“Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat? With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.”
My parents used to say to me that God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we will listen twice as much as we speak. Whether or not that is true, the principle behind what they said is wise and beneficial to the person who would heed such advice. You cannot learn by talking; you can only learn by listening.
Job, in his defense against the accusations from his friends, declares by the inspiration of the Almighty that the ear tries words. In other words, you will not be able to learn and determine if what another is saying is true until you listen. Many people lose the benefits of wisdom because they don’t listen. This is what is meant in the verse above when it says, “…and the mouth taste his meat?”. You will never be able to experience the blessings of wisdom if you don’t hear wisdom being spoken. Let me give you a thought concerning this subject of listening.
My friend, take the time to listen to those who have wisdom. Verse 12 says, “With the ancient is wisdom…” You will never gain the wisdom of the ancient if you are busy talking. One thing I learned early in life is that the older generation will stay silent if you don’t learn to listen to them. The older generation has much wisdom that could help you in life if you would learn to listen to them. Most of the time they are not going to volunteer their wisdom, but if you will sit and be silent while they are talking, you can glean an enormous amount of wisdom that will help you in life.
When I was a boy, I often went to the homes of the elderly just to glean a nugget of wisdom that could help me in life. I remember an old missionary, Frank Melbourne, who moved to our church in his senior years because of his wife’s failing health. As a teenage boy, I often went to their home and talked to Bro. Melbourne just to hear stories about the mission field and to glean truths from God’s Word. Probably, nobody influenced my stance more for the King James Bible than Bro. Melbourne. If I were too busy talking, I could not have gleaned the wisdom and seen the joy this man exhibited.
I had the privilege of being able to spend a lot of time with my grandfather who lived to the century mark before He went to Heaven. There were times when I talked to him about what America used to be like when he was young, and the stories he told put a proper perspective on history. Every once in awhile he drifted into a conversation about marriage, and the wealth of wisdom I gleaned on being happily married was priceless.
Be careful that you don’t miss the wisdom of the ancients. The wisdom of the ancients won’t be animated or exciting to hear, but it is priceless in its benefits to help you in life. The ancients often won’t call you to give you their wisdom because they often don’t think they have much to offer. Whenever you get around the older generation, stop talking so as to impress them with what you know, and be silent and let them give you wisdom for life through their conversations with you.
Some of the greatest lessons you will learn will come from being silent and listening to the wisdom of the ancients. Let me encourage you to stop talking and start listening because wisdom can’t be learned when you are talking.