The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion–A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Pro 1:1-7 NKJ)
Solomon was a wise king, who grew wiser by learning from his foolishness. In Ecclesiastes, all the trappings of wealth, riches and power amounts to nothing but vanity. In the Song of Solomon, in his attempts to add to his collection of women, lost his only love. Like Solomon, wisdom is learning from your mistakes. Foolishness is when you repeat the same stupidity over and over again.
In these first few verses of Proverbs 1, Solomon lays down some instruction by giving us some key-words. Know, perceive and receive. If I were to add up all the years that I have spent in academic institutions, it amounts to fifteen years, and that doesn’t include high-school or the numerous conferences that I have attended. But just going to college, school or seminary isn’t enough. Attendance doesn’t add to your knowledge. Solomon says,
1. Know that God has given you an opportunity.
2. Perceive that this is God’s divine to teach you something new—don’t miss it.
3. Receive it, even if it forces you to change your thinking, or to throw out some old stuff.
Remember, this is God’s divine plan, only a fool says you don’t need education, and to learn new things.
He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding. (Quran 2:269)