Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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May 22 – The Pursuit Of Wisdom

“Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate he does not open his mouth.” Proverbs 24:7

Devotional Thought For The Day

It may be that this proverb is related to the next two – that the pursuit of evil is all that such a fool can turn to.  However, this proverb is interesting enough on its own and we can consider the connection next week.

The “wise” people sat at the gate and exchanged wisdom, resolved problems, and settled any community issues. Ordinarily, the religious leaders were preeminent in this, those who were experts in the Book, the Scriptures, the written Word of God.  While most people have the capacity for gaining wisdom – and wisdom is found in some rather remarkable circumstances, within some unlikely people, there are many who do not possess it.  Some may be incapable, or at least less capable naturally. For others it is a matter of time and energy – they are too busy and worn out to seek wisdom, although this would have to be considered a foolish prioritization. Others don’t want to work hard to gain wisdom, and be assured that mental work and learning spiritual discernment is very hard work. Still others lack the spiritual capacity and refuse to humble themselves beneath God’s Word. Others are committed to evil and despise real wisdom, that which comes from God through His written Word, the Bible.

The proverb isn’t speaking of those who are foolish but don’t know it – we have to suffer their speaking. Their vain pride and ignorance combines in a remarkable show of foolishness, as they dribble on and on, constantly interrupting conversations with absurd and off-topic comments, completely unaware of their lack of wisdom. Rather, the proverb references those who are aware that they lack real wisdom but consider it too difficult, expensive, or trying to gain.  They have made a conscious decision not to pursue it – and so have nothing to contribute “at the gate,” nothing to offer for the common good of the community. So their minds turn to other things, and their energy is spent in selfish pursuits.  Such “foolishness” is self-chosen.

The ultimate foolishness is refusal to know and believe the love that God has for us in His Son Jesus Christ – as clearly revealed in His written Word, the Bible. Those who reject the free and gracious gift of God’s salvation and eternal life, and insist upon commending themselves to God on the basis of their own good works are most to be pitied. These are usually among the fools who can’t keep their mouths shut – but insist upon “counseling” others, interrupting the Holy Spirit of God and the mission of the Gospel with their own “missions” and nonsense.  When this is done consciously, by choice, by rejection of the wisdom of God, there is no greater foolishness and wickedness.

So the fool who knows he is foolish, and refuses to gain true wisdom, but keeps his mouth shut at the gate is actually better than those who “darken counsel by words without knowledge” [Job 38:2] – even if they do end up turning to evil. The ultimate evil and foolishness is obscuring the knowledge of God’s great love in Christ Jesus, and the true wisdom of His Word.  Lord, have mercy!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we are by nature foolish and naive, selfish, prideful, lazy, and sinful. Your Word alone, by the power of Your Spirit, is able to break this foolishness in us, bringing us to repentance and to faith in Your gracious forgiveness, love, and salvation. Grant us continued growth in wisdom, that we may be able to serve others with Your Word and truth, and keep us safe and far distant from all foolishness. Amen.