The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
Some men have both a heart and ear for knowledge, but they are very rare. They are the great and noble men of the earth. Most men have neither a heart nor ear for knowledge. They have no craving for it, and they do not like the work of listening to acquire it. They are fools, and they are easily identified by their disregard for instruction and learning.
Solomon warned about pretenders. He said, “Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?” (Pr 17:16). They will join a church; they will buy a book; they will say they desire knowledge; but they will never put forth the effort or the consistency that mark noble men as true seekers of wisdom (Pr 18:1).
Reader, how important are church services for you? Do you greedily crave them? Do you carefully prepare for them? Do you fervently pray for them? Do you attend expecting a blessing? Do you joyfully anticipate the opening of the word of God? These are the marks of a prudent man’s heart, and he will get more wisdom. There are many who consider church assemblies a burden and nuisance, but they will hate their wicked hearts in the Day of Judgment, when they are rejected by the Lord of glory (Luke 16:27-31).
Reader, how well do you listen to preaching? Do you sit near the front and let nothing distract you? Do you focus on every sentence? Do you absorb and consider each one? Do you apply each warning and rebuke to your own life? Do you commit to changes? Do you review the lesson later? These are marks of a wise man’s ear; he seeks knowledge by listening. Preaching bores many, so they sleep or daydream during sermons, but they will hate their wicked ears in the Day of Judgment, when they are rejected (II Thess 2:9-14).
There are few Bereans. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Consider their ears. They received Paul’s preaching with all readiness – they were eager hearers. Consider their hearts. They searched the scriptures daily to confirm his word – they had a fervent passion for learning truth.
Consider the spirit of the wise and prudent. They are not content with their knowledge: they want more. But the fool thinks he already knows everything (Pr 12:15; 18:2; 28:26). A wise man is never content: the more he learns, the more he wants to learn (Pr 1:5; 9:9; 15:14). What spirit do you have toward hearing, learning, truth, and wisdom?
Jesus grew in wisdom before God and men, because the Lord opened his ear, which heard as the ear of the learned, and He was not disobedient to instruction (Is 50:4-5). He is now at the right hand of God ruling the universe with all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). He is your great example. Make your heart and ears like His.