Exploring Prophecy #4 – The Word of Wisdom:
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 12:7-8).
Yesterday we started talking about the three gifts of revelation Paul talks about in this passage of Scripture—the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, and discerning of spirits. These are three of the ways that God speaks to us by revelation. Yesterday we talked about how the Word of Knowledge is when God reveals to you a specific fact about a person, place or event that was not obtained through natural means. Today we are going to consider the word of wisdom.
What is a Word of Wisdom? It is a divine revelation of the will, plan or purpose of God for a specific situation—it will give you the direction or wisdom you need to know what to do in a given situation. The Bible gives us an example of this in Acts chapter 27 when Paul, bound as a prisoner, is being taken by ship to Italy. “Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.” (Acts 27:9-11).
Here, the Lord had given Paul a prophetic word concerning future events, but the centurion wouldn’t listen to him. As a result of their ignoring Paul’s warning, verse 20 tells us, “Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.” However, in the midst of this difficult situation, God gives Paul another revelation by means of a word of wisdom. “But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. However, we must run aground on a certain island.” (v.21-26).
Here we see an example of how God revealed Himself to Paul—through a word of wisdom, and a visitation of an angel. Paul continued to give them direction from the Lord as their journey continued, “And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing. Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” (v.33-34). And what was the end result of their voyage? “And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.” (v.44).
In Proverbs 4:5,7, the Bible tells us, “Get wisdom! Get understanding… Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” The primary source of wisdom of course is the written word of God. But in addition to an understanding of the general will of God for our lives, we would do well to seek the Lord for daily wisdom and specific directional guidance for our lives. Speak, Lord, for your servants are listening.
Pastor Chris Jordan