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Search Unit 13 - God Meets Our Needs

TEXT: Daniel 1:17-20; 2:1-13,24-30


The students will be able to explain that there is a difference between the wisdom of this world and the wisdom that comes from God. Godly wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, and is available to those who ask for it.


The Book of Daniel reveals that God had given the three Hebrew children knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom. Their wisdom was recognized by King Nebuchadnezzar to be ten times greater than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. Yet, with all the king’s focus on Daniel and his companions, they took no honor for themselves, but rather gave glory to the God of Heaven.

God’s wisdom is the infinite, perfect understanding of all that is or will be (Romans 11:33-36). The wisdom of man is an exceptionally practical attribute, which includes technical skill (Exodus 28:3). In James 3:17 we read, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” This is the wisdom that all men should strive for.

Wisdom is shown in obtaining desired ends by effective means. Men of the world have often shown themselves to be wiser and more careful in providing for daily life in their generation than have the children of Light in providing for eternal life (Luke 16:8). However, God is as much the source of wisdom as He is the source of power, and His wisdom is given to men through the fear of the Lord (Psalm 111:10; Job 28:28).

Proverbs 8 personifies wisdom in terms which are also related to the concept of Christ as the Word in John 1:1-18. “Wisdom” became one of the names of God the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is known as the “Spirit of Wisdom.” Wisdom is linked to doing the will of the Lord (Deuteronomy 4:6). To forsake God’s Word is to forfeit one’s wisdom (Jeremiah 8:8-9).


Worldly wisdom and godly wisdom do not come from the same source, and they bring totally different results. Note the key verse and James 3:13-17. Godly wisdom comes when we ask God and then follow the instructions given us, which are always within the guidelines of the Word of God. These are revealed to us by His Spirit. See Isaiah 11:2 and 1 Corinthians 2:10-16.

  1. What is wisdom? How do we differentiate between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom? See James 3:13-17.

    Response: After your students have responded with their definitions, help them to see that wisdom is the power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action, based on knowledge, experience, and understanding. Divide your class into two groups. Ask one group to consider worldly wisdom, listing what they feel are its attributes and where it is alike and different from godly wisdom. Have the other group compile a similar list dealing with godly wisdom. Then compare your conclusions.
  2. Read Job 28:12-28 and list the different sources from which wisdom was sought and could not be found. Where is wisdom to be found?

    Response: Let your group pick out the answers given in the passage in Job, and conclude that true wisdom is explained in verse 28, “The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.” This wisdom was Daniel’s strength and life, and this wisdom is open to all who seek it.
  3. According to our key verse, the Lord gives wisdom to the man that is “good in his sight.” What are some of the attributes of a person who is good in the sight of God?

    Response: Your students should have no trouble coming up with a comprehensive list of attributes. You might wish to have a volunteer read Micah 6:8, which brings out some of the necessary requirements. Another point to focus on should be that a good man is obedient to the commands of God.
  4. During a Christian’s life span, he will encounter a variety of trials and direct attempts of Satan to overthrow his faith in God. In no sphere is wisdom so essential, or folly so disastrous, as in the matter of life’s reverses. A clear example of this is found in our text. King Nebuchadnezzar judged that Daniel and his three friends were ten times wiser than the magicians and astrologers in his land. How was this proved by subsequent events?

    Response: Ask one student to read the Chaldeans’ response to the king’s request (Daniel 2:10-11). In contrast, have another student read Daniel’s reaction when he heard of the king’s decree (Daniel 2:16-18). Your students should conclude that in God’s sight, Daniel’s source of wisdom was God-given and the magicians’ and astrologers’ wisdom was of their own understanding or knowledge. Discuss how having confidence in God and the wisdom and guidance He will supply in a time of need can affect their reactions, just as they affected Daniel’s response in this situation.
  5. Knowing that wisdom is God-given, how can one obtain and develop this most precious gift? How did Daniel go about receiving this? Daniel 2:17-23

    Response: The verses given show that the secret was asking God, who is the source of wisdom, and then giving thanks. Show the students that they must continually go to Him. Remind them of how Daniel prayed three times a day.
  6. What was the prime quality of Daniel’s character as revealed in verse 30? Explain how you arrived at this conclusion and why you feel that this quality is an essential factor in obtaining wisdom.

    Response: No doubt your students will come up with the thought of humility. This quality, and giving all glory to God, were prime factors in God’s trusting Daniel with this kind of wisdom.
  7. Read 1 Kings 3:7 and compare the attitude of Solomon to that of Daniel. The results of this attitude in Solomon’s life are brought out in 1 Kings 3:11-12. What were these results?

    Response: Your students should see that Solomon and Daniel both displayed a humble attitude when they came to the Lord asking for wisdom. In Solomon’s case, the Lord rewarded his petition for wisdom by granting him not only that, but numerous other blessings as well.
  8. There seems to be an important link between humility and the acquisition of wisdom. Why do you suppose this is so?

    Response: Your students should see that if a person had both wisdom and pride, he would take all the glory to himself and would not honor God as being the source of that wisdom.
  9. In James 3:17 we read a number of attributes that are related to the wisdom that is from Above. Beside each attribute, give an example of how it is a part of godly wisdom. For example:
    Pure — every decision or motivation will be based on pure thoughts and actions.
    Peaceable —
    Gentle —
    Easily entreated —
    Merciful —
    Possessor of good fruits —
    Without partiality —
    Without hypocrisy —

    Response: In the course of your discussion, you may wish to refer back to question 3, bringing out the fact that these attributes certainly would be characteristic of a man who is good in God’s sight. As you focus on each one specifically, explain that these attributes are the yardstick by which we can determine whether or not the wisdom is from Above. In contrast, read James 3:14-16, which shows wisdom from an opposite source.
  10. We seek after many things in life. The wisest man gave us some advice in Proverbs 4:7. Paraphrase his counsel.

    Response: Use this question to summarize the many facets of true, godly wisdom, including complete commitment to Christ, communion with Him, and establishing successful relationships with our fellow man. This will reinforce why it is so important to seek after godly wisdom.


Bring to class some clippings from newspapers of actions or decisions by men in high places which resulted in greater problems, wrong doings, or even disaster. Assuming that most of these men have had considerable education, discuss with the class whether education is the source of wisdom. Read Job 28:28 to the class and then ask what might be lacking in the lives of many highly educated people that robs them of true wisdom.

To illustrate that God knows everything: invite someone into your class and allow your students to interview him. Let them prepare questions ahead of time so they will be able to gather a large amount of information about that person in the time allotted. After the person has left, point out that even though much is now known by the students, God knows everything about that person. How infinite is His wisdom!

Show your students a diploma and explain that it is often a symbol of knowledge attained. Use this as a springboard to discussing the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Other similar items might include a graduation cap and/or tassel, or a photograph of a graduate.

Bring a number of reference books to class: a dictionary, encyclopedia, consumer’s guide, etc. Ask your class if they think you would have wisdom if you knew everything in these books. Use this as a springboard into a discussion of the difference between wisdom and knowledge.