Why is wisdom so important? Well, wisdom is not only knowing what is right or true, but it is acting in accordance with that truth. In other words, wisdom is more than knowledge. Many people know what the right thing to do is, but not nearly as many people do the right thing.
That is exactly what wisdom is. Wisdom is more than just being old. How many times have you associated wisdom with age? At the same time, we all have known someone who is old and yet, very unwise.
But wisdom is more than just a knowledge of what is right or true and acting accordingly. Wisdom is accumulated. The wisdom that is learned from one area of life is not only relevant for that part of your life. Wisdom has no boundaries as to when and how it can be applied.
But, let’s not get to strapped down to a specific definition of what wisdom is just yet. Instead, let’s allow wisdom to be a floating term whose definition continues to evolve as we gain more of it.
So, we begin. And we begin with Solomon, why? First, Solomon is the author of the majority of this book. Second, Solomon received his wisdom as a gift directly from God himself.
“God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Tell me what I should give you.” 8 Solomon replied to God, “You demonstrated great loyalty to my father David and have made me king in his place. …Now give me wisdom and discernment so I can effectively lead this nation.”
11 God said to Solomon, “Because you desire this, and did not ask for riches, wealth, and honor, or for vengeance on your enemies, and because you did not ask for long life, but requested wisdom and discernment so you can make judicial decisions for my people over whom I have made you king, 12 you are granted wisdom and discernment. Furthermore I am giving you riches, wealth, and honor surpassing that of any king before or after you.”
As we look through history we see that no only was Solomon the wisest man to ever live, but he was also the richest. In today’s dollars, he would have close to $850 Billion, with a B. If God honored him with wealth because Solomon asked for wisdom, surely Solmon’s wisdom is worth following.
1 The Proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 To learn wisdom and moral instruction,
and to discern wise counsel.
3 To receive moral instruction in skillful living,
in righteousness, justice, and equity.
4 To impart shrewdness to the morally naive,
and a discerning plan to the young person.
5 (Let the wise also hear and gain instruction,
and let the discerning acquire guidance!)
6 To discern the meaning of a proverb and a parable,
the sayings of the wise and their riddles. (NET Bible Translation)
This is the point of the book and the point of this study. We want to learn wisdom and moral instruction and to discern wise counsel. We want to live our lives skillfully, not just wandering through this life with a que sera sera attitude. No matter what our age or what level of wisdom we may have achieved at this point in our lives, we seek to gain wisdom so that we may live our lives as wise.