Pagans and Greeks and Hebrews, Oh My!
Myles likes to joke about different paradigms in this way: “Pagans ask, ‘What God?’ Greeks question, ‘Which God?’ But the Hebrew queries, ‘God, what do you want from me?’”
Myles adds: “The sons of Abraham know God as He reveals Himself through the Bible, and they recognize that He wants them to live by His wisdom.”
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” —James 3:17
We live in times characterized by a lack of wisdom. As God foretold, knowledge is increasing (Daniel 12:4). Technological know-how and innovation abound, but the wisdom that is “from above” is rare.
We need to be like Solomon, who asked God for wisdom:
“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart
to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad,
for who is able to judge this so great a people.” —1 Kings 3:9
The Hebrew word for wisdom (chokmah) literally means to be wise, to act wisely, to be intelligent, to be prudent. The verb is used 26 times in the Tanakh, the Hebrew Scriptures. It speaks of an intelligent attitude toward the experience of life. According to Strong’s Concordance, this experience includes “matters of general interest and basic morality, prudence in secular affairs, skills in the arts, moral sensitivity, and spiritual experience.”
Hebrew wisdom differed from other ancient worldviews. Israel believed in the existence of a personal God who is holy and just, and who expects us to live our lives in accordance with His principles. They did not speculate like the Greeks, who emphasized the human will and elevated humanity to godlike status.
A Hebraic worldview, therefore, was very practical—based on what God revealed about right and wrong. These perspectives applied to daily life. Our House of Peace ministry emphasizes the message of God’s wisdom; knowing that everyone—even non-believers—need more of God’s way in our lives.
Wisdom From Above
I love how God tells us: “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives liberally and does not upbraid us” (James1:5). Our Lord does not punish us for not knowing; He simply wants us to ask. As Believers, we all need to grow in our wisdom and understanding. Yeshua is our example: In Luke 2:52, we read that even Jesus “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
Why is it that humans do not take the time to ask the all-knowing God for the wisdom that we lack? He will help us find our way. Especially in these tumultuous times, with battles raging in spiritual realms, we have permission to call, “Abba, Father” and trust Him to guide us in the path of life.
For a lasting memory, read the verses above as you walk the land of our Lord.
I strongly encourage you to join us next March 11-23 2018 on our pilgrimage to Israel.
This life-changing experience will make the Word come alive and God’s wisdom will flood each pilgrim’s spirit!