Class 36: “With All Thy Getting, Get Wisdom and Understanding” (Part 1)
Today, we are beginning a new study titled “With All Thy Getting, Get Wisdom and Understanding.”
As we begin this lesson, consider these words from Albert Einstein. He said, “Gentlemen, try not to become men of success. Rather, become men of value.”
Let’s begin by reading the portion from Letters to Young Black Men which our lesson is based on:
I trust that you are growing.
As I have shared with you in previous letters, it is true that gaining more education and acquiring knowledge is very important and essential to your success as we know it in this life. However, let me quickly say to you that there is something more important than these things, and that is obtaining WISDOM. While you are gaining more knowledge, please also get wisdom.
Notice what King Solomon said: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
What is wisdom? The word “wisdom” literally means having skill. Education will tell you how to do something, but wisdom will tell you why you ought to do something. And wisdom will also tell you when you ought to do something. In other words, knowledge or education is the automobile, but wisdom is the fuel. Wisdom is that supernatural edge that most people do not have, and have no idea how to get. King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said: Wisdom is more valuable than gold, silver and rubies. In fact, if you don’t have wisdom, you won’t have and certainly won’t keep much gold, silver and rubies.
Probably, besides my letter on “Get to Know Your Creator”, this short letter is the most important to your happiness, success, and advancement in this life.
Now, please pull out your printed study guide or your digital study guide as we begin this lesson.
There is something more important than gaining more education and acquiring knowledge, and that is obtaining wisdom. The dictionary lists a number of characteristics that pertain to wisdom. These include accumulated learning, the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships, good sense, and the ability to judge what is true, right, or lasting. These definitions of wisdom make it seem like an incredibly helpful tool to possess in this world of deceptions and distractions. Let us look at several of the many biblical passages that describe wisdom.
Read the following verses and briefly note how they describe wisdom. This task may seem overwhelming due to the number of verses provided, but it is helpful for understanding the high value the Bible places on attaining wisdom. At the summation of this exercise you will be equipped to create your own biblical definition of wisdom.
1. Proverbs 3:13-15: “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”
Wisdom is more valuable than anything this earth can offer. She is to be sought after more diligently than material wealth, health, or popularity. You cannot even begin to fathom the vast richness that wisdom provides until you begin to strive after her wholeheartedly. Soon, nothing else will really matter.
2. Proverbs 3:18: “She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”
Wisdom is not only the key to life, but to a blessed life. She makes life a glorious adventure in which we are constantly refreshed and renewed by the depth of knowledge available to us. You will never discover the joy that accompanies truth if you settle for living a shallow life.
3. Proverbs 4:6-7: “Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
Wisdom offers a constant, reliable protection from the evil forces of this world. Because she is so full of benefits, she does not come without a price. It will cost your pride, your time, your energy, your self-devotion, and your attachment to this world. However, all of these things ultimately lead to destruction while wisdom leads to life eternal.
4. Proverbs 8:12: “I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.”
Wisdom makes her home with those who exercise good sense, caution, and healthy decision making. If you live recklessly, simply appeasing each personal desire as it arises, wisdom cannot work in you. The wise man looks at all the options, takes note of the good and bad that accompanies each one, and makes the best decision in a timely but careful manner.
In closing, Tony Dungy, the first black coach to win the Super Bowl and the host of NBC’s Sunday Night Football said, “You are never going to get anywhere in sports or in life until you become convinced of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may become a professional athlete or have fame and nice cars and nice houses and a lot of money, but what you’ll find is that all of that stuff goes away pretty quickly. You have to understand that Christ died for our sins, and that He died not just to be our Savior but so that He could be the center of our lives.”
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people I grew up around said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, I’ll see you for our next class.