(Proverbs 1:20-33; 2:1-22; 3:13-24; 4:1-27; 8:1-36; 9:1-6, 13-18)
Wisdom and Folly
For the next two weeks or so, we will peruse the book of Proverbs. King Solomon of Israel wrote most of the Proverbs, which total more than 600. Many of the Proverbs are antithetical couplets, meaning they present diametrically opposed statements, comparing opposite words or images prove a point.
For the purposes of this daily devotional series, we will look at the Proverbs topically, rather than in biblical order. The first day’s set of readings pertains directly to wisdom.
What Is Wisdom?
Webster’s Dictionary defines wisdom this way:
1a: accumulated philosophic or scientific learning : knowledge
1b: ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight
1c: good sense : judgment
1d: generally accepted belief
2: a wise attitude, belief, or course of action
3: the teachings of the ancient wise men
Here are a few synonyms for wisdom (from Thesaurus.com):
acumen, astuteness, balance, brains, caution, circumspection, clear thinking, comprehension, discernment, discrimination, enlightenment, erudition, experience, foresight, good judgment, gumption, horse sense, information, intelligence, judgment, judiciousness, knowledge, learning, pansophy, penetration, perspicacity, poise, practicality, prudence, reason, sagacity, sageness, sanity, sapience, savoir faire, savvy, shrewdness, solidity, sophistication, stability, understanding
Wisdom Exceeds Wealth
Several Scriptures in these sections speak specifically to the value of wisdom and how it far exceeds worldly wealth. Here’s an example:
“Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.”
(Proverbs 8:10-11, NIV, emphasis added)
In the Bible book of Proverbs, wisdom is personified, speaking in the first person.
“For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the Lord.
But whoever fails to find me harms himself;
all who hate me love death."
(Proverbs 8:35-36, NIV, emphasis added)
The Lord prizes wisdom, and sage Solomon certainly understood this truth.
“Get wisdom; develop good judgment.
Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you.
Love her, and she will guard you.
Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!
And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.
Embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will place a lovely wreath on your head;
she will present you with a beautiful crown.”
May God grant us wisdom, as we pore over His Proverbs.
Will you pray with me?
We ask for wisdom,
As only You can give,
As we study Your Word.
Prepare us for prudence,
That we might learn Your truth.
Guard our hearts,
That You may dwell therein.