“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule . . .” (Gen 1:26).
“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7).
“But it is a spirit in man.
And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding” (Job 32:8).
Nowhere in His physical creation are the wonders of God’s wisdom so clearly reflected as in the complex cognitive abilities He has created in man — enabling him to receive through his senses, to learn, to know, to reason, to arrive at understanding, to apply knowledge, to communicate articulately, to imagine, and to design and create and invent.
“Who has put wisdom in the innermost being
Or given understanding to the mind?” (Job 38:36)
Even when Adam and all his sons and daughters turned from God’s perfect wisdom to our own independent deciding, God did not abandon His determination that men, created in His image, should function and rule in this world for His glory and for their good. He enables every child to know and to learn. He causes men to discover and unlock the properties and powers of His physical creation. He inspires gifts of expression, beauty, insight, and government.
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him. . . .
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding.
It is He Who reveals the profound and hidden things” (Dan 2:20-22).
“I (Wisdom) am understanding, power is mine.
By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly” (Prov 8:14-16).
But God created man for Himself, first of all. So we are not only physical and rational creatures, but also spiritual beings. As those made in His image, not only are we endowed with the physical and mental abilities we possess, but also with immaterial spirits. We are made to experience and interact in the immaterial, spiritual realm of existence. God created us to know him and relate to Him.
“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Ps. 14:1).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov 9:10).
“For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright,
Guarding the paths of justice;
And He preserves the way of His godly ones” (Prov 2:6-8).
“. . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph 1:17).
“. . . that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:9-10).
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting” (Jms 1:5-6).
“For the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Tim 2:7).
(Spotlight 2, Lesson 7 in Doctrine 101: Learning about God)