“To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding, to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion-- a wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel” (Proverbs 1:2-5).
The key word in the book of Proverbs is “wisdom” (i.e. the ability to live life skillfully). A godly life in an ungodly world, however, is no easy assignment. It is challenging to navigate. Through Proverbs, in God’s infinite wisdom, He provides detailed instructions for His people to deal successfully with the affairs of everyday life: how to relate to God, parents, children, neighbors, and the government.
Regarding wisdom and the role it plays in our life, God has much to say. First, wisdom will enter our life only if we fear the Lord: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). Wisdom begins when one places his faith in God!
Second, wisdom will not force its way into our lives; it must be welcomed: “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9). Solomon adds, “Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words: ‘How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you’” (Proverbs 1:20-23).
Third, not only do we need to welcome wisdom into our lives, we need to seek it as we would seek treasure: “My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:1-5). If we will exercise such diligence in seeking wisdom, God will give us wisdom in abundance: “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints” (Proverbs 2:6-8).
Finally, whether we seek and welcome wisdom into our lives, or choose to reject God’s wisdom, wisdom’s principles will prevail. Wisdom is described as saying to those who reject her, “Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes” (Proverbs 1:24-26). However if we embrace the wisdom which God offers to give us, wisdom will lead us to a safe and secure life: “For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:32-33).
The book of Proverbs is a marvelous treasure filled with God’s wisdom for daily living. Today, I will welcome God’s wisdom into my life and seek after it as after hidden treasure so that I may live and safe and secure life. Praise God for the wisdom He gives!
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).