Summary: Homes are built with 3 primary tools: wisdom, understanding & knowledge. Wisdom is the ability to perceive with discernment, to view life as God sees it. Understanding is the skill to bring together the elements of life so that one can live with insight
PROVERBS 24: 3-4
IN SUPPORT OF THE HOME
An unknown author had this to say about marriage: "Getting married is easy. Staying married is more difficult. Staying happily married for a lifetime would be considered among the fine arts." The author may be right. The landscape of America is filled with the wreckage of millions of marriages. Divorce has happened to someone you know; perhaps it has happened to you. In the midst of such difficulty, how can a couple have a happy, successful marriage?
These two verses have to do with the building, the establishing and the firming up of the home. They are not so much a reference to a physical foundation built upon with hammer and nails, a trowel, mortar and bricks, as they are to building on the foundation of biblical truth in everyday life by conducting our relationships with wisdom, understanding and knowledge. A great house is not attained by matching the carpets and drapes with the new paint or adding a family room. That is not the type of building Solomon intended. The tools indicated are relational ones that build, establish and fill a home and demand far more skill than those used to create a physical house.
"By Wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."
Solomon is suggesting that homes are built with three primary tools: wisdom, understanding and knowledge (CIT). Wisdom is the ability to perceive with discernment, to view life as God sees it. Understanding is the skill to bring together the elements of life so that one can respond to it or live it with insight. Knowledge is learning, discovering, growing and living with an eternal perspective.
I. WISDOM BUILDS A HOME, 3a.
God’s Word gives some specific plans for building a great relationship between husband and wife. As verse 3 teaches us, it begins [and ends (verse 14)] with God’s wisdom. "By wisdom a house is built,"
A house could refer to constructing literal houses or, more likely, to the undertaking of building a home or family [or any enterprise]. [House in Hebrew is bayith, bahyith, also translated home, household, family, descendants.] The use of house here seems symbolic of the life of an individual or family.
Whatever enterprise we undertake requires wisdom. This wisdom originates in God and is from God and is learned through fellowship with Him. Wisdom in Proverbs is not simply intellectual but it has as its roots in reverence and obedience to God which results in righteousness or right belief, right thinking and right conduct. By this wisdom every household, be it great or small, prospers and attains to a nourishing and uplifting state. Just as the Lord founded the earth by wisdom (Prov. 3:19) so we need the same for building our house.
Wisdom is the skill to see with discernment, maintaining a broad yet accurate view of life. By means of wisdom a house is built so that those within don’t simply exist, they flourish, they reach their full potential. By wisdom a home can also be rebuilt or restored to God’s original design and purpose.
II. UNDERSTANDING ESTABLISHES A HOME, 3b.
Just as architecture and decor in a house demonstrate wisdom, understanding makes the home function properly over the long run. "By understanding it is established"
Understanding [Hebrew tebûn h] is the ability bring together knowledge be it architecture and decor or be it divine truth. It is the ability to separate out [the observable knowledge from life or lives], distinguish, discern and bring back together. Understanding provides the capacity to respond with insight, gaining a full awareness of situations so that an insightful response occurs rather than a surface reaction or insufficient variables being taken into consideration. By means of understanding one brings order and an upright condition into or back into a marriage and home.
The verb tense (hithpal) indicates one must continually pursue the gaining of understanding to successfully establish a home. A wise person’s home is solidly erected, stable, able to withstand the winds and shifting sands of time.
III. KNOWLEDGE FILLS A HOME WITH RICHES, 4.
Verse 4 provides the motivation to built your home or life by God’s wisdom and understanding. "By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."
Knowledge [Hebrew daat] is the willingness to learn with perception, by becoming acquainted with the facts, and grasping their proper significance so that ignorance is dispelled and truth is continually pursued. By means of knowledge one causes each life to be filled to overflowing with riches that can never be destroyed.
Can you imagine what those "riches" are? Let me give you some suggestions; a positive attitude, mutual respect, a depth of character, character traits, unerasable memories, positive communication and lasting deep relationships. Precious things like unity, mutual support, intimacy, encouragement, love, trust, faithfulness, and guidance are found. Homes where stability, confidence and joyful attitudes are nourished. Homes where clear images of who and what a dad, a mom and a Christian family should be are developed. These precious riches are also pleasant (lit., "sweet," "lovely"; 22:18; 23:8; Song 1:16) because they can be enjoyed with joy and goodness again and again. These and other precious treasures embellish a home where the mother and father wisely invest themselves. The home itself and the bounty that fills its rooms or lives are clear evidence that the owner’s wisdom has been blessed of God. What a superlative reward awaits those who take their opportunity to enact this truth in daily living!