Wisdom Will Reward You

August 14, 2011

When encouraging young people to give their best in their studies, we often encounter some resistance. They do not appreciate their parents and older people reminding them to prepare for their future. They have no long-term outlook on life and all that matters to them is the here and now. They are content with what they have and do not exert enough to expand their knowledge. This attitude is partly the result of the wrong notion that their excellent performance in their studies is more for the benefit of their parents and not theirs. However, the Bible clearly says that “if you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer” (Prov. 9:12). The reward for wisdom is very personal in that the one who chooses wisdom will himself reap the reward. Besides, wisdom is something that no one can rob you of. You can be dispossessed of all of your earthly wealth, but not your wisdom.

The reason many lack wisdom to even appreciate the value of education is that they do not have the fear of the Lord. King Solomon said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). Unless we believe in God, we will never appreciate all that God has in store for us, including wisdom. God gives wisdom to those who ask for it. But how can they ask when they do not even believe in God? Instead, they choose to be mockers of God and go the way of the fools. Concerning the fools, King David said, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’. They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good” (Psalm 14:1). For opting to be mockers, they will reap the sever consequence because “penalties are prepared for mockers, and beatings for the backs of fools” (Prov. 19:29).

Many of our young people today are learning this truth the hard way. By going the way of fools, they think that their parents or other people will suffer more than they do. However, the truth is that no one else suffers for their foolishness but themselves. This can easily be seen in the countless youth locked up in prisons all over the world. For making the wrong choices—which the result of lack of wisdom—it is not their parents that are now suffering, but they themselves. Their parents are still enjoying their normal lives, but they are languishing in jail, reaping the consequences of their indiscretion or foolish actions. In fact, “wisdom” is laughing at them while they suffer in jail. The book of Proverbs says of those who mock God and reject wisdom, “But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you” (Prov. 1:24-26).

The reward for wisdom is more than what we could expect. We do not only receive our due reward in the form of power and riches, in the same way that King Solomon was reward for asking for wisdom, but we will be blessed with long life. The Book of Proverbs clearly states:” Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace” (Prov. 3:13-17). Long life as a reward is also gained by honouring and respecting our parents. This promise of long life is embodied in the Ten Commandments when the Lord said, “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).

Youth have the tendency to be proud when they have gained a little knowledge. They look down on their parents and disrespect them. This is especially true when they start making money for themselves even, if the amount is not sufficient to sustain them. They project an image that they can stand on their own when they cannot. While it is true that “the glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendour of the old” (Prov. 20:29), wisdom dictates that such strength be used wisely. They will indeed benefit a lot if used in the right manner. Therefore, “do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honour you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendour.” (Prov. 4:6-9). Yes, wisdom will reward you—no one else will benefit from it but you. Hallelujah!