Proverbs 17b


Set Your Sights On Wisdom.

“Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.” – Proverbs 17:24 NLT

When reading the Proverbs it sometimes helps if you replace the word, “Wisdom” with Christ. Christ is the epitome, the personification, the embodiment of wisdom. Paul tells us, “It is because of him [God] that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT). Christ, because He is God, doesn’t just have wisdom, He IS wisdom. It is His very nature. So when we look at verse 24 with this in mind, it gives us a new perspective. “Sensible people keep their eyes glued on Christ.” This verse is talking about a person who has understanding, insight or discernment. It is NOT because they have these qualities that they keep their eyes glued on Christ. It is BECAUSE they keep their eyes glued on Christ that they have these qualities. Those who keep Christ “in front of” themselves or right in their faces are the ones who will receive understanding, insight and discernment. They will grow wiser because they have fellowship with the one who is the very wisdom of God.

The idea here is one of focus and expectation. While the godly keep Christ clearly in their sights, the foolish “wander to the ends of the earth.” The fool does not seek Christ. He doesn’t turn to Him for understanding, insight or discernment. Instead, he searches anywhere and everywhere hoping to find what he can only find in Christ. And the sad part is, Christ is available to the fool at any time. He is always there. He is readily findable and accessible – to anyone and everyone. He is no respecter of persons. In fact, look at verse two. It contains a subtle, yet significant message. It describes “a wise servant.” That may not jump out to us, but in their day to call a servant wise would be ridiculous. It would be like an oxymoron. Wise and servant just don’t seem to go together. But a common, household servant who comes to Christ would be just that. He would be wise. In Solomon’s day, a servant who served Yahweh first and foremost would have been wise. He would have gained wisdom from seeking and serving God, and would have been an even better servant to his earthly master.

Christ is available, yet fools seek for understanding, insight and discernment anywhere and everywhere else. But what they discover is more foolishness. They may gain intelligence, but “eloquent words are not fitting for a fool” (Proverbs 17:7 NLT). Fools never really learn. They continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. They become easy prey for the enemy. They are prone to gossip and slander. They are attracted to evil. They use poor judgment. They bring heartbreak to their parents and are constant disappointments to their friends. All because they refuse to look to Christ. They will not focus their attention on Him. And the can be said for so many of us who call ourselves Christ-followers. We can easily take our eyes off of the one who saved us, and decide that we can now save ourselves from all that the world, the enemy and our own sinful flesh throw at us. We turn to the world for wisdom instead of Christ. And we become fools in the process. The New American Standard Bible translates verse 24, “Wisdom is in the presence of the one who has understanding.” The person of understanding is the one who has made Christ his close and intimate companion. He spends a great deal of time with Christ. The wisdom of Christ has rubbed off on him. The prophet Isaiah said it this way: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

Father, I want to keep my mind and my eyes fixed on Your Son, the one who contains all the wisdom of heaven and makes it available to me. Forgive me for taking my eyes off of Him at times, for looking to the world for understanding, insight and discernment. I know the world can’t deliver. Help me to keep my thoughts fixed on Him. Amen.

Ken Miller

Grow Pastor & Minister to Men