The Wisdom of God explained and extolled in the Old Testament

January 3, 2022 • 4 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 151
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Numerous are the passages in the Old Testament which promise this wisdom to the just.

“I am the Lord thy God, that teach thee profitable things, that govern thee in the way that thou walkest.” [Isaias xlviii. 17.]

“The month of the just,” says David, “shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment.” [Ps. xxxvi. 30.]

Throughout the one hundred and eighteenth Psalm how frequent is his prayer for this divine wisdom! “Blessed art Thou, O Lord: teach me Thy justifications. Open Thou my eyes, and I will consider the wondrous things of Thy law. Give me understanding, and I will search Thy law; and I will keep it with my whole heart.”

Shall we not, therefore, appreciate the happiness and honor of possessing such a Master, from Whom we may learn sublime lessons of immortal wisdom?

“If Apollonius,” says St. Jerome, “traversed the greater part of the world to behold Hipparchus seated upon a golden throne in the midst of his disciples, and explaining to them the movements of the heavenly bodies, what should not men do to hear God, from the throne of their hearts, instructing them, not upon the motions of the heavenly bodies, but how they may advance to the heavenly kingdom?”

If you would appreciate the value of this doctrine, hear how it is extolled by the prophet in the psalm from which we have already quoted: “I have understood more than all my teachers,” he exclaims, “because Thy testimonies are my meditation. I have had understanding above ancients, because I have sought Thy commandments.” [Ps. cxviii. 99, 100.]

More expressive still are the words in which Isaias enumerates the blessings promised to God;s servants: “The Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill thy soul with brightness, and deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a fountain of water whose waters shall not fail.” [Isaias lviii. 11.]

What is this brightness with which God fills the soul of the just but that clear knowledge of all that is necessary for salvation?

He shows them the beauty of virtue and the deformity of vice. He reveals to them the vanity of this world, the treasures of grace, the greatness of eternal glory, and the sweetness of the consolations of the Holy Spirit. He teaches them to apprehend the goodness of God, the malice of the evil one, the shortness of life, and the fatal error of those whose hopes are centred in this world alone.

Hence the equanimity of the just. They are neither puffed up by prosperity nor cast dowm by adversity. “A holy man,” says Solomon, “continueth in wisdom as the sun, but a fool is changed as the moon.” [Ecclus. xxvii. 12.] Unmoved by the winds of false doctrine, the just man continues steadfast in Christ, immovable in charity, unswerving in faith.

Be not astonished at the effect of this wisdom, for it is not earthly, but divine. Is there anything of earth to be compared with it? “The finest gold shall not purchase it, neither shall silver be weighed in exchange for it. It cannot be compared with the most precious stone sardonyx, or the sapphire. The fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.” [Job xxviii.]

And this wisdom increases in the just, for Solomon tells us: “The path of the just, as a shining light, goeth forwards and increaseth even to perfect day,” [Prov. iv. 18.] the beginning of a blessed eternity, when God’s wisdom and beauty will be revealed to us in all their brightness and power.

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