Sunday, 3 July 2016
…which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, Ephesians 1:8
This verse is a transition between the thought of the preceding verse which noted “the riches of His grace,” and that which will explain those riches in the following verses. At this point, Paul is stating that God has “made to abound” these riches (which are to be explained) toward us.
The Greek word translated as “made to abound” is one which indicates abundance or surplus. It means “to go beyond measure” and thus it gives the idea of overflowing. The riches of God toward us because of the Person and work of Christ simply overflow. And this superabundance which comes to us is “in all wisdom and prudence.”
Wisdom is the excellent use of knowledge. One can be extremely smart and lack any wisdom. For example, a person may have the knowledge of how to make money, but he may not have wisdom in the use of his money. In lacking wisdom, his intelligence is wasted and he remains penniless at the end of the month. Another person may not have great knowledge, but he may be quite wise. He may make very little, but at the end of the month he has money in the bank because he was wise enough to save along the way.
Prudence is noted by HELPS Word Studies as “that brand of visceral opinion which pleases the Lord because [prudence is] shaped by God’s inworkings of faith (‘divine persuasion,’… i.e. Christ-enlightened perspective which has the insight to make intelligent (shrewd) life-applications in the will of God).”
Together, the wisdom and prudence which are indicated here reflect the wise plan which was laid out concerning man’s redemption (wisdom), and the execution of that plan by God in the stream of human history (prudence). As noted, this “wisdom and prudence” will be explained in the coming verses. They are the riches of God’s grace which have been bestowed upon us.
Life application: When we are stuck in a rut, whether mental or spiritual, all we need to do is to get into the Bible and read about what God has done for us in the stream of time. The plan was there from the beginning and was methodically being worked out for eons. At the coming of Christ, the realization of what He had been doing came about. It all centered on Christ. Now, we are the recipients of that marvelous plan. If we are stuck, pondering what Christ did for us should unstick us. Turn your thoughts to the cross and all that it signifies. How can we be anything but grateful when we consider the cross of Christ!
Lord God, sometimes we get stuck in a rut. It may be a mental rut, a spiritual rut, or some other type of rut. But if we just take the time to consider what You have done for us in the giving of Your Son, how can we stay stuck? Everything in history centers on His life and work. And that life and work was given for our sakes! Your love is seen in the objects of Your affection… the people of the world who have called on Jesus. Unstuck! The cross sets us free. Thank You, O God, for Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.