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Wisdom is Hearing With Your Heart

I like to read the Proverb for the day since there are 31. Sometimes I read it in bed for the day ahead and sometimes on that morning. Today’s was Proverbs 1. The first 7 verses are such an admonition on how to lead a good life by pursuing God and His favor. My margin had a note about Solomon referring to 1 Kings 4:32 “He also spoke 3,000 proverbs and his songs were 1,005.” I smiled to think that David’s anointing passed on to his son… and then some!

Proverbs 1:1-7
The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, King of Israel. 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity. 4 To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion. 5 A wise man of understanding will acquire wise counsel. 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Today’s word that grabbed me was WISDOM. Who doesn’t need wisdom? We ALL do… for everyday matters and for major matters. Upon David’s death and Solomon’s anointing for kingship, he asked the Lord for wisdom to be able to lead the Lord’s people. There are two accounts in the Bible about this event. 1 Kings 3:7-15 and 2 Chronicles 1:7-12. What delighted me today was to discover that in 1Kings 3, it was a dream (see v 15), and in 2 Chr 1:7 it says the Lord appeared to him. [I’m going to press in even more for dreams!]

The companion verses to Proverbs 1:2’s “to know wisdom and instruction” is 1 K 3:9 “…an understanding heart to judge, that I may discern.” and 2 Chr 1:10 “Give me now wisdom and knowledge.”

Word Study

“an understanding [8085] heart [3820] to judge [8199], that I may discern [995].” (1 K 3:9)

understanding–Strong’s #8085–shama

  • to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.)
  • call together, carefully, certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, diligently, discern, give ear. (cause to, let make to)-hear, indeed, listen, obedience, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim (-ation), publish, regard, report, show forth, whosoever (heareth), witness

heart–Strong’s #3820–leb

  • the heart; also fig. very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the center of anything
  • care for, comfortably, consent, considered, courage(-eous), friend(ly), heed, kindly, midst, mind(ed), regard(ed), understanding, willingly, wisdom

judge–Strong’s #8199–shaphat

  • to judge, i.e. pronounce sentence (for or against); by implication, to vindicate or punish, by extension, to govern
  • passively, to litigate (literally or figuratively)

discern–Strong’s #995–biyn

  • to separate mentally (or distinguish), i.e. (generally) understand
  • attend, consider, be cunning, diligently, direct, discern, eloquent, feel, inform, instruct, have intelligence, know, look well to, mark, perceive, be prudent, regard, skill (full), teach, think, understand, view, (deal) wisely

“Give me now wisdom [2452] and knowledge [4093] (2 Chr 1:10)

wisdom–Strong’s #2451–chokmah (from 2449)

  • wisdom (in a good sense) — skillful, wisdom, wisely, wit
  • skill (in war), wisdom (in administration), shrewdness, prudence (in religious affairs)

[Root Word]–Strong’s #2449–chakam

    • to be wise (in mind, word or act)
    • exceeding, teach wisdom, be (make self, show self) wise, deal (never so) wisely, make wise

knowledge–Strong’s #4093–madda (from 3045)

  • intelligence or consciousness — knowledge, science, thought
  • knowledge, thought — mind, thought, place of knowledge

[Root Word]–Strong’s #3045–yada

    • to know properly, to ascertain by seeing
    • to know — perceive & see, find out & discern, to discriminate, distinguish, to know by experience, to recognize, admit, acknowledge, confess, to consider

 “To know [3045–yada, see above] wisdom [2451–chokmah, see above] and instruction [4148](Prv 1:2)

instruction–Strong’s #4148–muwcar, from #3256

  • properly – chastisement; figuratively – reproof; warning or instruction; also restraint

[Root Word]–Strong’s #3256–yacar

    • to chastise, literally (with blows), or figuratively (with words)
    • to chasten, discipline, instruct, admonish for Wisdom

  1. the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.
  2. scholarly knowledge or learning:

My Thoughts

Most people think that wisdom is a “thinking, reasoning” ability.  Studying these words shows me that it is altogether different in the Lord’s view. Remember 1 Samuel 16 when Samuel is instructed to go to Bethlehem to anoint Saul’s replacement: “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7)

So, let’s go back to Proverbs 1:2 and Solomon’s instruction to his sons to know wisdom and instruction. Let me fill in the blanks with my interpretation:

In the beginning of Solomon’s reign, he was frightened by the prospects of ruling God’s people due to his youth and inexperience. He recognized that the number one thing he needed from the Lord was wisdom. That wisdom would have its basis in his ability “to hear with his heart,” be able to discern, come to a full understanding, and make a righteous judgment. The precious gift he asked for was the ability to understand with his heart. That’s where wisdom resides… in our hearts.

Most of the proverbs in The Book of Proverbs are written by Solomon for his sons. Several times in the Book, Solomon admonishes his sons to “get wisdom”. [Prv 4:7; 16:16; 19:8; 23:23; 29:15] When we read a Proverb for the day, we join in all that Solomon learned and passed on.


I have learned when I’m really troubled about an issue that my best defense as well as offense is to get quiet with the Lord. Often I will write out the specific issue in my journal. I will do a “heart check” to see if my heart is right on an issue. Have a truly forgiven the person? Have I sought practical and sensible solutions? Do I have faith for the issue? Am I responding in my flesh? One of my favorite verses to quote is Psalm 139:23,24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,  And lead me in the everlasting way.” Then I sit back, close my eyes, and ask the Lord what He has to say. Many times I hear a scripture. Other times, the answer will come when I least expect it, like while driving my car. No matter when or how, I know that if my heart is right and it is listening, I will hear Wisdom speak.

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