THE MAN OF UNDERSTANDING
Wisdom’s Appeal – Proverbs 8:1-36
Verses 1 – 11 – In dealing with the title here I want to point out the definitions of the word “appeal”. First of all it can be a “request for aid; a petition, or a plea. Secondly, it can be a legal term; as in “to appeal a lower courts, or another judges ruling” and; thirdly, it can be the “power or ability to attract, interest, amuse or stimulate the mind or emotions”.
In the matter of Wisdom; it would seem to fit all three of those meanings. “Wisdom cries” She cries out for the simple, naive, and foolish to hear her. The crying out is the first meaning; though she needs no aid; she is petitioning all who hear her to follow.
Something to think about here is that previously in this study of Proverbs we have seen a wicked woman who calls the simple, naive youth to her bed; and he follows like an ox to the slaughter; and is like a bird taken in a snare (7:22-23).
In the second, we must see that Wisdoms judgment is higher than that of any court of the land.
In the third, we also can see Wisdom stirring the mind and emotions to follow our God and Saviour. Wisdom is of greater value than any material thing; even gold or rubies cannot equal her value. The Christian is in fact given aid by Wisdom.
Verses 12 – 21 – Justice is found through Wisdom. Remember the wisdom of Solomon when he took a sword, and would divide the child, due to the dispute between two mothers (1 Kings 3:16-28). To the erring mind that judgment would seem harsh; however there was prudence, discretion, subtilty, in that judgment.
You could also use that event to show that wisdom “find’s out knowledge of witty inventions”.
Wisdom hates what God hates; loves what God loves. Here in verse 13 we see some of what God hates again, through Wisdom – Pride, arrogance, evil paths, and a froward mouth. The “froward mouth” is a perverse mouth. You ever hear someone that when they speak all that comes out of their mouth is rot, stink and filth. That is not just dealing with vulgarity of language, but assassination of anothers life and character, gossip – whether it is from a bitter heart or not.
True and good “counsel” belongs to Wisdom (v. 14). Leadership of sponsored by Wisdom is a leadership fo Justice. The Judge of all promises riches and righteousness, and will fill the treasures of those who follow Wisdom.
Verses 22 – 31 – We see in these verses that Wisdom was present in the Creation of all that is. From the Matthew Henry Commentary we read…
“That it is an intelligent and divine person that here speaks seems very plain, and that it is not meant of a mere essential property of the divine nature, for Wisdom here has personal properties and actions; and that intelligent divine person can be no other than the Son of God himself, to whom the principal things here spoken of wisdom are attributed in other scriptures, and we must explain scripture by itself. If Solomon himself designed only the praise of wisdom as it is an attribute of God, by which he made the world and governs it, so to recommend to men the study of that wisdom which belongs to them, yet the Spirit of God, who indited what he wrote, carried him, as David often, to such expressions as could agree to no other than the Son of God, and would lead us into the knowledge of great things concerning him. All divine revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, and here we are told who and what he is, as God, designed in the eternal counsels to be the Mediator between God and man. The best exposition of these verses we have in the first four verses of St. John’s gospel. In the beginning was the Word, etc.”
Verses 32 – 36 – Part of the “appeal” of the Person of Wisdom are the blessings she gives. What we can find in Wisdom is life, favor of the LORD. In order to obtain Wisdom one must hear the instruction of Wisdom and not refuse it. Keep her ways.
-Tim A. Blankenship