Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’


Proverbs 8:33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it

Here is some of the best advice you will ever hear or read! These nine words teach profound wisdom. Your character, your reputation, your present situation in life, and your future expectations are dependent on how well you have kept, or will keep, this simple proverb. The defining trait of a wise man is his ability to follow this basic three-part rule.

Solomon used an extended personification of wisdom at this point in Proverbs (Pr 8:1 – 9:12). Lady Wisdom addressed children in her kind appeal for them to be wise and obtain her great blessings (Pr 8:32). The advice is so short, so simple, and so basic that most will ignore it. They think there cannot be wisdom in so few words. They are wrong!

Lady Wisdom first said, “Hear instruction.” First for all learning is the ability and choice to listen to another person. Arriving in this world totally ignorant, the only knowledge you will acquire must be from others. Not many like to be told they know nothing and must learn how to think and act. But wise men crave this process (Pr 1:5; 9:9; 12:1).

Wise children appreciate and enjoy listening to their parents, for they consider and remember that their parents know far more than they know (Job 32:6-7). Wise parents listen to their parents, for they know yet more! And wise saints will crave the house of God, where they can hear God’s word opened and explained for the profit of their souls.

Paul commended hearers in Berea for their nobility in hearing his preaching with a ready mind (Acts 17:11). Yet the Bible clearly describes different levels of hearing. Herod Antipater heard John the Baptist gladly, but he also cut off his head (Mark 6:16-28). Jesus told His hearers to take heed how they heard in order to bear fruit (Luke 8:18).

Lady Wisdom then added, “And be wise.” How do you respond to what you hear from parents, pastors, and teachers? Do you reject your own thoughts to accept and apply what you hear? She required true wisdom, which learns from others (Pr 6:6; 19:20; Ps 2:10; 94:8). Arrogant wisdom that rejects instruction is foolish and dangerous (Pr 3:7; 26:5,12).

Then she said, “And refuse it not.” A bristling response to correction, instruction, or warning proves a foolish heart. Reject such reactions, and listen submissively. Do not turn away from a teacher, even if he says things you dislike. Paul taught, “Despise not prophesyings,” meaning for his hearers to love, seek, and accept preaching (I Thes 5:20).

Do you love teachers, rejecting your ideas, and accepting instruction? It is the measure of your wisdom; it tells your future peace and prosperity (Pr 1:20-33; 8:34-36; 10:17; 29:1).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.

Sweets can be rejuvenating and delightful. Solomon used honey for his comparison. It is good for reviving a hungry man (I Sam 14:27). Honey also tastes sweet for pleasure in eating it (Ps 19:10). Honey illustrates two blessings of wisdom – it revives the soul and provides much pleasure. Wisdom also rewards with certain success (Pr 24:14).

The proverb before you is the first half of a metaphorical comparison with wisdom. Here is the second half: “So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off” (Pr 24:14). Gaining wisdom is energizing and delightful, and then it leads to rewarding prosperity.

Honey was a common food in Israel during Solomon’s reign (Lev 20:24; Is 7:15; Matt 3:4). Eaten in right amounts, it was invigorating and very pleasant. Too much of it could make you sick, but that is not considered here (Pr 25:16,27). Its properties to rejuvenate and delight the soul are what he used to illustrate and exalt the value of wisdom.

Have you experienced the sweet exhilaration and pleasure of honey? Or much rather, do you know the reviving delight of wisdom? Once you have tasted honey, other sweeteners or substitutes are easily detected. Once you learn God’s wisdom, even the world’s best ideas are bland or bitter to your heart and mind, for they are far inferior by comparison.

David used a similar comparison. The creation, especially the sun, reveals God’s glory, so that men are without excuse for ignoring Him (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:18-21). But far better than what nature shows is the wisdom of the Bible (Ps 19:7-9), which is more valuable than gold and sweeter than honey (Ps 19:10). Like the wisdom lesson here, the scriptures also save men from trouble by their warnings, and they bring great reward (Ps 19:11).

If you know honey rejuvenates and delights, would you want cabbage when famished and desiring a lift? Once you taste the good word of God, why would you consider anything the world has to offer? This latter contrast is far worse, for the world and its wisdom are opposed to God, and He is fully committed to destroying both (I Cor 1:19-21; 3:18-20).

Do you pursue and approach the preaching of God’s word with the desire and joy a famished man would show toward honey? Or do you despise prophesying as the Bible warns (I Thess 5:20)? Do you resent sound doctrinal preaching like modern so-called Christians (II Tim 4:3-4)? Confess your foolishness and humble yourself before the great God, thank Him for His inspired word and its wisdom, and find yourself a Bible preacher.

Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 9:3 She has sent our maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city.

The world’s best woman wants you! She has a house with seven pillars (Pr 9:1). She has prepared a feast (Pr 9:2); she wants to have an intimate meal with you (Pr 9:5). Solomon personified wisdom as a desirable woman, Lady Wisdom. Will you accept her invitation?

Wisdom is available for any man or woman who wants it. It is not far away; it is not difficult to obtain. It is not hard to find; it is not just for the intelligent or educated. There are no age or sex limitations. The only prerequisite is simplicity, or ignorance (Pr 9:4)!

If you are perplexed with any aspect of life, Wisdom is calling you. The blessed LORD God offers wisdom and understanding to men. All they must do is act on the invitation to humble themselves before Him and diligently apply the instruction He freely offers them.

Wisdom is found in creation (Ps 19:1-6), for God revealed His eternal power and Godhead by created things you see. It is also found in parents, teachers, counselors, and pastors (Pr 5:13; 24:6; Mal 2:7; Eph 6:4). But it is mostly found in the Bible (Ps 19:7-11).

The psalmist declared, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Ps 119:130). Scripture can make a minister perfect (II Tim 3:16-17). You should give attention to it, as the only light in this dark world (Is 8:20; II Pet 1:19).

God gave you a manual of wisdom in the Bible! He also promised His Spirit of wisdom to those who ask, and He will give both liberally (Luke 11:13; Eph 1:17; Col 1:9; Jas 1:5). With an offer like Solomon’s dream, do you pray for wisdom and understanding?

Her maidens want your attention. She cries out to you. You cannot please God without her. You need her to be successful or happy. You cannot face God after death without her. If you neglect or reject her call, she will punish your folly (Pr 1:20-32; 8:32-36).

Test your heart about Lady Wisdom right now. Do you appreciate your parents reproving you? Friends correcting you? A pastor warning you? Do you crave the assemblies of the saints, where the Word of God is boldly preached? Even when the sermon is long?

Do you read these proverbs carefully, seeking to extract every morsel of wisdom you can, since they are God’s inspired wisdom from the pen of King Solomon? You do not have to look far to see the maidens Lady Wisdom sent to invite you. What will you do right now?

Jesus Christ is Wisdom personified (I Cor 1:30; Col 2:3). God’s wisdom is seen clearly in the life of Jesus Christ. His apostles, eyewitnesses of His resurrection, preached His gospel throughout the world. Have you believed and obeyed that message of wisdom?

Under Gods Command                           

Proverbs 3:15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her

What woman is more precious than rubies? The virtuous woman (Pr 31:10)? Yes, but not in this context. Is there any woman incomparably more valuable than all things you could desire? No. Is this then a personification of success, health, happiness, wealth, family, a college degree, and/or a vacation home? No. This woman is Lady Wisdom (Pr 3:13-15).

Here is one of the Bible’s most extreme and superlative statements. There is some thing personified as a woman that exceeds the rare and precious character of rubies. And this thing surpasses any thing else you could dream about as being desirable or necessary to your success and happiness. Wisdom and understanding are that important (Pr 3:13-15)!

Men spend great efforts and much time pursuing things that are far inferior to wisdom. They chase education, physical fitness, career plans, estate building, a pretty wife, and other goals with much zeal and costly investments of various kinds. But these other things that men desire, even added together and combined, are less valuable than wisdom.

It is an axiom of human nature that you love yourself. Since you do care about your own peace, pleasure, prosperity, and reputation, here in this proverb is the simplest and most dramatic change you can make in your life to achieve your goals – learn wisdom and live your life by it. Why will you deprive yourself of real success by chasing anything else?

Why is wisdom so important? Because it brings long life, riches, and honor (Pr 3:16); it brings pleasantness and peace (Pr 3:17); and it brings life and happiness (Pr 3:18). You cannot even dream of anything that can provide all these blessings. And yet these are the certain advantages and rewards given to those that find wisdom (Pr 3:13-18).

No wonder David told Solomon, “Get wisdom, get understanding – Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Pr 4:5-7). If David, the man after God’s own heart, told his son that wisdom was that important, it should be important to you also. What an exhortation! Did you read it? Get wisdom!

What is wisdom? It is the power of right judgment, the ability to please God and men in all situations. It is based on a deep and abiding fear of the LORD Jehovah, a hatred for all sin and evil, active faith that God is and rewards, and knowledge of the precious details of His precious word (Pr 1:7; 8:13; 9:10; 22:17-21; Job 28:28; Ps 119:128; Heb 11:6).

How do you get it? By fearing God as the First Cause and Last End of all things in the universe (Pr 16:4; Ps 14:1)! By trembling in humility and repentance before God and the Bible (Is 66:1-2; II Tim 3:16-17)! By rejecting any opinion of any man that contradicts the Bible (Ps 119:98-100; Is 8:20; I Tim 6:3-5,20)! By soberly listening to the man of God when he preaches God’s truth to you (Luke 8:11-18; Jas 1:21-25)! Wisdom is easy!

Forget education or worldly wisdom (I Cor 1:19-20; 2:6-9; 3:19-20). Forget wealth or professional success (Pr 3:14; 23:4-5; Ps 39:6; I Tim 6:6-10). Forget physical strength or recreation (Ps 90:10-12; Eccl 10:10; 12:1-7; I Tim 4:8). These things are vanity and vexation of spirit – they get you nowhere with God or man – they are empty and painful. Rejoice in knowing God and His character (Jer 9:23-24). That is wisdom and pleasure!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor

How important is the fear of the LORD for getting wisdom? Absolutely crucial! You will not get close to wisdom without fearing God (Job 28:28). How important is humility to getting honor? Absolutely crucial! You will not get close to true honor without it (Pr 11:2; 16:18; 18:12; 29:23). If you love wisdom and seek the favor of God and men, then here are the rules for your life: humble yourself before God and men in the fear of God.

What is the fear of the Lord? It is a reverent awe for Him and His power, a deep respect for His commandments and laws, and a fearful regard for the punishment He can bring on the foolish. It is not a slavish, demoralizing fear that causes terror or distress. It is a fervent and holy desire to please Him in all things and fulfill His desire for your life as close as possible. It is the sober realization that He is God and you are His mere creature.

 What is humility? It is the knowledge that you are very fallible, very foolish, and very weak. It is the willingness to reject your own thoughts and opinions in order to be taught by God or men wiser than yourself. It is the ability to take correction, confess your faults, and change your methods based on the instruction of others. It is the discipline to keep your mouth shut, avoid the conflicts of others, and forgive their offences against you.

 The importance of these two prerequisites cannot be overstated. Moses taught the fear of the Lord (Deut 10:12), and so did Joshua (Josh 24:14), Samuel (I Sam 12:14,20,24), David (Ps 34:9-11), and Solomon (Eccl 12:13-14). It was the conclusion of Solomon’s conclusive experimentation! It is the whole duty of man! The very foundation of wisdom requires the fear of God: without it you cannot even get started (Pr 1:7; 9:10; Ps 111:10).

The surest and shortest way to honor is the hovel of humility! Get down, before God and men put you down! If you get down, God and men will put you up! The lesson is certain; the law is infallible. God resists the proud, but He helps the humble. It is the way of Him Who cannot stand the stench of human confidence! Joseph reached the throne through the slave market and prison. Jesus reached the throne of glory through a stable and a cross!

 Moses and David became pastors of a nation after pastoring sheep in great obscurity. Gideon and Jephthah had little pedigree or position, but God promoted them over His people. Rahab and Ruth were despised foreigners, one a prostitute and one a widow, but both are in the lineage of Jesus Christ! Daniel and Esther were orphaned early and captured by pagan kingdoms, but both rose to the right hand of power! Abigail said she was unworthy to wash the feet of David’s servants, but he chose her to be his wife!

 When you fear the Lord, you have no fear of man, which corrupts the hearts of most men (Pr 29:25). If peer pressure does not bother you, and if threats do not intimidate you, then you will be proportionately wiser by not wasting mental effort or making moral compromise based on what others might think or do. Can you grasp this wisdom?

 When you fear the Lord, you have wonderful knowledge, precepts, and principles that others do not have – you have the words of God to guide your thinking and actions. The man who fears the Lord trembles before His word (Is 66:2). Even pagans can recognize the great advantage of the Bible (Deut 4:5-8; Ps 19:7; 111:10; 119:98-100).

 When you fear the Lord, you are accountable to a Judge higher than earthly authority. Men sin easily when the only risk is the displeasure or punishment of other men, but the fear of God brings the greatest motivation for a man to make wise and righteous choices. It was this fact that kept Joseph back from Potiphar’s wife and David from killing Saul.

 When you are humble, you think before you speak, and you speak gently and kindly, because you know the foolishness of your heart and lips. Such caution and reservation brings respect and honor, even from kings (Pr 15:1; 16:13; 17:27-28; 22:11). Grasp it!

 When you are humble, you get down before God and men. In that position, He gives grace and wisdom. In that position, He avenges you from your enemies. In that position, He exalts you above others, for He will crush the proud and promote the humble. In that position, He knows that exalting you will not bring the arrogance of self-confidence.

Reader, you have been shown the way of wisdom and honor. The blessed God of heaven inspired these words through the wisest and most honored king in history. Do you love and fear the God of heaven with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? If not, get down now and begin! Do you despise your deceitful heart, foolish lips, and weak flesh enough to cry unto God that you are a lost cause? If not, confess your arrogance and begin!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 4:5-7  Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.  Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; lover her, and she will watch over you.  Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  

If you want wisdom, you must decide to go after it.  This will take resolve-a determination not to abandon the search once you begin no matter how difficult the road may become. This is not a once-in-a-lifetime step, but a daily process of choosing between two paths-the wicked (Proverbs 4:14-17, 19) and the righteous (Proverbs 4:18).  Nothing else is more important or more valuable.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 12:21 No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble. 

This is a general, but not universal, truth.  Although harm does happen to the righteous, they are able to see opportunities in their problems and move ahead.  The wicked, without God’s wisdom are ill-equipped to handle their problems.