Proverbs 19:2 “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.”
Proverbs 13:16 “Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly.”
Proverbs 14:8 “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.”
Proverbs 12:23 “A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.”
Proverbs 15:2 “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.”
Hebrews chapter 12:2 tells us that we should fix our eyes on Jesus because He is the author and the finisher of our faith. When it comes to the character of a wise man there is no better example than Jesus Christ Himself when He walked on this earth as a man.
Jesus was a cautious man in the sense that He was not rash in what He was doing. He knew His Father’s will and that His steps were measured to fulfill the destiny that His Father had for Him. Because of this He did not miss the way and on the cross His final words were: “It is finished.”
We are told in Proverbs 13:16 “Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly.” This is a wise man who thinks before he acts and before he speaks. How often our tongues get us into trouble, not only in what we say, but also what we write. Today with the Internet what we say and write can very quickly become public.
When I look at the life of Christ here on earth I see a person who waited before speaking and when He did speak it astounded the audience that was listening. When He was asked if we should pay taxes to Caesar, what was His answer? He took time and said: “Show me a coin” and then He asked: “Whose inscription is on it?” and the answer was: “Caesar’s.” So He said: “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” What an answer!
Or take the example when they dragged a sinful womab to Jesus and said that according to the law of Moses such a person should be stoned. What did Jesus do? He did not answer immediately, but took His time, stooped down and wrote something in the sand, and then He said: “He who is without sin let him cast the first stone.” I believe that the reason Jesus took time before answering was to allow His Heavenly Father to give Him the answer. We too need to be slow to speak and quick to listen.
Another example is that the wise man is patient and this is seen in his forgiveness. Like Proverbs says: “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11
Today we see how easily our so-called wise men become offended and vindictive. Just take a look at our politics today and you see what I mean.
Lastly, according to Proverbs the wise man is concerned about goodwill and peace among men and he works towards that goal. Proverbs 14:9 “Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.” We read that when Jesus was born there was a host of angels who said to the shepherds: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14
To me the distinguishing mark of Christ, and I believe the distinguishing mark of a wise man in the book of Proverbs is that he is a man who pursues peace and goodwill towards his fellow man. And we desperately need wise men today.