8 Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.
6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 To the discerning all of them are right;
they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
15 By me kings reign
and rulers issue decrees that are just;
16 by me princes govern,
and nobles—all who rule on earth.
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.
22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30 Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.
32 “Now then, my children, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the Lord.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
all who hate me love death.”
This is the second of what is sometimes known as “the 3 great poems” . This poem is a speech. The speaker is the woman called Wisdom.
The opening verses speak of the reality and nature of wisdom. The value of wisdom and it’s importance in our lives.
In verse 13 we are reminded that the first lesson in wisdom is that we must respect God.
Wisdom hates these things:
· Evil deeds. Going against the nature of God is a violation of relationship and harm to self.
· Proud people. A proud person trusts in himself. He will not listen to God. He will not listen to other people.
· Greedy people. God wants us to be content and generous. Everything is his anyway and generosity is an expression of love.
· Lies. Lying and deceit undermines relationships and creates a false sense of self.
Verse 15 leads us into a section where perhaps Solomon is reflecting on his Kingship. Maybe he is thinking about his request to God for wisdom. He is thinking about how it applies to his role and responsibilities.
In verse 21 we read that the woman called Wisdom is generous. She gives true wealth.
The woman called Wisdom continues her speech. She explains how God made the world.
Towards the end of the poem we read about how wisdom is part of the fibre of creation. She is woven into the fabric of the universe. It is inspiring as I think about the order and design of creation.
The self sustaining circular nature of creation and then how we have messed so much up with our linear mindset which has selfishness at its core and goes against the order of the universe. We are the only part of creation that doesn’t do what it was designed to do. Everything else behaves exactly how God intended it to behave. Trees, plants, oceans, animals, insects all follow the pattern exactly as they were created for. US humans decided on something different. We decided to go against our design and play God.
These two video’s illustrate this idea.
“If all the insects were to disappear from the Earth, within fifty years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within fifty years all forms of life would flourish”
– Jonas Salk
Our only way out of this is to look to God, seek wisdom and live it.
The poem is profound and deep.