BY RON E. LIBBY
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:27
It is clear from the above scripture that wisdom, in the mind of Solomon, was the main thing to acquire; and with it to get understanding. Of all the things that Solomon acquired, and all the things that Solomon achieved, he realized that wisdom was the most valuable ingredient to possess. The word “principal” in Hebrew means chief. The word understanding is self-explanatory. Obviously he put
them at the peak of all his achievements and accomplishments.
I wonder if wisdom could be defined as “common sense to an uncommon degree.” I think all of us would agree that true common sense and wisdom is lacking in our culture, and perhaps even within the church
body. How about this definition, “the ability to judge soundly and deal sagaciously with facts, especially as they relate to life and conduct.” That is a worthy definition, but how about if we just boil it down to
this, “seeing life and issues as God sees them.” If we could see life’s issues and problems as God sees them, we would have absolute and total wisdom, for all wisdom comes from God. I think that everyone would also agree that there is a big difference between seeing things our way, and seeing things God’s way. These are two extremes personified. How we see things relate to our feelings, our prejudices, our biases and our ego. How God sees them weighs everything in the balance. “Oh God, give us wisdom so we can see life through your eyes.”
If you look at the book of Ecclesiastes 9:16, you will see that “wisdom” is better than strength. Verse 18 says, ” Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good”. Obviously
the writer is telling us that in spite of all our talents and abilities (weapons of war), wisdom will do far more for us than all of our abilities, talents, and personalities. But let’s look at the other side of the coin; the sinner. The man who lacks wisdom, who lacks the ability to see as God sees, and who walks in his own ways. He “destroyeth much good.” When we walk in our own prejudices, in our own bitterness and unforgiveness, we are going to do much harm. We will destroy the good that God is trying to do. God help me keep my spirit under the control of your Holy Spirit, so that I can operate in the realm of how you see my situation.
Daniel 12:3 says, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” The wise will shine as brightness and they will be soul winners. They will turn many to righteousness. That is the kind of wisdom we need in these last days. We need wisdom that will shine and turn sinners to God. Proverbs 11:25-31 tells us that a wise person will influence many toward God, because a wise man wins souls.
There are many rewards for wisdom Fantastic rewards! Proverbs 3:13-26 tells us a little about those rewards. In verse 13 it says there is happiness; true values in verses 14 & 15; long life in verses 16 & 18;
and even a good night sleep in verse 24. No wonder Solomon wrote that wisdom is the “principal thing.” As leaders in these last days we need to be wise. Wise pastors, wise youth pastors, wise Sunday school
teachers, wise district officials, wise altar workers, wise ushers, etc. We don’t need to be full of our own humanness, because we will “destroy much good.” But, if we see life and see people as God sees them, we will treat each other, as well as the lost, the way God would want them treated. That is when sinners will convert to righteousness.
What is the proper attitude about wisdom? Proverbs 4:7 tells us, “Wisdom is the principal thing; (the chief thing) … and with all thy getting get understanding.” We are told in verse 8, to exalt wisdom and
that wisdom will promote us. It will bring us honour. The scripture admonishes us to embrace it. Verse 9 says, it will also give our heads an ornament of grace and a crown of glory that wisdom will deliver to
us. We are told in verse 11 that if we receive wisdom, we will “walk in the right paths.” In verse 12 we see that our steps will be straightened or narrowed, and when we run we won’t stumble. In verse 13 we are told to hold lightly or fast to instruction; to not let it go, and hold on to her; because “she” is thy life.
Let’s go back to our opening scripture in Proverbs chapter 1. It tells us a wise man will hear and increase learning. How much more do we need to learn? But, it will only come from a wise heart. Verse 7 tells us,
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom.” Then we are given the great admonition about our attitude toward wisdom, again in chapter 2. He says about wisdom to “incline our ears to it, and apply our heart to it.” In other words, it is something that we need to seek for and listen for. Verse 3 tells us to, cry for it, and lift up our voice for it. Verse 4 says to seek her as silver,
and search for her as a hid treasure. In other words, if you were looking for a 4- leaf clover, you wouldn’t just run through a field looking. You would have to get down on all fours and search for it. That is how God is telling us to search for wisdom. In verse 5 he tells us that, after we search for it as a treasure, then we will find “the knowledge of God.” Look at verse 6, Wisdom comes out of the mouth of God. By searching and seeking for Him and His wisdom, He will speak to us, and give us His wisdom. Then God, in verse 7, lays up sound wisdom for the righteous. He will give it if we diligently seek for it.
But there is another wisdom; an earthly wisdom. James 3:14 says,” But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.” Verse 15 says, “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, and devilish.” Verse 16 says, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” Verse 17, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then
peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” Obviously, there are two dimensions of wisdom. There is a heavenly dimension described
in verse 17, and then an earthy and devilish dimension described in verse 15. Bitterness, envying, and strife create confusion, and strike a blow at the work of God. The wisdom that comes from God is peaceable and gentle. It is merciful, and it treats everyone the same. This heavenly wisdom in verse 18 says, “And the fruit of righteousness is sewn in peace of them that make peace.” People with true Godly wisdom are peacemakers and not troublemakers. True people of God don’t create strife. They are constantly trying to cause strife to cease. Brethren, let us seek the heavenly wisdom so that the work of God can prosper and be blessed. Lets not fall into the trap of earthly, devilish wisdom.
Let us seek that true wisdom as treasure; cry after her as silver. And God will give us increase, He’ll give us knowledge, and He’ll give us souls. In Jesus Name! Amen.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE COMMUNIQUE, MD. DC DISTRICT
NEWS. 2000. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY &
RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.