I am at a loss to know to whom to attribute the quote that goes something like this: “Common Sense is wisdom in overalls.” I love that definition! I remember my granddaddy, Roland Whitley of Monroe, NC, wearing overalls throughout my childhood. Hardworking, diligent, self-sacrificing, faithful to the wife he called “Sugar”, loving to his family, a no-nonsense man of the soil [he always had a beautiful garden]…a common man who personified Common Sense in overalls. Common Sense is nigh nonexistent today; not because overalls are out of vogue, but because godly wisdom has been rejected!
Proverbs 8 is almost wholly devoted to giving Wisdom a voice. What is wisdom? Wisdom implies the “skillful use of knowledge” or the right use of knowledge. A man can be intellectually brilliant, but lack wisdom. The psalmist is dogmatic: A man who rejects the existence and sovereignty of God is a fool—wholly lacking in wisdom.
Psalms 53:1 – “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.”
By contrast, a man who knows Christ and is a student of God’s Word can be a man of wisdom though he has no formal education. Solomon opens Proverbs 8 with two rhetorical questions:
Proverbs 8:1 – “Doth not wisdom cry? And understanding put forth her voice?”
The implied answer to the questions in Proverbs 8:1 is “YES!” Wisdom does cry and raise her voice desiring to be heard. She desires not only to be heard, but also heeded.
Proverbs 8:2-3 – “She [Wisdom] standeth in the top of high places [where cities were built-in ancient times], by the way in the places of the paths [where roads meet or intersect]. 3 She crieth at the gates [where city elders sat in judgment], at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors [in shops and places of commerce].”
Where can wisdom be found? Her voice has been silenced in the halls of academia and she has been expelled from most churches and pulpits, because the masses want to be entertained and have their ears tickled.
Psalm 111:10 – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth for ever.”
Wisdom, “Common Sense in overalls”, is obtainable to all those who “fear the Lord” [lit. revere, worship—implying a personal, intimate knowledge of God, made possible through His Son Jesus Christ] and align their lives with His Word.
Closing Challenge: Read Proverbs 8, pray and ask God to give you wisdom, and commit your heart to do His will.