What’s the most valuable thing to you? What is it that keeps you awake at night, worried? What determines your priorities? I bet the answer to these questions is not ‘seeking wisdom.’ Yet it’s what Proverbs says is the most important task of life; the gaining of real biblically spiritual, moral wisdom.
Chapter 8 of Proverbs features the second of Lady Wisdom’s three main speeches in Proverbs 1–9; the last one is in chapter 9. She cries out for all to listen to her, not just the simple, the mocker, the fool; although there is--in reality--a simpleton, mocker and fool within all of us, situationally at least.
There are four parts to Wisdom’s Proverbs 8 speech:
1. An introductory section (verses 4-11)
Nothing compares to Wisdom. In 1990, Sinead O’Connor had a major hit with the song Nothing Compares to You. The lyric, “I know that living with you baby was sometimes hard, but I’m willing to give it another try,” fits with our yearning for wisdom. It’s a rocky journey.
Wisdom, in truth, is entirely dependable and faithful. She will never not return more than we invest. It may be a rocky journey, the life toward wisdom, but we’ll reap a harvest of good if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).
2. An informative section on the character of Wisdom (verses 12-21)
How do we know if we truly want Wisdom if we don’t ever get to know her and what she’s about? She, like God, loves certain things and hates other things. For instance, she says, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me early and diligently shall find me.” (Verse 17 Amplified)
We discover early on that those who have their priorities set in the right order seek Wisdom first and foremost. It is the process of investing in our own blessing; a blessing that propagates onto others--“streams of living water will flow from within” that person out into their world and onto those around them (John 7:38). These will begin to live from the eternal context.
3. An autobiographical history lesson on the origins of Wisdom (verses 22-31)
It is in this section we learn where Wisdom is from. She’s from God, from the very origin of his being. If God is love (and he most certainly is i.e. 1 John 4:8) and Spirit (John 4:24), he must also be truth, and wisdom. The character of Wisdom and God are inseparable. Wisdom has been from everlasting. The creation of the world is based in Wisdom.
4. Wisdom concludes with her authoritative, stern warning to ‘embrace her ways.’ (Verses 32-36)
“Those who embrace these my ways are most blessed. Mark a life of discipline and live wisely; don’t squander your precious life.” (Verse 32-33, The Message) We must be awake and alert to Wisdom each morning and throughout... when we find her we “find life, real life, to say nothing of God’s good pleasure.” (Verse 35, The Message)
But, those who reject Wisdom (God) injure themselves and flirt with death (Verse 36, The Message).
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.