That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory…
1. We must so consider God, when we come to Him in prayer, as to see Him in what we desire. St. Paul when about to pray for these Ephesians who had believed on Christ, and to seek the glorious gifts of the Spirit which might help them to know the glory reserved for them, sets God before him as the God of that Christ whom they had now received by faith into their hearts, and the Father of all glory: both of which considerations strengthened his faith; for he could not think that God, the God of Christ, would be wanting to those who were Christ's, or that the Father of all glory would deny those glorious gifts which he was about to ask Him to increase. So here is a lesson for all. Wouldst thou have remission of sin? Consider of God as a God with whom there is plenty of redemption or forgiveness. Wouldst thou have ease in any misery and grief? Consider of Him as a Father of all mercy and consolation, when thou comest to Him; this strengthens faith, and inflames affection. We seek things more securely, when we know them to be where we are looking for them; and we follow them more affectionately, when (so to speak) we see them before us.
2. Even true believers have great want of heavenly wisdom. They have it in a certain measure; but fall far short of what may be attained.
(1) Let us labour to find this want in ourselves, and to see our folly, that we may be made wise.
(2) Let us not be dismayed by our lack of wisdom. Things are not begun and perfected at once. Wisdom must rise from one degree to another in us.
3. We need light as well as wisdom. To have inward faculty of seeing is one thing: to have outward light, by means of which to see, is another. Light must come to light before we can see; the light in the eye must meet with the outward light of the sun, or a candle, or some other lightsome body, or nothing is perceived: so the light of wisdom which is in the soul must have shining to it this light of revelation, which makes manifest things spiritual; or else, be our sight never so quick, we shall be environed with darkness. The Spirit, therefore, is fitly compared with fire, which has not only heat resolving numbness and making stiff joints active, but also has light grateful to the eye of the body: so the Spirit has both love which warms our frozen hearts and affections, and also this light of revelation which delights the eye of the understanding and manifests heavenly things to its view.
4. It is God, by the Spirit of Christ, who works in us all true wisdom. It is not pregnancy of natural wit that can make us wise unto salvation, nor ripeness of years: but "the inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding." Yet we do attain ripeness of wisdom, under God, by the due use of means.
(1) One day teacheth another. As a man grows older, he ought to grow wiser.
(2) He tastes, as we say, many waters; finding by experience the good in some things, the evils in others.
(3) He becomes gradually weaned from his youthful lusts which, like a back bias, drew after themselves the understanding. We see, then, to whom we must give all thanks for whatever wisdom we have received, and to whom we must fly for the increase of it — even to God, who gives it plentifully, and upbraideth not.
Parallel VersesKJV: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: