3 Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
4 By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.
A few days ago, I was writing about a passage from the first chapter of the Gospel of John, and after I had written that message, I was looking back over some older messages I had written last year. And there I saw that about seven months ago I had written about that same passage of Scripture. The two messages actually said two different things, so I wasn’t embarrassed by my repetition, but it really showed me that God’s Word is a never-ending mine of wisdom. They were just two verses, and yet they were so rich with ideas and guidance for our Christian life. Such is the nature of the Bible.
And so I am amazed that anyone can believe that once they have read through the Bible (which precious few actually do), then they don’t need to read it any more. They may remember many of the stories quite well, and they may be able to quote dozens of verses, and yet they stop regularly reading the Bible. They are sure they’ve “got it,” and so they see no need to continue studying it.
That, perhaps, is the problem: they were READING the Bible rather than STUDYING it. One can read a novel and understand the story and the characters pretty quickly–provided, of course, the author has done his or her work. And one can breeze through a collection of short stories without any real commitment of time, because each story is self-contained and sufficient unto itself. But the Bible is different. I re-read Alexandre Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers” every few years, and I enjoy it every time I read it. But I do not study, do not try to understand any sort of wisdom from it.
The Bible is more than just a collection of stories and proverbs and poems and prophecies and letters. It is ONE book written by ONE Author: God. And it has as its common themes God’s love and our salvation. You cannot read any book of the Bible without finding love and salvation woven into the stories and ideas. That is what makes the Bible so compelling as a source of wisdom, that we can come to any part of it and be taught the same message in so many different ways.
Many scientists focus their whole lives on studying one aspect of God’s Creation–insects or crops or waves or weather or volcanos or birds or stars–and they never stop studying that one thing. Why? Because we are mere human beings, and we can always be learning about the world around us. We will never truly know it all, and anyone who says we can is a fool.
Such is also true of the Bible. Study it as much as we like, and we will never know all there is to know from it. The Bible consists of 1189 chapters with over thirty-one-thousand verses. And people think they can know ALL of that?
As today’s verses tell us, a house is built by wisdom. The “house” Solomon mentions is not just a physical dwelling but also a family, a heritage. But another way to view “house” is as a place for our soul to dwell. If our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), then we need to know how to build and set a solid foundation for this house of God. Further, we need to know how to furnish this place to make it useful and safe and good. And Solomon says it all right here:
• It is built through the wisdom of God.
• It is established and founded on the understanding of the gospel of Christ.
• Its rooms are filled with the our growing knowledge of the Lord our God.
And ALL of that is found in the Bible. Just as the whole of humanity could never fill the many mansions of God’s kingdom prepared for us by Jesus Christ, so, too, we could never fill with our own knowledge the house that is built on the wisdom of God. But if we want to furnish this house with “precious and pleasant riches,” we need to keep reading and studying and learning. We need to keep coming back to the Bible with innocent wonder and a willingness to be taught by the Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters, we have been blessed with the very Word of God, a treasure greater than any other. It is the wisdom upon which we can found our own lives and the lives of our families. It is the place to come for knowledge of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Bible is the one book we can never know completely and which we should therefore never stop reading.
Father God, Your ways and Your thoughts are so far above our own. Your wisdom was there to guide the creation of all things, and Your knowledge stretches from the outermost edge of the universe into the inner reaches of a man’s heart. You know me so well, Lord God, so please help me to know you better. Guide me with Your Word and let me never tire of mining its riches to furnish the rooms of my heart. Amen.