Proverbs 8:12-21

Proverbs 8:12‑21  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
We are in a world dominated for the present by a subtle spirit of evil that has access to every heart. There is therefore constant need of a wisdom above man's. For the Christian it descends from above; it is Christ, God's wisdom no less than His power. Here, as being for Israel, the Holy Spirit presents wisdom for the earth. For the heaven and the earth belong to God Who in due time will expel the usurper and put all things under Him in fact and manifestation, as they are now in principle to faith. Meanwhile we have God occupying Himself with what is heavenly for His children, in the N. T. before the day arrives, as for His ancient people renewed to profit ere long by the. O. T. as here. “I wisdom dwell in prudence, and find out knowledge of reflection. The fear of Jehovah [is] to bate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I [am] intelligence; I have strength. By me kings reign, and rulers make just decrees; by me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth. I love those that love me; and they that seek me early (or, diligently) shall find me. Riches and honor [are] with me; durable wealth and righteousness. My fruit [is] better than gold, yea than pure gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment; that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance, and fill their treasuries” (vers. 12-21).
The Christian, though a heavenly man, walks on earth, and both needs to, and can, avail himself of such words as these, coming under the moral government of God as his Father (1 Peter 1:1717And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: (1 Peter 1:17)). Wisdom makes prudence its dwelling-place; and there finds knowledge, if not of witty inventions, assuredly of reflections, a better thing. Thus are subtle adversaries met by a wisdom and its resources deeper than every snare. Its base is that fear of Jehovah which hates evil, for which intellectual sharpness and craft are no match. For divine wisdom in the word forms the godly in obedience, not in the cleverness that outwits craft by profounder craft; for this would only dishonor God and sully the soul. Hence pride and arrogance on the one hand, and on the other the evil way and the perverse mouth, are hateful to God and His people. They are the ways and the words of self, far from Him Who leads in the path of obedience, and gives counsel and sound wisdom to those who wait on Him and keep His word; and with Him is not only intelligence but strength—all we need in this tangled and shifty scene.
None need wisdom so much as those in authority, the monarch in particular. “By me kings reign, and rulers make just decrees; by me princes rule and nobles, all the judges of the earth.” But this very language aptly discriminates the difference between O.T., and the N.T., that is the entirely new state of things under the gospel as compared with the law. For there is instruction in the N.T. only for subjection to authority, in the O. T. for those who wield it also. The Christian waits to reign with Christ, content meanwhile to suffer with Him and for Him. No exhortation, no principle, no fact supposes him exercising worldly power where Christ was rejected till He appears to judge the world. It was quite another condition before the princes of this age crucified the Lord of glory. But it is now a time of great and growing unbelief; and it is a hard trial for most believers to forego present power and honor. Indeed since the apostles passed away, the true heavenly glory of the Christian and the church has been well-nigh forgotten and ignored.
But wisdom goes out far beyond rulers and the great, even to all that seek and prize it. “I love those that love me; and those that seek me earnestly shall find ma.” So it ever is in divine pursuits. Those that are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. God has no blanks for the real. Wisdom from Him secures riches and honor; not for the Christian of a material sort, but better far—durable wealth truly and righteousness. Its fruit is indeed superior to pure gold or choice silver. Wisdom walks in the way of righteousness. Not “leading” but “walking” is the point here. To reason, to common sense, it may seem utterly foolish; for it often entails loss, and sacrifice, and suffering. But “he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” Christ to us is the way; and Him we follow, whatever the case. Wisdom walks therefore in the midst of the paths of judgment, not outside them. And there only is blessing enjoyed, though it is not for the Christian in the basket and the store, in the bank or in stocks, but higher and unchanging.