Proverbs 8


Proverbs 8 stands in contrast to what we just read in Proverbs 7. In Proverbs 7 we read about the woman standing on the street corners luring men into sin, but here we see wisdom standing on the street corners luring people into life.

Wisdom Guides Us

‘Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the top of the elevated places along the way, at the intersection of the paths she takes her stand; beside the gates opening into the city, at the entrance of the doorways she cries out: ‘To you, O people, I call out, and my voice calls to all mankind. You who are naive, discern wisdom! And you fools, understand discernment!’ Proverbs 8:1-5

Notice how wisdom also calls to the ‘simple’ and the ‘fools’. In other words, they have to choose between the prostitute’s voice and the voice of wisdom.

In the previous chapter we read that the prostitute, was lurking around, almost hidden, Proverbs 7:12, but here we read that wisdom openly wants to be heard by everyone.

How does wisdom speak to us today? Wisdom speaks to us through the Scriptures, we hear her in sermons and studies. In Old Testament times, elders would often be seen and heard at the city gates, Proverbs 1:20 / Proverbs 7:9 / Proverbs 31:23.

‘Listen, for I will speak excellent things, and my lips will utter what is right. For my mouth speaks truth, and my lips hate wickedness. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing in them twisted or crooked. All of them are clear to the discerning and upright to those who find knowledge.’ Proverbs 8:6-9

Have you ever put something in your mouth and thought that it tasted disgusting? Solomon is saying that wisdom never has anything disgusting to say, she never lies because wisdom cannot lie, Luke 4:22.

Wisdom has excellent and right things to say, she has words of truth and righteousness, things which are clear and upright. Remember we’re dealing with God’s ways here and we know that God will never force us to listen to Him.

‘Receive my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies, and desirable things cannot be compared to her.’ Proverbs 8:10-11

Wisdom is better than silver, gold, rubies, and all that can be desired.

God always gives us a choice, it’s our choice of riches or God’s will, God’s will or wealth; it’s up to us. He says that wisdom is more precious than any other thing you can possess in this world. Nothing compares to it.

‘I, wisdom, live with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; I hate arrogant pride and the evil way and perverse utterances.’ Proverbs 8:12-13

Do you know of any two things that go together? Beans and toast, Ant and Dec, etc. Solomon says that ‘where you have wisdom, you have prudence, that is, caution, where you have knowledge, you have discretion, that is good judgement’.

In other words, they are like sausage and mash, one has to go with the other. And that’s why he says that there are other things that cannot go together. We can’t fear the Lord and love evil. We can’t fear the Lord and be proud and full of arrogance. We can’t fear the Lord and love evil behaviour and love evil speech.

He says we can’t have it two ways because the two ways cannot go together. We either love the one or hate the other, Matthew 6:22-23.

Wisdom Helps Us Succeed

‘Counsel and sound wisdom belong to me; I possess understanding and might. Kings reign by means of me, and potentates decree righteousness; by me princes rule, as well as nobles and all righteous judges. I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. Riches and honour are with me, long-lasting wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than the purest gold, and what I produce is better than choice silver. I walk in the path of righteousness, in the pathway of justice, that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, and that I may fill their treasuries.’ Proverbs 8:14-21

What is wisdom saying here? Wisdom is saying people are in the positions they are in because of God. Anybody who is in a position of power is in that position because God allowed that to happen, Daniel 2:21.

What else is wisdom saying here? Wisdom is saying she will help us succeed, not on worldly terms but godly terms, Ecclesiastes 7:11-12.

Who are some of the richest people on the earth? You may say King Charles or Bill Gates or Richard Branson, but the truth is, it’s Christians. We’re so rich we don’t know how rich we are. But those riches are only available to those who are God’s people.

In other words, as they say with the lottery, you’ve got to be in it to win it. If you’re not in Christ then you can’t get those riches, Matthew 6:33. Doesn’t the value of wisdom make us want to hear her?

Wisdom Was There In The Beginning And Works With God

‘The LORD created me as the beginning of his works, before his deeds of long ago. From eternity I was appointed, from the beginning, from before the world existed. When there were no deep oceans I was born, when there were no springs overflowing with water; before the mountains were set in place–before the hills–I was born, before he made the earth and its fields, or the beginning of the dust of the world. When he established the heavens, I was there; when he marked out the horizon over the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above, when the fountains of the deep grew strong, when he gave the sea his decree that the waters should not pass over his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him as a master craftsman, and I was his delight day by day, rejoicing before him at all times, rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and delighting in its people.’ Proverbs 8:22-31

In what way was wisdom there in the beginning? Simply put, wisdom was in the mind of God, Job 38:8-11 / John 1:1-2 / Psalm 90:2 / Isaiah 45:18.

The wisdom utilized by God in the creation of the heavens and earth is the voice crying out for us to hear! If we have ears to hear, shall we not hear?

God Loves Those Who Love His Wisdom

‘So now, children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction so that you may be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching at my doors day by day, waiting beside my doorway. For the one who finds me finds life and receives favour from the LORD.’ Proverbs 8:32-35

God is saying that if we find Him and listen to what He says and do what He says, we will find life, Psalm 134. Day to day life, and eternal life, we will find life to the full, Psalm 145:16 / John 1:4.

‘But the one who does not find me brings harm to himself; all who hate me love death.’ Proverbs 8:36

In what way does someone harm themselves if they don’t find God? Ultimately, it will cost them their soul.

Are we going to listen to wisdom who cries out to be heard and wants to share understanding and knowledge, truth and righteousness?

Are we going to listen to wisdom who wants to bless our lives with riches and honour, especially that offered by the Lord, 1 Kings 3:4-15, or are we going to listen to the woman who lurks in the street corners wanting to slaughter us? Proverbs 7:27.

‘The king’s terrifying anger is like the roar of a lion; whoever provokes him sins against himself.’ Proverbs 20:2

Go To Proverbs 9