Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 17:2
"A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully,and will share in the inheritance among brothers"
acts wisely: The word wisely is the Hebrew word sakal which is a synonym for understanding but includes the idea of understanding the reasons for events and not just distinguishing between. It can also be thought of as having insight and comprehension.
The proverb states that the person who is just an employee can find positions of authority and prosperity if they learn how to act with insight and comprehension. All leaders, owners, and directors are looking for sharp people who are really loyal that will grow their business under them.
This proverb screams that you can rise beyond minimum wages; you can have real authority; you can be trusted with significant assignments and personnel; you can be given parts of a company. All you have to do is act with insight and comprehension. Act in such a way that shows that you understand how things really work.
It also screams that if you are only offered minimum wage jobs or you never get promoted or you do not get significant assignments, then you have not acted wisely. No matter what you think you have done or acted like, it has not been a demonstration of wisdom, insight, and comprehension if your compensation has not risen, your authority has not grown, the projects have not increased in significance.
acts shamefully: This is the Hebrew word bos which means shame, disappointed, and also carries with it the idea of failure.
The idea here seems to be that the favored person who fails will not be as highly regarded as the servant who succeeds. Actions speak louder than failed bloodlines. Yes, who you know or are related to will open a door but wise actions speak louder. Learn to act wisely.
Most businesses operate as meritocracies. Whoever merits the raise or the promotion will get it. If this basic rule is not followed, then a political, social, contentious mess develops. The people in the positions know who works hardest and who has the best attitude.
will rule: Rulership is based upon the ability to lead well. Some people are leaders, but they do not lead well so others are reluctant to put them in the next level of leadership.
God is saying that if you learn how to cause others to do your expectations in a non-confrontational, non-manipulative way, you will be given leadership positions even over relatives and favored employees. The story of Joseph is the classic example as is the story of Daniel and his rise through the ranks of Nebecanezzer's court.
will share: This is the Hebrew word chalaq which means to divide, to share. Those who do a great job of leading and managing will divide the profits and even the inheritance. We see this with Eleazar and Abraham.
Just because you were not born into a privileged family does not mean that you cannot get ahead. If you learn wisdom, you will be able to share in the inheritance; but if foolishness still guides your actions and words, then you will be constantly frustrated by your lack of promotions and lack of inclusion.