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New Horizons

January, 2003: God Only Wise

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Contentment in the Wisdom of God

What is the greatest problem with which we as Christians struggle? Is it not wanting our own way, being unwilling to wait upon the Lord?

Wanting our own way is not necessarily selfish. Often it means that we are not pleased with the way things are going. We wish that things would be "better than they are." Wanting our own way can even mean, in fact, that we want God's revealed will—perfect righteousness—to come about here and now in all its fullness. In other words, we can be quite discontent that things are not as God has said that he desires them to be (Pss. 37 and 73). Read more

God Only Wise

What does the Bible mean when it calls God wise? In Scripture, wisdom is a moral as well as an intellectual quality, more than mere intelligence or knowledge, just as it is more than mere cleverness or cunning. For us to be truly wise, in the Bible sense, our intelligence and cleverness must be harnessed to a right end. Wisdom is the power to see, and the inclination to choose, the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.

Wisdom is, in fact, the practical side of moral goodness. As such, it is found in its fullness only in God. He alone is naturally and entirely and invariably wise. "His wisdom ever waketh," says the hymn, and it is true. God is never other than wise in anything that he does. Wisdom, as the old theologians used to say, is his essence, just as power and truth and goodness are his essence—integral elements, that is, in his character. Read more

Where Can Wisdom Be Found (Job 28)

There is a hymn, the second verse of which goes like this:

He formed the stars, those heavenly flames,
He counts their numbers, calls their names;
His wisdom's vast, and knows no bound,
A deep where all our thoughts are drowned.
Read more

Of God's Wisdom

Q. 1. How manifold is the wisdom of God?
A. There is a personal and essential wisdom of God: the personal wisdom of the Son of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24. "Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." Colossians 2:3. "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." The essential wisdom of God is the essence of God, of which this Question speaks.

Q. 2. What is the essential wisdom of God?
A. The essential wisdom of God is his most exact and perfect knowledge of himself and all his creatures, and his ordering and disposing them in the most convenient manner, to the glory of his own name. Ephesians 1:11. "According to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." Read more

The Importance of Catechism Instruction

In an address given (in 1952) to the members of the First Reformed Church in Paterson, New Jersey, the Rev. John P. Muilenburg, former missionary to China, said, among other things, "Since I have come back to America, I look out upon the church with fear and trembling because so many of our people do not really know what the church stands for. In our American Christianity we have had a silly tolerance which says that it makes no difference what you believe so long as you try to live a good life. This attitude is all wrong. We must know what we believe and what we stand for."

"The Communists do not make this mistake," Mr. Muilenburg went on to point out. "They really train and teach their people." Did not our Lord say at one time, "The sons of this world are for their own generation wiser than the sons of the light" (Luke 16:8)? Perhaps we can learn a lesson even now from the Communists. The question often occurs to me: is the average member of our churches of Reformed persuasion as ready to defend the doctrines we believe and teach? If not, whose fault is it? Is it perhaps the fault of the church? Read more

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