Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 20:15: “There is gold and a multitude of rubies, But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”
In the old song, “the best things in life are free,” and it certainly seems that way. Even a credit card commercial contrasts the price of things bought with the card, with the human emotions that are generated but are “priceless.” The thing that makes the “best things” “free” are what God provides and our God-given abilities to value them!
No one questions the universal value placed on “gold,” or “a multitude of rubies,” but this proverb places these “things” in a scale of values along with something that’s “free” which should be considered as a valuable. The Book of Proverbs keeps this consideration before us, for: “wisdom” is “more precious than rubies” (Proverbs 3:15); “wisdom is better than rubies” (Proverbs 8:11); and “a virtuous wife’s” “worth is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). Wisdom’s “gain” is better “than fine gold” (Proverbs 3:14); it is better to receive “knowledge rather than choice gold” (Proverbs 8:10); it is “much better to get wisdom than gold” (Proverbs 16:16); “loving favor” is to be chosen “rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1). All of these “free” things are either equal or superior to gold and rubies.
The most impressive appearance anyone should have is not the gold in the pocket or rubies on the body, but a mouth with knowledge, for “out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
Solomon had asked for “an understanding heart” and God gave him that plus “both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days” (1 Kings 3:11-13), and there was not, until “a greater than Solomon” came in the form of Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:42). Jesus’ Wisdom helps millions of people long after gold and rubies would have been spent. Men who exude Wisdom remain appreciated and useful long after age and gravity have affected their outer appearance.
A Christian woman should make an impression on someone with her true, timeless, inner beauty, not with gold or rubies. “Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel– rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4). Worldly women, by their lack of clothing, draw attention to bodies, not their “hidden person of the heart.” The Red Carpets of the Award Season are all about “who” they are wearing, and not “who” they are following.
What’s it worth to you: gold and rubies worth money, or God’s Wisdom in the Bible—priceless!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.