In 1996, Dr. Michael Behe a microbiologist and professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, published a book called Darwin’s Black Box. Behe claimed that Darwin’s theory of evolution was not possible because there are certain systems in the cell that are irreducibly complex. Meaning if you took any one part away, the whole system would stop working and would be meaningless, and by definition, would not be passed on to future generations because the mutation was unhelpful to its function or survival.
An everyday example of an irreducibly complex system, that illustrates what Behe was getting at is your classic spring loaded bar mouse trap. Your classic mouse trap has five parts, the base, hammer, spring, catch, and the holding bar. If you take any of these five parts away, the trap will not function. Behe argues that there are many examples of irreducibly complex systems such as the cilium, the bacterial flagellum, blood clotting, etc. that like the mouse trap, would cease to function as a system if any of the parts of the system were not there. Therefore evolution cannot explain how these systems came into existence.
I know what you’re thinking, “Pastor Dan, that is very interesting. But what does this have to do with what love looks like?” An excellent question! I would like to propose that the biblical idea of love is an irreducibly complex system. What we have been doing in these recent posts is exploring love by looking at each of its individual parts. When you combine all of these parts together, you get love. When one or more of these parts are missing, love breaks down. You need to have the parts of grace: humility, confidence because of God’s grace, *peacemaking, forgiving, and gratitude. You need to have the parts of truth: goodness, *righteousness, truthfulness, and the part of love we are going to look at today—wisdom.
*I need to make an aside at this point. In my original layout of this I had five characteristics each for grace and truth. The fifth for grace was peacemaking. Under truth I had the characteristic of righteousness. I had already made a series of posts on both of those recently. Since there is a lot of overlap with peacemaking and forgiveness I was content to just let it go. But righteousness…that I think needs to be here. So if you so desire below are links to those posts.
Blessed are the Peacemakers, Part 1
Blessed are the Peacemakers, Part 2
Blessed are the Peacemakers, Part 3
Love Is Shown by Righteousness, Part 1
Love Is Shown by Righteousness, Part 2
Love Is Shown by Righteousness, Part 3
There…I feel better. Thus ends my aside. Back to wisdom….
Wisdom is so vital to our spiritual life that God dedicated 3 whole books to the subject: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. That should be a pretty big clue as to how important God believes wisdom is to possess. Let’s take a look at Proverbs 2:1-11.
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
In this passage we see four characteristics of a life that is full of divine wisdom.
- It starts with the implication that Solomon here is being honest with us and telling us the truth about wisdom. If we want to be honest and trustworthy, we need to seek wisdom from God.
- Solomon then tells us that wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord (that is the subject for my next series of posts).
- Wisdom gives understanding of what is right and just.
- Wisdom shows us very good path.
The key to being good, righteous, truthful, all the characteristics of truth we have looked at so far, require this one: wisdom.
Love is shown by wisdom. People who are full of God’s truth are wise people.
What is wisdom?
Wisdom is more than knowledge. You have to have knowledge to be wise, but having knowledge does not mean you are wise. Wisdom is the application of knowledge to life. Wisdom is different from skill. Skill is application of knowledge in a job, trade, or ability. Skill is knowing how to do something. Wisdom is knowing the right thing to do. When wisdom is put into action, it results in the characteristics of grace and truth. Wisdom is the moral application and practice of what we know. God does not just want us to know truth. He wants us to live the truth. The wisdom the Bible wants us to have is the right application of God’s truth to our relationships and responsibilities.