Wisdom personified…it brings to mind images of the Most Interesting Man in the World, or Charlton Heston as Moses. When God told Solomon to ask for anything in 2 Chronicles 1, and the response was “Give me wisdom and knowledge” [2 Chronicles 1:10], I often wonder if he realized the impact he would have on the world?
Today’s devotional on Proverbs Chapter 8 is rich with the description of what it is to be wise. Being wise is what we all seek on some level, and yet it is only beneficial if we listen to its call. How many times have you been faced with a decision, and just wished you knew what the right choice was? Proverbs 8 has the answer! No, there is not direction to take a certain job, or make a specific purchase, but there is something even more valuable: the outline to gain wisdom, so you can make consistently intelligent decisions.
So, what does Proverbs 8 say to us?
“Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand.” [Proverbs 8:2-3]
“My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.” [Proverbs 8:7]
“To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” [Proverbs 8:13]
“for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” [Proverbs 8:11]
These verses illustrate that wisdom is available if we will just listen. It is not hidden from us, but is at the “highest point” and helps us “where the paths meet.” To go on further, wisdom is shown to be truth, and is the antithesis of wickedness. If we have to distill the beginning of Chapter 8 into a single thought it is that wisdom is not obscured if we look for it, and it does not associate with wickedness. To me this means the right choices are easier to make if you pursue life from an honest perspective and avoid behavior that is obviously wicked. To put it another way, verse 13 shows that fearing the Lord means hating evil. We also need to value wisdom, since like time, it is a valuable quantity that cannot be bought.
Verses 22-31 follow a similar theme, which is summarized well in verse 22:
“The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be.” [Proverbs 8:22]
To me this means we should value ideas that have stood the test of time. There is something to be said for disruptive ideas that challenge conventional wisdom, but there is a difference in challenging current notions of how “everyone” thinks things have to be done, and going against age old wisdom. In fact sometimes getting back to the source of wisdom and throwing out the contemporary model is the best way to innovate in a disruptive way. An example of this is Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors, which is founded on a 100 year old idea (the electric car). By questioning how the auto industry works from the ground up, Elon has not only revolutionized the way people drive, but also how they purchase and maintain their vehicles. So, not only is wisdom clear to obtain, and distinctly different than dishonesty and evil, true wisdom stands the test of time.
The end of Proberbs 8 is a reminder of sorts:
“Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.” [Proverbs 8:32]
“But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.” [Proverbs 8:36]
We know how to make wise choices, and we know there is something to be said for following age old wisdom, but sometimes we simply need to remember to apply what we know. Similar to the way we talk to our children about making wise choices, wisdom asks us to listen, think, and find life through our actions.
At WeatheredStorms.com we pray today brings you clarity in your decisions, and the ability to live a transparent life full of God’s blessings!