Proverbs 1:33, “But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.”
As we read through the Book of Proverbs, it is easy to see both warnings and admonitions a child of God will face in this present world. The child of grace will face and be confronted with the “enticement” of sinners (1:10), the dangers of the “strange woman” (2:16) and the ways of “fools” (1:32, 3:35). Solomon, in his diligent effort to teach his son (which is very applicable information for us today), told him of “wisdom” that, according to the verse previously cited, will bring safety and peace to those who hearken unto her (“me”; also see Proverbs 8:1).
Question: Have you ever noticed how Solomon refers to two people in Proverbs? The strange woman (which is the enticing efforts of the world and false religions) and wisdom (which is the information and truth of God). Throughout the Book of Proverbs, Wisdom is referred to as a person. Please notice in 1:20-21 how wisdom is said to be a “her” and a “she”. Proverbs 8:10 says, “Receive my instruction, and not silver;…” The reason for this wording is to point our minds to where wisdom comes from and the One who is wisdom personified. In James 1:5 we learn “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” By this portion of scripture, we are able to conclude that God is the One that has and gives wisdom. In Colossians 2:3 we read of the Lord Jesus Christ, “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” In Him, that is in Jesus Christ, is where we will find wisdom, for He is Wisdom Personified. But how can the Lord be referred to as a Her? When searching the scripture, we find the Lord, in His abundant righteousness and mercy, being whatever His children need Him to be. He is our instructing Father; He is our supporting Brother, and He is a caring Mother that will embrace us in His arms in our times of need (see Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 23:37). The Lord is all we stand in need of. He has the answers to our perplexing questions, He has all the solutions to our problems, and He has the knowledge to work out our issues of life, no matter how difficult they may seem to our feeble minds.
In the first chapter of Proverbs, let us notice what we learn about wisdom:
(1) The availability of wisdom. Wisdom crieth, calls, and stretches forth her hand unto us (verses 21 and 24). Have we hearkened? In Matthew 11:17 Jesus said “We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented”, which is a way of saying that we have not responded. There is none that could say “wisdom was never afforded to me.” Whether it be through the experience of our parents (Prov 1:8), the instruction of the Gospel (Prov 1:3), or the guidance of the Word of God (Prov 1:2), we all have been blessed to have wisdom available to us. But how many have hearkened unto her cry? How much peace and happiness do we throw away daily by not hearkening unto the wisdom available.
(2) The correcting ability of wisdom. Proverbs 1:23, “Turn you at my reproof:…” So often in our lives, we make wrong choices. We fail to pray and seek the wisdom that is found in the Lord and find ourselves out of the way of peace and understanding. How precious it is to know that our God cares enough to help us get back into a way of peace when we fail. In 2 Timothy 3:16, we read that all scripture given from God is profitable for “reproof” and “correction”. The reason that the Word of God is always “profitable” is that it came from God. When we are wrong, God’s wisdom can help us get right.
(3) The strengthening of wisdom against the temptations of the enemy. Proverbs 1:17, “Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.” When we hearken unto wisdom, we prepare ourselves with a defense against temptation. I’ve asked many, “What are the chances of catching a bird that watches you set the trap for him?” The chances are reduced drastically, don’t you think? And so it is with those that hearken unto wisdom, they see the traps before they fall. The wisdom of the Lord will deliver you from all the efforts of those who say “Come with us” and “Cast in your lot among us; let us all have one purse:…”
(4) The beautiful decorations of those who have hearkened unto wisdom. Proverbs 1:9, “For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” Every time I read the newspaper, every time I turn on the television, I learn of a person being recognized for an accomplishment or victory of some kind. But how precious it is to be decorated, not with the medals of this world, but with awards not made of materials of this world. Decorations of respect and honor for hearkening unto wisdom results in increased learning and understanding for the one that hearkens unto her. Amen!