Sound Judgment

Proverbs 8:13-16

13To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. 14Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power. 15By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; 16by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.

Bamboo Raft

Have you ever experienced riding on a bamboo raft to cross a river?

On one stormy day, a medical doctor boarded a bamboo raft to get to the other side of the river. The river was at flood stage, and the bamboo raft turned upside down. Other passengers on the raft survived, but the medical doctor was nowhere to be found; he did not know how to swim; he died on that accident.

The tragic story illustrates an expert in medical field but was not expert in swimming. When safety is at stake, it takes prudence to be cautious and discrete.

Accident can happen anytime anywhere. When we sense fear, it is not stupidity to decline. Fear can be favorable sense to avoid possible undesirable accidents. Fear signals safety awareness, and to be cautious is sound judgment. Similarly, fear of the Lord is awareness of punishment for sin that God decreed; it’s smart move to respect the Lord. Fear of the Lord is to hate wickedness.

1.  Hate

13To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Fear of the Lord is reverent respect of God. Respect of God is favorable to all who believe and obey him; it displays wisdom. We avoid punishment for sin when godly wisdom is functional in us and we sense fear of the Lord. Outside and beyond the border of the will of God, wickedness waits for foolish victims.

Fear of the Lord is not about being scared of running away from God. In contrast, we desire to please and obey God and receive blessings he rewards for obedience to him. To properly behave before him is beneficial. Godly wisdom helps us fear God and hate arrogance, evil behaviors or perverse speech.

It challenges us in James 3:13-17, 13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.


A story was told about a selfless athlete. He did not hide his desire to win games. His selfless nature of wanting his teammates to excel in the game was not very exciting for viewers to watch, but his teammates were happy, and they were winning games; winning was all that matters to him. He did not verbally say that he wants to get individual accolades. He was voted as most valuable player, not just once but twice nevertheless. His name is mentioned among great players.

Believers of our Lord Jesus Christ are instructed in Colossians 3:22, 22Obey your masters in everything. Obey all the time, even when they can’t see you. Don’t just pretend to work hard so that they will treat you well. No, you must serve your masters honestly because you respect the Lord. (ETRV)

Earthly masters pertain to anyone who has authority to order what should be done: parents, teachers, employers, government officials or church leaders.

By faith, we believe that God established authorities. When his Holy Spirit inspires us, we respect and obey authorities as practical service to the Lord.

If everyone follows each one’s instinct, there’s confusion. There is chaos when there is no order. To be organized, we follow an order. God regulates order. Wisdom that originated from God follows a regulated order from God. It is very advisable for all believers to pray that God may grant leaders and rulers with wisdom, that is if we desire to have just and impartial leaders and rulers.

2. Have

14Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power. 15By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; 16by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.

Can you accept without any hint of hesitation that timely advice, honorable judgment, great insight and power are attributes of godly wisdom? It is by faith we believe that the Scripture is essential to our testimony as believers of Christ.

Someone may say, “I cannot readily admit what the Scripture claims about wisdom, until I have personally proven true.” It is necessary to believe the word of wisdom from God; to prove that it’s really true, practise it and act upon it. Right?

We need stronger faith to readily put into practice what the Scripture says.

King Solomon was the writer of the Proverbs; he admitted and asked God that he needed wisdom to administer justice, laws and decrees among his people. The very first judgment that he issued proved that his wisdom comes the Lord. His judgment was fair. There’s no partiality, and the people of Israel approved it.

Cut the Living

Two mothers claimed before King Solomon that their child is alive, and the dead child is not theirs. It narrated in 1 Kings 3:23-27, 23King Solomon said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’” 24Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.” 26The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!” 27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”

It appears to be very simple decision. Do you agree that the sound judgment of King Solomon on how he discovered who was telling the truth was the result of his wisdom that originated from God,? Why did the second mother not pretend to care for the child? She could have repeated what the first mother said, to give the child to the other mother; and it could have confused King Solomon. Right?

When godly wisdom is functional, the Lord makes things favorable to the person who possesses godly wisdom. Can you believe that? Do you know anyone who complains about their situations? Everything is like going against them.

Believe it or not, God is in control of everything in heaven and on earth. God or bad situation, the Lord uses them for the good of those who love him.

Together, let us reflect on Romans 8:28, 28In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Our attitude and behavior should reflect our love for the Lord. We are told to serve or work as if we are working for the Lord. How is that? Instead of strikes, pray for employers. Instead of rallies, pray for established authorities. Those are good testimonies of love for God.

Let us reflect on 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12: 11Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

May God grant each of us godly wisdom to make sound judgment at all times!

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