I’m just getting over a bout with pneumonia, possibly Covid-19, and over the past 2.5 weeks of suffering, there’s been something I’ve been thinking about. Its about wisdom and life.
Fear of the Lord
There’s a link between our health, and the way be behave. It’s always been this way, even before Adam and Eve sinned.
When introducing to Adam to the existence of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, God told him.
“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Adam and Eves health depended wholly on their connection to God; and how they behaved was a measure of whether they were wise or unwise. To be wise was to to stay connected with Him, to do as he says.
“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.”
The Loss of Wisdom
In the day that Adam and Eve sinned by eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were cut off from the tree of life. This was because they had behaved foolishly, they had not feared God (which is to be unwise). What they lost that day is wisdom.
“Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.”
What we lost as a race that day was something we can now only receive in portion (but not whole) from God. And I say this because we should ask God for wisdom.
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
We will receive wisdom in whole again someday, but for now, the only way we could live forever again someday was that Jesus Christ would die for our sins and become wisdom for us.
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
1 Corinthians 1:30
Biblical references to wisdom and our health
There are many places in the bible where we are shown that wisdom and our health are connected. I’d like to share some of those with you here.
During Proverbs chapter 2 which discusses the benefits of wisdom, we see that she is life to those who have her, through implication of the opposite, “foolishness” the forbidden woman.
It will rescue you from the forbidden woman, from the stranger with seductive words who abandons the partner of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God.
For her house sinks down to death, and her tracks to the departed spirits.
None who go to her return or negotiate the paths of life.
Again, it speaks of her in this way in Proverbs chapter 3
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
This will bring healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;
By His knowledge the depths were broken up,
And clouds drop down the dew.
My son, let them not depart from your eyes—
Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
So they will be life to your soul
And grace to your neck.
Chapter 4 also
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”
Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.
My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the Lord;
But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death.
Forsake foolishness and live,
And go in the way of understanding.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
In the way of righteousness is life,
And in its pathway there is no death.
In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence,
And His children will have a place of refuge.
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.
Adam an Eve had a heart problem, just like us:
A sound heart is life to the body,
But envy is rottenness to the bones.
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life,
But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
This first one is very symbolic. The king is Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is the latter rain. We can only receive wisdom from God, so it is saying this.
In the light of the king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.
In Proverbs 8:14, wisdom explains that she is also understanding. so this verse applies too:
Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it.
But the correction of fools is folly.
In chapter 17, we see a link between wisdom and the heart
Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom,
Since he has no heart for it?
and shortly thereafter, it says this:
A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones
I suppose you’ve got to have a heart if it can be merry 🙂
Okay, there are two more I can think of:
The fear of the Lord leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.
By humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches and honor and life.
I’m certain there are other places in the bible that speak of this, because I have some of them written in my notes; but looking at the book of Proverbs, we can see that king Solomon (the author of most of Proverbs) was a great source for understanding wisdom.
This was by Gods design, because Solomon asked God for wisdom when he promised to give Solomon whatever he asked for.
Later, the bible said this of Solomon:
they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice
1 Kings 3:28
So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
1 Kings 10:23
This is not to say that receiving wisdom is all fun and games and happiness and success; because wisdom from God comes the conviction of sin, with a recognition of our own self as a sinner, and not as a conqueror, but as what we truly are, a person who needs a savior and His righteousness.
For with much wisdom comes much sorrow, and as knowledge grows, grief increases.
Jesus became wisdom for us, because truly, in this world, we are not strong enough to bear the sorrow that it also brings to a sinful nature. Only Christ was able to be so wise that he never sinned. Remember, in Gethsemane, he resisted temptation to the point of bleeding without bodily injury.
Of this, it is written in the book of Hebrews
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Lastly, be sure to have wisdom from above, something filled with the fruits of the Spirit.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.