Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Here is the key to Proverbs. Here is the key to life. These are King David’s words to his son Solomon (Pr 4:1-9). They explain the purpose of the book of Proverbs. They describe the greatest goal for your life – the important pursuit of wisdom and understanding.
Most men get distracted pursuing all kinds of other things. It is man’s folly and trouble that any other ambition ever competes with getting wisdom. It is your duty and privilege to consider the wonderful opportunity of wisdom and seek it with all your might.
Wisdom is the principal thing – the most important matter in life. What is wisdom? It is the power of right judgment – the ability to choose the correct solution for any situation. It is knowing how to think, speak, and act to please both God and men throughout life.
Wisdom is the basis for victorious living. Without wisdom, men make choices that bring pain, poverty, trouble, and even death. With it, men make choices that bring them health, peace, prosperity, success, and life. Your future depends on your degree of wisdom.
Understanding is connected to wisdom, and it also is an important goal. Understanding is the power of discernment – to see past what meets the eye and recognize the actual faults or merits of a thing. It is the ability to grasp a matter or situation and assess it correctly.
Without understanding, men are easily deceived and led astray. Without it, men are confused and perplexed. With it, men can see what others miss, and they can avoid the snares and traps of folly and enticing sins. With it, life’s difficulties become quite simple.
Here is the road to success. What will you do with this axiom? If you neglect wisdom, you will bring pain and trouble upon you and your family. If you make it a priority to get wisdom and understanding, you will bask in pleasant prosperity. Finding wisdom brings life and God’s favor; neglecting it wrongs your own soul and brings death (Pr 8:35-36).
The world spends trillions on education, but neglects wisdom and understanding. Parents sacrifice for children to “get an education,” as if it were the noblest human goal. They do not realize that learning without wisdom or understanding is dangerous, for it gives false confidence in knowledge. An educated fool is worse than an ignorant fool (Pr 26:12)!
It matters little who discovered Bolivia, or if it was discovered. Unless you work for NASA, calculus has little use, though it does excuse a lower grade point average. Regurgitating facts you will never use in the real world is one of the greatest hoaxes ever sold. Paul warned of much learning that never leads to truth or wisdom (II Tim 3:6-7).
Wisdom is the principal thing, but it is not in the scope and sequence of any grade, of any state, of any nation. A bachelor’s degree in America takes 17 years of formal education, but the degree is granted without any evaluation of wisdom. Resumes formally list education and professional experience, but there is not a single line about wisdom.
Wisdom and understanding require knowing and fearing God (Pr 1:7; 9:10; Job 28:28; Ps 111:10). You cannot even start to be wise without fearing and loving the true Creator God – Jehovah of the Bible. But these vital prerequisites and their source document are forbidden and ridiculed in America and other nations’ institutions of “higher learning.”
What higher learning are educators talking about? Irrelevant facts and insane reasoning! Facts without the correct context and a productive purpose are irrelevant and distracting. Reasoning without the correct First Cause and moral absolutes is hallucination. These educators need to study, The Emperor’s New Clothes, by Hans Christian Andersen.
What are the main goals of so-called enlightened nations? Pleasure! Which is no better than the Epicurean madness of the Greeks (Acts 17:16-34). Money! Which is the root of all evil and drowns men in destruction (I Tim 6:6-10). Health! Which is quite worthless, if your stronger and longer life is used to extend your dysfunctional living (Pr 13:15).
Parent! What do you do with and for your children? Do you teach them the power of right judgment and right discernment? Do you have these abilities yourself? Or do you think you are a great parent by providing three squares a day, a few hours of restricted television, and picking them up from soccer practice after school? Life is so much more.
Parent! Wisdom is found in the Bible, and any thoughts contrary to it are dark ignorance (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20; I Tim 6:3-5,20). You must learn wisdom from the Bible, and you must teach it to your children (Deut 6:4-9; Eph 6:4; II Tim 3:15). Miss Huckleberry at the elementary school will not do it. Most pastors and churches do not even do it today.
Parent! Wisdom is a Bible worldview. Men are drunk on nihilism, naturalism, humanism, pantheism, etc. Your children must be convinced of a Creator God, Who revealed absolute truth in the Bible, which is perfect in every part, and contains the facts of Jesus Christ, the devil, the origin and future of man, eternal punishment, and rules for living.
Parent! Wisdom may be seen clearly by comparing it to folly, as many of Solomon’s proverbs do. You have daily opportunities in this confused and profane world to identify the foolishness of man and show the answer of wisdom – straight from the Word of God. It is the blessed privilege of the righteous to mock and ridicule the ignorance of fools.
Parent! God did not leave you without tools. He gave you an inspired library of sixty-six books covering the entire scope of wisdom and understanding. He inspired David and Solomon to give you the proverb before you. The book of Proverbs should be required learning for every child. He also gifted and ordained pastors and teachers to help you.
Wisdom takes a commitment (Pr 18:1) to reject your thoughts (Pr 3:5; 17:16; 18:2). It cannot be a part-time pursuit, for it requires the careful diligence that hunting for hidden treasure requires (Pr 2:1-9). You must redeem your time for the pursuit (Eph 5:15-17). Yet it is easy for those who love it and seek it with humble readiness (Pr 8:17; 14:6).
May God bless His children to simplify their lives – getting rid of unnecessary noise and distraction – to focus on the principal things – wisdom and understanding. Do not let the world or devil distract you with frivolous and worthless pursuits. Do not join most co-called Christians today as they turn from the truth to fables as Paul warned (II Tim 4:3-4).
Jesus grew in wisdom and in favor with God and man (Lu 2:52), the perfect goals for you and your family. In Him are hid all treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). God put His elect in Christ Jesus and made Him wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption for them (I Cor 1:30). The greatest wisdom is to believe this and live like it.