Proverbs 8:14-16

Proverbs 8:14-16 "Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth."
Church East Aurora NY
Life is about choices.  The choices we make in life make our lives.  Even though we say it at times, there isn’t a situation in life where we truly have no choice.  We choose what we put in our bodies and those choices shape our bodies, literally.  We choose what jobs to take and those choices shape our schedules and often our finances. We choose what friends to have and those choices shape our personality, character and lifestyle. We choose what person to marry and that choice like no other substantially shapes our life and future.  We choose what size family we have by birth or by adoption and those choices make our lives what they are.  We choose what homes we buy and what vehicles we purchase and those financial decisions determine what we can afford to do and what we can’t afford to do.  Life is all about choices.
 
Proverbs seven and eight are all about choices.  Everyone has a choice to make when it comes to virtue.  No one is born with virtue and no one is born without the opportunity to choose virtue.  In fact, everyone is born with a free will and the opportunity to choose wisdom.  Solomon wrote these two chapters to especially influence that choice.  He painted two pictures of what each choice looks like.  Essentially, he wrote two resumes from which to make that decision.  The choice is between wisdom and foolishness. The choice is between getting understanding and getting nothing.  The choice is whether to trust in something from above or to trust in something from within. The choice is whether to get wisdom from God or to rely on experience and intuition.  Life is all about choices and Solomon wants his readers to make the right choice.

The choices we make in life make our lives and some choices have the potential of making our lives short.

The choices we make in life make our lives and some choices have the potential of making our lives really bad.

The choice presented and highlighted in Proverbs 7-8 comes with extreme ramifications.  In Proverbs 8:14-16, Solomon directly contrasted the choice to get wisdom with the choice to ignore understanding.  In Proverbs 8:14, a life with wisdom brings strength while in Proverbs 7:26, a life “void of understanding” steals strength.  On Wisdom’s resume, we read, “I have strength.”  On the strange woman’s resume, we read, many strong men have been slain by me.”  In Proverbs 8:15-16, a life with wisdom brings you to chambers of success while in Proverbs 7:27, a life “void of understanding” leads to you chambers of death.  On Wisdom’s resume, we read, “By me, kings reign.”  On the strange woman’s resume, we read, “many strong men have been slain by me.”  On Wisdom’s resume, we read, “By me, princes decree justice.” On the strange woman’s resume, we read, “many strong men have been slain by me.”  On Wisdom’s resume, we read, “By me, princes rule.”  On the strange woman’s resume, we read, “many strong men have been slain by me.”  On Wisdom’s resume, we read, “By me, nobles and all the judges of the earth rule.”  On the strange woman’s resume, we read, “many strong have been slain by me.” 

Treating Rehoboam like a business owner confronted with the hiring choice between two potential employees, Solomon pens out to resumes, comparing apples to apples.  While both choices on the outside look like similar candidates, the resume tells the real story.  In these two chapters, two strong independent women show up for an interview for the same job.  Based on appearance, they’re both attractive.  Based on ambition, they’re both favorable.  Based on initiative, they’re both in the running.  The difference is their resume.  The difference is their work history.  One takes strength while the other brings strength.  One brings people down while the other brings people up.  One resume lists corpse after corpse for references while the other resume lists judges, princes, nobles and kings.  Solomon wants his son to make the right choice in life when it came to virtue.  Trusting in wisdom from within and trusting in wisdom from above at first glance don’t appear that different, especially for young people.  It’s easy to fool ourselves just as it’s easy for a candidate who is dressed nice and sounds ambitious to fool a hiring manager.  The resume tells the real story.  References on a resume tell the real story.  Job history on a resume tells the real story.

Look at the lives of those who chose their own wisdom over God’s wisdom.  Look at the lives of those who chose to trust in their experience and in their intuition rather than trusting in God’s wisdom.  They are the references you need to contact when deliberating the choice to get wisdom or not.  Look at the lives of those who chose God’s wisdom over their own wisdom.  Look at the lives of those who chose to trust in God’s wisdom rather than in their experience and insight.  They are the references you need to listen to when contemplating getting virtue.

The choice to get wisdom or not is no small choice.  Based on the resumes presented in Proverbs seven and eight, the choice to get wisdom or not will singlehandedly determine your future.  If you get wisdom, you will get strength.  If you don’t get wisdom, you will lose strength.  If you get wisdom, you will choose the right people who will make your life better.  If you don’t get wisdom, you will choose the wrong people who will make your life worse.  If you get wisdom, you will have the potential to LEAD the WORLD.  If you don’t get wisdom, you will have the potential to LEAVE the WORLD

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