“Experience is a safe light to walk by, and he is not a rash man who expects to succeed in [the] future from the same means which have secured it in times past” (Wendell Phillips). This almost seems to be contrary to good reason, but after a moment’s reflection, one can see the wisdom of this. What occurred in the past was in relation to the surrounding circumstances and the skill/ability that brought about the success. Future events will not have the same circumstances, and the skill/ability/wisdom of the one who has experience will also be different. Thus, one’s experience will modify and make use of that which has been learned to help when the times calls for it. This applies in the material world, and it applies in the spiritual world. RT
The wise in heart will be called prudent, And sweetness of the lips increases learning (Proverbs 16:21, NKJV). The wise is heart knows how to speak to people. He (she) seeks to persuade, reason, and establish a point – not win arguments. If there is a need to win an argument, then the wise in heart knows how to begin and how to bring it to an end. This is one who is very prudent in the choice of words and in the tone reflected in conversation. This kind of approach is well received by others. The Lord gave instruction to all those who love Him when He authored this words that Paul wrote, “Let Christian wisdom rule your behaviour to the outside world; make the very most of your time; let your talk always have a saving salt of grace about it, and learn how to answer any question put to you” (Colossians 4:5-6, Moffatt Translation). RT
How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver (Proverbs 16:13, NKJV). The value of wisdom above wealth is obvious to any and all mature people. The value of wisdom helps one make proper use of what is possessed. Unfortunately, there are an untold number of people who value material possessions to the point they are consumed in thinking about them. It is not a matter of a house, but it has to be a giant home; it is not a matter of property, but it must be properties; it is not a matter of retirement, but it must be a comfortable and well-to-do retirement. Whatever value there might be in these things, in comparison with godly wisdom it pales! How can it not pale? Wisdom is great, but godly wisdom is greater still! With godly wisdom one knows the direction of life and the destination after life is over. With godly wisdom one knows how to handle the nuances of life because the Lord has set the proper course for each of us. Yes, it is true, there are some circumstances in life where one may not know what to do, but none of those circumstances will pertain to how to live morally, because the saints know how to live. He lives for God. Yes! Wisdom and understanding is FAR better than material wealth. RT
In the grand scheme of this world’s existence, there are competing philosophies. There is a philosophy that says the material universe has always existed. From this material universe that has always existed comes what man knows to be life. In other words, in the long ago there was nothing but inanimate material that corresponded to rocks and dirt. At some time in the past from this inanimate existence (rocks and dirt) came animate existence (or life). How this is explained is never accomplished.
Another philosophy that gives some explanation to this material universe is the belief that the material universe came into existence, but the source of its existence is itself. In other words, at one time in the long past NOTHING existed. This nothing means there was no one thing; there was absolutely nothing (zero, zip, notta) that existed. Suddenly and without explanation, something came into existence. Some call this a “big bang.” There is an inherent problem with this philosophy, however. If nothing existed in the past, since nothing can only “create” nothing, then it is absolutely the case that nothing produces (creates) nothing—and we don’t exist! Complete nonsense, but some actually believe it.
A third philosophy gives explanation to the material universe by saying that, indeed, there was creation by a source, but that source is unknown. This third philosophy is more in accord with the evidence, but there is a strong determination to keep God, especially the Christian God out of the picture.
A fourth philosophy says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2, KJV).
In giving explanation, scientists are just as much controlled by religious fervor as just about anyone else. Their religious fervor in is making certain that whatever explanation is given to explain the material universe and life within it, it can’t be God, especially God as described in Scripture, the Bible. Why such religious devotion? There may be many reasons, but at least one of them pertains to morality. If the Scriptures are correct in its declarations then there is such a thing as right and wrong and, more than that, there is a judgment day coming. People don’t want to be trouble by such ways of thinking.
Near the end of his life, Joshua told the people of Israel they needed to be very courageous and do all the things written in the Law of Moses (Joshua 23:6-7). This exhortation given them is one that, in part, we need also to hear. In this world with the competing ideologies, there are a great many that mock Christians because of their acceptance of a world-view that has at its source Almighty God. “The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew” (Proverbs 3:19-20).
What a contrast to the “wisdom” man offers!
Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, But a man of understanding walks uprightly (Proverbs 15:21, NKJV). The word “folly” is rendered “foolish,” “stupid,” and the dictionary defines it as the lack of good sense, or judgment. In this proverb, it is best understood in relation to the word “uprightly.” In other words, the man of folly is a man who walks in wickedness, lacking good judgment. In one respect, it is easy to understand why one translation reads “stupid.” In the Lord’s word there is no “letting down easy” when it comes to such important matters in life. On the other hand, the man of understanding is the man who does know the Lord Way, and He chooses to live it. Consequently, he walks upright seeing His path before the Lord. RT
A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother
(Proverbs 15:20, NKJV). A child is precious to loving parents. Sometimes, however, the parents are not wise in the life they have chosen to live. This passes to the child. The apple does not fall far from the tree it is said. If the parents are wise, then it is only natural that the child (children) will gain the parent’s wisdom; what is in the heart/mind of a parent does indeed make its way out, and a child is but a sponge. It is a great blessing for the parents to see the children grow into productive citizens and, more than that, into godly saints. On the other hand, there are some parents who exhibit little wisdom and this lack of wisdom is also soaked up by the child. Wisdom is more than just being a productive citizen in society; wisdom is fear of the Lord. When the parents don’t exhibit such, neither will the child. Foolishness! RT
Is wisdom found among those living in this world? According to Job it is not (Job 28:12-28). Let us be sure to understand Job’s point, however. Job recognizes that wisdom is in this world, but the wisdom that is in this world is not a wisdom within man to generate. In fact, there is nothing in man that is able to generate wisdom – that is, a wisdom that understands what is really significant about this world and one’s travel to the next.
To be sure, many in this world have the word “wise” ascribed to them by others. In worldly matters there may be some wisdom. The wisdom they ascribe, however, is only a perceived wisdom. What will that wisdom do for them? In the end it will do very little, even if it has done much for them in this material world.
It will do little because the wisdom of the world looks upon the wisdom of God as being nothing but silliness and wishful thinking. These same people who arrogantly dismiss the Lord’s wisdom have no wisdom to help them with the prospect of death and what is on the other side. In their final breath they are screaming out how wrong they have been.
Though there is in man no inherent wisdom that is able to change a man profoundly, as Job recognized, the wisdom that does change man in a profound way is that wisdom that is of the Lord. “And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding'” (Job 28:28, ESV). RT
A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully (Proverbs 14:35, NKJV). In my view, the king in this verse is not a king that has exclusively his own selfish interests in view, but a king who has his people’s interest in view. If the king has the Lord’s interests as his own, then this is even better! The servant who serves a king like that will get positive attention. The one who serves the king with the Lord’s wisdom within the heart is one to whom the king will continually consult. On the other hand, the shameful acting no longer has the king’s interest in mind but his own. He will not only experience disfavor, but the king’s wrath will also be upon him. If the king is the Lord’s anointed, then how much greater will the almighty King’s wrath be! RT
In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge (Proverbs 14:26, ESV). If the word “his” is understood to refer to the Lord, then those who love the Lord have a place to hide and be protected from the arrows that Satan surely casts about. Certainly, when following the Lord’s way, the obedient one has minimized, if not altogether eliminated, internal spiritual aggravations in life because the life lived is not one’s own (Galatians 2:20). This kind of response is fear and reverence toward Him who is holy and Judge of all.
Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor (Proverbs 14:21, ESV). Those who are of shallow substance, those who have a quality of character that is as deep as half-inch rain’s mud puddle are the quickest to lose interest in the well-being of another, especially one who is poor. In fact, as the Lord looks at it, there is no way that such a person can be saved in that state of mind. It is a state of mind that lacks love. How does one love another if there is no interest in the other person? On the other hand, those who are generous in their material goods are in great position to be generous in their words that are full of love and teaching. All this for a great purpose.