Proverbs 8 declares that wisdom was the “first of his works.” Before heavens, hills or horizons, wisdom preceded all God’s acts of power.
God’s wisdom also precedes his power in Numbers 33-34, where we are given an overview of Israel’s 40-year travel itinerary to the Promised Land. God takes his people on a faith-flexing journey led by fire at night and cloud by day. Through desolate places “where there was no water for them to drink,” they only saw occasional oases of palm trees and fresh springs. In his wisdom, he allows the Israelites to reach a desperate impasse: The Red Sea before them and an army behind them. At that moment, he delivers in a way that will be remembered and revered for thousands of years to come.
Finally, in Luke 9, we find Jesus surrounded by crowds. He was filled with compassion for them because “They were like sheep without a shepherd.” At the end of a tiring day of teaching, he rejects his disciples’ suggestions to send the people off. “You give them something to eat,” he says. Can you imagine how they stuttered and scrambled, doing mental math to figure out how many months’ wages it would take to feed everyone? At that moment, Jesus could have chosen one of a multitude of ways to show his power: cast a net and bring it up full of fish, or simply speak peace over the people’s hunger and keep on preaching. But again, before his works and wonders comes wisdom - and his brand of wisdom is about to blow their minds! Meagre offerings are miraculously multiplied, stomachs and souls are satisfied, and faith rises in the hearts of the people.
Today as you navigate life, may you be confident that, “God allows in his wisdom what he could easily prevent by his power” - Graham Cooke. Wisdom “rejoices in his presence and delights in mankind” (Prov 8:30-31). The same God who parted the sea had compassion on the crowds. The same God who abundantly satisfied the needs of his people is Lord over COVID-19. His brand of wisdom always triumphs, and his eagerly-anticipated works are sure to send our hearts soaring with faith. May you be filled with hope today.
Congregant, passionate worshiper and citizen of Heaven!