41. Hebrew Worship: Worshipping Wisdom


I have been listening to a Mercy storyteller who fancies himself to be a historian, spinning the stories of Moses, Buddha, Confucius and Socrates.  As a non-believer, he dances uncomfortably around the issues of power and focuses instead of the acquisition and dispensing of wisdom by these sages of yore.

It is fascinating to look at a culture’s social constructs and their religious constructs through those two grids.

Broadly, Asian theologies lean heavily toward wisdom.  Broadly, Western theologies are visibly split between the power streams and the wisdom streams.  Broadly, African indigenous theologies had one of the most even handed blends of wisdom and power in the hands of the elders, but African Christianity today favors power much more than wisdom.

It is interesting to drill down to smaller subsets of the culture and watch the tension.  In our current presidential elections, those with sophisticated wisdom platforms are getting mowed down by the power people in this season of the seemingly endless election campaign.

By contrast, academic circles are infamous for harboring people who purport to be wise, but can’t build anything more complicated than a syllabus.

Conversely, the mom and pop businesses of our nation are largely staffed by people with the power to build a widget who have not read a book on business wisdom in the last five years – which is why they still run a mom and pop business!

God gave the Israelite culture a lot of wisdom.  He perfectly understood the laws of science and the rest of natural law – since He created those laws – and the mandates He gave them were simply an active expression of what they had to do to benefit from the laws He gave them.  Or to put it a different way, the power was wrapped up in the wisdom, but was not evident as power.  But it was there.

This is captured exquisitely in this promise.  It represented a transition from just power, to power wrapped in wisdom.  They had just experienced the raw power of bitter water becoming potable due to the symbol of the stick thrown in, and God announced a change of program.  It was not going to be power, power, power.  They had experienced that in the past, but now power and wisdom were going to meet.

“He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.'”  Exodus 15:26  NIV

This passage is where we get the name The Lord who Heals.  And our culture massively takes it out of context and misapplies it making it a power name, not a wisdom/power concept.  When someone gets sick, we claim this name and ask God to use His power to heal them of their sickness.  But that is so not what the passage says at all.  God says that if we will embrace the power that is embedded IN the wisdom principles, we won’t get sick in the first place.

And that set the stage for endless conflict between Israel and God.  They would violate the principles because they disdained the power that is IN wisdom.  Then, when the consequences of their violation of principles hurt them, they would cry out to God for Him to do a straight up power encounter to solve their problems.  And when God did a power intervention on their behalf, they named Him and built a memorial and celebrated Him for His power.  But they did not readily celebrate His wisdom for the greatness of the wisdom, much less for the power perfectly embedded in the wisdom.

Modern Christianity is not too different.

We hear lots of celebrations of powerful healing, supernatural economic relief and governmental documents coming through in record time or marriages being restored against all odds.  God’s power is very much loved these days – as long as it is divorced from wisdom.

Yet, our lives demonstrate far more of the power of God IN wisdom, than apart from wisdom.

Take our company.  We have applied the wisdom of God related to the principle of flow, and as a result of that, our shipping is incredibly blessed.  Even though the shipping companies are robustly cursed by their angry customers day in and day out, our products fly through their cursed systems on miraculous fast tracks, because of the principles.  We used wisdom.  There was power in the wisdom.  We have good results day in and day out, and most people who receive a package a couple of days after they order it are pleased, but don’t stop to name God, build a monument or worship the power embedded in the principles.

By contrast, we have two rooms that have had a bad smell in them for eight years.  We have tried every principle we knew of to cleanse the land and the air and the furniture and the people, but have been unsuccessful.  The other day, a small team of Servants took on the project and were able to appropriate the power of God in a wonderful intervention that has nearly fixed the problem.  It is wonderful.  I have asked them to go back and see if they can get the last 10% and then to see if God would be willing to release the fragrance of heaven into those two rooms.  We shall see.

If God provides His power to do that, we will be thrilled.  We will celebrate.  I wholeheartedly receive the full measure of the power of God unleashed on our behalf in such visible ways.

But the reality is, I experience the power of God wrapped up in wisdom day in and day out – far more often that stand-alone power.  Unlike the Israelites, I readily worship The God of All Wisdom, knowing that you can easily have human power without wisdom, but you cannot have the wisdom of God without having power embedded in it.

The wisdom of God and The God of All Wisdom were wonderfully celebrated by Solomon, especially in Proverbs 8.

Join me in a celebration of the glory of the wisdom of God, with its rich treasures of power.

Doing Deliverance on Your Brain41. Hebrew Worship: Worshipping Wisdom

Copyright January 2016, by Arthur Burk

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Comments

  1. John Seaman says

    Back in the 70’s, while a pre-med college student, I read “None of these Diseases” by SI McMIllan, a Wesleyan missionary physician who wrote about this. For 40 years I’ve incorporated the ideas of using God’s principles as a means to health into my practice and teaching. In pentecostal / charismatic circles, this wasn’t always well received as the emphasis was always on power. Quite a few pastors told me that they had no use for physicians and that there was no need to regulate their lifestyle since they knew the “God that heals”. I find it interesting that there is often a lot more receptivity to God’s principles among non-believers and new agers. I have also come to realize that I have only scratched the surface of the principles in God’s word. I am thankful to you, Arthur, for pushing me to look at many new ones.

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    • says

      And that is the travesty, John. Power vs. principles instead of both. I am so in agreement with you that there is room for both.

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  2. Soo Fee says

    I have been listening to one of Arthur’s early teachings “Seven Principles” last week. My heart is filled with joy and gratitude to Father for His principles that are available in the Scriptures. The wisdom and power that He made available is indeed attainable. If we faithfully sow the right principles in our lives, we will reap wisdom and power in due time.
    Arthur, thank you for answering God’s call in your life to explore His principles and wisdom and sharing the invaluable treasure with us.
    Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His!

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  3. Juliane Mueller says

    I always wondered why I can’t follow or identify with most of the supernatural ministries although I believe in supernatural power. Thanks to your article, now I know: they lack the wisdom part. Probably not in their personal lifes but in their teachings.
    Had some personal revelations:
    Power comes out of me when wisdom lives within me. Wisdom has to do with every day life decisions. Power comes from authority and authority comes from applied wisdom. Solomon got power and riches because he had asked for wisdom in the first place.
    Power without wisdom is religion and can’t go far, as we can see on Pharaoh’s side.
    What a privilege to live in a relationship with Jesus
    in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col.3:2) and having Him living in me. That makes me so grateful.
    Your article here is one of the most important ones for me in the last couple of months.
    More than ever I look for wisdom not for power.

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  4. says

    This hit me on two levels. I am very familiar with principles, but somehow the way you packaged it here with the power IN the wisdom caused it to land in a very different place. I especially resonated with your comment about worshipping the God of Wisdom as Solomon did in Proverbs 8. The second piece is thinking about modern Christianity and the “yadda” aspect of wisdom. Living it. We generally would prefer to skip the living part and just have the power.

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  5. says

    Joyce Stutes
    There is much to be said about this. I will chew on this for some time. So many nuggets and in all reality happened then and is definitely happening now. I will be reexamining of my own heart of how I have limited God. This is really awesome! I was touched because you know something is wrong but never have the right words for what is missing. When someone points a direction my spirit knows better than I know, this is worth more observation and investigating. Something I have been trying to understand but never had the words for.
    They are suppose to work together. God shows himself in so many ways, but when we lean and trust in only one way, we tend to lose site of how variegated our God is. Seeking the whole heart of who He is, otherwise there leaves many gaps in our understanding and ends up in disappointment perhaps the outcome is not what we expected. Lord enlarge my capacity to accept and receive all of who you are and not discard the wisdom you may send my way because it is different. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    Joyce

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  6. Michelle Neely says

    Thank you so much, for more tidbits of your personal testimony………I relate with you, and your life, it is a comfort to me as I walk out some difficult inner healing issues. I feel like a lone ranger until you write another message with worship and prayer to match. What a mighty provision you and your company, your insights, materials and experiences have proved to be for so many, for me. Now.. Thank you.a million times.
    God bless you all 100 times fortified back to you.

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  7. Bonnie Meyer says

    Arthur this again confirms to me, that there are 3 ways people usually walk in. In anger, trying to force others to do what they desire them to do; example isis, or violence. Or the humanist spirit that tries to use logic to talk people into agreeing with them, trying to change their mind. So often that person uses words like you don’t understand, or they try to get someone to become more educated or enlightened. The last is one can learn what the covenant of the Lord says, and the word says, and as the Holy Spirit directs us, we then align our life with His wisdom, even if we don’t always understand why He would have us act in some manner, it will always be without violence to someone’s authority, or an insult to their person-hood, usually honoring the Lord, and surprising the enemy. Which leads us to again worship Him for His ability to lead and guide us moment by moment, where He is never surprised by the enemy of our souls.

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  8. says

    Reading Leviticus and Deut. in a new translation, The Voice. As I have read these laws from a new perspective i could see the great wisdom, so practical. I was deeply touch by such a wise caring God. Never saw the power embedded however. This resonates because then I read in Deut 19-20 about going to war. It was simple, try to make peace, if not, just march out and God will fight. Thanks for this insight. loving these coaching sessions. deepening my view of worship with new facets.

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  9. viviennehines says

    Wow, I can see evidence of this wisdom/power principle now that it has been stated, but I never thought to separate the two because I have viewed them as either or not in cohort working in tandem together at times. Yesterday, I received a call from someone who we will call Joan. Joan and I have been praying for her estranged husband to pay his child support for the past 3 years so that she can care for their 3 daughters. The paperwork has been trapped in a cursed system between states and I have included her and the girls in our prayer to end Egyptian Curses in their lives. On yesterday she received a call from the child support folks in her state saying there was breakthrough. Joan’s husband makes $5000 per month only willing to give her $100 per week for child support which does not even cover their grocery bills. As she unfolded the new amount and the intricate way it was achieved, she will be receiving as soon as his state God speed the paperwork, we celebrated Father’s hand of POWER intervention, and yet, I felt we were missing the real issue that we were to celebrate. HOWEVER, as I read this blog of wisdom/power principle I got it. So moving forward, I will be paying attention for the power/wisdom principle in my encounters and in the way that I operate daily. Blessings Arthur!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Deborah Foster says

    Father, thank You, thank You, thank You for Your Power embedded in Wisdom! And, thank You, Holy God for Arthur. Thank You for this prophet who Spurs us on in The Kingdom, for the Teaching You bring through him, for the way he openly, yet discreetly, shares from his life to help normalize our messes and challenges. I bless You, Lord, for Your Rich Provision through Arthur and his teachings. And, I bless Arthur. In The Name of Jesus……

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