The Value of Wisdom
Proverbs 3:13-26
Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding.…

I. ONE WAY OF LEARNING WISDOM (vers. 11, 12). By means of "the chastening of the Lord"; that is, of instruction through chastisement. There are some who will heed no other voice but this. Many a life that has been frivolous or selfish or indifferent to spiritual things has been led into the path of wisdom by affliction. God would not let chastening come unless we had something yet to learn. When it does come, therefore, it behoves us to listen patiently and reverently.

II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF WISDOM. This is expressed in the way which would mean most to an Oriental. To him things to be desired would be ornamental, like silver, fine gold, rubies (or pearls). And then he is allowed to let his imagination run riot. Let him think of anything in the world which he would like to possess very much, wisdom is still infinitely more to be desired. Why is it blessed to choose Wisdom? In her right hand is length of days. What man wants is life itself. The pursuit of wisdom tends naturally to give a man longer life. The wise man, who serves God in quietude and simplicity, has an even, regular habit of life which tends to longevity. In her left hand are riches and honour. We may not say that riches and honour always go to the good and never to the bad; but taking the world over, it pays to do right even from a worldly point of view. In the long run prosperity and honour go to those who deserve them. Where would you go to find those who truly enjoy life? To the epicure, the man of mental or bodily dissipation, the ungodly rich, the frivolous? Surely not. These lives do not contain the formula of peace.

III. THE SEAT OF WISDOM. It is in God. The man seeking wisdom looks up to Him whose superhuman wisdom is declared in every rain-drop and every grass-blade. Whoever earnestly wants to know how to live will somehow find his way to God.

IV. THE CONSEQUENCES OF RECEIVING WISDOM. They are such as life, grace, safety, peace. The life of wisdom of the Old Testament finds its fulfilment in the life of the soul in Jesus Christ. The value of the Christian life is made clear by taking up such things as are sometimes supposed to be disadvantageous in it and seeing how they are transformed into blessings. Such things as these are supposed to be unpleasant in it: its definite committal, outspoken avowal, sacrifice of pleasure, loss of independence, irksome duties. But the life which turns its own seeming disadvantages into positive enjoyments must be the pleasantest life. Such is the life of the soul in Christ, who is made unto us the wisdom of God.

(D. J. Burrell, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

WEB: Happy is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gets understanding.

The Value
Top of Page
Top of Page