Proverbs 8:1-12

In Proverbs 8:1-12 Solomon here writes once again of wisdom as if she were a person, filled with the secrets to a successful life.  “Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man”.  Wisdom cries out as widely and broadly as possible. It speaks to those beside the way and at the crossroads. Wisdom is not hidden – it cries out to all who will listen. God does not hide it from us, but makes it widely available to any and all who will listen.

Wisdom is for ordinary people—not confined to the academic classroom or to sacred areas of the church.  It is for you and me and everyone who will seek it and listen.  “O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense”. Wisdom doesn’t give up on the simple ones. The simple man described in Proverbs 7 seems like a lost cause, but he doesn’t have to be. We can learn the ways of wisdom and benefit from that learning.  Even a fool can learn if willing. “Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.”

But the first step to success in gaining wisdom is a willingness to listen.  It isn’t the wisdom or access to it that is a problem.  The issue is our willingness to seek and then listen.  There is clarity and a straightforward character to wisdom. “They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.” The fundamental truths of the Bible are plain to those who trust God and honor His word.  American author Mark Twain was reported to have said, ‘It’s not the parts of the Bible I can’t understand that bother me; it’s the parts that I do understand.’

Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.” Wisdom’s value is above silver, gold, and jewels. Without wisdom, one may have the riches of this world and a miserable life. Early in his reign Solomon desired wisdom above all riches and was greatly blessed because of it.  There is nothing more powerful than wisdom.  And the good news is that we can have it if we pursue it.  “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.”  Prudence is self-control and good judgment and comes from having wisdom. A life given to impulse and extremes will not display wisdom.

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