Wisdom Implies Humility (Proverbs 1:5) - Radical

Wisdom Implies Humility (Proverbs 1:5)

“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands, obtain guidance.”
– Proverbs 1:5

This verse amidst this opening chapter in Proverbs is so important for us to hear and understand. There are other verses, including verse seven here in Proverbs chapter one, that really in a sense sum up the message of Proverbs. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” But the reason I’m drawn, today particularly, to verse five is because of the humility and teachability that the Bible equates with wisdom.

The foolish think they have it figured out. We must humbly submit to God’s Word knowing that there we obtain guidance.

This Verse Tells Us to Listen to God’s Words

“Let the wise hear.” Just think about that phrase, even those two words. Wise hear. If we want to be wise, we must hear. “Let the wise hear and increase in learning.” That implies that there’s a need for increase in learning. And when you think about it, that’s in a sense the heart of foolishness. The foolish thinks he or she has it figured out. Thinks he or she knows it all, knows what is best, and is not willing to hear, is not willing to learn, does not see the need to learn.

The one who understands obtains guidance. The whole picture here in Proverbs chapter one is that we lack understanding, that we need to increase in learning, and we need to hear from God’s word, and wisdom is found in these things: in hearing, in learning, in increasing in learning, in growing in understanding, in obtaining guidance. And these are things that are not natural to us. We are naturally inclined toward foolishness, and foolishness plays out in not listening to God’s word, and not increasing in learning. Not being teachable, not desiring to grow in learning, to grow in understanding. Not asking God for guidance. This is wisdom: to listen to God’s word, to increase in learning that you don’t have, to grow in understanding that you and I need, and to obtain guidance, to receive guidance from God that He is willing to give. This is wisdom.

Proverbs 1:5 Prays for Humility and Teachability

So, God, we pray, make us wise. God, I pray for this kind of humility and teachability in my own heart. God, please guard me from pride. Please guard me from foolishness. Please keep me from thinking I have it all figured out from being blind and deaf to your instruction, to your word, to the understanding and learning and wisdom that I need from you. God, I pray for this over every single person that’s listening to this right now. Please, O God, grant them humility. Grant them teachability. Help them to see their need for your wisdom.

Help them to see their need for your guidance, their need for learning from you, and to listen to you. God, give us open ears. Lord, help us to come to your word with open eyes and ears to learn to see that which we need to see, to learn that which we need to learn, to hear what we need to hear. O God, we confess our foolishness before you in our tendency not to listen to you. Whether it’s to hear your word and to ignore it, or not even to open your word. God, help us to see that when we don’t spend time in your word hearing from you, this is foolishness.

Proverbs 1:5 Prays for God’s Wisdom

Make us wise. God, help us to be wise. Help up to hear. God, help us to increase in learning. Help us to grow in understanding, and help to receive guidance from you, and in this, help us to walk wisely, to live wisely, to lead wisely today. God, we pray for humility and teachability in our lives before you and others and ultimately before your word. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

Less than 1% of all money given to missions goes to unreached people and places.*

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Let's change that!