"Be Thou my wisdom,
and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;"
Directly after my miracle finals round at the Emerald City tournament (read about it here) I read my Bible. I don't often just open it up to wherever, but I opened it up to Proverbs, and prayed that God would lead me to read the chapter that He wanted me to. He opened it up to Proverbs chapter 3, which has now become very dear to me, and is now one of my favorite Proverbs. Verses 13-14 say, "Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold."
King Solomon, the man God used to write the book of Proverbs, had an incredible opportunity. 1 Kings chapter 3 says that, "the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, "Ask what I shall give you." And Solomon said..."O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in...Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil,"" Solomon could have asked for riches, power and long life, but he realized that wisdom, or understanding, "is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." Solomon essentially had the world at his finger tips in that moment, but he asked for wisdom, he asked for understanding.
I have never really felt like a wise person, I think I have made a few wise decisions, but I don't think of myself as a wise person. So many times I have felt inadequate for tasks, I feel like I'm not wise enough, like I don't possess enough understanding, but you know what's great about not being wise? Through my weakness, my lack of wisdom and understanding, God shows His strength.
Proverbs 3:19-20 says, "The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew." These verses really got me! God is so wise, so full of understanding that He created the earth and heaven and hell all through and by His wisdom, understanding and knowledge! Man! Is He wise, or is He wise? Reading those verses gave me a new understanding of the line in this beloved hymn "Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true Word." God is so amazingly, unfathomably wise that nobody can, or ever will, understand the extent of His wisdom, it's simply not possible.
I want that kind of wisdom, but I can never have it for myself...Unless...Wait, is it possible? Could I possibly have that kind of wisdom? Yes, surprisingly enough, we all can, well, we can, but it won't really be ours. It is God's wisdom, and always will be, He just lets us use it, isn't that fantastic?
Lord, I know that I am an unwise person who lacks understanding. Lord, I know that you are the only way for me to have any form of wisdom at all. I want to be wise, Father. Please, "Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word!"
Moving on to the next line of this stupendous hymn, "I ever with The and Thou with me, Lord." This one sort of had me confused for a little while, I mean Psalm 139:7-10 says, "Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me." Obviously God is always with us, there's no escaping Him, even if I wanted to (which I don't...). The confusing part is that this hymn is pretty much a prayer, and we don't really need to pray for God to always be with us, because He already is always with us. I'm sure that, like most hymns, there is more than one meaning to be extracted from each line, but this is the one that the Lord revealed to me: How often am I living like Jesus is right there watching everything that I do, hearing everything that I say and everything that I think? Do I live like that? To be honest, no. I think this line goes right along with "Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word." I don't think that there is much separation at all between the two lines at all.
My trusty Webster's 1940 defines 'wisdom' as, "Knowledge practically applied." This requires an action, practically applying. I think that this line is doing more than simply stating that God is always with us. It is a prayer, asking God to give us the wisdom to act on the knowledge that He gives us, the knowledge that He is always with us. Practically applying that knowledge would be (among other things) acting, thinking, talking, serving, worshiping, praying, loving and fighting like God is right next to us, watching every move we make, hearing every word and every thought, because guess what? He is.
This has now become almost a hobby of mine, digging down into the meaning of hymns. you ought to try it some time =)
My God bless you with His unfathomable wisdom, God bless you all!
Over and out,