Salvation in Wisdom


The great scholar Gu Yen-wu was a famous poet who lived during the end of the Ming and the beginning of the Ching Dynasties. He suffered the pain of destruction of his nation and lived through a foreign occupation, so all his life, he studied every tome on wisdom and sought the practical application of worldly wisdom to save his people. This scholar once said, ¡§The ordinary man has responsibility for the rise and fall of the world¡¨ - hoping to use this aphorism to encourage people to bear responsibility for the state of the country and the welfare of the nation. By the 17th century, the spread of western religion, academics, mathematics, astronomy and chronology into China by Jesuits forced those scholars who all their lives knew and researched only Chinese matters to suddenly be awakened to a whole new universe, and realize that there was wisdom from other cultures besides the realm of traditional Chinese wisdom and philosophy. This writer believes worldly wisdom can never be equal to the wisdom of the Bible.


Solomon was a man full of wisdom and had great intellect. He enjoyed life fully, and had much insight into worldly things. Later in life he wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes, concluding that wisdom was better than gold or silver (Proverbs 3:14) or weapons of war (Ecclesiastes 9:18). Yet people who had wisdom did not always gain the regard of others. He recorded the following illustration:


¡§I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siegeworks against it. Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. So I said, ¡¥Wisdom is better than strength.¡¦ But the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.¡¨ (Ecclesiastes 9¡¨13-16)


There are 5 main points to the above example; (1) Wisdom is more precious than anything else. (2) Those who possess true wisdom in the world (under the sun) are few. (3) That wise person was not materialistically bountiful; on the contrary, he was poor. (4) In the face of national calamity, the poor but wise person repelled the enemy by his wisdom, thereby saving the people, altering the city¡¦s fate of destruction, and preserving the lives of many. (5) Although the poor but wise person helped the city and brought peace to the people, yet his wisdom was despised and his words were not heeded. This is very lamentable.


The Bible tells us that the Son of God is the source of all wisdom (Proverbs 2:6, 8:22-26). God created all things in heaven and on earth by Him and for Him. In Him all things hold together (1 Colossians 1:16-17). He is chosen by and precious to God (1 Peter 2:4). This only begotten Son who dwells in the bosom of the Holy Father, the Son of God who is full of wisdom and intellect, willingly humbled Himself to become the Son of Man (the Word became flesh) because of His love for the people of the world and obedience to the will of the Father. He lived amongst earthly people as the son of a carpenter, humbling Himself in obedience, and subsisted as a poor man who did not even have a place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20). Jesus Christ fulfilled the plan of salvation of the Father with His great love and wisdom, defeating the Devil who had power over death, saving Man from sin and destruction and bestowing life and peace to those who repent and turn to God. Regrettably, many do not really know Him. Jesus Christ is even more misunderstood and despised than that poor but wise person. God truly has accomplished salvation through His wisdom and great love.


¡§For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.¡¨ (1 Corinthians 1:21-24)


By: Daniel To