There’s a difference between being smart and being wise. A smart person might say, “Tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable,” while a wise person will not put tomatoes into fruit salad. The author does not say that smarts are needed at the great intersections of our lives, but that wisdom calls out. In the omitted verses, there is a plea for the simple to learn prudence and for those who lack intelligence to acquire it. But wisdom is greater than riches. The apostle Paul describes the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12. Again, it is not smarts that are a gift of the Spirit, rather the utterance of wisdom.
We live in a time and place where truth and facts are presented with alternate truths and alternate facts. If the powerful don’t like the facts, they can create their own. A smart person might be able to discern which facts are false. Will the wise add those tomatoes to their fruit salad? As the faithful strive for the gifts of the Spirit, we are shown a more excellent way.
These are confusing times, O God. By your Spirit, lead me into the paths of wisdom and understanding that they might prevail at the important intersections of our lives. Amen. — ANS