“She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, beside the way, where the paths meet.”
Have you ever been following someone’s directions to a place you have never been, and encountered an unexpected fork in the road? When that happens, we are forced to stop, study the map again, ask for help, and make a decision as to which way to go. Solomon tells us, that in life, when we encounter the unexpected fork in the road, wisdom is there to meet us, and provide direction for our lives. While wisdom is always available to us, there are times when it may be more difficult to know the right path to take. Solomon gives a description of wisdom so we will be able to recognize it the next time we are in need.
Proverbs 8:7 “For my mouth will speak truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.”
God’s wisdom will always lead us away from wickedness and sin. Later, Solomon defines the fear of the Lord as hating evil (Proverbs 8:13). Any direction that leads you closer to sin, or away from fellowship with God, is not the way of wisdom. If you are trying to decide whether to go out with the guy from work, look at his life. Has he been showing evidence that he wants to walk with, serve and please God? If you are trying to decide about a move. Is there a healthy church nearby where you will be able to continue to grow in Christ and raise your family around the things of the Lord? The way of wisdom always leads us toward the Lord.
Proverbs 8:12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion.
Wisdom does not travel alone, she has a partner named Prudence. Prudence is defined as the ability to govern oneself, especially as it related to being circumspect in times of peril. We are able to recognize the way of wisdom when we realize that God’s way will always lead us to denying the flesh, and to personal growth in Christ. We were all taught about adrenaline and the body’s “fight or flight” reaction to danger. It is natural for all of us to want to avoid danger or difficulty; to choose the easy road over the difficult one. There are times, however, when God wants us to take the more challenging road, because He desires to do a work within us. That work will always involve the cutting away of the flesh. While that may be difficult, the end of that road, is our becoming the persons God created us to be, in Christ.
Proverbs 8:20 “I traverse the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice”
Righteousness, like holiness, is a word we sometimes struggle to define. I recently saw a sign that referred to a location as a holy site, and stated “no smoking, bare feet or loud talking.” Apparently, their definition of holy was to be quiet, not smoke and have covered toes. Biblical righteousness is best defined as becoming more like Jesus, and the path of wisdom always leads us to Christ.
Proverbs 8:23 “I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth.”
Solomon takes us back to the very beginning, when all things were created, and reminds us that wisdom was there. We learn true godly wisdom does not change when culture does. The things that will lead us toward or away from God, do not change like the tide. Cultural mores may be different now than they were back in the “good old days”, but the wisdom of God has not changed. Regardless of what Hollywood says, or what new laws are passed in Washington, the wisdom of God will never change. Sin will always be sin, and righteousness will always be righteousness. Wisdom and prudence lead us to knowledge and discretion.
Let’s be sure, as we face a fork in the road, that we are looking for signs that point to heaven’s wisdom.
Questions For Proverbs 8
In this chapter wisdom is personified as a gracious lady, in stark contrast to the immoral woman from the previous chapter. She is a servant of God, and so as we observe her, we observe the Lord’s heart concerning wisdom.
1. Read verses 1-4. Does Wisdom keep her wisdom to herself?
2. Read verse 5. Who in particular does she especially reach out to? Read 1 Corithians 1:24-29.
3. Read verses 6-9. What are the qualities of wisdom? What things are not a part of wisdom’s counsel? Read James 3:13-18. There is a wisdom that is not the wisdom of God. This chapter is referring to the wisdom that God provides.
4. Verses 10-16 paint a picture of great wealth and power that wisdom gives. What does the world pursue for wealth and power?
5. Look at verses 17. What is required to find wisdom?
6. Verses 18-21 paint a picture of the wealth that wisdom provides. This wealth obviously extends beyond the financial. In what other ways should a person be wealthy? Read 1 Tim 6:6-19.
7. Verses 22-31 speak of wisdom’s timelessness. The wisdom of God is not subject to fads or what is currently popular. Do you look first to what the Bible when you seek wisdom, or do you quickly turn to “experts” for their opinion? Be careful. Trusting God’s wisdom is much safer!
8. Read 32-36. What are the advantages of listening to God’s wisdom? What are the disadvantages? Is seeking, finding, and applying God’s wisdom a priority in your life?