The book of Proverbs was written to make us wise. Yet Proverbs itself indicates that more information is insufficient to produce wisdom. For example, wise words, a rebuke, and even a proverb on the lips of a fool may be to no avail.
Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words. Proverbs 23:9, NASB
A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding Than a hundred blows into a fool. Proverbs 17:10, NASB
Like the legs which are useless to the lame, So is a proverb in the mouth of fools. Proverbs 26:7, NASB
So what is so difficult about wisdom?
Proverbs lays the foundation for wisdom and identifies the difficult thing for us: we must trust God more than ourself. We must fear/respect/reverence God, so that we go His way rather than our way.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8, NASB
More information won’t help, if the attitude is wrong. It’s like the Tree of Life in the center of the garden (see Genesis 3) all over again for each of us. Will we listen to God, or will we listen to our own lusts and the Serpent’s call?
Someone has noted the different approaches people take to the Bible, God’s word.
- Some people accept none of it.
- Many people accept part of it.
- A few people accept all of it.
- Some people live none of it.
- Many people live part of it.
- A few people live most of it.
Which approach describes you? It’s precisely at this point that Proverbs and the rest of the Bible challenges us. The difficult thing about wisdom is that it requires us to trust the Lord with all of our heart. The prerequisite for wisdom is faith.