The wise person and his benefits

20 12 2011

The following is an excerpt from Bruce Waltke’s magisterial two volume commentary on Proverbs, which both Iain and I are using along with several other sources to prepare for our series on Proverbs. Note in the excerpt below, that God makes someone wise primarily so they can be of benefit to others. Waltke paints a beautiful portrait of one who does not acquire knowledge, but rather one whose character is formed in such a way that their whole person is consumed with Godly wisdom, and from this person formed under the wisdom of God flow innumerable benefits.

The wise person (hakam) possesses and exhibits the traits of wisdom (hokma) in its religious-social-ethical sense…Insead of being wise in his own opinion (Prov 26.5, 11, 12, 16) the wise is teachable, seeking the knowledge the gullible need (18.15), and storing it up (10.14). He listens to instruction (13.1) and counsel (12.5), accepts commands (10.8), and even loves reproof (9.8). A wise person walks with the wise (13.20) and ever increases his wisdom (1.5; 15.31-32; 4.18). Having found knowledge, he spreads it (15.7) and becomes a fountain of life to his community (13.14). His mastery of experience is due to his fear of the Lord and departing from evil (10.16). Since the wise are growing people, they become exceedingly wise (30.24); they themselves become authors of sayings (1.6 and 22.17). Their trait of mastering the moral order enables them to have control over their emotions (29.11) and to rule fools (11.29). They bring joy to their parents (15.20; 23.24), are themselves protected (13.14) and bring healing to others.

-Waltke, B. Proverbs 1-15 (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids 2004) pg 94



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