34. WISDOM IS THE PRINCIPAL THING

Tonight, I was thinking of a situation that seems to have gone very badly for two people and in recounting some troubling things that I had observed about their situation earlier on, I thought to myself:

  • It is often dismissed but WISDOM has to count for something. So, in all thy getting, make sure you get WISDOM. If you don’t, you will end up as many have with regrets, sorrow, heartache, trouble and the like.

Proverbs 19:8 testifies that “He that getteth WISDOM loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.” Proverbs 23:23 therefore urges us to, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also WISDOM, and instruction, and understanding.”

As important as WISDOM is to our welfare though, a foolish person does not realize this, until it is too late and he has suffered for his unwise decisions and folly. Proverbs 18:1-2 rightly states that, whereas “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all WISDOM”, on the other hand, “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.”

Furthermore, whereas “Every WISE woman buildeth her house”, on the other hand, “…the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” For, “In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the WISE shall preserve them.” (Proverbs 14:1,2)

The Bible also tells us:

  • A scorner seeketh WISDOM and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. The WISDOM of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit, Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.” (Proverbs 14:6-9).

Proverbs 4:7 rightly states of WISDOM (which is sometimes referred to as ‘good understanding’ or ‘understanding’), that “WISDOM is the principal thing; therefore get WISDOM: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

The Word of God makes it clear therefore, that, apart from everything else we may wish to acquire in life and run madly after, the most important thing that we should pursue is WISDOM. Having established this fact, if we want to get WISDOM and to grow in it, we need to:

1. FEAR GOD. For, “The fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

2. SPEND QUALITY TIME MEDITATING (NOT ON OUR OWN IDEAS OR WHAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY BUT) ON THE WORD OF GOD, THE BIBLE. For “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise THE SIMPLE.” (Psalms 19:7)

3. ASK GOD FOR WISDOM IN PRAYER, BELIEVING BY FAITH THAT HE WILL GRANT IT. For, the Word of God states, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ASK of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in FAITH, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8)

4. LEARN FROM LIFE’S EXAMPLES. For, the Word of God states:

  • The ear that heareth the reproof of LIFE abideth among the WISE.” (Proverbs 15:31);
  • “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet WISER: teach a just man, and he will increase in LEARNING” (Proverbs 9:9);
  • “The righteous man WISELY considereth the house of the wicked…” (Proverbs 21:12);
  • “A PRUDENT man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”(Proverbs 22:3).

Life presents lessons from at least three sources: (1) From your observation of your own life, (2) From the experiences of others and (3) From certain sure principles that can never be flouted.

Therefore, since life often speaks (although not tangibly):

(1) Make sure your ears are not dull of hearing (like the people of whom the Lord Jesus spoke in Matthew 13:15) but are open to hear the reproof of LIFE;

(2) Be eager to increase in LEARNING when taught and instructed by life. Learn quickly from your own mistakes and those of others. If you don’t learn, you will be doomed to repeat them. Learn also about life’s non-negotiable principles of wisdom, which are essential to building a strong foundation in marriage, business and the like and are important to securing a positive, blissful, peaceful and sustainable outcome in the long run;

(3) CONSIDER the house of the wicked so that you can avoid taking the path they trod which surely leads to destruction; and

(4) Get in the habit of FORESEEING evil through God-given discernment and don’t wait for the dismal outcome but promptly hide or remove yourself from it.

LIFE’S NON-NEGOTIABLE PRINCIPLES OF WISDOM

When it comes to life’s non-negotiable principles of wisdom, don’t run from these principles. Embrace them, as they will help determine whether you turn out to be one colossal mess in life or a resounding success.

I call them non-negotiable principles of wisdom because you simply cannot disregard them and hope for the best later on in life. If you do, you end up paying a painful, painful price. For, these are principles that you cannot discard, turn a blind eye to, look down at with scorn and then hope to walk away with God’s blessings. It doesn’t matter WHO you are. It just doesn’t work that way.

Non-negotiable principles of wisdom are derived from God’s Word and we must strive to learn them early on in life so that we can be guided by them, away from danger and towards safety. Such principles are applicable to us no matter what we are faced with in life or what decision we have to make and some examples of them are as follows:-

1. Honour your mother and father (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-3; Proverbs 30:17; Proverbs 20:20);

2. Do not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever (if you’re a Christian) (2 Corinthians 6:14; Deuteronomy 17:15);

3. Flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:22);

4. Pride goeth before a fall, so humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due season (Proverbs 16:18; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:6);

5. Thou shalt have no other gods (idols) in your heart and worship nobody else and nothing else but God (Exodus 20:3);

6. Acknowledge the Lord in everything and in all your decisions and allow Him (not how you feel or what others tell you to do) to direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-7; Psalm 32:8; Psalm 37:23);

7. Don’t labour in order to be rich and if riches should increase, don’t set your heart on them, as it may cause you to err, depart from the faith and pierce yourself through with many sorrows (Proverbs 23:4-5; Psalm 62:10;1 Timothy 6:10);

8. Put not confidence in your self (the flesh), money, any man, woman or earthly thing, system, group, institution or association (all of which can fail, cannot guarantee you safety and security and will be sure to disappoint you) but put your confidence in God (Psalm 146:3-5; Proverbs 3:25-26; Proverbs 28:26; Philippians 3:3; Micah 7:5; Romans 7:18; Proverbs 23:5; Ecclesiastes 7:12; Psalm 118:8; Isaiah 26:4; Psalm 33:16-17; Jeremiah 17:7-8; Hebrews 10:35; Job 31:24,28; Psalm 27:1-3; 2 Chronicles 2:38; Proverbs 11:28; Psalm 62:5; Psalm 71:5;Proverbs 14:26; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Psalm 55:22; Psalm 56:3; 2 Corinthians 3:5; Psalm 44:6-8; Isaiah 2:22; Psalm 23; Psalm 42:5; Psalm 46; Zechariah 2:5;Isaiah 31:1).

Proverbs 9:1-12 declares of wisdom and the invitation she extends to all to partake of what she has to offer:

  • “Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
  • He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

In addition to the list of non-negotiables I have pointed out above, Proverbs 3 outlines some more, underscoring how important it is to have wisdom. In fact, it is downright dangerous to go in a direction in life that is away from wisdom, as such a path, no matter how nice it seems in the beginning is bound to lead to destruction.

It is important to note that by wisdom, I don’t mean the wisdom of this world which is called earthly wisdom and is no wisdom at all but heavenly wisdom: That which comes from God the CREATOR and can therefore be relied upon for all of this lifetime and even the next.

Whereas the ‘wisdom’ of the world is “…earthly, sensual, devilish…”, “…the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:14-17)

Of the world’s wisdom (earthly wisdom), the Word of God states:

  • “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.”

Of God’s wisdom (heavenly wisdom) which we all desperately need in this life and its non-negotiable principles, the Bible provides for us in abundance. For example, in Proverbs 3 it further states:

  • “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
  • Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
  • Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
  • My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
  • Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
  • 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. My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
  • Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
  • Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
  • Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous. The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
  • The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.”

(Written on 29th January, 2022, added to thereafter)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, beneficial or edifying, you may also be interested in reading the following under the ‘BIBLE-BELIEVING Daughters’ Page:

  • Note 130 – ‘The Paradoxical Principles To Successful Living – God’s Manual’

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