Summary: Wisdom leaves no doubt about the importance and meaning of her call. She comes near to mankind & seeks to win them by her noble & uplifting gifts. May we heed the call & follow heavenly wisdom's guidance.
PROVERBS 8: 1-11
WISDOM'S NOBLE CALL
Speaking without wisdom is of little value and wisdom without a voice is of little use. So here we have wisdom taking voice and speaking. The Word of God and wisdom go hand-in-hand crying out to be heard.
Wisdom's inviting call here in chapter eight is in sharp contrast to the alluring voice of the destructive temptress in chapter seven. In chapter eight wisdom, the daughter of heaven, cries in the marketplace inviting all to come live life with her. She stands in stark competition with the adulteress of chapter seven lurking in the streets enticing and persuading with worldly lust. Wisdom, though not perceptible to touch and feelings as lust and greed are, is nevertheless real.
Wisdom leaves no doubt about the importance and meaning of her call (CIT). She comes near to mankind and seeks to win them by her noble and uplifting gifts. May we heed the call and follow heavenly wisdom's guidance.
I. Wisdom's Call is Public, 1-3.
II. Wisdom's Call is Personal, 4-5.
III. Wisdom's Call is Purposeful, 6-9.
IV. Wisdom's Call is Profitable, 10-11.
Wisdom's public invitation begins in verse 1 with two rhetorical questions.
"Does not wisdom call, and understanding lift up her voice?"
"Does not"points to that which is a fact. This cry is a appeal to consideration and recognition that wisdom calls and understanding gives voice. Wisdom's call and voice beckons to be heard. Though its call is not alluring and tantalizing like sin, it is clear, strong and inviting and readily recognizable to all who would but become aware that she is speaking.
Wisdom cries and understanding put forth her voice so that they are in no way veiled from man. She cares too much to keep silent. Her message is too important to be whispered. She has no intention of letting her righteous cause be drowned in the sea of wicked propositions that threaten to engulf the young. [Hubbard, David. The Preacher's Commentary Series, Vol 15: Proverbs. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989, S. 119.]
Four synonyms in verses 2 and 3 touch each other without overlapping. They indicate some of the places where the voice of wisdom and understanding call to people so that ignorance of her appeal can never be plead.
Lady Wisdom in verse 2 stands again (1:20-21) in full view of the people, in the places where power is exercised and choices are made. "On top of the heights beside the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand."
Wisdom does not cry in unknown or secret places but in the high places, the noticeable places, beside the busy road. She cries out at the intersection of life where the paths meet. Where decisions must be made concerning which path to take.
Wisdom is not wishy-washy, "she takes her stand." She knows the right way and gives correct guidance.
Wisdom's call is hear in the public and private sectors of life. "Beside the gates, at the opening to the city, at the entrance of the doors, she cries out (3)
"The gates at the entrance to the city" designate the heart of commerce, judicial activity and social exchange. It was where the most significant and constant activity occurred in the ancient world.
She also "cries out at the entrance to the doors" within the city or town. Has she not followed each of us to our homes, places of business, places of diversion and places of sin?
Wisdom sounds from the hilltop like a watchman's warning; it rings from the junctions of the main roads where merchants, travelers, pilgrims, farmers, and soldiers salute each other. It echoes in the gates of the city where deals are struck, political decisions made, and judicial verdicts rendered. Wisdom calls to the public domain, wanting to shape the entire life of the community. It calls for obedience in politics, commerce, community relations, as well as religious activities.
We should listen to this public call. It tells us that, though church and state may be separated by the First Amendment, our faith must inform and govern our behavior in all areas of life. There can be no true discipleship which is only private. The places from which wisdom lifts her persistent voice are the very places where our witness is needed. [Hubbard, 119.]
The loudness and perseverance of the cry demonstrates the earnestness of a true friend and the dangerous consequences of not listening. Would wisdom and understanding cry so loud or continue so long had she not loved our soul? Had she not wanted to save us from the consequences of our stubborn ways would her plead have been so well placed?
She cares too much to keep silent. Her message is too important to be whispered. She has no intention of letting her righteous cause be drowned in the sea of wicked propositions that threaten to engulf the young. [Hubbard, 119.]