A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes,
but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.
This proverb strikes at the root of what distinguishes the wise person from the fool. It is not intellectual ability. It is not education or training. It is what gives a person pleasure.
The fool takes pleasure in doing wrong. It is a joke to him, which is the highest level of pleasure that a fool attains. The fool cannot comprehend the concept presented in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” No, the fool finds pleasure only in mocking such concepts.
But the person of understanding pursues wisdom and everything in the above list because he delights in them. He does not pursue them for the respect he will win by them, or to fit in with the culturally elite, or through them to gain riches. No, he enjoys them for their own sake.
Such pleasure may not come naturally, or at least takes some effort to cultivate. Indeed, much of what is truly excellent takes some effort to recognize. The reason is due to the sin that is in us, which dulls our senses and makes it difficult to both recognize what is of value and then to enjoy it. Sin and delighting in sin come easy to us. Wisdom and righteousness do not. Take time to cultivate the latter and you will find a deeper, more satisfying pleasure.
21 Now the family heads of the Levites approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the other tribal families of Israel 2 at Shiloh in Canaan and said to them, ‘The Lord commanded through Moses that you give us towns to live in, with pasture-lands for our livestock.’ 3 So, as the Lord had commanded, the Israelites gave the Levites the following towns and pasture-lands out of their own inheritance:
4 The first lot came out for the Kohathites, according to their clans. The Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest were allotted thirteen towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin. 5 The rest of Kohath’s descendants were allotted ten towns from the clans of the tribes of Ephraim, Dan and half of Manasseh.
6 The descendants of Gershon were allotted thirteen towns from the clans of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.
7 The descendants of Merari, according to their clans, received twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Zebulun.
8 So the Israelites allotted to the Levites these towns and their pasture-lands, as the Lord had commanded through Moses.
9 From the tribes of Judah and Simeon they allotted the following towns by name 10 (these towns were assigned to the descendants of Aaron who were from the Kohathite clans of the Levites, because the first lot fell to them):
11 They gave them Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), with its surrounding pasture-land, in the hill country of Judah. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.) 12 But the fields and villages around the city they had given to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.
13 So to the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron (a city of refuge for one accused of murder), Libnah, 14 Jattir, Eshtemoa, 15 Holon, Debir, 16 Ain, Juttah and Beth Shemesh, together with their pasture-lands – nine towns from these two tribes.
17 And from the tribe of Benjamin they gave them Gibeon, Geba, 18 Anathoth and Almon, together with their pasture-lands – four towns.
19 The total number of towns for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, came to thirteen, together with their pasture-lands.
20 The rest of the Kohathite clans of the Levites were allotted towns from the tribe of Ephraim:
21 In the hill country of Ephraim they were given Shechem (a city of refuge for one accused of murder) and Gezer, 22 Kibzaim and Beth Horon, together with their pasture-lands – four towns.
23 Also from the tribe of Dan they received Eltekeh, Gibbethon, 24 Aijalon and Gath Rimmon, together with their pasture-lands – four towns.
25 From half the tribe of Manasseh they received Taanach and Gath Rimmon, together with their pasture-lands – two towns.
26 All these ten towns and their pasture-lands were given to the rest of the Kohathite clans.
27 The Levite clans of the Gershonites were given:
from the half-tribe of Manasseh,
Golan in Bashan (a city of refuge for one accused of murder) and Be Eshterah, together with their pasture-lands – two towns;
28 from the tribe of Issachar,
Kishion, Daberath, 29 Jarmuth and En Gannim, together with their pasture-lands – four towns;
30 from the tribe of Asher,
Mishal, Abdon, 31 Helkath and Rehob, together with their pasture-lands – four towns;
32 from the tribe of Naphtali,
Kedesh in Galilee (a city of refuge for one accused of murder), Hammoth Dor and Kartan, together with their pasture-lands – three towns.
33 The total number of towns of the Gershonite clans came to thirteen, together with their pasture-lands.
34 The Merarite clans (the rest of the Levites) were given:
from the tribe of Zebulun,
Jokneam, Kartah, 35 Dimnah and Nahalal, together with their pasture-lands – four towns;
36 from the tribe of Reuben,
Bezer, Jahaz, 37 Kedemoth and Mephaath, together with their pasture-lands – four towns;
38 from the tribe of Gad,
Ramoth in Gilead (a city of refuge for one accused of murder), Mahanaim, 39 Heshbon and Jazer, together with their pasture-lands – four towns in all.
40 The total number of towns allotted to the Merarite clans, who were the rest of the Levites, came to twelve.
41 The towns of the Levites in the territory held by the Israelites were forty-eight in all, together with their pasture-lands. 42 Each of these towns had pasture-lands surrounding it; this was true for all these towns.
43 So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. 44 The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands. 45 Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.