God’s Wisdom and Ours, “Knowing God”, chapter 10 (part 2)

Today we continue our reflection on the theme of God’s wisdom– as it relates to us, as explained by J.I. Packer in chapter 10 of Knowing God. This can be downloaded in yesterday’s post below. Please read this before considering these reflection questions.

For your reflection:

  1. Referring to pages 116-120, how can the lessons of Ecclesiastes help us today?
  2. J.I. Packer says that God’s wisdom is always and only a gift to us; and only as the means of our reaching his chosen ‘end’ for us– to know him and enjoy him forever. How might the following verses support this claim?

1Corinthians 1:18    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: 

  “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 

20    Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

God’s Wisdom and Ours, “Knowing God”, chapter 10 (part 1)

Today we continue our reflection on the theme of God’s wisdom– as it relates to us, as explained by J.I. Packer in chapter 10 of Knowing God. If you have not yet purchased your own book, this can be downloaded below. Please read this before considering these reflection questions.

For your reflection:

  1. What do you think might be some of the most significant ideas in this chapter?
  2. Why do you think they are so important?
  3. How might you want to respond to what you have read here?

God Only Wise, “Knowing God”, chapter 9 (part 2)

Today we continue our reflection on the theme of God’s wisdom, as explained by J.I. Packer in chapter 9 of Knowing God. This can be downloaded in the post below. Please read this before considering these reflection questions.

For your reflection:

  1. God’s ‘wisdom’ only makes sense when we know God’s Purpose. What is God’s Purpose, to which he applies his wisdom?
  2. Chapter 9 considers the experience of a number of Old Testament characters who endured challenging situations and seasons. And yet, God’s wisdom was at work– both for them and in achieving God’s great Purpose. Can you think of seasons in your own life where God’s gracious wisdom was acting for your ‘good’ while also furthering his Purpose?
  3. It is comforting to know that God’s perfect wisdom superintends all situations in our life– even the tough ones. Throughout chapter 9 J.I. Packer gives practical suggestions as to how we should respond to the more challenging situations we face. What do you think of his suggestions? Are there others that you would add?

God Only Wise, “Knowing God”, chapter 9 (part 1)

You can download chapter 9 of Knowing God below. Please read this before considering the reflection questions below.

For your reflection:

  1. In your journal, write out J.I.Packer’s definition of ‘wisdom’. Do you agree with it? Would you change it or qualify it in any way?
  2. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)

The Majesty of God, chapter 8 (part 4)

At the conclusion of Chapter 8 of Knowing God, referring to Isaiah 40, J.I. Packer asks if we have to been slow to believe God’s majesty. Just as he did through Isaiah to Israel in Exile, God would ‘shame’ us out of our unbelief.

“What is the trouble? he asks: have you been imagining that I, the Creator, have grown old and tired? Has nobody ever told you the truth about me?”

“The rebuke is well deserved by many of us. How slow we are to believe in God as God, sovereign, all-seeing, and almighty! How little we make of the majesty of our Lord and Saviour Christ! The need for us is to ‘wait upon the Lord’ in meditation of his majesty, till we find our strength renewed through the writing of these things upon our hearts” (p99)

Another Biblical character who was challenged to truly know the majesty of God was Job. No doubt, his was a hard road, but the blessing at the end of his ordeal was that he was beginning to know God, in all his greatness and majesty.

Job 38:1    Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

2    “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels  shouted for joy?…

Job 40:1    The LORD said to Job: 2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!”

3    Then Job answered the LORD: 4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. 5 I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.”

6    Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm: 7 “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 8 “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? 9 Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? 10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. 11 Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low, 12 look at all who are proud and humble them, crush the wicked where they stand. 13 Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave.14 Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you….

Job 42:1    Then Job replied to the LORD: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

How might Job’s response to the majesty of God help us in our response to God?