Proverbs 8 is a familiar passage to most people who take their Bible study seriously. It provides some wonderful insight into wisdom: what it is, its call, its virtues, its worth, its availability, and its rewards. Many have argued with good reason that Proverbs 8 also uses a personification of wisdom in describing the coming Messiah, Christ Himself.
Proverbs 8 begins with two rhetorical questions. In other words, God through His Word is asking a couple of questions, but He expects no answer because the answer is obvious. He simply wants us to consider and acknowledge the obvious. “Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?” (Proverbs 8:1 NIV) Certainly wisdom does call us. Certainly understanding raises her voice to get our attention. Solomon and the Holy Spirit are drawing a contrast for us. The harlot and the adulteress have been described in Proverbs 7 and other places as evil, alluring, secretive, seductresses calling from the darkness. They personify folly, the opposite of wisdom. They tempt us to abandon wisdom and behave foolishly.
Proverbs 8 introduces wisdom as a righteous and virtuous woman calling openly in the light, at the gates to the city and the doors to houses, not in secret. Wisdom’s goal is to bless us, not seduce us. Her motive is to reward us with long lasting peace and joy not with fleeting pleasures of sinful self-indulgence. Her goal is to lead us to righteousness and health not to destruction and death.
In Proverbs 8, wisdom makes several claims: that she was appointed from eternity before the world began; that she was a master craftsman beside God in the creation; that her instruction to mankind and her knowledge is more valuable than silver, gold, or rubies; by her, governmental authorities rule; that those who seek her will find her; that she loves those who love her; those who walk with her will find righteousness and justice; those who love her will reap financial blessing; that life is found in her and those who hate her, love death.
One of the great proofs that the Bible is the Word of God is that its predictions come true. Some would argue that there is no such thing as truth. I think I have experienced a lot of truth. It can be verified in experience. I have found that the precepts from the Bible when applied to individual lives always come true. Following the moral codes taught in the Bible produces the very results promised. That is great evidence for me that the Bible is indeed true. We are foolish indeed if we ignore the wisdom of the Bible. The Bible gives instructions for every area of life. Each instruction includes both promise and warning. If we engage in a specific behavior, a specific result is promised. We are guilty of the folly of investing far too little time in seeking God’s wisdom. He wrote it down for us, but most of us who claim to be Christians have never read through the whole Bible even once. We ought to read it through multiple times, meditate on it, memorize it, and most importantly give it a chance to prove itself by applying it to our own individual lives. The wisdom of God promises peace, joy, blessing, and eternal life. Following the teachings of the Bible will improve the quality of every part of your life. Give it a chance in your own life. Try it and see if it’s true. Most importantly it will lead you to Jesus, the Wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24, Luke 11:49).
STEVE ELLISON is director of Ouachita Baptist Camp in Arkansas. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.