Wisdom is Calling
In the book of Proverbs, Wisdom is described as a woman who walks back and forth through the towns and cities of the world calling out loudly to each person she passes. Proverbs 1:20-33. This woman called ‘Wisdom’ is a warm concerned person! She seems to seek out and care about each person she meets. Like a paper boy on the streets selling his newspapers, Lady Wisdom is also in the city square advertising her wares.
Then later we see Wisdom again in the book of Proverbs as a woman preparing a fine dinner and inviting all to come. Proverbs 9:1-4 Lady Wisdom again urgently cries out to all of her neighbors; “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.” Proverbs 9:5-6.
She scolds and threatens those who won’t listen: “Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord…Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them. And the complacency of fools will destroy them.” Proverbs 1:29-32. And she makes promises and gives encouragements to those who are about to try out her product, “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” Proverbs 1:33.
What is this ‘Wisdom’ that Scripture describes as coming into our neighborhood and searching us out hoping to gain entry into our lives? Let’s look in the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament to find some answers since wisdom is the main theme of Proverbs.
For one thing Proverbs makes it clear that wisdom apart from God is impossible. Wisdom and righteousness go together and lead us to eternal life. A unifying message throughout Proverbs is that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” Proverbs 9:10. Wisdom is not a legalistic letter of the law, but it is alive-a living mystery. God comes along with the gift and promises us blessings and protection if we take it. Wisdom can not be found in a “How to succeed” handbook, but it entails the ability to do God’s will, to follow His truth, to love mercy and kindness.
And how does one get wisdom? Proverbs 2:1-6 tells us that the Lord gives wisdom. And God will give this valuable gift to those who really want it. He stores up wisdom for the humble and the upright. To receive wisdom we are instructed to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And lean not on your own understanding-- Do not be wise in your own eyes, Fear the Lord and depart from evil.” Proverbs 2:5-7. Scripture seems to be telling us that pride and arrogance can keep us from receiving this gift of wisdom that God wants to give us. And if we insist on following an evil lifestyle, we won’t be able to receive this valuable gift either. The book of Proverbs mentions persons who enjoy violence as lacking wisdom. And those persons who are unfaithful to spouses or friends are also without wisdom.
Scripture tells us that wisdom is calling out to every person on earth. What each person will do with this call will make all the difference between life and death. When Lady Wisdom comes our way holding out this special Gift, let’s not let anything keep us from taking it!