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Wisdom and the Law

by on March 3, 2015


And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath? But He said to them,
Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: how he went into the house of God … and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat, except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?” And He said to them,
The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.
Mark 2:24-28

Wisdom is the heart of God. Wisdom is Jesus Christ. The Lord gives wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Wisdom is to apply the best methods to obtain the best objectives.

In several airliner crashes in recent years, the pilots did not heed the warnings of the systems. Their failure to heed resulted in loss of the aircraft and the loss of many lives. In the case of the Miracle on the Hudson, Captain Sullenberger also had warnings coming from the systems on the aircraft. He also did not heed the warnings. He saved the aircraft and he saved many lives. What was the difference?

The difference was wisdom. Wisdom is to know when to follow the system and when to not follow the system. The difference is the difference between life and death.

If you saw a child drowning in a pond, would you run past a No Trespassing sign to rescue the child? That seems like a no-brainer. As a school principal, there were times when I had to apply the handbook rules and there were times that wisdom dictated a higher rule to apply. If a student was clearly and obviously contrite, the rules might have crushed that sensitive spirit. Wisdom, once again.

Wisdom means using the best means to accomplish the goal. Wisdom does not mean a wooden following of the letter of the law. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were meticulous followers of the Jewish Law. Jesus followed the Law also but His was a following with wisdom. When wisdom called on a higher principle, He followed the higher principle.

In two recent airliner crashes, the systems sounded stall warnings. Every pilot knows how to get out of a stall. The pilots of these flights ignored the warnings because they thought they knew more than the systems. They out-guessed the systems and they out-guessed them incorrectly. They pulled up when they should have nosed over. They corrected – too late!

In the Miracle on the Hudson, as they were descending into the Hudson River, the system said, Pull up! Pull up! Pull up! If the captain had obeyed the system, they would have stalled and crashed with total loss of life. The wisdom of the captain dictated when to follow the system rules and when to ignore them. Wisdom again.

Just so in life, only wisdom will inform us how and when to apply the law, rules, systems provide and when to ignore them. There is no way to teach this. It has to be a gift of God. That is why it is so rare. So often it is counter-intuitive.

In personal life, in raising children, in the school, in the Church, in the business, everywhere – the answer is wisdom. Wisdom of God. Wisdom from God.

Rules and laws and policies are needed. But, they are guides, they do not replace principles. They do not replace wisdom. The answer is wisdom.

We are not made to follow rules. The rules are made to guide us.
May the fear of God that brings wisdom be your portion today.

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