(#146) The Proverbs of Solomon 20:15-What’s It Worth To You?

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.

#bible-study, #gold, #knowledge, #priceless, #proverbs, #rubies, #wisdom


(#21) Studies in the Book of Proverbs – Eight Reasons Why Listen To Reason: #1-3: 8:1-11

Having shown the worst some women have to offer, and the wisdom to avoid it, Wisdom is now personified as a woman who has only good to give, and, accompanied by “understanding,” represents the best advice for anyone to follow in life. This description certainly puts women in a better light, but also obligates them to follow it themselves, and provide God’s Wisdom for the rest of humanity.

#1 Verses 1-5: She Speaks Publicly

Wisdom is not hard to find or recognize, for she is said to “cry out,” and “stand on the top of the high hill,” “where the paths meet,” “by the gates,” “by the entry of the city,” “at the entrance of the doors.” This means God intends His Wisdom to be easily seen, known, and followed, for it is in the best interests of all who will hear. There is no place people travel by, gather at, or look up to, where God’s Wisdom cannot, or should not, be proclaimed to benefit mankind. Jesus Christ brought Heavenly Wisdom to mankind and said, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing” (John 18:20). Wisdom addresses “men,” “sons of man (Adam),” just as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for “every creature” (Mark 16:15). Even the “simple” and “fools” are invited to listen, for they can change with the application of Wisdom.

#2 Verses 6-9: She Speaks Plainly

On the one hand, Wisdom offers to “plainly” speak only “excellent things,” “right things,” “truth,” “righteousness;” and on the other hand, NOT offer “wickedness,” nor anything “crooked or perverse.” How difficult is this decision? Those who “understand,” or “find knowledge” will catch on, but for those determined to follow their own ways and continue in sin, it will be too confining! There was a time when “Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes’” (Matthew 11:25). God’s Wisdom appeals to minds ready to listen, so Jesus said further: “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4).

#3 Verses 10-11: She Speaks Preciously

“Silver,” “gold,” and “rubies,” though considered precious and a sign of wealth, “cannot be compared with” God’s Wisdom. Think about it: All precious wealth on earth cannot get one soul into Heaven forever, but Wisdom can! Christians are still offered this judgment: “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #gold, #jesus-christ, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rubies, #silver, #wisdom