All the Treasures of God’s Wisdom

Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (vv. 2–3).

- Colossians 2:1–5

God revealed Himself to His old covenant people in mighty acts of deliverance. The exodus from Egypt proved His willingness to save His chosen nation and put her enemies to flight. His handing over His people to their enemies in the era of the judges showed that His holiness cannot be taken lightly, that He will discipline His children when they go astray. His covenant with David and blessing upon his battles evidenced His willingness to put His chosen king on the throne forever. The words and acts of prophets such as Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and Malachi demonstrated that the Lord is omnipotent and omniscient, the One who knows the future and can bring His holy will to pass.

Under the old covenant, our Creator also revealed Himself through the wise sayings, observations, and hymns found in the Old Testament Wisdom Literature. In the story of Job, He emphasized His inscrutability, that though we may know many true things about God and may even know Him personally, there always remain aspects of His plan and nature that defy our comprehension and which we are not fit to judge accurately. The book of Psalms showed the old covenant people that the lives of those who are truly wise are marked by heartfelt worship that looks for the Lord to reign visibly and powerfully through His chosen king. Proverbs demonstrated to the Israelites that they could learn much from reflecting upon the created order in light of God’s covenant with them. Ecclesiastes told the people that there are limits to the wisdom we can gain by looking at nature and that only the Lord’s final judgment can put everything back in the right order. Finally, the Song of Solomon confirmed the goodness of love and marriage while implicitly teaching that wise people search for intimacy with God as the only relationship that can fully satisfy.

Let us not forget that these lessons are applicable to new covenant believers as well, for those books were written for our understanding (1 Cor. 10:11). But we have an advantage over the old covenant believers. Divine wisdom is not ultimately a set of teachings; rather, it is a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him are “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:2–3). Old covenant believers knew Him via types and shadows; we know Him in the fullness of His incarnation (John 1:17). He is our wisdom unto salvation, the final goal of the Wisdom Literature. If we read and apply the Wisdom Books in light of the person and work of Jesus Christ, foolishness and death will never lay a permanent hold on us.

Coram Deo

At various points in our study of the Wisdom Literature, particularly Psalm 119, we have noted our need for the Holy Spirit’s illumination for the Word of God to make us wise. This Spirit is a gift to us from Jesus Himself (John 14:15–17). The Wisdom Books point us to Jesus, who sends His Spirit so that His people will see Him in this literature. Let us thank God for His gift this day, and may we always pray that the Spirit will give us all the wisdom we need for life and salvation.

Passages for Further Study

1 Corinthians 1:18–31
James 3:13–18

For permissions, please see our Copyright Policy.