Proverbs 3: King James Bible
Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter three, Verses 13-18
13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
Daily Inspiration from These Verses
As we see often in the book of Proverbs, wisdom is coupled with understanding. They are two parts to an incredible whole. One without the other won’t do much for you.
You can have wisdom, but if you lack understanding of it, what good is that wisdom to you or anyone else? On the other hand, you can have understanding, but without any wisdom, it’s like a car without any fuel.
There’s good reason for the outcomes that the Lord tells us about in the verses above, as it relates to a harmonious grasp of the two. We are surrounded with knowledge from all sides. Both Biblical and worldly.
We can use knowledge (or information) wisely, or unwisely. More often than not, when we use any form of knowledge unwisely, it doesn’t have a positive outcome. And in the few times it does turn out to have a good outcome, it’s often short lived.
This is how I see the relationship between the three (knowledge, wisdom, understanding) and by no means would insist that this is the end all way to see it. Just want to be clear, but at least see if it makes sense to you. Whether you agree or disagree with the following, I think we can all agree that there is a big difference between the three.
Knowledge enters the mind by way of our senses (be it physical or spiritual). Wisdom kicks in when it comes to decision making based on that knowledge. Decisions like:
- Whether or not to believe what you’ve just learned
- Whether it’s right or wrong morally
- Whether or not it’s applicable to your life in general
- Whether or not it’s inspired information or worldly
- If there’s any short term implications that would come from that piece of knowledge
- If there’s any long term implications from the piece of knowledge
Understanding gives us the ability to answer the decisions above. Or to say it another way, understanding is what makes wisdom actionable. How would we know what to do with wisdom if we didn’t understand the knowledge at our disposal?
From a Biblical sense, were we to eliminate any nefarious reasoning planted by the enemy, I would say that this could be one huge reason we wind up with several hundred different sects in the Christian arena. Knowledge given to us (the Bible) taken in without any understanding, will cause for us to respond to it unwisely, and eventually incorrectly.
A Tree of Life to them that Lay Hold
But thanks be to God Almighty, for providing wisdom and understanding for us through his Holy Ghost, that he shall lead us into all truth. He provides the wisdom and he provides the understanding. What insights we can get from the Author of Life!! All we need to do is simply ask him for it.
Related New Testament Scripture
Matthew 15: King James Bible
16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
Luke 21: King James Bible
15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
1 Corinthians 14: King James Bible
20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
James 1: King James Bible
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
You said happy is the man who finds wisdom and understanding. I pray that you lead us to where we can find it, and then equip us with both. Teach us in real time, what it means for your wisdom and understanding to be more precious than anything we could hold as valuable, and also as a tree of life. Teach us first hand what this means, and how we can apply it to our lives, as we walk out our salvation in awe, fear, and trembling at your awesome power and unyielding tolerance for us, your children. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Have you ever received that feeling you get when you are given understanding to a deep thing found in the Word of God, that could be equated as a bite from a tree of life?