Many times when we are trying to determine whether someone is wise or unwise, we have to spend time with them and listen to them and wait and see if what they see proves out as wise. Sometimes we see wisdom played out instantly. In I Samuel chapter 22 we several wise people and several foolish people instantly as the scene plays out. In the beginning we discover that David has gone to the priests and sought their guidance. We then find King Saul being upset by that fact and he gets mad at the priests and accuses them. Then the foolishness just breaks loose in I Samuel 22: 16-19
“16 But the king said, “You will die, Ahimelech—you and your father’s whole family!” 17 Then the king ordered the guards standing by him, “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD because they sided with David. For they knew he was fleeing, but they didn’t tell me.” But the king’s servants would not lift a hand to execute the priests of the LORD. 18 So the king said to Doeg, “Go and execute the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite went and executed the priests himself. On that day, he killed 85 men who wore linen ephods. 19 He also struck down Nob, the city of the priests, with the sword—both men and women, children and infants, oxen, donkeys, and sheep.”
King Saul doesn’t even stop to think about what he is saying and who he is saying it to. He just blurts out in his rage and jealousy to kill the priests of the Lord and their families. They hadn’t done anything wrong. Yet some of the King’s own servants took a moment to stop and think. They showed wisdom. They refused to kill the priests of the Lord. Then one more foolish person steps forward without thinking of the consequences and kills 85 priests, their families, their town and animals. For King Saul and Doeg to raise their hand against the Lord’s priests was very unwise.
One of the first steps to being wise is to just stop and think it through before we speak or do.