Wednesdays with Watson is a weekly reading taken from my favorite Puritan writer, Thomas Watson. This week’s selection is taken from A Body of Divinity, chapter 7: “The Wisdom of God.”
Adore the wisdom of God. It is an infinite deep; the angels cannot search into it. ‘His ways are past finding out’ (Rom. 11:33). As we should adore, so we should rest in the wisdom of God. ‘ God sees what condition is best for us. Did we believe the wisdom of God, it would keep us from murmuring. Rest in God’s wisdom. (1) In want of spiritual comfort. God is wise; he sees it good sometimes that we should be without comfort. Perhaps we should be lifted up with spiritual enlargements, as Paul, with his revelations (2 Cor. 12:7). It is hard to have the heart low when comfort is high. God sees humility to be better for us than joy. It is better to want comfort, and be humble, than to have it, and be proud. (2) In want of bodily strength, rest in God’s wisdom. He sees what is best. Perhaps the less health the more grace; weaker in body, the stronger in faith. ‘Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day’ (2 Cor. 4:16). At Rome there were two laurel trees; when the one withered, the other flourished. The inward man is renewed. When God shakes the tree of the body, he is gathering the fruits of righteousness (Heb. 12:11). Sickness is God’s lance, to let out the imposthume [abscess] of sin (Is. 27:9). (3) In case of God’s providences to his church. When we wonder what God is doing with us, and are ready to kill ourselves with care; let us rest in God’s wisdom. He knows best what he has to do. ‘His footsteps are not known’ (Ps. 77:19). Trust him where you cannot trace him. God is most in his way, when we think he is most out of the way. When we think God’s church is, as it were, in the grave, and there is a tombstone laid upon her, his wisdom can roll away the stone from the sepulchre. ‘Christ cometh leaping over mountains’ (Song of Solomon 2:8). Either his power can remove the mountain, or his wisdom knows how to leap over it. (4) In case we are low in the world, or have but little oil in our cruse, let us rest in God’s wisdom. He sees it best; it is to cure pride and wantonness. God knew if thy estate had not been lost, thy soul had been lost. God saw riches would be a snare unto thee (1 Tim. 6:9). Art thou troubled that God has prevented a snare? God will make thee rich in faith. What thou lackest in temporals shall be made up in spirituals. God will give thee more of his love. Thou art weak in estate, but God will make thee strong in assurance. Oh rest in God’s wisdom! He will carve the best piece for thee. (5) In case of the loss of dear friends, a wife, or child, or husband, let us rest satisfied in God’s wisdom. God takes away these, because he would have more of our love; he breaks these crutches, that we may live more upon him by faith. God would have us learn to go without crutches.