Merchandise of Wisdom, Part III

Fishing for Sustenance

Simon the fisherman listened intently in spite of the slapping waves along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and the distraction of his long neglected nets which lay unwashed on the shore.  The morning sun warmed his broadly tanned shoulders as he waved his oar through the sparkling water to keep the boat steady.

He had toiled and worked all night long with his brother Andrew, and he was extremely tired.  But still they had caught no fish.

Yet somehow the words of Jesus seemed to bring his tired arms and hands to life.  Perhaps it was the fervor with which He spoke. Or was it the excitement His words generated in the crowd?  Whatever it was, Simon too strained his ears to catch every word.  For this man seemed to have the wisdom of God.

He had never seen such a crowd in all his days as a lowly fisherman.  And how the people had pressed and thronged Jesus!  Because of them, it had been impossible for Simon to complete his job of washing the nets, what with the children and the constant interruptions!  So he had left his washing temporarily, but gladly.

“Washing those nets always seems harder when there are no fish to clean as well,” he had thought tiredly.  And he had readily granted Jesus’ request to use his boat from which to speak to the crowd.  The nets could wait, and there was little use fishing this late in the morning.

But when Jesus had finished teaching, He spoke to Simon further, asking him to contradict all of his fisherman instincts, “Simon, why don’t you and Andrew launch out into deeper water and let down your nets for some fish?”

It seemed completely against his experience, and he momentarily wondered if the carpenter from Nazareth shouldn’t stick to his woodwork and leave fishing to the experienced seamen.  But then he remembered how Jesus had rebuked the fever in his wife’s mother and how she had been instantly healed.

Finally he said, “Master we have worked all night long and have caught nothing.  Nevertheless, since you have said the word, I will let down our nets.”

When the net was let down, Simon immediately felt the pull of a great multitude of fish, and the net began to strain and tear.  While he worked the net, his brother Andrew, who worked excitedly to keep the boat from capsizing, called loudly to James and John on the shore to come and help.  Together, the two small ships took in so many fish they nearly sank as they strove to bring the catch to land.

Simon and the other fishermen were overwhelmed to the point of amazement! Never before in their experience had they seen such a catch.  It contradicted everything they knew!  Surely this man Jesus had something, some kind of godly wisdom that gave Him insights no other man had!


More to Be Desired than Gold

Jesus did have the wisdom of God on that occasion, just as He does today!  The Word of God says that “Jesus is made unto us Wisdom,” and, “In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

The Wisdom of God, as we have seen, is precious.  There is great treasure in godly wisdom, for the merchandise of wisdom is greater than that of silver or gold!  Where these natural means of barter fail, the Word of God will never fail! And through God’s Word we receive the knowledge of God’s will in any circumstance!

As it says in the Psalms:

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults

(Psalms 19:7-12)

Let us continue to learn how we may receive the wisdom of God through His Word!


Exceeding Precious Promises

The Apostle James writes about wisdom from God in his epistle,

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  (James 1:5-6)

This is a tremendous promise, and it is a key in opening all of the promises of God to us!  We have already seen that if we have Godly wisdom, the knowledge and ability to know God’s will and speak God’s Word in a specific situation and see results, then such wisdom can be used to receive from God.

James says that God actually desires to give us His wisdom.  And He gives liberally!  The only condition is that we ask in faith, believing that we receive when we pray!

But not only does God desire to give us His wisdom; He also desires for us to receive all things pertaining to our needs in this life, for He has already given us richly all things to enjoy!  Peter writes,

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;  seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.   (II Peter 1:3-4)

This is why we need to have a thorough knowledge of Him.  This is why we need to know His Word.  He has already given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.  Therefore, He has made exceeding great and precious promises to us so that we can receive what He has promised!

The miracle is that God’s Word contains these promises!  If we don’t know what the promises are, we don’t know what God has promised us, and we perish for lack of wisdom and knowledge.

In other words, God has given us His Word (His precious promises), and has promised to give us His wisdom in how to use this Word effectively in our own lives.  The Word is the currency and the Wisdom is the knowledge we need to invest His currency wisely.  The two are dependent upon each other.  There can be no wisdom without the Word, and the Word will not operate without wisdom!  But God has liberally provided both in order that we might live as full partakers of His divine nature.


Seeking After Wisdom

We must remember, however, that godly wisdom does not come cheaply.  In spite of the fact that God gives His wisdom liberally and freely, He still will not cast His pearls before swine!  His wisdom must be sought!  As it says in the Proverbs,

My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity.  (Proverbs 2:1-7)

Many have set themselves to seeking for gold and hidden treasures in this world, only to find that gold and silver cannot meet their every need.  They have strained, and toiled, and sweated after worldly riches only to perish with their using.  Some have fished all their lives and caught nothing!

How much more ought we to search, and seek, and ask for God’s wisdom in faith, crying after His knowledge and lifting our voice seeking for understanding.  As in Jesus’ explanation of the Parable of the Sower, God only continues to plant His seeds of the Word in the ground that will bear fruit.  God is a good farmer, and He will plant His seeds of wisdom and knowledge in those places where the enemy, the deceitfulness of worldly riches, where persecutions and afflictions will not steal or choke the seeds before they produce fruit.

Have you been fishing all night and caught nothing?  Seek after God’s wisdom that comes from His Word, for He has given us many precious promises, and He wants us to receive our full inheritance through a knowledge of Him and His will.  The merchandise of wisdom is greater by far than the merchandise of silver or gold!



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