Wisdom for the Ages: Just Listen. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, March 14, 2018
“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! 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. 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 8:1–11, NET).
I have mixed emotions about today’s passage. On one hand, I am amazed at the patience and persistence of wisdom personified. I love how she unashamedly speaks of her value and all she has to offer anyone who will take her seriously. I love how she predictably takes her position in strategic locations so the most people possible will take notice of her entreaties. I love how she is undauntable and calls sin by its right name in contrast to her righteous ideal. I love how she repeatedly commits to helping all comers and is no respecter of persons. She (wisdom) is holy and always about God’s business.
On the other hand, this portrait of wisdom personified makes me sad. It makes me sad, because her persistence and almost incessant entreaties exposes the fact that she is an annoyance to those who are foolish enough and self deceived enough to devalue her counsels. She has to beg people to live. She has to beg people to discern the difference between good and evil. She has to beg people to run away from destruction. Although the nature of her words are self-evident, she has to convince some that she speaks truth, righteousness, and is of infinite value.
Disregard and Our Own Disgrace
I have mixed feelings about this passage because it is an object lesson regarding humanity’s approach to God. He, through the Agency of the Holy Spirit persistently woos everyone to embrace eternal life, and yet so few choose to embrace it. So few accept Him for the precious Jewel He is, which is of inestimable value. While wisdom’s voice is still lifted in the highways and byways, trumpeting the invitation to right relationship with God, do yourself a favor and listen. Better yet, do yourself a favor and yield and be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ who gave all so you could live forever.
A word to the foolish is wasteful. A word to the wise is sufficient.