A proverb is knowledge that has been tested by experience and has proven to be good, trustworthy advice. Solomon, one of the wisest men in biblical times, is giving some of his wisdom in Proverbs 1.
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. 30 And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.” I Kings 4:29-30
Many know a lot of things, but that does not make them wise. There are PHDs, famous politicians, teachers, and bosses who are quite intelligent, but that does not mean they have wisdom. Following the daily news and being abreast of activities of prominent leaders and public figures will attest to that fact. They may know it in their head, but the application of their knowledge is far from being practical, logical, and not harmful. They may be proud of their philosophies and decisions, but a wise person can clearly see that their thoughts, intentions, and actions are foolish and will only do damage, not help. When their unwise choices and ideas are practiced, catastrophe is often not far behind.
On the other hand, there are many, even youngsters, that seem to have a good head on their shoulders and consistently make right, wise choices. Their behavior is much different than peers who seem to be frequently in trouble and often reap consequences from poor judgments. Their actions and decisions, even when they get older, reveal that they have wisdom.
So, where does one get wisdom? There is a way to obtain practical, tested, true wisdom. It does not always come from universities, thick manuals, educational television, or even old age. It is slowly learned by practical, applied knowledge, and the beginning of obtaining this true wisdom is to “fear the Lord.”
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
“Fear” does not always mean extreme fright or being afraid of something scary and dangerous. It also means, as it does in this chapter, to have “reverence, respect, and regard” (Webster, 1828) for God and His commandments and laws. Having immense respect for God, believing, trusting, and obeying God and His Word is the beginning of getting wisdom.
Getting one’s mind to the point that they realize they do not know everything, and neither do others, initiates this godly “fear.” From there, a person is open to realize that there is One that does know everything, and that He is the Creator of this world. God’s advice is never wrong.
It is God that made everything we see, feel, or touch. He knows all the answers to our queries, and He is willing to give it to those that will humble themselves and recognize that God is one that can be trusted. His truths, advice, and wisdom can be found in His preserved words, the Bible.
Do you want to be wise? Do you want to make the right decisions and avoid the wrong ones? Are you tired of having regrets from bad choices in the past? Realize that you do not always have the answers to life’s situations and problems, but there is One that does, and He is God. Be in awe of his shareable knowledge, seek His guidance, and obey it when He gives it. You will be much wiser than most, if you do so.
“Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.” — Spurgeon
Words to Understand:
Concourse: where people are gathered
Discretion: making a good choice
Equity: with fairness
Proverb: a wise and tested bit of advice
Subtilty: sly; cunning
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7 ¶ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
9 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
10 ¶ My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
20 ¶ Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil