A proverb has been defined as “a short statement based on long experience.” The theme of the book of Proverbs is wisdom, the right use of knowledge. If you are perfect and have never made any bad decisions, you can take the next 12 weeks off. We are going to study this book and cover a wide range of subjects that will help those of us who know we need it. Today, we begin with wisdom.
The What of Wisdom
When Solomon was taking over for his father David, he had a dream in which God asked him what one thing he wanted. God was willing to give Solomon anything he asked. Solomon asked for wisdom. In the first few verses of Proverbs 1, we read that Solomon sought wisdom, instruction, understanding, knowledge, increased learning, and wise counsel (v. 1-5). Wisdom is the one thing we need more than anything else. It is to your life what the foundation is to your house.
Wisdom and intellect or education are not the same. The Bible says knowledge alone puffs up, making you arrogant. Knowledge is for the head but wisdom is for the heart. Knowledge teaches you, but wisdom transforms you. Wisdom is supernatural. More than information, wisdom is application. We live in a world that is drowning in information and starving for wisdom. Proverbs 14:8 says, “The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way….” Wisdom is understanding why you do the things you do. When you are at a loss and don’t have a clue, ask God! He is not silent. He is speaking today.
The Way of Wisdom
Proverbs 2:1-3 says, “My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding….” A wise person is teachable. Tune in to God. Incline your ear to Him. Cry out for wisdom and discernment. James 1:5 says God will give it generously to those who ask. The wiser you become the more you realize how much you don’t know. Wise men receive rebuke and correction. How do you take rebuke? Fools get defensive, argue, and blame others.
The Worth of Wisdom
“If you seek [wisdom] as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God” (Prov. 2:4-5). Wisdom is more important than all the wealth and fame in the world. You cannot separate wisdom from the word of God. How much time do you spend reading the news compared to the Bible? Do you dig and search for hidden treasure in Scripture? Proverbs 16:16 says, “How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” We are all capable of making decisions that we will regret and that will impact our children and grandchildren for years to come. Wisdom is a gift we can pass on that will last. Money they will spend, property they will sell, etc. Give them wisdom. Give them Jesus.
The Who of Wisdom
You can’t know wisdom without knowing Jesus. Colossians 2:3 says, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Wisdom is knowing what God is doing in our time. Our culture is addicted to youth. Everyone is looking for the fountain of youth but what we need is the fountain of life! The world thinks the Bible is behind the times. Proverbs tell us these truths have stood the test of time. The wisdom of God is a person, Jesus.
How can you become wise? You can’t know wisdom apart from knowing Jesus. Learning from Jesus and loving Jesus is wisdom. He is the way, the truth, and the life.