“Let the wise hear and …”
First I reflected on the detail in Numbers 4. It starts, “The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron …”. I marvelled at how the great eternal Creator had planned out every detail of responsibility of those serving in the tabernacle. This was particularly necessary – and was very complex because of the long journey through the wilderness which was obviously not a desert because their extensive flocks would need sustenance.
When we come to Numbers 33 we find listed all the places where they stopped – and then set out from. Add them up and it means they stayed at least a whole year (on average) in each place. Although it is not stated, it is probable they planted seed and reaped a harvest; how else would they sustain themselves? Was it always just on manna and quail? What of their flocks? Number 11:6 tells us that in the beginning they complained there was “nothing at all but this manna”. As we read on next month let us look out for any clues that indicate a solution.
We then started reading the Proverbs – and one could fill a book grasping the meaning and lessons in the first chapter alone. Solomon’s proverbs start, “To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight” (verse 2). I reflected on this – it is one thing to “know” something – but it is a vital further step to “understand” it; to have “insight” – that is, inward vision in our minds.
I pondered verse 5, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning”. Today we can say, ‘let the wise’ read constantly and “increase in learning” and, as a result, “the one who understands obtain(s) guidance”. This is the motive of learning. Gaining ‘head knowledge’ is just laying the foundation. This was the challenge to Israel in the wilderness – and it is to us – in the wilderness of this world!
Finally we came to verse 7 which should be familiar to us! “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Most “fools” do not “despise” knowledge – our world has more “knowledge” that ever before! But what is the nature of this world’s knowledge? Wisdom is totally lacking!
May we be among “the wise” who “hear” (and read) and gain godly wisdom – and then “when distress and anguish come” (verse 27) on our world, we “will call upon” (our Saviour) and he “will … answer” (verse 28). Let us make every effort to be among “the wise (who) hear and” read and “obtain guidance.”