The Book of Proverbs - Chapter 8 - Personal Bible Study
I am now at Chapter 8 of my written study on the book of Proverbs. I did take a few days break from this from Good Friday to Easter Sunday but now it's time to get back to it.
I have to read through these for a couple days before I start writing. It seems like I get more out of it if I do it this way. Something new every time you read it. Perhaps you need to be in the right frame of mind. Perhaps God chooses when you begin to understand what is being said.
The beauty of it is that although this was written for the ancient world, it is still relevant in modern times. I am understanding it in the context of the world I live in. I can relate to what's being said based on my own understanding of the world.
The Excellence of Wisdom
1 Does not wisdom call out, and understanding raise her voice?
Yes it does. Ask anybody who knew better but did it anyway. Ask anybody who got into something without understanding what they were getting themselves into and lost because of it. Ask anybody who is paying the price for their sins and crimes.
2 On the heights overlooking the road, at the crossroads she takes her stand.
3 Beside the gates to the city, at the entrances she cries out:
4 “To you, O men, I call out, and my cry is to the sons of men.
5 O simple ones, learn to be shrewd; O fools, gain understanding.
Shrewd means to be good at judging people or situations. Showing or possessing intelligence, insight, and sound judgment, especially in business or politics.
Gain understanding means to instruct your mind in regards to the situations and opportunities that come your way. Understand what is involved. Who is involved. What you're getting yourself into, Etc.
6 Listen, for I speak of noble things, and the opening of my lips will reveal right.
7 For my mouth will speak the truth, and wickedness is detestable to my lips.
This chapter personifies wisdom, which is the art of living wisely. It's the inner guide that helps us to do the right thing. Knowing what the right thing to do is. It has to do with living in truth and righteousness and avoiding evil. It's that little voice in our heads that helps to keep us on the straight and narrow path.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; none are crooked or perverse.
9 They are all plain to the discerning, and upright to those who find knowledge.
Wisdom is always good and righteous and the wise show good judgement and good taste. If it is not good and righteous, then it is not wisdom. It is something else. Those who exercise good judgement and taste are wise and can see it.
10 Receive my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire compares with her.
Perhaps this means that there are two types of people. Those who seek wisdom and those who seek riches. Those who seek riches are not wise. Their hearts are focused on personal gain while they miss out on the good things in life like love, peace and joy or God.
Those who seek riches rather than wisdom miss out on safety and stability and the true enjoyment of life because their riches are always at risk. Somebody will steal them. Somebody will try to sell you something that you do not need. They do not lead loving and honest lives. They focus on superficial riches.
If we bring this into modern life, we can see it pretty much everywhere. Stocks drop, and the world goes into panic. Energy costs go up, record profits are recorded, and everybody is stressed and is losing it. Our cell phones ring daily with robo-calls and scams. Our inboxes are filled with advertisements from somebody who is always trying to sell you something as they seek those riches.
Looking back however, I have found that God always takes care of me. I have never gone hungry. I have always had a roof over my head. I have always made it through. I've made a lot of mistakes too but God has always had my back.
12 I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.
Wisdom goes with Prudence, which is good judgement, foresight, caution. Knowing what you're getting into, and judging accordingly.
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech.
Wisdom is also the fear of the lord, and all of the bad things that we tend to involve ourselves in. I'm sure the examples given here are just the tip of the iceberg. We just have to get it.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight and strength.
Knowing the difference, knowing what you're getting yourself into. Knowing that you are doing the right thing. Being strong enough to keep doing the right thing.
15 By me kings reign, and rulers enact just laws;
16 By me princes rule, and all nobles who govern justly.
You need wisdom to lead. Leading without wisdom will result in all hell breaking lose. Oppression. Your people hurting. The wisest kings were the best kings. Their people were prospering and happy. They are also loved.
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me early shall find me.
Wisdom is not just something that is given to you. You have to work for it. You have to seek it out. You have to live it. The longer it takes us to get that, the less likely we will be to live it.
18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, pure gold, and my harvest surpasses choice silver.
Wisdom has its own rewards. Rewards that last. That are better than gold or silver because you get peace and joy and a better life.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.
Again living wisely has its own rewards. Living in righteousness will keep you out of trouble. Being just will keep you fair in your dealings with others. And good things will come to you.
22 The LORD created me as His first course, before His works of old.
23 From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, before the earth began.
God had wisdom long before he created us. It is woven into the fabric of reality, as my friend Amy would say. He created the earth so that it would provide the things that are necessary for life.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was brought forth, when no springs were overflowing with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before He made the land or fields, or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when He established the heavens, when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when He established the clouds above, when the fountains of the deep gushed forth,
29 when He set a boundary for the sea, so that the waters would not surpass His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth.
God created the world in his infinite wisdom and gives it to us so that we can understand the way of things.
30 Then I was a skilled craftsman at His side, and His delight day by day, rejoicing always in His presence.
31 I was rejoicing in His whole world, delighting together in the sons of men.
In his wisdom, God created everything and saw that it was good. We ruined his good creation with our sins and wickedness but that can't overcome the goodness.
32 Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, for blessed are those who keep my ways.
Wisdom is a blessing. Blessed are the wise.
33 Listen to instruction and be wise; do not ignore it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at the posts of my doorway.
35 For whoever finds me finds life and obtains the favor of the LORD.
36 But he who fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.”
You need to seek wisdom. If you find wisdom and live it you will live a longer, more joyful and peaceful life.
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