The Need For Wisdom
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
Observation – What does it say?
The author of this portion of Proverbs, Solomon, is letting his audience know from the outset his purpose in sharing these proverbs. The purpose of the sayings in this book is to help us to gain wisdom. A couple good definitions I've heard for wisdom are applied knowledge and skill in living.
In this verse he invites the wise to listen along with the simple. These wise statements are not only for the fool but for those who are already wise and discerning. Wisdom cries out, “Come to me and I will teach you!” And to anyone who would respond to the invitation - wise or foolish, discerning or simple, old or young - wisdom is available.
Understanding – What does it mean?
First of all, I’m reminded that I’ve got a lot to learn! I wouldn’t be quick to identify myself with the wise. I still make mistakes, I still make dumb decisions, I still have struggles in my life that are a result of my actions. And, it’s not because I’m trying to sabotage my own life. It’s because I’m desperate for wisdom!
Solomon, who wrote these proverbs, was extended the most incredible invitation from God in Scripture: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (1 Kings 3:4) Imagine God said that to you. What would you ask for? Solomon asked for wisdom. He recognized his desperation for wisdom.
We would be wise for us to recognize the same. It will do us no good to read through the rest of the book of Proverbs unless we first recognize our need for wisdom.
Second, I’m reminded of the source of wisdom, God.
8 But it is the spirit in a person,
the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
9 It is not only the old who are wise,
not only the aged who understand what is right.
Wisdom does not come with age. There are plenty of old people living like fools. Neither does wisdom come with experience. It’s possible for us to have experiences and rather than learning from them we just continue making the same mistakes. Wisdom comes from God. And since it comes from God alone, there is only one place to turn when we need it.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
If our desire is the same as Solomon’s, then we have a promise from God that he will fulfill that desire. If any of you lacks wisdom ask God and he’ll give it to you!
Follow Solomon’s example, respond to God’s invitation in James, and ASK FOR WISDOM!
As we continue through Proverbs, be teachable and open, reading with an awareness of need and an expectation to gain wisdom.
God, humble me before you. Uproot any pride in my life and notion that I have it together. Please fill me with wisdom. As I continue to read your word, speak to me. And may it not just be head knowledge, but give me the strength to apply it to my life. Amen.