The Delight of Wisdom
Proverbs 8:22-31
Throughout our study of Proverbs we have examined the best practical advice for living life that the world has ever known. The broad range of Solomonís advice to his son is just as relevant, just as applicable today as it was in the day in which these lessons were originally taught. If you and I will devote ourselves to the study and living out of these biblical principles then we will avoid so much heartache and trouble in life.
When we come to the section of Scripture that we are studying together today we find that the advice of the previous chapters isnít really present. We donít hear things like, ďWhen sinners entice you donít go along with them,Ē or ďDonít stand as surety for your neighborís debt.Ē In our section of Scripture for today we read about Lady Wisdom speaking of her origins and her delight. Letís take a look at our Scripture for today found in Proverbs 8:22-31.
22 ďThe LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; 23 I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. 24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; 25 before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, 26 before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world. 27 I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, 28 when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, 29 when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. 30 Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, 31 rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind. (Proverbs 8:22-31 NIV)
Before we take a look at our Scripture I need to let you know that this is poetic language. There are many different types of literature in the Bible: History, poetry, prophesy, parables, narratives, letters, etc. It is always important for us to try and understand the type of literature that we are studying so that we can rightly understand what is being taught.
What we have here in Proverbs 8:22-31 is poetic language. Within the poetic sections of the Old Testament we have different styles of poetry. The Psalms are poetic song lyrics, an early hymnal of the Hebrews. The Song of Songs is made up of romantic poetry set in story form, and Proverbs contains poetry that conveys teaching in a poetic form.
One of the key features of Hebrew poetry is that the Hebrews didnít put any effort into rhyming. The Hebrews were more drawn to what we call ďparallelism.Ē Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. In Proverbs 11:22 we read, ďLike a gold ring in a pigís snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.Ē In Proverbs 22:1 we read, ďA good name is more desirable than great riches; to be