Wouldn’t Be Prudent - By Jerry Black

Jennifer Hester |

“Wouldn’t be prudent”…President George H.W. Bush as imitated by comedian Dana Carvey on Saturday Night Live.

The quote above reminds me of a verse in Proverbs 27:12, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Given the amount of information available today it’s very difficult to discern danger. What is danger? What is refuge? What is prudent? Who are the simple? Today is different than the world as we knew it even one year ago. Yet in many respects the world is very similar to times of days gone by. Let me share a few examples.

“Our earth is degenerate in these latter days; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; and the end of the world is evidently approaching.” – Assyrian clay tablet, 2800 B.C.

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” – Cicero, 55 B.C.    

Let’s examine the words, ‘prudence’, ‘danger’, and ‘simple’.

Prudence: According to Webster: caution with regard to practical matters; discretion, forethought, regard for one's own interests, provident care in the management of resources; economy; frugality. Proverbs 8:12 says that wisdom dwells together with prudence, possessing both knowledge and power. And wisdom is more precious than rubies. Prudence often requires sound thinking, judgment and counsel. A prudent person is one who leaves simple ways.

Danger: It exists in many ways - physically, emotionally, and spiritually; real and perceived. How real it is or how imminent it is perceived affects our thinking and actions. Recently there were tragic consequences to residents in Washington and also Wyoming from enormous mudslides. Korean high school students were trapped and died on a ferry that unexpectedly sank. Those who live in California, live knowing each day an earthquake could come that will destroy the state. Was there prudence in their decisions?

Simple: As it is used in Proverbs 27, it is an adjective describing a person, not a noun. Those without prudence.  Those who need to gain understanding. And the way of a fool is right in his own eyes. Those who do not listen or seek to gain counsel. Those who chose to believe that which is not true. Those who may be prideful or arrogant, without humility. Those easily led astray or prone to folly.

Life is full of uncertainties. Those of us here at Legacy desire wisdom and prudence. We want to help you avoid danger as much as possible. We want to be able to have a trusted relationship with you that permits us to say, “Wouldn’t be prudent.” We do live in very uncertain times. But haven’t we always lived with uncertainty?