But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” – I Corinthians 2:9 NKJV
This scripture is referencing part of a penitent prayer to God by Isaiah in the Old Testament:
For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. – Isaiah 64:4 NKJV
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he is talking about Spiritual Wisdom – about how God reveals the things of God to us through the “Spirit of Truth”, through the “mind of Christ”.
And Spiritual Wisdom is different than knowledge. The Word of God tells us that knowledge puffs people up in their self righteousness and hypocrisy (as they think much of their own knowledge) – while wisdom humbles us before a righteous God.
In fact, this reference to Isaiah is wonderful in demonstrating that Spiritual Wisdom and the “Fear of God” are tightly integrated, because Isaiah chapters 63, 64, and 65 lay out truth about the judgement of God, about the unworthiness of men, and about how repentance allows for the mercy of God.
Unworthiness of Man
I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered That there was no one to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it sustained Me. – Isaiah 63:5 NKJV
[The Lord acknowledges that none, not even one, was worthy – and that He alone would bring salvation, not the works of men.]
Rebellion against God
But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; So He turned Himself against them as an enemy, And He fought against them. – Isaiah 63:10 NKJV
[Yes, the Lord is an enemy of wickedness and fights against it. He chastens and disciplines the ones that He loves.]
I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, Made them drunk in My fury, And brought down their strength to the earth.” – Isaiah 63:6 NKJV
[There is judgement and destruction for His enemies.]
Doubtless You are our Father, Though Abraham was ignorant of us, And Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O Lord , are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name. O Lord , why have You made us stray from Your ways, And hardened our heart from Your fear? Return for Your servants’ sake, The tribes of Your inheritance. Your holy people have possessed it but a little while; Our adversaries have trodden down Your sanctuary. We have become like those of old, over whom You never ruled, Those who were never called by Your name.
Isaiah 63:16-19 NKJV
[We are the ones who know and love the Lord, who aren’t acknowledged by Abrahams bloodline, but who are established by the Blood of the Lamb, and are called by His name. We are the children of God.]
Mercy of God
“I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name. Thus says the Lord : “As the new wine is found in the cluster, And one says, ‘Do not destroy it, For a blessing is in it,’ So will I do for My servants’ sake, That I may not destroy them all. “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord , And their offspring with them. “It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
Isaiah 65:1, 8-8, 17, 23-24 NKJV
[We are a new creation. Reborn as children of God. He has called us, touched us, taught us, and He sends us out. He hears us, guides us, and loves us.]
Yes, Spiritual Wisdom comes from knowing and believing and understanding these things about God and about man. Yes, Spiritual Wisdom, discernment and revelation – these things are from God. What “wise” man wouldn’t have foolishly told Abraham that he was wrong in going to slay his son upon an altar? What “wise” man wouldn’t have foolishly told Hosea he was wrong in choosing a prostitute as his wife? What “wise” man wouldn’t have foolishly called Christ a liar when he said that he would raise “this temple” in three days?
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. – I Corinthians 2:13-16 NKJV