A number of ‘gentlemen’ gather each morning at the local IGA grocery store for coffee and biscuits. The proprietor, Leonard Fitch, warmly greets us and makes us feel welcome. He treats us as if he is our pastor and we are his congregation. It’s a good place “where everybody knows your name”.
As you can imagine, a lot of wisdom is dispensed around the coffee tables. Dwight Blakeman, a local sage, often shares witticisms that stay in the mind long after the morning gathering is over. One such saying, in particular, has stayed with me. Dwight evoked the traditional folk idea of owls being wise. Speaking about an acquaintance, he said, “He’ smarter (wiser) than a tree full of owls.”
I cogitated for some time on that saying. I wondered, “What does it mean to be wise?” As I pondered of the idea of wisdom, I started with Solomon, reputed to be the wisest man who ever lived. His book of Proverbs in the Old Testament is one of the most quoted sources in all of literature, either sacred or profane. I started there and followed a trail through scripture. May I share just a few verses to get us started on the road to wisdom.
- 3:13 & 14 (NKJ) “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold.”
- 3:7 (NKJ) “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.”
- 28:28 (NKJ) “And to man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.”
- 3:21-24 (ESV) “My son do not lose sight of these (God’s instructions)—keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
- Hosea 14:9 (NKJ) “Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous walk in them in them. The transgressor will stumble in them.”
Would you like to be smarter than a tree full of owls? God’s Word can get you there. Jesus said, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to the wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:25-27, NKJ). The foolish man – not so much!
~ Brother Roy