Proverbs 16:20

He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

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You face decisions and dilemmas daily. Only two things are needed for success – wisdom and faith. Wisdom, the power of right judgment, will help you answer and solve each one justly and prudently. Every time you do this, natural and spiritual blessings will follow. Faith, which is belief and confidence in God, will protect and prosper you further, as you honor Him by truth and righteousness over self-preservation and self-promotion.

Success and happiness are easy. They are offered here. How are they obtained? By godly wisdom in decisions and faith in the God of wisdom (Pr 3:5-6; Josh 1:8; I Tim 6:6; I Pet 3:10-12)! Dealing with life’s perplexities by faith in God’s word and providence, you secure the favor of others, the peace and prosperity of prudent choices, and the blessing of God. What rewards! You need to get wisdom and faith and use them today!

Most men face decisions and dilemmas with selfish motives that pervert their judgment and cause them to make poor choices. Rather than trust God to bless a wise and righteous solution, they try to protect and prosper themselves by bending justice and equity. Does this compromise work? Never! It will come home to roost in the disapproval of others, consequences of selfish choices, and punishment from God. Such men are going down!

Where is wisdom found to handle matters prudently and obtain favor of God and men? In the Christian scriptures, the inspired word of God (Ps 19:7-11; 119:130; II Tim 3:15-17)! And much practical wisdom is here in the book of Proverbs (Pr 1:1-7; 2:1-9; 30:5-6). If you will immerse yourself in the word of God, you will accumulate true wisdom to deal with life’s difficulties, and you will accrue great blessings and joy to yourself.

David had great wisdom and favor with the people (I Sam 18:5,14-16,30). How? He valued the Bible highly (Ps 1:1-3; 19:7-11; 119:1-176). It taught him how to deal with Saul’s efforts to kill him, the sedition of his sons, the uniting of a divided nation, and the death of his child? Why did he heed Abigail’s correction? Nathan’s denial? Nathan’s rebuke? He could have acted selfishly many times, but he did not. He trusted God fully.

Joseph and Daniel, foreign captives in the courts of the greatest nations at the time, made choices according to God’s word. Joseph resisted the advances of a beautiful woman and was falsely convicted of attempted rape, but he basked in his pure conscience, the favor of his captors, and God took him to the top of Egypt. Daniel resisted Nebuchadnezzar’s pagan diet and Darius’s religious decree to the peace of his soul, the respect of his captors, and God took him to the top of Babylon and Persia. Grasp the lesson!

God’s inspired wisdom in Scripture brings success and happiness. It has the infallible criterion for a wife (Pr 31:30), the way to pacify anger (Pr 15:1), a secret about generosity (Pr 11:24-25), a warning about scams (Pr 12:11; 13:11), managerial wisdom (Pr 29:21), the danger of cosigning (Pr 6:1-5), the value of savings (Pr 6:6-8), the wisdom of capitalism (Pr 14:4), child training rules (Pr 29:15), and the danger of alcohol (Pr 20:1).

Consider more about the book of Proverbs. It has warnings about whorish women (Pr 6:25), the value of hard work (Pr 22:29), the terrible curse of pride (Pr 16:18), the priorities of life (Pr 15:16; 17:1), the nature of true friendship (Pr 17:17; 27:5-6), the remedy for adultery (Pr 5:19), the value of counselors (Pr 15:22), the evil of sedition (Pr 20:2; 24:21-22), the danger of despising parents (Pr 20:20; 30:17), the value of alcohol (Pr 31:6-7), the wisdom of human society (Pr 30:27), and the care of the poor (Pr 19:17).

The lesson is two-fold. Do not distort the proverb and lose its value by missing either side. Do you apply Bible wisdom diligently, and then do you trust the blessed God of heaven for success? God expects you to use the wisdom He has given – for anything less is tempting Him; but no amount of sagacity or prudence alone will handle all matters – you must have God’s supernatural favor and blessing (Ps 127:1-2; Matt 4:5-7).

A wise man distrusts his motives and doubts his abilities, so he depends on God’s blessing more than his own efforts. He knows he can do nothing without divine assistance, so he casts himself on God’s mercy and promises after choosing a wise course of action. And it is this combination that is true wisdom. Grasp it, and remember it!

Jacob wisely divided his company into two bands and sent generous gifts before meeting Esau, but he wrestled with God all night for success (Gen 32:3-32). David sent Hushai to divert Absalom from Ahithophel’s wisdom, but he begged and trusted God for his success (II Sam 15:31-34). Esther held a double banquet for her husband, the king of Persia, but only after fasting three days and nights for its success (Esther 4:15-17; 5:1-6).

If wisdom is found in Scripture, where is faith found? In the same place! “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17). Regular reading of God’s dealings with and deliverances of His people will build faith in His providence (Ps 40:4-5; 46:1-11; 77:11-20; 78:1-8; 107:1-43; 111:1-10; 145:1-21; Rom 15:4).

How do you handle life’s dilemmas? By emotion? By instinct? By habit? By fear? By the example of parents? By looking out for yourself? By peer pressure? By popular opinion? By current trends? By pragmatic considerations? These bases for decisions and actions will fail. You missed the lesson of the proverb, and you will miss the success and happiness that wisdom and faith could give you. Thank God, and believe Solomon here.

Wise men learn God’s word and apply it faithfully. They never fear valuing truth and righteousness over self-preservation and self-promotion. They know God’s laws include natural success, bring spiritual happiness, and secure God’s blessing and protection. They never handle a matter any other way than what Scripture indicates, and in this confidence they trust a faithful God for a full reward (Psalm 119:22,94,117,166,173; Heb 11:6).