Have you ever thought where you would go in history if you had a time machine? If you could pick only one time to go back to — where you would be able to live and interact with people for say a week — what time in history would you go back to?
Previously, I might have picked being with Moses in Egypt, or with Jesus as he performed His miracles, or with any other of a number of the heroes of the Bible, but then it struck me that I would like to go see Daniel and learn from him how he gained and functioned in wisdom even while enmeshed in a society so far removed from the wisdom and understanding of God.
What kept Daniel from being ensnared in deception? What kept his mind clear and transformed? How did he renew his mind?
But in a way we do have a time machine. It’s called the Bible. And from the pages of the Bible, the voice of Daniel is able to speak to us through the ages and into our very day and age. It shows us that while Daniel was impressed by the clearly objective discoveries of the “wise” men of his day, he was never caught up in their “wise” analysis, conjectures and “proofs” — especially if and when they contradicted the mind of God.
But how did Daniel know if they contradicted? Well, he knew in part because he studied God so closely. He knew that God had spoken to his people (the Jews) and he deeply valued and trusted the words that his people had received and passed down to him. Even more, he grew to know the voice of God in his own life and was able to hear the whispers of God. But he didn’t stop there for he dug further, probing to unravel the mysteries hidden in the heart of God.
Wisdom is not just having the correct worldview, nor is it just a relationship with God. Wisdom is when the part of you that still burns with the fires of creation says I recognize the imprint of my Maker in the world before me, and then you are driven by deep desire to search out where that imprint will lead you next.
Wisdom is saying I will remove all the veils that blind me from seeing the truth, until I can see clearer and clearer than ever before. Wisdom recognizes that we remain oblivious to some veils and therefore we cannot let up in hunting for what prevents us from seeing truth.
Wisdom says it is much more important to be impressed with God’s thinking than with man’s thinking.
Wisdom never fears knowledge. It never fears to learn. And it never fears to listen.
But wisdom does fear losing sight of God — for He is the plumb line that prevents knowledge from tipping us over in wrong directions and losing our way. But wisdom does more than keep us on track.
Wisdom is full of hope for it has seen God. Wisdom is full of love for it has known God. Wisdom is full of joy for it has been touched by God.
Wisdom has answers where there are no answers. Wisdom unlocks doors whose keys have long been lost. Wisdom solves mysteries that have endured for ages.
Wisdom never gives up. It never loses hope. It is never trapped.
Wisdom shines, beckons and implores. Wisdom explains, clarifies and enlightens. Wisdom rejoices, marvels and laughs.
Wisdom is God in our lives.
Wisdom is never ending.
Wisdom is seeing what only God can see.
Wisdom was embodied in Daniel, a man who did not carelessly partake of his culture even while he engaged in the knowledge and understanding of his day.
Wisdom was employed by Daniel, even when it ran counter and conflicted with the prevailing wisdom of his day.
Wisdom was emphasized by Daniel, as it was the only key that could unlock the understanding that was desperately needed.
If we go anywhere in the area of wisdom, it will be because we go back and learn from Daniel himself and open our hearts, souls and minds to the wisdom emanating from the heart of God. Wisdom tied to His heart, and yet drawing on the knowledge being uncovered by the scientists of our day.
This is more than a strategy. This is more than a mission. This is life itself.
This is wisdom.
For more on this concept, check out the DanielProject.org.