Two sources of wisdom: God or not-God

In the lips of him that hath discernment wisdom is found; But a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding (Proverbs 10:13, ASV).

By Ron Thomas — The words of this proverb are not hard to understand. Wisdom comes from only one of two sources. The source of wisdom is either from God or not-God. There are no other options.

If wisdom comes a source that is not-God, then whatever value it may have, its value is necessarily limited to the things of this earthly environment. On the other hand, if the wisdom one expounds comes from God, then the wisdom is not only of God but one’s life reflects that wisdom.

What about the word rod, what are we to understand in the Holy Spirit’s use of it? Some look upon the word rod as being the corrective admonishment coming from the mouth of the wise. Possible, but not likely, mostly because of the expression “for the back of him” suggesting a beating (or a different form of punishment) of some sort.

A Talmudic (Jewish) expression on this sentiment goes like this, “according to the Talmudic proverb: that which a wise man gains by a hint, a fool only obtains by a club” (Keil & Delitzsch, p. 158).

Let your wisdom be that which comes from the Lord.

Ron works with the Sunrush congregation in Chillicothe OH. He blogs on

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