Proverbs 13:10 ESV
By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.
Listening is a skill most humans find unpleasant to learn. Generally speaking, one’s own opinions are much more interesting than everybody else’s, unless they’re agreeing; generally speaking, being too fond of the sound of one’s own voice is the standard state of the human race (even if it’s the mental voice and not the physical). We don’t like being told we’re wrong. Unfortunately, we often are (wrong, that is).
Obeying our natural inclinations here will only get us in trouble. Pride goes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18), and insolence, pride expressed toward others, is one of the means of that fall. The man who, in his own mind or to the world around him, bears contempt towards those who would correct him, who would guide him away from destruction, this man will walk stubbornly over the edge. If God is merciful, he will be forced to face the truth of his sinful estate and will repent; if God is not, if He allows justice to continue unmodified, then this man will wholeheartedly embrace eternal damnation.
Conversely, when a man listens to the advice of a wise friend, he turns towards life.
This principle, though, should never be thought to stop with human counsel and human friends. The fullness of this verse should be found in the counsel of God Himself, particularly in pursuit of His Word. In God’s word, He provided wisdom; in His Word, He provided Wisdom (Proverbs 8). As the Bereans did in Acts 17:11, as Paul encouraged the Galatians to do in (Galatians 1:6-9), so ought we to seek His word, seek His counsel. In that counsel is wisdom and the keys to life eternal.
The man who fosters in himself contempt towards God’s word, however, fosters in himself an abiding hatred for God which leads only to hell.
This proverb, however, does not conclude with an urge to take counsel, or rather, it doesn’t end with tat urge alone. This proverb ends with the statement that wisdom is ‘with those who take advice’. What, precisely, does this mean?
Perhaps here a resorting to the most famous and most direct instance of God granting wisdom is in order here. We therefore turn to 1 Kings 3, wherein God comes to Solomon in a dream and offers him a great boon of some sort, offers to Solomon the chance to decide what it shall be. Solomon, hearing this, speaks to God of His greatness and of the greatness of the task God has set upon Solomon in making him king. Upon this basis, then, he requests wisdom.
From the fear of the Lord rises Solomon’s request (Proverbs 1:7), and so the Lord answers thus: “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word” (1 Kings 3:11-12). The fear of the Lord in Solomon urges him to ask wisely, and in reward for that wisdom God grants him greater wisdom. In other words, wisdom begets wisdom, not merely by progenitive nature but by the active blessing of God, who made the earth and all that is in it.
Another implication of this verse bears emphasis: God Himself offers us wisdom. Out of His abounding love (1 Corinthians 2:9-10), God, the Creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1), the Lord of heaven and earth (Genesis 24:3), grants to His created people wisdom originating in Himself. This gift is a mercy beyond understanding; this gift is a heavenly treasure beyond man’s ken (Proverbs 2). Let us praise Him, rejoice, and in wisdom seek Him, that we might partake in His wisdom, for His glory.
All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing!
O praise Him, alleluia!
Thou rising sun in praise rejoice!
Thou lights of evening find a voice!
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.