In order to have wisdom we must be one who has discernment. What is interesting is what the Scriptures have to say about how we get this "discernment." We are told by James that if we lack wisdom we should, "ask of God" (James 1:5). We are also told that God offers this wisdom as One who gives freely to all without rebuke when they ask. In Proverbs 2:6 we are told ". . . the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." This is a promise of the same thing mentioned here in Proverbs 17:24. It is only when we turn to God and listen to what He has to say that we have what is necessary to grasp wisdom. The discernment needed for this is the ability to determine what differs between two things. The vast majority of decisions we will have to make in life will involve one of two choices placed before us. If we cannot discern the difference between these two things - we will not "understand" which is the will of God and which is not. The wise man knows only because he fills his mind with the Word of God - and learns to discern and distinguish between things because of the counsel he receives from God as a result of meditating upon the Word. He sees clearly and can distinguish between things that are worldly, fleshly, and spiritual.
The fool knows of no such wisdom. His eyes are not fixed on God, but on the "ends of the earth." The fool looks everywhere for answers - everywhere except God's Word. He looks to the wisdom of man, the wisdom of godless scholars, the thoughts and meditation of gurus, or to his own understanding. Others turn to a darker side, looking to false religion, the occult, spiritism, and even to drugs for enlightenment. Our culture turned from God in the 1960's to eastern religious thought and practice. The rock and roll world introduced us anew to the so-called enlightenment of eastern religious sages, Hinduism, Buddhisim, and various other eastern ways. The culture grabbed onto reincarnation and the thought that they could discard their individualism and become part of the one - with no real self-consciousness at all. Others turned to philosophy that started at Deism, but eventually turned to Naturalism and its eventual end Nihlism and complete hopelessness. These movements have given to us all the same problems that the culture of Canaan gave to its inhabitants. There was not wisdom in all this - but multiplied foolishness that has ceded to us a disregard for life or any kind of moral code. Our current post-modern philosophy has reached its conclusion with the view that there is no right or wrong - no truth - no absolutes (except the absolute that there are no absolutes - which by the way is an absolute) - and no basis for societal cohesion except the rare times when we agree on something.
Seeking some other answer to life than that of "absolutist" Christianity - the world has gone hunting for anything other than truth. The result of their search mission is more like a search and destroy mission for anything and anyone who would dare to say there is absolute truth. But what has the wisdom of this current dominant culture given us? Since their deconstruction of Christian morals and absolutes has ensued, we've watched 2 world wars and a host of other smaller ones - numerous ethnic cleansings - political theories that allow dictators and rulers to decimate their people (as in Russia, China, Cambodia, and most of tribal Africa). The wisdom of the ages is nothing more than the same old lie that thrust our world into darkness in the first place. Either there is no God - or we ourselves can be god. That does not end well. Maybe the answer is not found in looking to the "ends of the earth" in search for some secret wisdom of the gurus. Maybe the truth all along has been right under our noses in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. It is my hope that by turning again to God and to His Word we will recapture the wisdom that has been abandoned by recent generations - and that God will revive His people with understanding so that they will not be fools. That, though, would require mankind humbling themselves and turning to God with ALL their heart, soul, mind, and strength. It is my hope that our current "great minds" would humble themselves and understand that unless we surrender ourselves to God . . . there will be very little wisdom available to us.