Sunday, February 9, 2014

God's Wisdom--A book I need as much as my kids!



God's Wisdom by Sally Michael
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are some parts of Scripture that I have an exceptionally hard time understanding.  One part of God’s created order that I fully understand is that He has blessed me with a family and part of this blessing is the responsibility to raise my children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  That includes teaching them the Scriptures—even the parts that I struggle with understanding.

One of the parts of Scripture that I am responsible and privileged to teach my children yet I myself struggle through so often is teaching the wisdom aspects of God’s Word.  Personally, I have a difficult time with how to avoid reading a grace-less/meritorious mindset into the passages while still maintaining the imperative nature of much of this genre of teaching.  That is one reason why I was quite interested in this work from P&R, for myself and for my children.

God’s Wisdom is a strong work an important and oft-neglected aspect of God’s character and our Christian growth.  The lessons covered the breadth of Scripture and were often opportunities for Gospel proclamation and explanation.  There were times I felt some of the lessons lacked a Gospel focus and had the meritorious mindset that wisdom teaching often elicits.  I wish I could say definitively if this was a deficiency in the work or in this particular reader, or a combination of the two, but in all honesty I am just not sure. However, based on my own struggles and the deserved reputation of P&R Publishing and Children Desiring God, I think that the problem might lie close to home!  What stood out to me more were the many times that the discussion of God’s wisdom were Gospel saturated, something that has been sorely lacking in much of my study of this topic, particularly in works geared towards children.

The hard heart is the heart that loves foolishness. Only God can change a hard heart into a wise heart. We all have foolish hearts that love what is wrong and bad. But when a person trusts in Jesus to forgive his sins and be his Savior, Jesus gives that person a new heart—a heart that wants to walk in the way of the wise. Then that person loves wisdom and wants more and more to learn what is good and right and how to walk in God’s ways. He knows wisdom is a treasure that protects us from what is wrong and hurtful. When he is disciplined, he is glad when the folly is driven out of his heart. He wants to please God and do what is right, so he looks for wisdom.

God’s Wisdom has Scripture passages to read and discuss and activities to enforce the teaching.  The activities often have open-ended questions that are great for Gospel conversations. We, as a family, attempted to utilize this in family worship a few times but, at least for us, God’s Wisdom was better utilized in other times of teaching due to its length and the interactive aspect of much of it.  I also could see this being utilized well in a Sunday school format.

God’s Wisdom is a work that is quite focused and deals specifically with one aspect of God’s revelation and it does so very well.  Due to the focus of the work, I feel it is of best service in a supplemental role.  But what an impressive supplement it is.  This is a great book to dive into with your children and seek the wisdom that comes from God.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for reviewing purpose.