There was a problem at one of Henry Ford’s factories, so he asked Nikola Tesla to have a look and see if he could fix it. Tesla walked up to a boiler plate at the factory, made a small X in chalk identifying where the problem was, and it was fixed. Tesla sent Ford an invoice for $10,000. Ford was furious and asked for a breakdown of the bill. Tesla sent another invoice indicating a $1 charge for marking the wall with the X, and $9,999 for knowing where to mark the X.
Knowledge is very important, but not enough. Wisdom to rightly apply knowledge is also needed. There’s no shortage of smart people who act foolishly. They have an abundance of knowledge but lack the wisdom to apply it.
God has full knowledge of everything, but He’s also all wise and applies that knowledge perfectly. Creation illustrates this. Scientists have identified a number of “just right” conditions in our universe that make it possible for everything to be here. For instance, if gravity were slightly weaker the planets and stars could not have formed. If gravity were a bit stronger the stars would quickly burn up. If the electromagnetic force were even slightly stronger or weaker we wouldn’t have stable chemical bonds. There are many more examples which illustrate the “fine tuning” of our universe. The psalmist declared, “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all…” (Psalm104:24a)
Wayne Grudem, in his book on theology, writes, “God’s wisdom means that God always chooses the right goals and the best means to those goals.” What this means for us personally is that God always acts wisely on our behalf.
We can come up with a long list of how we wish events in our lives and those we love would have unfolded differently. Looking back on my own life of over 70 years I can easily come up with such a list for myself.
It’s at this point, bewildered by how God has allowed or caused circumstances to unfold in a way not to our liking, that we have to make a conscious decision to trust in God’s wisdom. I like how A. W. Tozer puts it in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy. “The testimony of faith is that, no matter how things look in this fallen world, all God’s acts are wrought in perfect wisdom.” Yes, in this wild and whacky world we can do no better than to focus on the wisdom of God, that He is making wise use of all that’s going on, that it will be ultimately for good, including our good!
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33)