Proverbs 8 has more to say about wisdom. We can break it into three major sections:
- Wisdom Calls (8:1-11)
(8:1–3). This is Wisdom’s second appeal, after 1:20–33. Wisdom calls for an audience at the places where she is most likely to find one: from the heights by the road, at crossroads, and at entrances to the city. The point is that wisdom is for ordinary people—not confined to the academic classroom or to sacred parts of the temple. Wisdom is accessible to all. The attainment of Wisdom is not a quest but a response.
(8:4–11) Wisdom is instructive for all humanity. Wisdom is right, and more valuable than gold and jewels. While claiming that wisdom’s gifts are for everyone (v. 4), Wisdom especially offers understanding to the foolish (v. 5). Getting biblical wisdom is not so much a matter of intellect as it is faith and obedience.
Wisdom (6) speaks what is right and true and not anything twisted or perverse (v. 8). Those who know wisdom can agree with this(v. 9; see Luke 7:35).
The availability of Wisdom to all does not mean it is cheap. Wisdom is better than silver, gold, or rubies. The value of Wisdom over money is its ability to deliver true happiness and protection.
2. Wisdom’s Characteristics (8:12-21)
(8:12–16). Wisdom teaches how to live a meaningful life with direction and guidance as opposed to a reckless one.
Evil behavior, pride, and perverse speech are to be rejected (v. 13). Those who practice such behavior however intelligent they may be, are fools in the fullest sense that they are without wisdom.
Wisdom gives direction to life and strength to meet its challenges (v. 14). Decisions made apart from forethought and discretion are bound to fail.
Wisdom is essential in the all-important arena of government (vv. 15–16). Rulers may not possess Wisdom, but they should, because it allows them to make correct decisions.
(8:17–21). This section emphasizes the material benefits of Wisdom. Wisdom has riches and wealth (v. 18) and bestows its treasures on those who love wisdom (v. 21). At the same time, not all of wisdom’s benefits are material in nature. There is also “righteous-ness” (vv. 18, 20), a quality that is far better than gold or silver.
The point is that Wisdom offers the way to prosperity. It is based on principles that are woven into the fabric of creation (vv. 22–31). Avoiding self-indulgence and schemes for quick money lead to a life that is healthy in every way.
3. Wisdom is Personified in Christ (8:22-36)
God says wisdom is primary and fundamental. It is the foundation on which all life is built.
In 1 Cor 1:24, Paul calls Christ “the wisdom of God.”
From this point on, it seems as if Jesus Christ is speaking. I love how the Old Testament speaks of Christ and introduces all people to him. Jesus didn’t just show up in the New Testament, he has been God from all eternity.
The LORD possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old [Prov. 8:22].
I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there ever was an earth [Prov. 8:23].
This is the One who is the subject of John’s first statements: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). Way back in eternity He was God, and He was in the beginning with God. He was in the beginning that has no beginning, because “in the beginning was the Word.” He was already past tense at the time of the beginning.
When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
When he assigned the sea its limit…when he marked out the foundations of the earth [Prov. 8:28-29]
Christ was there at creation. He was also participating in creation.
There I was beside Him, as a master craftsman, rejoicing always before him;
Rejoicing in his inhabited world and my delight was with the sons of men [Prov. 8:30-31].
All things that were made were made by Jesus Christ.
Paul may have alluded to some of Solomon’s statements about wisdom to describe Christ’s presence at the creation of the world (Colossians 1:15-17; 2:2,3)
Blessed is the man who listens to me….
Whoever finds me finds life [Prov. 8:34-35].
Sounds like “I am the way the truth and the life” John 14:6 If you have Christ you have life.
Thank you Jesus! Darrell