Gaining Wisdom Takes Time And It Isn't Cheap
20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.
Wisdom is a long-term investment.
Who’s advice and instruction should we accept? The very next verse says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” -So godly advice and instruction. “in the end you will be wise” -This seems to tell us wisdom is for the long haul.
So many times in my life I want wisdom now, so I seek advice and guidance to help me in my responsibilities in the moment. But it seems like Proverbs as a whole is teaching us there’s something about wisdom that’s a lot more than just getting advice, and more about the strenuous journey of becoming wise.
So how do we attain wisdom?
Wisdom is for anyone who wants it (9:4 16). At the same time, it is as costly as character. Wisdom’s generosity is not scattered, but ‘stored up’ for the ‘upright’, for people of ‘integrity’, for ‘followers of God’ (2:7-9)
Wisdom comes by revelation (‘For it is the Lord who gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding’ (2:6); it also comes by discipleship. The verse 2:6, just quoted, follows a call to determined search in 2:1-5, ‘as for hidden treasures’ (4), which is a search for God himself (5). The demands that wisdom makes can be summarized as follows:
1. Conversion: a turning form evil- for ‘the fear of the Lord’ (which is the beginning of wisdom, 9:10) ‘is to hate evil’ (8:13; 3:7b) – and from one’s valued independence, that way that ‘seems right to a man’ (14:12); positively, a turning to the light; to God’s salvation. ‘Turn in here’, says wisdom (9:4); and the range of her invitation anticipates the gospel offer: ‘Come…eat…drink…forsake…live…walk’ (9:5, 6)
2. Devotion.Wisdom is for the humbly eager – for the lover, the suitor ‘…watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors’ (8:34).It is not for the man ‘wise in his own eyes’; he thinks he has arrived – and indeed he has, for he will never get a step further!Wisdom is a long-term investment.A fool does not seriously want to be a better person; but a wise man is teachable to the end (9:9), open to God’s commands (10:8) and to human advice and criticism (13:10; 17:10); for he values truth enough to pay the price of having it (23:23).
Questions To Ponder
How would someone who knows you well say you manage your responsibilities or your possessions?
What instruction or advice do you need to listen to right now in the area of wisely managing your responsibilities? Your possessions?
Scripture Memory | March | Proverbs 21:30-31
“No human wisdom or understanding or plan
can stand against the Lord.
The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord.”