Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud.
“To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding.
Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge.
Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”
Here we have Wisdom personified, and she calls out to us. If only it were as easy as that, to hear her call and listen to her advice. We would all be wise. Or would we? Suppose she said things we didn’t want to hear? How much advice is there around us today, in the newspapers, magazines, TV and radio? From parents, friends, leaders? About health, safety, managing our money, looking after our children. How much is ignored? But also how much is good advice, and how do we tell the difference? As Wisdom introduces herself, she gives her credentials: ‘All the words of my mouth are just.’ We need to look for true wisdom.
“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.
To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behaviour and perverse speech.
Counsel and sound judgement are mine; I have understanding and power.
By me Kings reign and rulers make laws that are just;
by me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on earth.
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
With me are riches and honour, enduring wealth and prosperity.
My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.”
Look at the benefits of listening to Wisdom, they are better than fine gold. Wise rulers, just laws, prudence, discretion, and the promise of wealth. She is worth listening to, but where is she? Where is this true wisdom?
“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, before his deeds of old;
I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began.
When there were no oceans, I was giving birth, when there were no springs abounding with water;
before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth,
before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world.
I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
when he gave the sea its boundary so that the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
Then I was the craftsman at his side.
I was filled with the delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,
rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.”
True Wisdom comes from God. It is the Wisdom God used to create the universe. And He will give it to us, we only have to ask Him. Wisdom delights in mankind. She will be delighted to help us and will rejoice in the results. We have great need of Wisdom, but we have to turn to God and humbly ask Him to help us.
“Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it.
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, watching at my doorway.
For whoever finds me finds life and receives favour from the Lord.
But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.”
Take note of the warning at the end. Seek Wisdom, for she is more precious than rubies.