I am at a loss to know to whom to attribute the insightful quote that is the heading of today’s devotional proverb, but I love the definition: “Common Sense is wisdom in overalls.” My late grandfather, Roland Whitley of Monroe, NC wore 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, hardworking, industrious man—he 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! What is wisdom? Solomon taught his son, “The fear [reverential fear] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7) and is the “principal [highest] thing” (Proverbs 4:7). According to Job 28:18, wisdom is priceless, “above rubies” and the acquisition of wisdom is possible only if we are willing to acknowledge God and seek Him. By definition, a man may possess a brilliant intellect and acquire a lot of knowledge; however, if he denies the existence of God he is a fool and wholly lacking in wisdom.
Psalms 53:1 – “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God…”
Wisdom implies the “skillful use of knowledge” or the right use of knowledge. A man who knows Christ as Savior and is a student of God’s Word can be man of wisdom though he has no formal education (James 1:5).
Solomon introduces Proverbs 8 with two rhetorical questions: “Doth not wisdom cry? And understanding put forth her voice?” (Proverbs 8:1). The implied answer to the questions 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 today? Her voice is silent in the halls of academia and she has been expelled from our churches and pulpits. However, godly wisdom is found where she has always been—in the knowledge of God through His Word and His revelation of Himself in His Son Jesus Christ.
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.”
Few in academia, politics or positions of influence have godly wisdom because they refuse to acknowledge God in their heart. The old farmer wearing overalls, driving a Farmall tractor in his field, who knows the Lord as His Savior and meditates in God’s Word personifies, Godly wisdom–“Common Sense in overalls”.
Godly wisdom belongs to 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.
James 1:5 – “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith