“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5
Through the years I have read the Book of Proverbs in the Old Testament of the Bible many times. Along with Job and Ecclesiastes, it is considered a “wisdom book” because much of the writings are full of practical wisdom for common everyday life.
Chapter one begins with “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (verse 7) Then verses 20-33 describe wisdom in the form of a person who is calling to people to listen to her but very few do and wisdom is rebuking them for it.
Let’s take a look at five examples in Proverbs of wisdom God wants to give:
“Go to the ant, you sluggard consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” (6:6-8) Here the author is providing the smallest of creatures as an example signaling to us that if the ant can save and store up necessities of life for later, so can we.
“The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” (10:9) It’s always right to be honest and tell the truth no matter the immediate consequences because it may get worse later.
“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (14:23) How many success stories have we heard where hard work was involved? Additionally, we are encouraged in other parts of Scripture to work hard for the glory of God. He is our boss and it brings Him pleasure when we acknowledge Him in our work.
“There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.” (20:15) Money is king in our society, but this proverb tells us the person with knowledge has something far more valuable. God is the one who provides us with the right word to speak in a given situation or the best action to take when something goes wrong. Wealth cannot accomplish what true knowledge from God can.
“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (26:12) The person who tries to live life apart from God is foolish and will not succeed. Humility is the mark of a true follower of Christ and being willing to admit that we do not know it all is a mark of true wisdom.
The Book of Proverbs is full of much more wisdom like we have seen here. There are 31 chapters in the entire book – one for each day of the month. Consider getting up 10-15 minutes earlier than usual and reading these spiritual treasures. You will begin to see a difference in your life as God works these truths through you.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at OneMaster.org.