Proverbs 8:1-17

Seek Wisdom

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. Proverbs 8:10-11

Wisdom isn’t special knowledge given to only a few. You don’t have to be a scholar or seek the advice of a guru. Proverbs 8 says wisdom can be found in ordinary places “At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud (Proverbs 8: 2-3). It’s available to all: including the simple, fools, and rulers (vv. 5,15-16).

A Bible dictionary defines wisdom as “The ability to discern right choices. While the ability to make wise choices depends on possession of relevant knowledge, wisdom in Scripture refers to the distinct mental process of weighing and judging alternatives.” [1]

When you seek wisdom, it’ll be given to you: “I love those who love [wisdom], and those who seek me find me (v. 17). It’s not enough to know right from wrong, you must choose the right. Your choice begins with the fear of the Lord, loving what he loves, hating what he hates.

The best biblical example of someone who received wisdom is Solomon. When he became king, God said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (2 Chronicles 1:7). Solomon knew David’s rule would be hard to follow. He replied, “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10).

God was pleased with Solomon’s request because he hadn’t asked for wealth, possessions, nor honor, the death of his enemies, nor a long life. God told him, “therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have” (2 Chronicles 1: 11-12).

You probably won’t be called to be a king over a great number of people. God may be asking you to lead a small group of people such as your children or an office staff. Daily you’ll need a discerning heart to hear God’s direction, to weigh alternatives.

Seek wisdom. Make it your heart’s desire.

Dig Deeper

Compare Proverbs 8:22-31 and John 17:24. In what ways are Wisdom personified and Jesus Christ alike and in what ways are they different?

How is the speech of Wisdom described in Proverbs 8:6-9? What does she detest? How could your speech be improved by imitating her?

Contrast Proverbs 8:35 and 36. What two things do those who find wisdom receive? And how are those who fail to find wisdom described? How would you describe your relationship with wisdom?

Nancy J. Baker

This devotion is part of a series on the Book of Proverbs.

[1] The Revell Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1994; 1029.

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