The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge
1. Heart: inner man; mind; will; heart; understanding; inclination.
2. Prudent: Discernment; the ability to comprehend information and to make proper decisions based on the information; process information and so respond in an appropriate manner.
3. Here Solomon tells us that discerning men obtain knowledge in their hearts.
a. In other words, men who have the ability to process information properly and use it to respond in an appropriate manner VALUE knowledge!
b. It has benefited them greatly.
c. They want as much knowledge as they can get.
d. Prov. 15:2 – Some men know how to USE knowledge aright. That is a most valuable asset!
• Wise men not only possess knowledge, but they know what to DO with it… they use it well.
• It would not be very wise if a man had all kinds of knowledge, and let it go to waste… if he DIDN’T use it well.
4. The implication here is that men who do NOT have discernment (men who do NOT know how to process information and use it properly) do NOT obtain much knowledge.
a. They do not see the value in knowledge as a discerning man does.
b. Because they are not able to USE it properly and are thus not BENEFITED by it… they do not see its practical value.
c. Because they don’t value it, they don’t seek to obtain it.
d. And—therefore, they don’t have much of it.
5. A prudent man GETS knowledge.
a. Get: to get; acquire; create; buy; possess.
b. The term get is quite broad. It may imply that there are lots of ways to obtain knowledge.
c. The prudent man will get it, buy it, acquire it, any upright way that he can!
d. Prov. 14:18 – the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
• Knowledge is like a crown he wears…
• A crown identifies a man as royalty.
• Knowledge marks a man as royalty in a sense… a king of knowledge; a position of honor..
6. And the obtaining comes from the HEART.
a. He has a heart that is hungry for knowledge.
b. He desires knowledge deep within his heart… his inner man.
c. Prov. 15:14 – “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge.” The desire originates in his heart.
• It is not just his HEAD that obtains knowledge, but his heart.
• The knowledge is obviously processed through his head, but the hunger to obtain it stems from the heart.
• He seeks knowledge from his heart – wholeheartedly.
• This is not superficial or phony. It is the desire of his heart.
• A wise man is never satisfied with the wisdom he has. He always SEEKS more.
• A truly wise man is aware of how much he does NOT know… and hence, seeks to learn.
• A wise man’s education does not end when he graduates from school. That’s when it begins!
d. His heart is hungry for it and therefore his heart GETS it.
e. It is not mere intellectual stimulation (head) he is after. His HEART wants this knowledge… because deep down inside he knows how valuable it is… how beneficial it is… how helpful it is…
f. Prov. 24:4-6 – And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
• By wisdom and knowledge, houses are built, established and filled with goods.
• This is true of a literal house, a home, and also of any endeavor… any business… any project.
• He knows what good practical use it may be to him—if not today, tomorrow.
g. These proverbs serve to exhort young people to obtain a good education!
And the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge
1. Wise: a wise man; a learned sage; a skilled, shrewd, experienced man.
a. This term stands almost as a synonym for prudent.
2. There are a couple of contrasts here:
a. Prudent men obtain knowledge; wise men seek knowledge.
b. The heart of a prudent man… the ear of a wise man.
3. The EAR of a wise man seeks knowledge.
a. The wise man not only DESIRES it is his heart, but he DOES something to obtain it.
b. He LISTENS when other wise men speak.
c. The fool is often described in proverbs as one who does not listen. The wise man does listen.
d. Prov. 1:22 – Fools hate knowledge! They think they know it all already. Why listen?
e. Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge. (Prov. 12:1)
f. Prov. 5:12 – They hate instruction… or correction.
g. What folly—for correction and instruction is HELPFUL! It is necessary… it is knowledge…
h. If a person is doing something the wrong way, why would he NOT want to be corrected… to be given the correct information? The answer is his foolish pride!
i. The fool does not have an ear for knowledge… because of his pride. He THINKS he doesn’t need it… but he does.
j. Prov. 1:5 – “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.”
k. Just desiring knowledge will not result in attaining it. You have to listen. You have to go get it!
4. Seeking knowledge.
a. Seek: Search; inquire; investigate, implying a diligence in the procurement of the information.
b. Wise men SEEK knowledge… they inquire where it may be found; they get off their rocking chair and search for it; they investigate diligently until they find it!
c. Wise men are humble enough to realize that they do not presently KNOW enough. They may know a lot, but not enough. How much is enough?
d. They realize that there is always more to learn. The wiser the man is, the more inquisitive he will be about knowledge… and the more he will desire to hear.
e. Humility is required.
f. Prov. 1:7 – The first step towards knowledge is the “fear of the Lord.” This involves humility… before God… bowing before Him in reverence… acknowledging the VALUE of every word of God.
g. Prov. 19:2 – “Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good.” It is NOT good to be without knowledge. It is good to have it. It is valuable… it is worth seeking.
h. Prov.20:15 – There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
i. Prov. 23:12 – Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
5. The book of Proverbs is a great place to HEAR knowledge.
a. Prov. 1:4 – it was written so that young men might obtain knowledge.
b. Give your “ear” to what Solomon said many centuries ago!
c. Prov. 2:1-5 – Seeking with diligence results in FINDING knowledge.
d. Prov.10:14 – Wise men lay up knowledge. (In Proverbs we have lots of wisdom already laid up for us!)
6. Prudent, wise men will also be wise enough to seek for GOOD knowledge.
a. We live in an age of knowledge and information overload.
b. It takes discernment to know WHERE to look for valuable information… and which information is useless trivia…
c. He can tell the difference between information that is like a gem and that which is more like useless chaff.
d. The internet is a wonderful tool. It can enable us to search for valuable information… or it can be a colossal waste of time spent on useless trivia.
7. What better place to spend time gleaning knowledge than in the Word of God?
a. Ps. 19:7 – The law of the Lord makes wise the simple.
b. II Pet. 3:18 – We are commanded to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
c. If knowledge is helpful and valuable in the natural realm, how much MORE in the spiritual realm?
d. How could we ever be satisfied with the depth of the knowledge of God we presently possess? For all eternity we will be growing in the knowledge of God.
e. Paul’s goal in life was to “KNOW HIM” more and more. That should be our goal in life too.
f. Our heart should hunger for the knowledge of Christ… and our ears should seek more and more…
g. And if we truly hunger and seek—we will FIND it.