My husband, Troy and I just recently received the greatest of all blessings this week: free cable. All joking aside, neither of us had experienced cable since childhood and with our apartment’s recent contract with Spectrum, we received a flashback to scheduled programming, hundreds of channel options (none of which have anything good on), and of course commercials.
We began to joke and critique some of those “over the top, cheesy” advertisements that appeared on the screen every 10 minutes or so. However, one really stuck out, especially in light of our reading in Proverbs this week. It was a Nature Valley commercial that really delved into their adventurous, exploring, and active market. Clips of men and women surrounded by amazing landscapes of nature were shown, all with background statements being made about what nature “gives them.” Some said it gives courage, another said it gives clarity, and for one woman standing atop a rock in her hiking boots and cozy flannel, “nature gives me wisdom.”
My immediate response: “What the heck does that mean?”
We live in a culture where wisdom can seemingly be found almost anywhere. According to Nature Valley it can be found in nature. According to horoscopes it can be found in the stars. According to different religions it can be found within ourselves or within sage leaders. But is any of that true? Can wisdom truly be found in these places? And if not, where should we look for wisdom? Well, I think we get the answer to that question and the answers to many more as we read Proverbs 8.
This Proverb is a whirlwind. The personification used in order to describe and define wisdom is an abrupt change of pace from Proverbs 2-7. The preceding 6 Proverbs are all directed to a “son” and offer sage advice and proverbial wisdom to him. However, Proverbs 8 delves deeper, takes on a new tone. It answers for us—in an odd but profound way—what wisdom truly is and where it originates.
“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.” ~Proverbs 8:12
“Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.” ~Proverbs 8:14
“I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice.” ~Proverbs 8:20
We get these and many more descriptions of wisdom. These verses paint the contrast of what it looks like to have it as well as what it is to disregard it. However, some of the most powerful insights we gain about wisdom come from Proverbs 8:22-31.
Far too often, we seek wisdom from anywhere and everywhere. We look to our fellow man. We look to self-help books or other “wise counsel.” We look to nature and the environment around us. And while these things may reflect wisdom or in them wisdom be seen, Proverbs 8:22-21 makes clear that wisdom did not and does not come from these sources directly.
Wisdom is an attribute of God. It was before anything else. Therefore, wisdom is not nature, but transcends nature and finds delight in it (see Proverbs 8:31). It was not formed from creation but by it, creation was formed (Proverbs 8:27-29). When we futilely search for wisdom in or from things that simply are a consequence of it, we miss out on the reality and depth of wisdom itself. We must seek wisdom from its one and only source—He who created it.
It is through God and God alone that we have the ability to find wisdom. And as Proverbs 8 tells us, finding wisdom is the absolute best thing we could do in this life. For, finding it means we have found our God, and finding God will always mean life and favor.
“For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.” ~Proverbs 8:35
Thank the Lord for His wisdom. Take time to read through Proverbs 8 and reflect on this important attribute of God.
Listen to this song as you worship the Creator today – “God I Look To You”