1Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
2On top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
4"To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
5"O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.
6"Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.
7"For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8"All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
9"They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
10"Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
11"For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
12"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion.
Wisdom cries out to people everywhere through the conscience, the created order, and the canon of Scripture, and yet people typically refuse to listen. God wants the naïve to gain understanding, and He wants fools to become wise. If only people will search out wisdom and heed the commands of Scripture, they can know truth, learn righteousness, and discern good from evil. God doesn’t mince words or waste words, and He cannot lie. Thus, we can take His commands as life, freedom, joy, and hope, and we can have total confidence in what He tells us to do. God’s way is clear and straightforward for those who desire righteousness, but those who love wickedness will find wilderness, death, and destruction. God’s Word and His wisdom are worth more than gold, silver, and precious gems, and the cumulative collection of all that the world considers valuable pales in comparison to the worth of wisdom. Wisdom makes it possible to actually enjoy life to the full, whereas Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), just like the adulteress (Proverbs 5-7). In God’s Word is wisdom, prudence, discernment, discretion, knowledge, understanding, insight, and all that we need to know in order to be able to make wise choices, find satisfaction, enjoy life, and be filled in our souls.
13"The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
14"Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine.
15"By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16"By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.
Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom, and it involves the hatred of evil. God hates evil, and so must we. Pride and perversion are abominations before Him. In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and those who wish to make wise decisions and judge rightly will hold to that divine wisdom. A king cannot rule with fairness and justice without the wisdom of God. Wicked kings inevitably create injustice and harm for their people, but leaders that seek after wisdom create an environment of equality and justice.
17"I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
18"Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
19"My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
20"I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.
Those who lack wisdom have only themselves to blame, for God says that those who diligently seek for wisdom will find it. James echoes this truth concerning God giving wisdom to those who ask in faith, and Jesus said that those who seek will find. We cannot blame God if we do foolish things, but we must seek out His wisdom. He will give it to us.
Those who love wisdom will find that it brings with it many benefits. Beyond the certainty of eternal life, even on earth there is practical and even financial benefit to living according to God’s commands. God doesn’t promise that faith leads to wealth, but wise choices and hard work is far more likely to lead to financial well-being rather than poverty. Wisdom does not guarantee riches, but it does bring with it godliness and joy. Godliness with contentment, after all, is worth more than mere money (1 Timothy 6:6).
The value of wisdom is of itself more than mere money, gold, silver, or jewels. Wisdom says that pure monetary wealth is not the endgame to be sought after, but those whom God blesses with means should take care of those who lack. God blesses some financially so that they can bless others, not so that they can hold back (Proverbs 3:27). But the point of emphasis is that wisdom gives treasure that is eternal, and righteousness and justice inform a person how to store up eternal rewards which are enduring and not susceptible to thieves and decay on earth. Wisdom highlights what matters most and enables a person to view money not as the be-all-end-all but as a tool to be used in the advancement of the kingdom. Wisdom will always have righteousness and justice as its fruit whether a person is poor or wealthy.
22"The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23"From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.
24"When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs abounding with water.
25"Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;
26While He had not yet made the earth and the fields,
Nor the first dust of the world.
27"When He established the heavens, I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
28When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed,
29When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth;
30Then I was beside Him, as a master workman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And having my delight in the sons of men.
God created the world in wisdom. His wisdom was seen in His creative genius through which He made the world and called it good. Wisdom was there even before God made the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1:1 because it is part of Who God is. His wisdom is made clear in the majesty of the created order which clearly points to God’s design, plan, forethought, and wisdom (Psalm 19:1-2, Romans 1:19-21). Wisdom was there through the six days of creation, and it still defines everything that God does. God delighted in what He had made, including Adam and Eve. Man is no cosmic accident or result of chance events, but He is a divine purpose and plan of God. Interestingly, Solomon references a circle to define the creation of the planet, a scientific understanding several millennia ahead of its time. Wisdom takes delight in God’s genius and power, whereas a fool rejects the Creator. Wisdom values human life because it is created by God, and wisdom informs a discerning heart to worship and love the Creator.
32"Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.
33"Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it.
34"Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
35"For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the LORD.
36"But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death."
Wisdom adores God and is caught up with His majesty. Wisdom says to pay attention to what God does and to glory in Who He is. Wisdom says to listen to His instruction and to keep His commands. Fools neglect God’s counsel and Him as well, but those who love wisdom love God. Those who desire wisdom will find it, and they will find blessing, life, and favor from God. Those who reject and hate wisdom prove that not only do they hate God but themselves. Rejecting wisdom is self-defeating and self-destructive, but doing things God’s way by faith is a treasure trove of grace upon grace (John 1:16).