Moral Benefits of Wisdom
2 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
13 who have left the straight paths
to walk in dark ways,
14 who delight in doing wrong
and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked
and who are devious in their ways.
16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
17 who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God.
18 Surely her house leads down to death
and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
19 None who go to her return
or attain the paths of life.
20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,
and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the unfaithful will be torn from it.
The search for wisdom
The writer describes the pursuit of wisdom as something we must search for intently with a thirst similar to the thirst of the deer in Psalm 42:1 . The animal searches for water. It needs water for its survival. It’s thirst drives it until it is found. To search for wisdom is to search for the heart of God. It is an unquenchable thirst wired inside us and embedded into the fabric of the universe. There is evidence of the presence of God everywhere in design, in nature and in the whole cause and effect universal laws. To seek it out, to know it and to live it is to walk in a relational connection with our God.
The reward of wisdom
The reward of such a pursuit is that we gain a wisdom that is lacking even in the most educated of people. We have perspective, we know and understand what love is, we see life differently.
You can even see this in non Christians who may tap into spiritual principles and the impact that it has. I think about anthropologists who give and serve, people who grasp spiritual concepts and try to live them. We see evidence of this goodness from God in many lives not just in the lives of Christians. Of course as Christians we have the opportunity to grasp it fully, to take hold of it and we have something even greater but the point I make is that we see glimpses everywhere.
The journey of life
The Bible often compares life to a journey. Abraham’s whole life was a journey. He travelled from Ur to Haran, and then to Canaan. ‘He searched for the city that God built.’ (Hebrews 11:10) He did not find this place on earth. ‘These people wanted a better place, in heaven. God is not ashamed to be called their God. He has prepared a city for them.’ (Hebrews 11:16)
Jesus compared life to a journey. ‘Enter by the narrow gate! Do not choose the wide gate or the easy road! Many go by that road but it leads to death. Look for the small gate and the narrow road. Only a few people find it, but it leads to life.’ (Matthew 7:13-14)
The Book of Proverbs also tells us about two ways. In verse 13 – 18. Straight paths and crooked paths, light and darkness!
If we follow God’s wisdom, then our paths are good (verse 9). We are like travellers who choose the right way. We know where we are going. We act fairly. Our decisions are good. (verse 19).
In these verses, a woman tries to tempt a man. Proverbs presents her as a dangerous woman. The lure may be strong but it will end in disaster and destruction. She promises to quench your thirst but will leave you more thirsty than ever.
God gave land to the nation of Israel. He warned them to follow his commands. If the nation turned away from God, then they would lose their land (Deuteronomy 28). Solomon knew that God had warned them. In a very physical sense this became a reality. After Solomon, the people served false gods. Some kings were good, but most were not and led Israel on a journey away from God. This began a process that in the end caused them to lose their land.
As Christians, our land is not this world. We are only visitors, our citizenship is in heaven (Hebrews 11:13-16). The way we journey and the our pursuit of wisdom is an inherent part of the same land promise but in the spiritual realms and eternity.