For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
Wisdom and understanding are better than riches and wealth. King Solomon taught a key priority for your life. The pursuit of wisdom and understanding are more important than your efforts to improve your profession or finances. Does your life reflect this inspired priority? Or have you bought the world’s lie that financial prosperity is most important?
Wisdom and understanding are under consideration (Pr 3:13). Wisdom is more important than wealth, as it is more precious than rubies and better than anything you can desire (Pr 3:15). What is merchandising? It is the business of buying and selling for profit, which helps make the financial comparison with your efforts to get wisdom and understanding.
Wisdom is right judgment – knowing what to do in any situation to please God and men. Understanding is right discernment – grasping circumstances and their implications and consequences. By the use of single and plural pronouns, wisdom and understanding can be synonyms (Pr 3:13-14; 4:5,7-8; 7:4-5; 8:1-2; 17:28), for wisdom includes understanding (Pr 8:14), and an understanding man has wisdom (Pr 10:23; 14:33; 17:24).
Wisdom and understanding are easy for any man. They begin with a reverent fear of God (Pr 1:5; 9:10). They are developed by humble submission to the written and preached word of God (Ps 19:7; 119:98-100; Col 1:28). And He will give it liberally to those who ask (Ps 119:18; Jas 1:5). What hinders you from being wise? The love of money?
Compare the pursuits of money and wisdom. America no longer pays silver and gold, though promising to do so in the Constitution (I:10). Therefore, simple paper money must be compared. What did Paul warn? The love of money is the root of all evil, a temptation and a snare, the cause of foolish and hurtful lusts, and the source of many sorrows, which drown men in destruction and perdition (I Tim 6:6-10). Money keeps men from wisdom.
Are you more joyful at getting a raise or finding a jewel in God’s word? You spend many hours in a profession, but do you spend many minutes searching Scripture? Are you as punctual and energetic about studying the Bible as you are in your job? You talk to others about your work, how about God’s word? You tell friends when you see an opportunity for employment or business, but do you also tell them about a great verse you found?
David had taught Solomon, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Pr 4:7). Solomon then wrote you, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding” (Pr 23:23). What will you do today to adjust and rearrange your priorities to exalt wisdom over wealth?