Why is wisdom so important? I recently asked this question and heard the Lord say, “It is before you in my Word.” As I opened the Book of Proverbs, the book that’s full of wisdom, it really was all before me. Every subtitle of each chapter became like an outline while I was reading. Here’s what I saw:
Purpose and Theme of Wisdom
These are the proverbs of Solomon son of David, King of Israel: “For obtaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life; doing what is right, just and fair; giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young–let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance–for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.” (Proverbs 1: 1-6)
Wow! That sure is a mouthful. Now go back and re-read it s-l-o-w-l-y. Solomon, David’s son, was known to be a very wise man. He exhorts us by saying, “...Let the wise listen and add to their learning.”
I took his advice wanting to add to my learning by looking up the word prudent in the dictionary and it said: When someone is prudent they act with showing care and thought for the future. They make wise decisions. I like this word I will use it more often.
After he gives his summary, he then starts at the beginning, at the top, with God by saying: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1: 7) It’s like he was saying, “Begin with God!” This is the reality of where all wisdom comes from. If we start here, we are starting at the top. Why get it from anywhere else? Confucius, a wise Chinese teacher, is NOT at the top. God is at the top. He created the world.
The fear of the Lord, Solomon is referring to, is a loving reverence for God that includes submission and Lordship to Him and the commands of His Word. We are to learn to embrace His Word.
Here are some points that were highlighted while reading:
- Listen to your parents “Listen my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” (Proverbs 1: 8) Did it say preaching? No, the correct word used is teaching, but every parent knows that we are accused of preaching to our children which pushes them away. Ouch! I learned the hard way.
- Follow wisdom and add beauty and honor to your life. “They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” (Proverbs 1: 9) As we get older, that garland will be wide enough to adorn our “chicken necks.” Hope you chuckled. It added another wrinkle!
- Don’t follow the crowd. “If sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” (Proverbs 1: 10) This is the only time you are permitted to be a lone ranger.
- Stay off destructive paths. “Do not go along with them, do not set your foot on their paths.” (Proverbs 1: 15) Another permission granted to walk alone.
Wisdom Is Calling Don’t Reject It
There are usually two voices that call out to us. “Wisdom calls aloud in the street.” (Proverbs 1: 20)
Two Voices that shape our life:
- A voice of wisdom that protects lives. “Whoever listens to me (wisdom) will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1: 33)
- A voice of folly that destroys lives. “When calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress, and trouble overwhelm you. They will call to me but I will not answer. They will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.” (Proverbs 1: 27-28, 31)
Moral Benefits Of Wisdom
Here are some moral benefits of wisdom:
- Understanding and Knowledge “The Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2: 6)
- Victory “He holds victory in store for the upright’ He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless.” (Proverbs 2: 7)
- Guards and Protects “He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.” (Proverbs 2: 8)
Further Benefits Of Wisdom
The benefits of wisdom are still growing:
- Prolongs Our Life “Do not forget my teaching but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years, and bring your prosperity.” (Proverbs 3: 2)
- Brings Favor “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3: 3-4)
- Brings Us To His Paths “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; and in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
- Brings Good Health “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3: 7-8)
- Brings Wealth “Honor the Lord with your wealth; with the first fruits of all your crops; then your bans will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Proverbs 3: 9-10)
- Brings Blessings “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.” (Proverbs 3: 14)
- Long Life, Riches and Honor “Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.” (Proverbs 3: 19)
- Brings Peace “Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.“ (Proverbs 3: 17)
- Source of Life “She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.” (Proverbs 3: 18)
- A Firm Foundation “By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place.” (Proverbs 3: 19)
- Brings Breakthrough “By His knowledge, the watery depths were, broken open and the clouds dripped with dew.” (Proverbs 3: 20)
- Brings Discernment “My Son preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.” (Proverbs 3: 21)
- Brings Grace “They will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.” (Proverbs 3: 22)
- Brings A Secure Walk “Then you will go on your way in safety and your foot will not stumble.” (Proverbs 3: 23)
- Sweet Sleep “When you lie down, you will not be afraid. When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3: 24
- Become Fearless “Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked.” (Proverbs 3: 25)
- Brings Confidence “For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.” (Proverbs 3: 26)
In all that was pointed out on the benefits of wisdom, these last two are my favorite:
- Brings Honor “The wise inherit honor, but fools he holds up to shame.” (Proverbs 3: 35)
“The Lord has decreed, ‘Those who honor me I will honor.” (1 Samuel 2: 30 )
It’s the Lord’s honor we want, not man’s.
I ask the same question I started with, “Why is wisdom so important?” It brings honor where honor is due–with the Lord!
In all things, whatever you do, whatever you say, Honor the Lord!