacts to both the obedience and disobedience of his chosen people will give us that healthy fear and respect that we owe to the Creator of the universe. We can't develop that understanding and respect for God if we don't understand all aspects of His character. In other words, just singing a praise song and hearing of God's love for me cannot develop wisdom in my character, because in those things I'm only seeing a one-dimensional aspect of God. One dimensional thinking does not wisdom make. Understanding then, goes hand in hand with fearing God. By fearing God, we will want to obey Him and from that, we will have understanding. This is sure a lot to chew on for the morning!
So in closing, I will pose a few questions for thought:
1) What will I do today to gain a greater understanding of God?
2) How many aspects of God's character do I really know?
3) Can I really have true wisdom without a working understanding of my bible?