We will consider two proverbs in today’s devotional, Proverbs 18:15-16.
Proverbs 18:15 – “The heart [mind; understanding] of the prudent [discerning; wise] getteth [acquires; procures; attains] knowledge [knowledge of good and evil]; and the ear [hearing; attention] of the wise seeketh [enquire after; desire; request] knowledge [knowledge of good and evil].”
A characteristic of those who love godly wisdom is an incessant appetite for the study, teaching and preaching of God’s Word (Psalm 1:1-2). Unlike the wise and prudent, the apostle Paul warned Timothy that, in the “last days” (2 Timothy 3:1-7), wicked men would be “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).
The increase in knowledge in the last century has been phenomenal. If you own a computer with Internet capability, you have at your fingertips the vast libraries of the world! Unimaginable 20 years ago, we have an array of knowledge available to us on any subject and only a few mouse clicks away. However, the wisdom of God, not the knowledge of the world, is the subject of Solomon’s proverb.
Spiritually minded men have an unquenchable hunger and thirst for truth that yields discernment of good and evil. Unlike the wicked who are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”, the wise and prudent recognize that “truth” is the Word of God and pursue it (John 17:17; Romans 10:17).
Proverbs 18:16, though appearing as a criticism, is actually a statement of fact.
Proverbs 18:16 – “A man’s gift [offerings; presents] maketh room [enlarges; broadens] for him [the giver of gifts], and bringeth [guide; leads down the right path] him before [the face; in the presence of] great [noble; important, mighty men] men.”
The “gifts” noted in this proverb can potentially have two applications. A physical gift can be the means of buying a ruler or authority figure’s favor. However, it might also be said that one’s gifts, talents and disciplines can be employed to become a valuable asset to a leader. Use your gifts and talents wisely and they can make your presence and counsel invaluable.
Proverbs 22:29 – “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith