How to Develop An Ear for Wisdom

develop an ear for wisdom

Today is the first Friday in our 2015 Bible Reading Challenge and I’m so excited! I know we’ve only read one chapter so far, maybe two, depending on the time of day you’re reading this post, but I am already loving the time to focus and meditate on the single chapter. Keep in mind that there are no rules when it comes to spending time with God. He just loves us so much that he wants us to get to know him more.

This week I’m taking the liberty of breaking down the entire chapter since time allows. We won’t be able to do that each week as we cover seven chapters by the time we are checking in each Friday. But that’s ok, right? Remember that if you want to take notes for each chapter, the Simple Bible Study Guide with four questions for any chapter of the Bible is a fantastic tool to use.

The Introduction to Proverbs

The first chapter of Proverbs covers three topics. The first seven verses are an introduction to the entire book of Proverbs, explaining why Solomon wrote the book. I believe it is critical for us to understand just how important Solomon believed in the material he wrote. After reading the first few verses of the chapter, my memory was jogged as to how Solomon made his path to wisdom.

Solomon’s Path to Wisdom

If you are unfamiliar with Solomon’s story, he is the son of King David, who intended to build a temple to the Lord, a permanent place for the Spirit of the Lord to rest. But while David made the preparations for the building of the temple, his son, Solomon completed the temple. God was so pleased with Solomon that we find them in conversation in 2 Chronicles 1:

In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said to God, “You have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and have made me king in his place. O LORD God, let your word to David my father be now fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?”God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.”

How to Develop An Ear for Wisdom

Solomon is known as the wisest man ever to live because he asked God for wisdom. The first question I asked myself after thinking on this passage today was:

Am I praying for wisdom on a regular basis or only in “emergencies?”

And that thought led me to the first way we can develop an ear for wisdom.

1. We can develop an ear for wisdom by praying for it.

 

The next section verses, from 8-19, is Solomon’s basic life advice to his son in a nutshell. These verses are a warning about people who will seek to do evil, yet make it look innocent. This section provides at least two points to help us develop an ear for wisdom. The first is listening to authority.

2. We can develop an ear for wisdom by listening to authority.

“Come on; just try it. It will be ok.”

“We’re not going to hurt anyone; we just want to take what we need.”

Most of us have encountered situations at some point in life when we’ve realized that we were trying to be persuaded to participate in something we shouldn’t. Whether it was a business deal, a drug hit, or whatever, recognizing lies means we need to know the truth.

3. We can develop an ear for wisdom by choosing to identify and ignore lies.

That brings us to the last section of Proverbs 1, verses 20-33. The last verse of the chapter was the one that really stuck with me after the reading. I looked it up in a few different translations and paraphrases. While I’ve been doing all my reading in the ESV for the last couple years, I found the Living Bible provides a wonderful summary of the chapter:

 But all who listen to me shall live in peace and safety, unafraid. Proverbs 1:33 The Living Bible

Who is “me” in this verse? Wisdom. Isn’t it interesting how Solomon used personification to explain wisdom and how to develop an ear for wisdom? At the beginning of this section in verse 20, he writes that wisdom is crying out to us. I believe the point is that wisdom is not elusive.She’s not mysterious. She’s calling out to us. Sometimes we choose not to hear it.

4. We can develop an ear for wisdom by knowing God’s truths.

Wow- there is so much that can be explored in this chapter! I’d love to hear from you this first week of the 2015 Bible reading challenge!

Questions to ponder:

1. What is the beginning of knowledge and how does “knowledge” differ from “wisdom?”

2. How does wisdom promote security and peace?

3. Which verse was your favorite and why?

Have a fabulous first Friday of 2015!

Rachel

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26 Comments

  1. does anyone use a “journal” bible? or do you find it easiest to journal your thoughts in a tablet (that is what i do currently).

    1. I’ve never used a true journaling bible, but I know there are a lot of people who really love them!

  2. To answer Question 3: My fav verse is 1:23…”If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you & made my thoughts known to you.” (NIV).

    This tells me that I can have faith and confidence in God helping me clean up the mess I’ve made in my life. My relationship with God is growing. I see and feel the results of my foolish ways of the past. I did not listen to wisdom initially and, as disaster loomed, I responded to His rebuke and feel the outpouring of his heart. He has made His thoughts known to me—His perfect display of knowledge plus wisdom.

  3. Thank you so much for this study Rachel. This is the first time I do an “online” bible study, it seems fairly easy. Thank you ladies for the comments, I have a very hard time “understanding” the bible, so some of the breakdowns and interpretations helps me understand it better or see it in a different light. I am and I will continue to take lots of notes. I can say, Proverbs 1:33 stood out the most to me. I feel that God wanted me to read that verse and take something from it, which I do believe I have!

    Have a great week ladies!

  4. Rachel, I use a few Bible Versions to hear what God is speaking to me…one of which is an NAB study Bible. I love that for Insight and “history”…but my favorite is the P31 NIV.
    My favorite verses were Proverbs 1:33 simply because it describes Heaven or Heaven on earth! and Proverbs 2:9-11 as I spent some time just meditating on how God’s gift of wisdom would impact my daily life and those verses describe that blessing.
    Just have to say again how much I am loving one chapter at a time. I know that even when I can’t have a long quiet time for whatever reason, I can still read the chapter and meditate on it along my beautiful ride to work! God bless!

  5. Something that I noted when reading Proverbs 1:21-23 was that Wisdom calls out to us! Wisdom wants us to listen and turn away from simplicity. Wisdom, Solomon’s wisdom, seems so elusive to me, and yet God’s wisdom wants to live in us. IT CALLS OUT! I am amazed by that thought. I am also drawn to reread that last several verses of the chapter, where Solomon points out that Wisdom won’t call out to us forever. That tells me I should embrace it while I can. Thanks for doing this – it helps me stay accountable with my reading, and it makes me think more carefully about what I am reading!

  6. Verse 33 really spoke to me. It allowed me to discover another spiritual benefit of praying for wisdom.

  7. OK….Satan really works at trying to keep us from those things which are of God……so this is the 4th time I’ve started my comments – they all keep disappearing from my computer (yes I must admit that I sometimes have issues with technology.) But to try again…..I agree that verse 7 is a very important verse to hold close to our hearts. Satan really enjoys enticing us with his lies. As a finished reading Proverbs 1:28 though, I was taken back to the darkest part of my life, when I needed the Lord to get me through day to day, often hour by hour. I randomly opened my Bible and found the book of Jeremiah before me. Verse 29:11-14 The words jumped out at me that day from the two pages before me. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Verse 14 is pretty awesome, too, but I love how God’s truth is consistent in the Bible, And I also love how the Lord confirms wisdom that He gives to you in different places and in different ways. “Then THEY will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.” The part that really hits hard is that there will come a day that people will seek God diligently, but they will not find Him. Time is running out and I feel really compelled (as I am sure many of you feel) to be praying diligently for those who do not know the Lord yet. I of course think of my loved ones, but I must pray for all who have turned away from the truth and from the Light.

    1. Ach…I missed the rest of Jeremiah that I wanted to share…..(too afraid of losing my comments I guess)… But…Then you will call upon me and go and pray to Me and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with your whold heart.

  8. my view of “knowledge” is the “what i know” part – we can know a lot of things …
    it is the ACTION of our knowledge base that shows if we are using wisdom.

    using wisdom gives me a calm heart since i know that i am doing what God has approved; e.g. – spending my time.

  9. It is great to see everyone’s comments and what we each can take from sharing and reading together.

    For chapter 1 it was verses 2 & 5 — v. 2 To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding. v. 5 A wise man of understanding will attain wise counsel.
    For chapter 2 – v. 10 When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul.

    When reading these chapters, I mark words in color code that stand out and as reading chapter 1, wisdom was noted 4 times and in chapter 2 the word seek. I always mark any reference to the Lord. Also, mark the work “therefore” – this is always in reference to a conclusion. In doing this, it just makes the verses come alive and helps me see who, what, when and where we are reading about.

    Rachel, thanks for this challenge – January, will be a great time to read the book of Proverbs – no matter how many times we may have read it or parts of it – we will obtain new “knowledge” in reading it again.

    1. Pat, Thanks for sharing your tips in high lighting in your Bible. I may try that method.

      1. Elaine:
        Thanks for your reply. I think that you will begin to see the scriptures really stand out when you highlight key words or underline main thoughts.
        Hope you enjoy trying it and will be blessed by it.

  10. Jodie Wilt says:

    Verse 7 really stood out to me as well I know that the fear of my parents being angry or disappointed in me always kept me from doing something wrong and the same goes for God if we are afraid of his anger or disappointment then that stops us from doing things that are not in his way and instead of being grounded or losing respect we hurt our journey to heaven.

    1. AMEN!

      1. You just blessed me with the comment.

  11. Proverbs is such a great starting point!
    Proverbs 1:20-22 Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: How long O simple ones, will you love being simple?

    There are times when I need to listen for this cry. We are all ‘simple’ at times.

  12. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…”
    I think what that means is that the beginning of the quest for knowledge is the reverence and humble recognition of God who is the source of all wisdom. I think knowledge is something we already have, we already have the knowledge of who we are as children of God, whereas wisdom is an ongoing practice of applying that knowledge to everyday life. We continue to acquire this wisdom in order to live a life that glorifies God.

    Continually seeking out wisdom, choosing into wisdom and not being misled in our walk with God, we won’t be faltered or swayed by those who would want us to lose sight of God.

    My favorite verse is definitely verse 7. The beginning of knowledge is fearing the Lord. I like this verse because of the fact that the understanding and knowledge of all things and everything about life starts with God. Knowing and revering who God is and who we are as daughters of the King with full humility, is the beginning of true knowledge and wisdom found only in God.

  13. My fave verse was verse 7 also. We have to remember that just like our earthly dads God gives us discipline to keep us from doing evil, to keep us on his path. God is good and he loves us soooo much. I want to seek out his wisdom like a hidden treasure. He has already blessed me with the 2 chapters we have read. God bless you all through the reading of His word.

  14. Thank you for this reading plan. I just finished a plan and was wondering where to go next. I know someone else said they found the site last year but couldn’t start in the middle, so I too was glad for the new start up. I’d like to share a couple thoughts that came as a result of the reading. It is only through reliance on God that man can flourish. God wants to add skill, ingenuity, and intellect to man, but man is busy trying to steal it from someone else. Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding come from God, and he empowers us to make right judgments. What God imparts cannot be taken by man.

    1. Jill, Thanks for posting your insight. Thanks Rachel for this study.

  15. The one that stood out to me was proverbs 1:7 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge fools despises wisdom and instruction

    To me that is saying allot about people now sometimes we just don’t want to hear what any body had to say that has authority

  16. Rachel, thanks so much for this opportunity…I am reading and pondering…isn’t there a verse that says something like ” the fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom”?

  17. “Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” This is so true in today’s society. Fools truly despise wisdom and instruction, especially from those in authority.

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