This is part fourteen in my 31-day study through the book of Proverbs. The purpose of this study is to learn what God has to say in this book about wisdom and discernment. Because today is Sunday, this will be an abbreviated look at a couple of key points from today’s passage. Yesterday I learned that I need to labor diligently to obtain things I want rather than just waste time dreaming about them and that I need to set realistic and godly goals so my soul will be satisfied when I attain them. I also saw that s a father I need to discipline my children wisely and promptly as an act of love. Similarly I need to be prepared for God to discipline me in the same manner.
“A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands. Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit.”
This passage reinforces what I have already learned through earlier chapters. Each of us is faced with the decision to choose wisdom over foolishness. However, if we continually reject wisdom it seems that there is a point of no return after which wisdom will forsake us permanently. At this point a foolish man may seek out wisdom but it will be too late; he will be given over to his folly.
The last two chapters of Proverbs have stressed the importance of being careful to choose friends who are wise and love knowledge rather than foolish ones who despise wisdom. Verse 7 carries the same exhortation to leave foolish people to their folly as soon as I perceive that his lips speak no knowledge, for I am to “Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.”
The eighth verse explains the value of prudence. A prudent man is one who has shrewdness to live his life in a way that promotes life. He uses his knowledge to better understand how to live a life that is approved by God and glorifies Him. A foolish man, though, is deceitful as he leads himself and others away from living a God-glorifying life.
“The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps. A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident.”
The study of wisdom allows me to understand discernment, which in turn allows me to exercise discretion. A foolish man has no basis to make sound judgments so believes everything he is told and is easily led astray. A prudent man makes good judgments about what he is told and considers his steps wisely. He can then discern evil and flee from it before blundering into it. A foolish man, though, is blinded by irrational self-confidence in his own abilities and is easily led into the way of evil.
“A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones”
Even thousands of years ago this writer knew that there is a link between mental and physical health. A heart that is continually dissatisfied will cause the entire body to lose health. However, a sound heart – one that is content with its lot in life – will cause physical as well as mental health.
The objective for this study is to learn godly wisdom and discernment. Based on the fourteenth chapter of Proverbs, here is what I have learned:
- Wisdom will eventually forsake those who do not heed her call.
- Wisdom allows me to gain discernment. Discernment allows me to more fully discretion.
- Contentment in my heart is important to my whole life – my health and my character.