Wisdom and Its Source
“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt; so he made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace…. Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. Acts 7:9-10, 22 NIV 1984
Note the contrast between the wisdom of Joseph and the wisdom of Moses (up to the age of 40).
Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. But having been shown his future destiny in two dreams as a 17-year-old young man, God’s plan for him was not frustrated. In fact, the favor of the Lord was with Joseph, even in the midst of the most trying circumstances. And it was God who gave Joseph wisdom (godly wisdom) that opened opportunities for him in Potiphar’s household, in prison, and finally with Pharaoh.
In contrast, Moses was educated in the best system of the day – the Egyptian education system – having grown up in Pharaoh’s household as an adopted son. The result was that he was “powerful in speech and action” – a gifted, natural leader. But all of his natural ability and education did not qualify him to lead God’s people by the age of 40. The world’s wisdom was not enough in God’s eyes to qualify Moses to lead. It would be 40 more years of preparation before the Lord would appear to him in the burning bush when he was finally ready, with God’s anointing, to lead.
Wisdom is easily understood as necessary for leadership – especially for Kingdom leaders who are constantly balancing seeking to please God and meeting the demands of the world. But the wisdom needed for Kingdom leaders must come from God Himself. Yes, a certain wisdom can be gained by learner’s hearts and through increased experience. But, it is the wisdom that comes from the Lord that will bring the outcomes desired for Kingdom leaders.
This God-given wisdom can be asked for (see James 1:5) and the wonderful promise is that it will be given to all who ask.
So….are you asking?