Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 18:15
"The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge"
This is the Hebrew word bin which usually means understanding, discernment. This is the one who sees connections between things, who discerns that one thing impacts or cascades into another thing.
The person who has understanding knows that an event is not a solitary item, but that a cascade of events had to take place in order for that event to have happened. He is seeking information to help him understand how that event took place.
Take for instance if you are wondering how a young man who just murdered could have come to the place where he would kill another person, you realize that it is not an independent random incident. There had to be a series of events and choices that led him to this place. In some arenas, our culture does not want to seek information and understanding because it goes against what they want to be true.
One must also realize that there may be multiple explanations for an event and until one looks into it, one will not know which path this event traveled. I am thinking about people who are poor. They could have become poor because they squandered the money they earned or received. They could have become poor because some injustice was done to them. They could be poor because they were never taught or encouraged how not to be poor. Each of these could be true, but in each specific case one of them is the dominant truth. What Solomon is saying here is that one must be committed to finding the reasons even if they do not conform to your ideas of why this should have happened.
There are a growing number of things that our culture does not want to know the truth about, so they just perpetuate a myth or rationale that fits the facts the way they want them to be: evolution, homosexuality, idolatry, gender differences, etc. Everyone is then encouraged to no longer keep digging and the mind of understanding is shut down.
Solomon is saying to not do this; keep digging until you have the real order of events and the real reasons so then you can react properly to these situations.
This is the Hebrew word qana which means to get, acquire, create. What is significant here is that both the prudent and the wise are after knowledge. This is a complementary proverb. This is designed to highlight the need for knowledge. Those who have understanding, acquire it; and those who want to make great decisions and give good counsel are always alert for it. True unvarnished knowledge is invaluable in sorting through what is happening and what has happened.
Notice that the wise person never has enough real knowledge. He is always seeking information.
Knowledge is the Hebrew word daat which we would understand as information and skill. It is this accurate information that the one who seeks understanding is looking for. What piece of knowledge is missing? What skill is needed to accomplish this task? Prudent people are the ones who just collect information so that they are ready to use it when needed. They are regularly curious about lots of things. They seek to understand, not just to be understood.
Are you curious and seeking true information? Do you just tend to rearrange old prejudices? Realize that the information you seek is out there even if it is not available at the present time. Keep seeking.