Wisdom is not the same as knowledge. We know that.
You can have an encyclopedic brain the size of a planet but still fail to use the information well. Still lack the insight to recognise poor use of it.
We also know that wisdom is linked to morality. Wisdom governs ethical behaviour; it provides a framework to define and guide good decisions.
But where to get it? Where can we access wisdom in our google, smartphone, overload-of-facts-and-opinions world?
Psalm 111 opens a door to the heart of an unknown worshipper, enough for us to stop running from one meeting to the next for a few minutes, shut out the noise and peek inside.
Our pilgrim has travelled to be physically present with other worshippers, but he is focused only on God, determined to “extol the Lord with all my heart” (v 1). In his mind’s eye, he “sees” the works of the Lord, delighting in them, clawing for adjectives (glorious, majestic) in an attempt to express his wonder (v 2 – 3). Recognising that even to possess the ability to remember them here and now is a gift from God (“He has caused His wonders to be remembered”, v 4).
So, it is natural for the one in the Lord’s presence to turn his attention to the Lord’s attributes. God is “gracious and compassionate” (v 4b); He provides everything we need and remembers His covenant promises (v 5). And He is powerful. Really powerful.
All the Lord does and has done reveals His faithfulness, justice, uprightness and trustworthiness (v 8), culminating in the ultimate expression of His love: Redemption. As we view this scene through the lens of Christ, we see Jesus first on the cross, then rising triumphantly from the dead and providing redemption for his people forever.
No wonder the psalmist cries out, “holy and awesome is his name!” (v 9).
In a haze of fear, love and awe for his Creator and Saviour, the worshipper, in the midst of the assembly, now has a new perspective of the world. And he knows he can now face it with renewed confidence. He preaches to himself: Don’t forget the majesty of your God, stay close to His Word and you’ll find all the wisdom and understanding you need.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise” (v 10)