Proverbs (Part 125) - Pro 10:13


13. Pro 10:13 – "In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding." A. In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: i. Definitions a. Understanding n. - 1. a. (Without article.) Power or ability to understand; intellect, intelligence. b. of understanding, intelligent, capable of judging with knowledge. Similarly of some, of no, understanding. c. With the: The faculty of comprehending and reasoning; the intellect. b. Understand v. - 1. To comprehend; to apprehend the meaning or import of; to grasp the idea of. b. To be thoroughly acquainted or familiar with (an art, profession, etc.); to be able to practise or deal with properly. c. To apprehend clearly the character or nature of (a person). Also refl. 2. To comprehend by knowing the meaning of the words employed; to be acquainted with (a language) to this extent. b. To grasp the meaning or purport of the words (or signs) used by (a person). II. intr. 10. To have comprehension or understanding (in general or in a particular matter). c. Wisdom n. - 1. a. Capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends; sometimes, less strictly, sound sense, esp. in practical affairs: opp. to folly. ii. Said another way: wisdom is found in the lips of him that hath understanding. a. Said yet another way: wise words and sayings are spoken by a man who has understanding. b. Understanding precedes wisdom and is necessary to acquire it (Pro 10:23; Pro 17:24). (i) Wisdom is the fruit of understanding. (ii) The ability to share wisdom verbally is contingent on first possessing understanding. c. Therefore, if a man has good judgment and makes good decisions (has wisdom) and speaks wise words to others, thereby giving them good counsel, he demonstrates that he is endowed with intelligence which has enabled him to comprehend language and instruction which empowered him to attain wisdom. d. Wisdom is not going to be found in a man without a good understanding of scripture. iii. To possess wisdom one must be able comprehend what he reads in order to gain knowledge. a. In order to comprehend what he reads, one must first know how to read, and he must also have a broad and general knowledge of many things which enables him to plug in new information into his existing knowledge base. b. In other words, he must be well educated. (i) This is true of spiritual matters. 1. In order to have wisdom, one must have understanding of the word of God. 2. God gives the spiritual capacity to make one able to understand the scripture (Joh 8:47; 1Co 2:12; Luk 24:45; 1Jo 5:20). 3. A regenerate child of God with the spiritual capacity to understand the word of God must ask God to open his eyes so that he can understand the scriptures (Psa 119:18; Jam 1:5). 4. After asking God for wisdom and understanding, he must read and study the scriptures to gain knowledge (2Ti 2:15). 5. The more a man knows of the scriptures, the more he can learn, and the more quickly he can learn. 6. It takes knowledge to get knowledge. 7. Those who have a broad understanding of the Bible will get a lot more out of sermons because they can plug in new information to their existing knowledge base. 8. Those who don't have a good understanding of the Bible will not grasp much of what is being taught because they don't have a basic understanding of the fundamentals which are often taken for granted by the preacher because he can't explain what every word or concept means that he uses in a sermon. (ii) This is also true of secular matters. 1. In order to gain knowledge of anything, one must understand what he reads or hears. 2. In order to understand what one reads or hears one must have a broad vocabulary. 3. Writers and speakers often discuss topics assuming their audience has a certain amount of general knowledge. 4. Without sufficient general knowledge, understanding will be limited and the ability to acquire knowledge will be impeded. (iii) E. D. Hirsh made the point well in his book, The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. 1. "But notice that this variability in a person's performance shows us something of utmost importance about reading ability. To have a good general reading ability, you need to know about a lot of things. If you know about lakes and snakes, and rakes and cakes, you will have higher reading ability than if you just know about snakes. Aha! You might say, that simply means you will read better if you have a broad vocabulary. That is true. But remember what it means to have a broad vocabulary. Knowing a lot of words means knowing a lot of things. Words refer to things. Language arts are also knowledge arts. "We have now taken a first step in understanding the correlation between reading ability and learning ability. We have established that high reading ability is a multiplex skill that requires knowledge in a wide range of subjects. It turns out that the same is true of learning ability. A basic axiom of learning is that the easiest way to learn something new is to associate it with something we already know. Much of the art of teaching is the act of associating what kids need to learn with what they already know. The process of learning often works as metaphor does, yoking old ideas together to make something new." (E. D. Hirsh, Jr., The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, p. xiii) 2. "As a consequence of the fact that we learn most easily when we attach the new to the old, people who already know a lot tend to learn new things faster and more easily than people who do not know very much. Mainly this is because knowledgeable people will have less to learn; they already know many of the key elements in the new concept." (Ibid) 3. "Reading ability, then, depends not only on broad knowledge but also on shared knowledge. Communication between writer and reader always depends on implications that remain unsaid, and that must be shared by writer and reader if the communication is to proceed effectively. Since successful learning from reading depends on the effectiveness of the communication transaction, I am led to the conclusion that both learning and reading are powerfully affected by the degree to which background knowledge is shared between writer and reader, and between teacher and student. To learn well, I need to know a lot, but I also need to know the specific things that enable me to read between the lines. Therefore, learning depends on communication, and effective communication depends on shared background knowledge." (Ibid, pp. xiv-xv) B. but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding. i. There are two ways to get wisdom: the enjoyable way, and the painful way. ii. Those who have understanding and intelligence get wisdom through observation, reading, and studying (Pro 10:13a). iii. Those who don't have understanding and intelligence get wisdom through beatings (Pro 10:13b). a. The rod and reproof give wisdom (Pro 29:15). b. Foolishness has to be driven out of children by the rod in order for them to learn wisdom (Pro 22:15). c. Just as brute beasts have to be prodded and steered by whips and bridles, so do stupid fools need to instructed via punishment (Pro 26:3). d. "Those who won't listen have to feel." (Grandpa Wagner) iv. The rod on the back of fools can take many forms, such as: a. a physical beating b. poverty (Pro 13:18) c. divorce (Pro 5:9-10) d. disease (Pro 5:11-12) e. sickness (1Co 11:30) f. wayward children (1Ki 1:5-6) g. death of loved ones (2Sa 12:14; Rev 2:23) or oneself (Act 5:5; 1Co 11:30) v. Though fools get many beatings (literal and figurative), notwithstanding, many of them still never get wisdom (Pro 27:22). vi. Brethren, be wise and get wisdom through understanding by reading the word of God and heeding instruction rather than through beatings.
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