The Surprising Wisdom of God

Tucked into the beginning of the book of Daniel is a poem, tight and energetic, praising the wisdom of God.

“He reveals deep and hidden things”
— Daniel 2:22a, ESV

It begins with a command to bless God’s name (that is, to honor his whole person), because “wisdom and might” belong to him. What does this mean? Daniel explains that God has power over all the natural world and history (times and seasons), as well as the political and social worlds (removal and setting up of kings). Here is no unsure, inept leader, but the One who has always directed everything on earth, intelligently and effectively. It seems fully apart from us, inaccessible, because it is completely outside of us. 

Yet He doesn’t keep this wisdom to himself alone, a lonely mastermind focused on running the universe. Daniel praises God for being the reason that the wise and understanding have what they do; the whole context of the poem is that Daniel received from the LORD knowledge that only could have come from him, which saved the lives of many! God uses his wisdom to bless humanity, generally and specifically.

Even these things are not the limit of his wisdom. In verse 22 Daniel declares that God “reveals deep and hidden things.” He is not limited to technical knowledge, to interesting facts and strategies. His is the deepest mind, the deepest soul. He owns wisdom, the proper application of knowledge; this makes the difference between being a know-it-all tool and a Person you want to linger with for hours.

God is not naïve, either, about evil: “he knows what is in the darkness.” Notice he is separate from it, yet fully aware of it. It doesn’t call to him mysteriously, or intrigue him. He knows it completely and it does not tempt him, for “the light dwells with him.”

Have you known this God? All that Daniel described was fully displayed in Jesus Christ, fully God and fully human, in whom “all the fullness of God”—including his wisdom—“was pleased to dwell”(Col. 1:19). To be in relationship with Jesus is not drudgery, it is to have intimate access to, and the intimate affection of, the one who knows all things about your life, and about the world you live in. It is to draw near to the one who is never confused, or unsure, or misguided.

This is a God you can surrender to. Do you presume to know more of what you need than he does? More of what would cause you to thrive? Do you believe that you know better what the “real world” is like than the God who sustains it by the Word of his power? Impossible. Draw near to him, he promises to give wisdom to everyone who asks (James 1:5). He is able to console, to comfort and to guide, through the Scriptures, and his Spirit and his people. Today is an excellent day to explore where his wisdom can meet you in all of those places; don’t hesitate to seek out help if you’re not sure how!