Proverbs 28:11 – Better to be poor and wise than die a rich fool

better to be poorToday’s proverb offers us yet another contrast between the rich and the poor.

Proverbs 28:11 – “The rich man is wise [intelligent, ie. book learned; cunning] in his own conceit [eye; thinking and thoughts]; but the poor that hath understanding [prudent; skilled; discerning] searcheth him out [examines, investigates and knows the rich man intimately].”

The rich, especially those wealthy due to the diligent labor of their fathers and forefathers, are often too proud to “know what they don’t know”.  Many who are rich grow up wielding the power and influence that come with riches.  They often have the “book learning” and education money can buy, but lack what we have called throughout our study of Proverbs—“Uncommon Common Sense”.

Edison and OverallsWhile the rich are wise in their own opinion, it is the poor, honest, hardworking man who has the humility to be a learner and the discernment to “know what he does not know”.   Unlike the self-conceited rich man in today’s proverb, it is the poor man, sometimes in overalls, who is a learner, has understanding and godly discernment.

My friend, better to be poor and have godly discernment than a rich man who lives and dies a fool—too proud to see his woeful need of God and salvation.