A Wise Man

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” Proverbs 1:7

The book of Proverbs can give us some wise instruction if we will receive it. Following is a summary and notation of many of the Proverbs with regard to a wise person. Please look them up as you read this article.

It should not surprise us that the book begins by saying that a wise person is one who is teachable and actively seeking understanding of that which is true (1:5, 6). “To hear” means not just audible hearing but to take it to heart and live it out.

In a similar vein as this, one who is wise in his own eyes is not teachable (3:7; 26:12) and will not reverence the Lord as the One from whom he/she will seek knowledge (10:14; 18:15; 19:20; 22:17-21) and understanding (8:33). Being teachable and being humble are conjoined twins; they cannot be separated.

The activities of a wise person come from within. He need not be driven like a reluctant mule but is industrious and thrives on work (6:6-11; 14:1; 30:24-28). He /she will have nothing to do with evil (14:16) and will be able to pour “cold water” on “flames” of anger dampening the violence of the unwise (29:8).

The natural man hates rebuke and correction but a characteristic of the wise is that they gladly receive both (9:8, 9; 15:31; 17:10; 21:11; 25:12). They will love the one who rebukes them in love and truth, and learn from the one who corrects their error (12:15; 13:20).

Any parent rejoices when their child acts wisely and so say the Proverbs (10:1, 5; 13:1; 15:20; 23:15, 19-21; 23:24; 27:11; 28:11). A part of this is training a child to have respect to authority and demonstrate that by obeying those in authority (10:8; 22:6).

“The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity” writes James (3:6) so we are not surprised that the proverbs tell us that a wise man knows when to keep quiet and is able to do so (10:19; 12:18; 15:2, 7). His renewed heart controls what he says (16:23) and does. The wise person will not indulge in any thing mind altering such as alcohol (20:1; 23:19-21). The wise person has control of their words and actions (29:11). James reminds us that this is not possible in our fallen state but only by the Holy Spirit (James 3:8).

The wise in the context of Proverbs have a destiny and an inheritance beyond value; the glory of God (3:35; 15:24) and his desire is that others also enter that glory (11:30). Of course the Bible elaborates much more on this subject but this a good basic start.

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