Proverbs 8:22-36

Proverbs 8:22-36 "The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.  When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:  When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men. Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.  But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death."
Personified intentionally as a woman to contrast the more attractive evil woman of chapter 7, Wisdom makes her strongest case for spiritual romance in these final verses of chapter 8 by sharing her AGE.  While there is much to glean from each of these chapters in consideration, they are best understood and most appreciated when considered together.  The seductive woman looking to hurt men in chapter 7 said nothing of her past.  Not only was there no mention of her past but the present was intentionally emphasized in verse 12 when Solomon wrote, NOW is she without, NOW in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.”  While nothing is mentioned of the deceptive woman’s past in chapter 7, everything is mentioned of the “other woman” in chapter 8.

While the young man never learned the age of the strange woman, Wisdom tells the sons of man that she has been around forever.
 
While the young man never learned about the strange woman’s parents, Wisdom tells the sons of man Who brought her forth.

While the young man never learned about the strange woman’s upbringing, Wisdom tells the sons of man Who raised her.

While the young man never learned about what the strange woman saw or experienced, Wisdom tells the sons of man the things she saw and experienced.
 
While the young man never learned about what the strange woman took a liking to in her earlier years, Wisdom tells the sons of man what she celebrated and delighted in.
 
This obvious contrast may not seem that important but when choosing a mate, it’s incredibly important.  Knowing someone’s background shouldn’t be the sole purpose for choosing a mate but it should be a factor.  Outside of a person’s relationship with God, a person’s genetic background and childhood environment are the most influential factors in a person’s life.  There is nothing more formative and influential than genetic tendencies coupled with childhood upbringing.  In chapter 7, a woman seduces a young man to be with her while intentionally withholding any details about her past.  In chapter 8, another woman invites the sons of man to be with her almost based entirely on her past.

Wisdom is making her final pitch to the hearts of mankind by doing what most women today won’t do – reveal her age.  She was “beyond years.”  She was without age.  She has been around since before time began. She has been with God and as the Creator of time itself, God is not bound by time.  This makes her incredibly valuable because she has the perspective that no person can have.  We are all creatures of time.  We all have a beginning and we all know that we have an end.  As creatures of time, we are incapable of seeing anything without the perspective of time.  It is the perspective of time that makes us impatient.  It is the perspective of time that makes us hasty.  It is the perspective of time that makes us discontent.  It is the perspective of time that makes us afraid.  Because we only see things through the perspective of time, we fear sickness and death.  Because we only see things through the perspective of time, we fear aging and losing our youthful figure.  Because we only see things through the lens of time, we easily become unsatisfied with what we have – we want to experience more and have more knowing that our time is limited.  If we choose wisdom, she will bring us a perspective that is beyond our reach.  She can help us see things without the perspective of time.  She can help us view things through the perspective of eternity.  This perspective can bring us patience, peace and contentment.

As creatures of time, we are handicapped by our lack of experience.  We can read about history and we can learn about yesteryear, but we can’t EXPERIENCE anything before our birth.  Learning secondhand is still valuable but it can never produce the same kind of benefit as experiencing it firsthand.  Parents are typically wiser than their children because they have experienced more than their children.  Grandparents are typically wiser than their grandchildren because they have experienced more than their grandchildren.  There is a massive difference between the wisdom gained by experience and the wisdom gleaned by counsel.  Firsthand experiences teach lessons that are never forgotten.  Seeing something with your own eyes does something to you that hearing about it secondhand doesn’t.  What we see with our own two eyes and what we hear with our own two ears does something that a parent’s advice or a teacher’s counsel can’t do. Since she’s been around forever, Wisdom has seen it all.  Since she’s been around before the creation of mankind, Wisdom has heard it all.  Wisdom has thousands of years of experience with life.  Wisdom has thousands of years of experience with people.  She can spot a fraud a mile away.  She can detect a deceiver without a lie detector test.  She can identify trustworthy souls that are safe to befriend.  She can teach you about the opposite sex without wasting years of failed relationships.  She can guide you to parental success without needing to sacrifice the firstborn as a guinea pig.  She can teach you how to manage money without having to invest thousands of dollars into the school of hard knocks.
 
When it comes to relationships, where someone comes from usually matters.  When it comes to romantic relationships, how someone was raised usually matters.  When it comes to partnerships, experience matters.  Wisdom was here before the dawn of time, which makes her invaluable to our years.  If you want to be wise beyond your years, you need to get true Wisdom from above for she is beyond years.  Solomon’s primary audience was his son, Rehoboam.  Shortly after Solomon’s death, Rehoboam sadly made the mistake of ignoring the counsel of the experienced and choosing the counsel of the attractive inexperienced.  As a result, he learned life’s lessons the hard way and, in the process people died.

Refusing to choose Wisdom’s experience will be the decision to refuse Wisdom’s blessings.  The blessing of Wisdom is the favor of God.  In one of her final statements, she says, “For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD (vs. 35).  The person who finds and chooses Wisdom receives the favor of God because Wisdom makes God happy.  In verse 30, she said she was “DAILY HIS DELIGHT.”  God loves wisdom and the person that chooses her finds a friend in God.  In many ways, Solomon is portraying Wisdom as the Daughter of God.  The person who chooses to love the Daughter of God chooses to receive the Favor of God.  She may not be as attractive as the world’s women but she is far more valuable than the world’s women.  She may not appear as thrilling and fun as the world’s women but she is far more beneficial than the world’s women.  Unlike with the strange woman of chapter 7, you know exactly who you’re getting with the “other woman” of chapter 8.  The strange woman leads men to the punishment of God in hell while the “other woman” leads men into the favor of God.  
One leads to moral destruction while the other leads to moral prosperity.  What a contrast – what a choice!
 
Wisdom is beyond years and can make you wise beyond your years.  Choose wisdom and receive the favor of God.

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