Devotional: July 10, 2020
I am Lady Wisdom, and I live next to Sanity;
Knowledge and Discretion live just down the street.
The Fear-of-God means hating Evil,
whose ways I hate with a passion—
pride and arrogance and crooked talk.
Good counsel and common sense are my characteristics;
I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.
With my help, leaders rule,
and lawmakers legislate fairly;
With my help, governors govern,
along with all in legitimate authority.
I love those who love me;
those who look for me find me.
Proverbs 8: 12-18 The Message
Wisdom, sanity, and common sense sometimes seem to be in short supply in our world. Into our crazy American culture, the Book of Proverbs speaks powerfully. Let us listen to what it has say…
The writer of Proverbs envisions Wisdom as a person… Lady Wisdom. We are encouraged to listen to her counsel. Earlier in this chapter, she is pictured standing at the main intersection of a city. There, Lady Wisdom has some frank and somewhat harsh words for those who hear her voice:
“You—I’m talking to all of you,
everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,
I’m telling you how to live at your best.”
Proverbs 8: 4-6
One might think these words were written in recent times, when in fact they were written thousands of years ago. It tells us that society has been dealing with difficult issues for centuries. Sadly, some in every generation need to hear these words over and over again.
The reason Lady Wisdom makes such strong pleas is that many do not listen to her! Instead, they listen to crooked speech.
What marks wisdom? Two themes emerge from this chapter. First, living a disciplined life. In other words, not giving into every whim, passion, and every temptation. Second, hating and fleeing from evil. Such basic concepts. Yet such marks of wisdom seem hard to come by in our world today.
Why seek wisdom? Again, the chapter offers two main reasons. First, seeking after Lady Wisdom leads to a blessed life. In fact, towards the end of the chapter, she says, “those who embrace my ways are blessed.” The second reason to embrace Wisdom is that doing so “we find God’s good pleasure.” Finding both blessing and God’s pleasure are two of the many reasons for us to seek wisdom.
We are not in this alone. Clearly stated are the words “with my help”. Yet it is up to us to reach out, and take the offer of God’s hand to get us through things. Also clearly stated is that God loves those who love Him and seek Him.
May we seek God’s wisdom in all that we do…. The chapter ends by promising that if we find true wisdom, we have found life, true life. It also warns that if we scorn wisdom, we are flirting with death. Therefore, let us choose life and blessing by seeking first God’s wisdom in all that we say, and in everything that we do. May it be so…
God of all wisdom,
You’ve seen it all and yet You are faithful to us, even when we trip, stumble, and even fall. Thank you for setting out a clear path for us to follow. Help us to listen to your wise words. May we be instruments to those along the way who need to hear Your unchanging word, and to follow the path of Wisdom. Thank you for the promise of your love.
We pray this prayer in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ.