Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
- Ecclesiastes 12:9-10
Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
- Luke 1:21-22
“Ponder: think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.
Wonder (noun): a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
Wonder (verb): desire or be curious to know something.”
- Oxford Dictionary
I was reading a post from Tim Holman, Beard with a Blog, and I got to thinking about the difference in wondering and pondering. There is only one letter difference in the two words, yet the following “o” is pronounced differently. Yes, English is an odd language, but I wonder how that happened.
In the Bible, ponder exists, in all uses of the verb, nine times in the NIV. The key focus of pondering is that we have information, or we can obtain information to think about. Through our pondering, we may take the information that is available and synthesize something new in our minds, or at least understand at a deeper level.
In the Bible, wonder, in both noun, verb, adjective, and adverb forms, exists 109 times in the NIV. Wonder causes us to want to know more. The tremendous use of the word speaks to God being inexplicable, but also to the mystery of God. With certain ideas or concepts, there just is no information to study.
Hmmmm. Wonder causes us to ponder the wonderful God who loves us.
So, when you don’t have enough information, study the Bible. When God does not give us enough information, our pondering turns to wondering. We should never shift to wondering when we have not exhausted the information at our disposal. We should ponder as much as we can, given the information that we have.
But there is nothing wrong, and it is not really wasting time, if only for a moment, to wonder regarding the things of God that are beyond our comprehension or explanation.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.