The adjective ‘prudent’ is used to describe a person who is wise, practical, sensible and judicious in his ways. The common understanding is that wisdom or prudence comes with age. As a child leaves behind his innocence and enters the teens and goes on to young adulthood, adventure and recklessness mark his ways. Yet, as he goes through life, making mistakes and hopefully learning from them, he becomes more prudent. While this is not untrue, the Bible consistently links wisdom with knowledge of God. And so the man who knows God will truly have wisdom beyond his years and his experiences.
‘A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a food is hotheaded and reckless’ (Prov 14:16)
The writer of Ecclesiastes after much searching about wisdom and what is truly meaningful in life, says, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Eccles 12:13)
Job 28 is a gem of a chapter, describing man’s search for wisdom that has been inserted in between the story of Job and the discourse between him and his friends.
“–but where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? (v12).
The chapter ends with the conclusion, “—–the he (God) looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. And said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord- that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.’ ” (v27, 28)
An ability to read people and circumstances characterizes a prudent man.
‘A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps’ (Prov 14:15).
From the sultry model on television, who tries to sell you a gadget because ‘you deserve the best’, through an investor who tries to trap you in his money scam to a renowned scientist who boldly proclaims that science has truly done away with the need for God, life is filled with deceptions. And as you weigh all these inputs in your mind, what do you believe? A simple man will believe anything and everything. But the prudent will stop to consider. And how can you consider lest you have a standard to compare with? The Christian is able to fall back onto the word of God by which all things can be truly evaluated, allowing him to come to a conclusion as to what is truly worth believing. Actions follow beliefs and the prudent man is able to consider his steps, preventing the snares that can retard the quality of his life and truly live life to the fullest.
- DAVID’S IMPOSSIBLE JOURNEY