We are concluding our series on the men in the Book of Proverbs. Today we will discuss the wise man. The wise man:
Listens and learns – Prov 1:5 – he will hear, and will increase learning, and will attain unto wise counsels. Prov 13:16 he dealeth with knowledge. He’s not concerned about impressing others with what he already knows. He’s more interested in learning from anyone who knows more than he knows and has something useful to offer. Because he is accumulating wisdom, his growth will become apparent in time.
Receives reproof – Prov 17:10 – a reproof entereth more into a wise man… Reproof is not always easy to accept. It’s like someone telling you off. However, Prov 6:23 says, “reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” 2 Tim 4:2-4. If your preacher is doing what he’s supposed to do, he’s preaching the word of God with reproof and rebuke, to help you. 2 Tim 3:16-17 says that scripture, when it is given to you by inspiration, is profitable for reproof. So, you should receive reproof.
Applies wisdom to his life – Prov 14:15 he looketh well to his going. In other words, he uses the wisdom he has learned and the reproofs he has received to make corrections in his life that are beneficial. He learns, for instance, from defensive driving and peace officers to obey the posted speed limits. And he reaps the benefits of this wisdom. He arrives at his destination less stressed. He is not taking risks with careless and outrageous drivers on the road. He’s no longer slowing down at the sight of a patrol car. Another fellow learns from his doctor that he is overweight. So, he follows the counsel of his doctor and nourishes himself and exercises according to his doctor’s plan. In time, he has more energy, he sleeps better, his joints feel better and his general health improves.
Departs from evil – Prov 14:16 – he feareth and departeth from evil. A wise man will decide to find the origin of sin and depart from that. He doesn’t wait till he’s already been enticed and drawn away to try to deal with evil. He goes to the root, because he wants to depart from it.
Therefore, the wise man:
Is strong – Prov 24:5 – a wise man is strong. As young men, we pride ourselves so much on our physical strength. But this strength will diminish with age and time. Wisdom, on the other hand, make a man strong and his strength increases with time and age.
Is happy – Prov 3:13 – happy is the man that findeth wisdom. A wise man finds happiness in wisdom that surpasses all temporal sources of happiness.
Is commended – Prov 12:8 – he is commended according to his wisdom. Others will say of you, at the end of your life, “He was a wise man.” That’s a great testimony. Other men will recognize the wisdom God has given you and they will seek your counsel. They’ll be calling you like I still call my pastor. Notice how Jesus, in 1 Cor 1:30, is to us wisdom.
Conclusion: apply yourself to wisdom. Listen and learn. Receive reproof. Apply wisdom to your life. Depart from evil. And you will find strength, happiness and honor.