I’m listening to a book called “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer, and I wanted to document this point he made about wisdom.
Packer says that a common misconception of wisdom is that it means we understand why God did something. The misconception is that God will take us into his confidence and explain why something happened. He says this rarely happens even in a specific instance, and will never happen completely.
Rather, part of wisdom is accepting that at most we will only ever understand a piece of why something happened. To accept that the wisdom of God is beyond us is wise. To try to reach complete clarity is folly.
Packer cites Ecclesiastes as a warning from a man who tried to understand the wisdom of God in its fullness. It is a warning that that is the path to madness and despair, because of the great evils of the world, the tired cycles, the obvious injustices, the vanities.
What does Packer suggest? Accept that we live in a world that doesn’t seem to make sense. Be sobered by it. Believe that God is ultimately wise. Worship God. Accept that God has chosen to leave certain things a mystery. Do not expect to understand them.
Nevertheless, we should seek wisdom from God. What things should we seek to understand?