Here’s a real contrast. In verse five, we have a man reluctant to speak, while in verse six, another who is more than ready to talk! Have you, like me, found that the individual who is most free with his or her advice is the one whose advice is of least worth? (As they say, you get what you pay for!) On the other hand, that person whose counsel is more closely aligned with the mind of God and comes by way of the heart is like a well of “deep waters.” You’ll have to wait for the bucket to come up, and you’ll have to be willing to think deeply when it gets there. In all likelihood, says Solomon, they will have to be drawn out. But, he continues, a man or woman “of understanding” will be willing to humbly condescend to do it.
All counseling does not have to be “one-on-one.” I have received good, helpful advice personally; but for the most part, the greatest lessons of life have come while in the company of men or women of wisdom, young and old, poorly and highly educated. They have come through Spirit-anointed preaching, thought provoking reading, or edifying fellowship with other believers. By the way, this doesn’t mean they were all what we might call “Bible scholars” or “Spiritual giants” (whatever that is). I’m not speaking of individuals who know about God, I’m referring to people who know God Himself and are living out His precepts. This could be anyone from a C.S. Lewis to the Godly women in small churches where my husband and I used to minister in our early marriage. These were people who didn’t say, “Here, listen to me!” They were people of whom the Holy Spirit said to me, “There, listen to him (or her)!”
I try to pray every day, “Lord, teach me something today from your Word, and from someone who can be my teacher and/or counselor.” There are all kinds of “babbling brooks” out there, who are more than willing to share their “wisdom” with you. Tolerate them, if you will, but don’t look for much help. Be on the look out instead for that rare “deep well” from which you can draw out refreshing waters of healing and instruction. And when you find it, drink deeply!