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  • Rick LoPresti

Little but wise

The book of Proverbs is a piece of literature that could only come from the mind of God. It is mostly made up of single sayings of wisdom that God gave to king Solomon, the son of David. 2 other men wrote the last 2 chapters. It is only 31 chapters and 915 verses, but it covers so many topics that it could be called a handbook for life. People often say that they wish children came with a manual. They did. It is the book of Proverbs, with 30 references to raising children. It also has 105 references to the words we speak, 74 references to money, 33 references to diligence vs. laziness, 53 references to wisdom, 25 references to women (which Solomon would have done well to follow himself), 25 references to correction with 9 specifically about children, 36 references to people in authority, 32 references to fools, 18 references to knowledge, 13 references to shame, and 10 references to witnesses. When God told Solomon to ask for what he wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom, and God gave it to him above all other men (1Ki 3:4-14). This wisdom is expressed in the book of Proverbs. During his reign, people came from all over the world to hear Solomon's wisdom (1Ki 4:29-34). All we have to do is pick up our Bible.

When people think they are wiser than God, they just make themselves fools (Rom 1:18-32). The wisdom of God is eternal and full of good fruits (Jam 3:13-18). There is also a difference between knowledge and wisdom. There are far more knowledgeable people than there are wise. Knowledge is just information. Wisdom is the right application of that information. In fact, there is too often an inverse result to earthly knowledge. Some of the most educated and allegedly intellectual people are the most ignorant of the wisdom of God. They trust in their own "smarts" and do not seek God (1Cor 1-2).

One of the other contributors to the Book of Proverbs is a man named Agur (Prov 30:1). We know almost nothing about this man other than that he was the son of Jakeh. His writing contains 5 lists of 4 things. One of them is a list of 4 things that are little but exceeding wise (Prov 30:24-28). The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer. The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks. The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands. The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.

What makes these 4 so wise? The ants prepare. They know that although there is plenty in summer, the winter is coming. So they store up during the good times so they can endure the hard times. We can apply their wisdom spiritually and financially. We should always be investing in our spiritual "storehouse" so we have something to draw from when we need it. Conies are probably a type of rabbit that live in rocky crags. What makes them wise? Instead of pretending they have strength they do not, they acknowledge where they are weak and they position themselves in the rocks so that the rocks can provide them the protection they need, It is no honor to boast ourselves to be something we are not. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. Instead of pretending we are all-sufficient with no needs or shortcomings, it is wise to honestly evaluate ourselves and know where we need fortifying. God will give grace to the humble, but He also resists the proud (Jam 4:6, 1Pet 5:5). He will also bring people to us so we can compliment each others' strengths and weaknesses. That is what a good marriage does. Locusts have no leader, but they work together in teamwork to accomplish their goals. Their model of government is small and localized rather than big and centralized. Swarms of locusts can number in the billions and cover vast areas. One locust king could not possibly communicate to or control such a vast and busy network. So God gave them the wisdom to break their system down into smaller groups so they can operate more efficiently and effectively. It is better to have 10 churches of 1,000 people than one church of 10,000 people. Then comes the spider. He uses his hands. Obviously, spiders don't literally have hands. Hands are symbolic in the Bible of working. Spiders are industrious. They climb and crawl great distances for their body sizes to find a strategic place.They build webs, sometimes over and over. They grab hold of their prey. Although most people loathe them, they are even in kings' palaces. Ants, rock rabbits, locusts, and spiders are small and weak, but they make up for it with wisdom. Wisdom is better than rubies (Prov 8:11). It is better than gold (Prov 16:16). It is better than strength (Ecc 9:13-16). It is better than weapons of war (Ecc 9:18). "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding (Prov 4:7)."

So how do we get wisdom? It comes from the fear of the Lord (Job 28:28, Ps 110:10, Prov 1:7, Prov 9:10, Prov 15:33). The fear of the Lord is not only the fear of the wrath of God against sin. The best way we can fear the Lord is by avoiding evil and keeping His commandments (2Chr 19:7-9, Prov 8:13, Prov 16:6, Acts 9:31). The wisest people in the world are those who believe and follow the Bible (Deut 4:6, 1Chr 22:12). We can pray for wisdom (Jam 1:5). We can get good advice from solid Christian people. Christians may be small in the eyes of some people, but the wise are the most powerful of all.

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