1 Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.
22 “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth, when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30 Then I was constantly at his side.I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.
32 “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”
I grew up convinced that I knew everything there was to know. When I was 7, I knew that “I” wasn’t capitalized, even though my mom said it was. When I was 10, I knew I’d take fine care of a guinea pig, even though my dad was already planning the funeral. When I was 12, lightning-bolt sideburns were a great idea. When I was 14, Candlebox was the best band in the world. When I was 16, cars didn’t need oil changes. When I was 18, Camel Lights were a responsible choice. When I was 20…you get the point.
Everyone wants to be wise, and until they know better, they think they pretty much are. This lie can follow a person around and lead to all kinds of bad decisions, from hairstyles to lifestyles. I know it did for me. Proverbs 8:9 says that wisdom is right and speaks truth – and hates every kind of deception. It’s funny, then, that it’s so easy to be deceived into thinking we’re wise. It’s the ultimate contradiction.
Real wisdom, on the other hand, is priceless. It is also relentless. Real wisdom calls to us like a man at a gate, asking to be let in. When we try to move to another area, wisdom moves with us, continuing to request an entrance. The natural place for us to be is in God’s wisdom, and our soul longs for it. That is, our natural state is having God’s word in our hearts, and expressed through our lives. Having that wisdom in our hearts protects our soul and keeps us in the will of God. So no matter where we go, it shows up at the gate, pressing to be let in.
But it takes action on our parts to open the gate – and let God’s wisdom into our hearts. We have to say “yes.” We must study his word, and cultivate a relationship with him, and express his love to those around us. Those actions don’t save us, but they do maximize the impact his wisdom has on our lives.
Because of the commitment it takes to gain true knowledge, we sometimes put forth an incomplete effort, and in the process gain an incomplete understanding of true wisdom. We obtain knowledge of God, but miss out on the discernment of God. In other words, we know stuff, but we don’t know how to apply it. Commitment to absorbing God’s wisdom results in knowledge and discernment.
That discernment comes from the fact that the concept of wisdom is old – very old – and communicates the true nature of creation:
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. (Prov 8: 22-23)
Wisdom, then, is manifest in the light that God created “in the beginning,” the light he continues to shine on creation. Wisdom is of God, and is about God. Anything less is a cheap imitation.
Which brings us back to the original point – it’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking we have wisdom, when in fact we have something less. By definition, we accept a lie, and God, who embodies truth, doesn’t co-mingle with lies. False wisdom breeds pride, arrogance, corruption, and perversion – all sin, and all the opposite of God (Prov 8: 13).
So, understand just how important it is to have a grasp on true, God-given wisdom. It reflects his will and his character, and is relevant in all situations. Open the gate and let true wisdom into your heart; pursue it, as it pursues you.
Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who and receive favor from the LORD. (Proverbs 8: 34-35)
You can follow him on Twitter @mohan37. Mo lives with his wife and #babychild in Michigan. He works as an engineer fo an auto manufacturer, and is also on staff at Real Church Detroit. He’s an avid writer, reader, graphic designer, photographer, and wood worker. He blogs at the Blogging, and maintains the blog for People of the Second Chance