5 Get wisdom; get insight: do not forget, nor turn away
from the words of my mouth.
22 The Lord created me (wisdom) at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of long ago.
23 Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth…..
32 “And now, my children, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
34 Happy is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord;
36 but those who miss me injure themselves;
all who hate me love death.”
5 If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. 6 But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind;
7-8 for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Wisdom is not genetic or automatic in the human experience. Rather, wisdom is something that is gained over time and through much effort. Often you will hear someone in the dusk of life say something like, “I wish I had known, when I was younger, what I know now.” Or “I hate the aches and pains of aging, but I love the insight and clarity I have gained at this stage.”
You could say that wisdom is a point of view, namely, that tackling life well requires certain sensibilities and skills that make one curious, a lover of truth, and courageous in the face of challenges. A wise person is noticeably different than a person who is foolish. Jesus said it is as simple as whether a person chooses rock or sand as the foundation of his/her home.
Wisdom does not require college degrees or a big IQ to exist. Wisdom is not the manipulation and memorization of facts. It is, instead, the clear-eyed understanding of what is healthy, true, enduring, and humane. My grandmother was a wise person even though she had very little education. She had a nose for sniffing out insincerity and hubris. You gain that by living and not by going to school.
It’s interesting that Proverbs says that Wisdom was created in the beginning before there was an earth. Imagine that, wisdom sitting in the company of God. God must have regarded wisdom as winsome and desirable company. If God sat around the courts of heaven chatting up the others there, I’m sure that Wisdom was one of God’s favorite conversation partners. This may be one of the reasons that Wisdom is so valued in the Bible.
Wisdom is protective, empowering, inspiring, equipping, and enabling. Those who are wise are spared a lot of unnecessary pain, constant starting over, and huge failure. I would tell parents that their chief responsibility in life is to assist their children in strategies and skills that lead to wisdom. Sometimes today, I’d swear that I was watching young people living like someone wearing roller skates for the first time – arms flailing, bruised knees, slamming into skating rink walls.
How much easier it would be if an experienced skater accompanied them around the rink, sharing their balance and gradually turning them loose to skate on their own. As Proverbs says, “GET wisdom.” The person who obeys that knows what they want in life and the best way to get it.
God of wisdom. God who chose wisdom to sit in the heavenly courts before there was cosmos or earth. You have told us to get wisdom because you, God, know the wealth that she brings to those who join her company. Help us to be people who courageously live in a way that is wise, even when it may be difficult or may require sacrifices on our part. Give us the focus and intention we need. May we make gaining wisdom a conscious part of our goals in life. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.