Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
Wisdom is a wonderful thing, and every man should pursue it (Pr 4:5-7). Wisdom is a most precious jewel, and it should be sought and prized above all earthly possessions (Pr 3:13-18). Lady Wisdom calls for the simple to turn in and partake of her fare (Pr 9:1-6).
Wisdom requires humility – to admit you are wrong. It requires correction – to be taught by others. It requires courage – to think outside popular delusions. Fools cannot do these things. They have no heart for them (Pr 17:16): their eyes and imagination are wandering everywhere else (Pr 17:24). They are in love with their own thoughts (Pr 18:2).
Every preacher, including the Preacher, has watched fools in the presence of wisdom. It goes right over their heads. It is too high for them. They do not even recognize it; they do not have a desire for it; and they certainly do not have the drive to lay hold of it. Within minutes of a sermon, lecture, or private exhortation, it can be observed that nothing stuck.
Thoughts of ruling his spirit, accepting rebukes, rejecting foolish friends, craving correction, learning in humility, denying the world, begging God, and studying His Word are intimidating and overwhelming to the fool. So he gives up before he ever starts. That is why he is a fool, and he will always be a fool. Let every reader examine his own heart.
Every batboy wants to be MVP, every mail clerk president, and every soldier a general. But they cannot conceive the abilities and work necessary to achieve such positions, nor can they conceive the responsibilities of those offices. All they see is the glory, salary, privileges, uniform, etc. They believe they deserve the honor as much as anyone, but they cannot and will not achieve anything close. They want to give their opinion in the gate, and they think it should be heard as eagerly as others’, but no one will listen to them.
A fool’s eyes only work horizontally, in the plane of his habits, thoughts, feelings, and experience. He does not see above his head to realize the living and true God has marked out a very different course for men to take through life. It is too high for him. He loves himself too much, and he fears the opinions of others too much. He will always be a fool.
How can one be wise, when his belly is his god? Many cannot think above sports, family, cars, hobbies, business, or pleasure. They will never reach wisdom, for these base things distort their judgment and distract their attention. Parents infatuated with their children will be unable to train them rightly. Men obsessed with making money will compromise sound judgment. The lover of pleasure is confused about life and his purpose for living.
Scorners cannot find wisdom, but it is easy for men of understanding (Pr 14:6). Why? The scorner’s conceited self-will is blinding (Pr 26:12; Ps 10:4-5). His refusal to be corrected guarantees his perpetual folly, shame, and trouble (Pr 9:7-8; 13:1; 15:12).
The ancient custom was for business and personal disputes to be resolved at the city gate (Pr 22:22; 31:23; Deut 16:18; 21:18-21; Ruth 4:1-12). It combined city council, the legal system, and law enforcement. Conflicts were settled there by judges and third party mediators. There sat the wise men of the city. There godly wisdom was highly honored.
Fools were rejected, for they could not see right from wrong even in simple matters, so their opinions were rejected and ignored. In controversies requiring judgment, fools will always be ignored, for they have nothing to offer. You have seen them. Do not be one.
Reader! Is your opinion sought to resolve questions? Or have you disqualified yourself by proving in the past to lack sound judgment and understanding? Have you shown ignorance of even the basic reasoning of Proverbs? Is thinking and speaking so difficult for you that everyone passes over your opinions? Then seek wisdom!
Wisdom is not difficult. If you seek, pray, and work for it, you may have it. You may have it as easily as Solomon obtained it (I Kgs 3:5; Jas 1:5). But are you willing to forsake your foolish ways and trust it only (Pr 9:6; 18:1; Ps 119:128)? Most will not do it.
Wisdom is not a result of intelligence. Be thankful! Intellectually gifted people are some of the world’s greatest fools. Neither is wisdom a result of education, for it is not learned in the classroom of classical instruction. It is found only in the fear and blessing of God, by His grace and in His Word, things not allowed in the modern educational system.
Job’s wisdom and reputation were glorious (Job 29:7-25). The LORD bragged of this man to Satan! Are you such a blessing in your family, church, and community? Humble yourself before God’s word and devour it (Ps 19:7-14; 119:46,98-100,104,113,128,130; Is 8:20; II Tim 3:16-17; II Pet 1:19-21). Great wisdom that the world’s greatest thinkers have never seen is waiting for you. Take it! Take it to the gate and save the righteous!
And in all your learning, remember that the holy Scriptures contain all the wisdom of glorious salvation in Christ Jesus (II Tim 3:15), without which you will be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine by the cunning craftiness of false teachers (II Tim 4:1-4).
Jesus had within Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). He could answer doctors of the law at twelve, and He confounded them many more times later on. He grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:52)! Are you?
Though not trained in probate settlements, Jesus was sought for judgment even in an inheritance case (Luke 12:13). His combination of knowledge and compassion is unsurpassed in heaven and earth (Heb 4:12-16). And He shall soon sit as Judge of all angels and men in His great throne. Does your life reflect His wise teachings?