I wisdom dwell with prudence and find out knowledge of witty inventions. (Proverbs 8:12)
Prudence is the practical application of wisdom. It leads to “witty inventions.” Young’s Literal Translation renders this as “knowledge of devices.” The English Standard Bible has “discretion.” John Wesley calls it “ingenious contrivances for the glory of God, and for the good of men.” In his Commentary on the Bible, Adam Clarke has this: “The farther wisdom proceeds in man, the more practical knowledge it gains; and finding out the nature and properties of things, and the general course of providence, it can contrive by new combinations to produce new results.” Here is Keil and Delitzsch (Commentary on the Old Testament) on this verse:
It denotes well-considered, carefully thought out designs, plans, conclusions, and da’ath [“knowledge”] is here the knowledge that is so potent. This intellectual power is nothing beyond wisdom, it is in her possession on every occasion; she strives after it not in vain, her knowledge is defined according to her wish.God wants to give you some witty inventions, clever devices, ingenious contrivances and bright ideas. Surely, that would be very helpful for these challenging times. Crisis is really opportunity in disguise — and what a lot of opportunity has been dumped in our laps!
Witty inventions come from prudence; prudence is the practical application of wisdom; wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord — living in awe and honor of God. When we seek Him, He will give us wisdom for the asking (James 1:5), for His desire is for us to succeed and prosper in all things and every situation (Joshua 1:6-8; Psalm 1:1-3; 3 John 2).
In Genesis, Joseph experienced many adversities, but he looked to the Lord and prevailed over them all. When famine was about to come upon the land, Joseph recognized it by Pharaoh’s dream and the wisdom God gave to interpret. Then he received divine wisdom about what to do about it. As a result, Joseph ended up as vice-regent over all of Egypt, and his “witty invention” blessed all the people in the land and brought in much wealth and prosperity for Egypt.
The prophet Daniel was another man who knew how to face adversity with divine wisdom. As a captive in Babylon, when other young men were being fed rich meats, foods and wines from the king’s table, Daniel developed a very healthy diet for him and his three friends, and then devised a clever test to convince his superior of the benefits of this diet. Not only did these four young men turn out to be the healthiest in the bunch, God also gave them great knowledge and skill in literature and wisdom, and they were ten times better than all the king’s magicians and astrologers (Daniel 2). Like Joseph before Pharaoh, God gave Daniel the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams, which brought glory to God and promotion to Daniel. He ended up as the chief of the wise men, lived in the gate of the king and became governor over Babylon.
This is a time for the practical application of wisdom in crafting solutions, a time for ingenious contrivances, clever devices and bright ideas. This is a time for Josephs and Daniels to arise, a time for witty inventions. Ask God for divine wisdom, then watch for what He will show you. You might very well end up with something that brings great glory to God, great blessing to others and great promotion and prosperity for yourself.