For She Is Your Life

Hyperbole or reality? Somewhat dramatic or appropriately emphatic? Thoughts running through my mind as I chew on something in Proverbs this morning.

The opening chapters of Proverbs are an extended pitch by a dad to his son to pursue wisdom. Not just any dad, but a pretty accomplished dad, Solomon, king of Israel. Not just any king of Israel but the king who was known for wisdom. He had “wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people” (1Ki. 4:29). Wisdom intentionally sought from the God of heaven (1Ki. 3:8-9). Wisdom abundantly supplied by the God of heaven (1Ki. 3:12). This dad knew what it was to walk with wisdom, and he wanted his boy to know it as well.

And so, in these opening chapters, he extols wisdom and he exhorts his son to go after her.

Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her.

(Proverbs 4:5-8 ESV)

The beginning of wisdom? Get wisdom. Sounds a bit circular, but I love it. Seems wisdom starts with an awareness that wisdom is needed–such an awareness itself being wisdom. That drop of wisdom then primes the pump for wisdom. A taste of wisdom becomes the catalyst which sets the course to be totally consumed by the pursuit of wisdom. So, says dad, get it. Do not turn away from it; do not forsake it; love it; prize it; embrace it.

And then, as if not being forceful enough already, he drops this bombshell.

Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.

(Proverbs 4:13 ESV)

She is your life? Really? Or is dad exaggerating a bit to make a point?

Your life is at stake (MSG)? Come on! Sounds a little theatrical. Or is it, in fact, intensely practical? Wanna live? Get wisdom.

You can’t read this first section of Proverbs and not be confronted with the importance of getting wisdom. If what dad is saying is true, then we’re being fools not to listen.

But that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Wisdom or foolishness? Which one’s for you? The former, it seems, requires purposeful pursuit. The latter, foolishness . . . well, all you really need to do is do nothing. Go with the flow. If it sounds good, accept it. If it looks good, follow it. If it feels good, do it.

Wisdom. A life and death matter? Apparently. For she is your life.

So where is wisdom found? It is found in the counsel of God. It is found in the person and nature of God as revealed by God. It is found in the Son of God, Jesus. For in these last days, God has spoken to us by His Son (Heb. 11:1).

So, the beginning of wisdom is this: Get Jesus.

Get Jesus and Jesus will keep us. Jesus will guard us. Jesus will exalt us and honor us. For Jesus is our life. And that’s not being overly dramatic.

Oh, that my heart would never tire nor grow complacent towards wisdom. For she really is my life. And she is found fully in Him.

Only by His grace. Only for His glory.

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