A Portrait of a Wise Man – Psalm 111:10

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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In an article entitled “Incompetence,” author Stephen Greenspan, Ph.D. recounts an exchange he had with Milton Eisenhower, who was the brother of Dwight Eisenhower, then president of the United States. At the time, Mr. Greenspan considered “Ike” to be a man of only ordinary intelligence because he considered his press conferences to be “inelegant and characterized by tortured syntax.” But his brother Milton defended Ike, saying he demonstrated more “common sense” than was common to men or other politicians. After considering several pointed examples, Mr. Greenspan was won over to the conclusion that Ike was indeed wiser than most.

Many of us may have the concept in our minds that in order to be wise we need to be an aged man or woman. But, as far as the Lord is concerned, nearly anyone, including those with more limited years and experiences, can become truly wise. The Books of Psalms and Proverbs give us a vivid picture of a wise individual. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10), so the pursuit of wisdom must be built on the foundation of a genuine reverence of the Lord. A wise individual then “will hear…wise counsels” (Proverbs 1:5), whether it be his “father’s instruction” (13:1), or wise “counsel” from others (12:15; 8:33). A wise individual will be one who “departeth from evil” (14:16), and receives “reproof” when warranted (15:31; 17:10). In fact, a wise man will even “love” one who rebukes him so that he might get back on the right track. A wise individual “gathereth [wealth] in [the] summer [of his life, while health and strength remain]” (10:5). A wise individual “refraineth his lips” (10:19; 29:11) rather than saying whatever is on his mind. Finally, “he that winneth souls is wise”(11:30). Therefore, a wise individual seeks to lead many to eternal salvation by faith in Christ apart from all works.

If a portrait were being painted of you using only these positive points describing wisdom, would it be a vivid picture with many detailed lines? What quality, outlined in Psalms or Proverbs, would the Savior have you draw into your character today? Pick one of the above and put it into practice right away and share that goal with another believer.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."