1 Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company; 2 for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble. 3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; 4 through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. 5 The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength. 6 Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers. 7 Wisdom is too high for fools; in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths. 8 Whoever plots evil will be known as a schemer. 9 The schemes of folly are sin, and people detest a mocker. (Prov. 24:1-9 NIV)
1 Do not envy the wicked,
do not desire their company;
2 for their hearts plot violence,
and their lips talk about making trouble.
It is tempting at times to envy the wicked because they seem to have a privileged and prosperous life. This has been a theme from the beginning of time and the people of God are instructed not to desire what the wicked have, because what they have is not of lasting value nor does it feed their souls. We are not to desire what they have or to keep their company. The wicked are constantly plotting violence sometimes just because they can, sometimes out of a desire to have revenge, or it can be to gain more wealth. They constantly speak trouble and the wise would do well to stay away.
3 By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
4 through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.
The focus here is not so much on the structure of the house but rather the shaping of a home. It takes wisdom and understanding to build a stable home for the family. Of course, that building still continues after the children have left and established their own homes. At first, it is a home for a husband and wife where both feel secure. If God blesses the marriage with children, it requires wisdom to build a home for the children. After the children leave, there is a new set of circumstances where the husband and wife have to learn to continue providing security in the home as the parents adjust to the children moving on. The home is still the place where the children and their spouses and their children will come back to. The home must be welcoming to these new family units. We make a lot of mistakes as we build our homes. We need the Lord’s wisdom and often forgiveness and the forgiveness of our families as we go through the years of home building.
Through knowledge the rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. These treasures do not have to be worth a lot of money. Many of the treasures are simple things, a toy, a picture or an ornament that reminds us of a precious memory. Throughout our lives no matter how old we become we can still be able to make precious memories for ourselves and for others. If you have moved house a number of times, you leave memories behind and it requires wisdom from the Lord to establish the family in a new home.
5 The wise prevail through great power,
and those who have knowledge muster their strength.
6 Surely you need guidance to wage war,
and victory is won through many advisers.
With wisdom comes strength, power, inner strength and fortitude. Those who have trained their souls on the wisdom of the Lord are able to muster that strength at a time of need. In fact every day is a time of need, whether we consider the decisions small or great.
The great decisions for leaders would be at a time when they have to consider should they wage war. Then the wisdom is a combined wisdom to draw upon the resources and perspectives that others have. There are many times in life when it is wise to seek the counsel of others. Wartime is an extreme example. Even after war has been waged there is the need for wise decisions before victory is won. That requires the advice of many counsellors.
7 Wisdom is too high for fools;
in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.
The gate of the city was the place where the elders would meet to rule on matters of law. That was a place where only the wise should speak. It was no place for a fool.
8 Whoever plots evil will be known as a schemer.
9 The schemes of folly are sin,
and people detest a mocker.
The NT says that by their fruits they shall be known. The person who plots evil will be known for their evil deeds and be called a schemer. These schemes that they devise are sin. Schemes can be devised to mock others. Sadly Christians are not beyond devising schemes that seek to mock others. Usually people get the benefit of the doubt in their first few attempts, but after that they gain a reputation and lose creditability and the people detest what they see them doing.
Lord help us with the building of our homes whatever stage of life we are. Help us to construct a home where Christ is honoured. Give us wisdom in these difficult times to build secure families, because we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.