The wise prevail through great power,
and those who have knowledge muster their strength.
6 Surely you need guidance to wage war,
and victory is won through many advisers.
The first half of the proverb seems to be extolling individual wisdom. The wise man alone is full of strength. But the latter half unveils more about wisdom. The true wise person seeks wise counsel. Wisdom leans on wisdom. A wise person knows that he alone does not have all wisdom. He knows his limits. He values others who see what he cannot see. He is not hampered by pride that refuses to acknowledge what others may possess and he lacks.
This is a primary reason that the wise achieve victory over those who are stronger. Unhampered by pride, they can think through carefully what is the best action to take. They are not weighed down by petty disputes and jealousies. Wise counselors think what is best for the one receiving their counsel. Wise rulers listen humbly to wise counsel and act accordingly.
How are you guided – by what appeals to your ego or what presents clear, scriptural truth in light of the real circumstances? From whom do you seek counsel – from those known for wisdom or from those you can count on to take your side and flatter you? If you want to be strong, then humbly seek the wise counsel of those wiser than yourself. Out of such humility one finds wisdom and becomes strong.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
but by evening it is dry and withered.
7 We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.