Archive for Proverbs 23-23, Buy The Truth
We should buy four things today, and no store carries them. They are truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding. Do we want them? What will we pay for them?
There is only one way to buy something – pay for it. So buying the truth requires paying a price for it. All buying requires ranking our desires, for no man can afford everything. We spend our limited resources by the priorities we set. And here Solomon tells us to put truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding at the top of the list. (Pr 4:5 – Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth). (Proverbs 4:7 – Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding).
And once we buy truth, do not sell it to anyone – keep it. Others will offer to buy it from us. How? By offering us pleasure or distraction in exchange for truth. Solomon tells us not to give these four back to anyone for any amount. (Proverbs 3:18 – She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.) (Proverbs 4:13 – Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life).
What is the cost? Truth will cost us friends, remember free will to choose. (Proverbs 13:20 – He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed). Wisdom will cost us ease, for only fools believe and do anything they wish. Instruction will cost us pride, for we must accept correction from others. And understanding will cost us peace, for we will know the world’s insanity. (Ecclesiastes 1:18 – For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.)
Are there other costs? Yes, pleasure steals time for learning, so we give up some of it. Riches steal time, for we must work extra in our vain effort to get them. Give up the foolish notion of being rich. (Proverbs 3:13-14 – Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold). (Proverbs 8:10 – Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold). (Proverbs 8:19 – My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.) (Proverbs 16:16 – How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!)
These four things come by dedication and diligent labor. so we will have to pay the price of effort and time. (Proverbs 2:1-9 – My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path). (Proverbs 18:1 -Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom).
If we divide these words by their slight differences in meaning, we might be able to see the following definitions.
Truth: right, honest, and real knowledge about any subject.
Wisdom: prudent ability to discern and to know what is right.
Instruction: directions and teaching from others wiser than you.
Understanding: comprehending the value and use of truth and wisdom.
Proverbs was inspired to sell these four things, and one of the prices for buying them is to read it often. A chapter of Proverbs a day fits the calendar and will teach us much. So read and apply it daily (action of buying), and make it a habit (action of not selling).