“There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.” – Proverbs 20:15
The value that we place on something is often evidenced by how much – or how little – we are willing to give in exchange for it. Esau despised his birthright and sold it for a single meal (Gen 25:34). Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Mat 26:15). Jesus laid down His life for us, His enemies (Rom 5:8-10).
This proverb is a good reminder to be careful of over-valuing the things of this world – the gold, the rubies – and of under-valuing the knowledge that prepares us for the next world. It is easy to set our affections on things in this life (Col 3:2); our world places great value on many things and tells us that, the more of them you have, the happier you’ll be.
God’s Word has a different perspective, however, as it simply acknowledges the “gold and rubies” but points us to knowledge (of Him) as the supremely valuable thing. It’s interesting to see that New Jerusalem’s streets are made of gold and its foundations inlaid with precious jewels (Rev 21:19-21): the things we so prize here are used as commonplace building materials there.
We do well to consider this often and to seek after the true value found only in Him (Col 2:3). And to remember that just as Jesus “opened his mouth and taught the people” (Mat 5:2) almost 2,000 years ago in Galilee, He’s still doing the same today for those open to hear from His “lips of knowledge”.