Probing Proverbs 8:17-19 “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. I have riches and honor, as well as enduring wealth and justice. My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver!
Wisdom is unlike God in a very important way. God loves unconditionally and it is He that seeks us out. Yes, God also states that if anyone seeks for Him, they will find Him. We must remember though this is after the fact that He has placed in each man the desire to know His maker and the atonement He had planned before the foundation of the world. God was the One that sought us and loved us first. Wisdom on the other hand is very conditional. Open to all…but given to only those that want! Wisdom does not hide itself from us, nor make it difficult to find. However, Wisdom has a door that is locked. The key to open it is our desire to have what’s inside. More interesting is what we get from Wisdoms treasure is based on how wide we open that door! If we are sloppy or halfhearted, we may only glean a minuscule of the treasure waiting for us. The more fervent our desire to have Wisdom…the wider her door opens for us to gain her treasure. If we understand that our desire is the key to having wisdom, then let’s consider the incredible claims Wisdom is making.
Wisdoms claim’s that her gifts are better than gold or silver. Is this true? What would make Wisdom’s gifts more valuable? Notice, Wisdom gives “riches” and “wealth”, which might include gold and silver. So what makes Wisdom’s wealth so much more valuable than this world’s gold and silver? Consider the “qualifiers” of this wealth; “honor”, “enduring” and “justice”. To be materially rich while retaining your honor is quite a statement. So many of the wealthy gained their wealth by crushing others during their climb up the financial mountain. Millions of people have suffered and died due to the hunger of some for gain. To reach the financial mountaintop honorably is quite a feat! Not only do you have the fruit of your labor, more importantly you have your integrity and can sleep at night with a clear conscience. The silver and gold of this world will soon fade…but Wisdom’s wealth is enduring! What does that mean?
The emphasis no longer is based on what you possess, but how you acquired it. I once was talking with a very rich relative that treated me like I was interested in him for his money. After he almost openly said that to me, I made it clear that I had no interest in his money, I was concerned about his soul. Then I said, “Some people want to leave this world being known for what they have, I want to leave this world being known for how I got what I have.” Wisdom’s wealth is eternal in its perspective; gold and silver go the way of the dinosaur! What’s most interesting is that this wealth is also tied to “justice”. This brings the proper understanding of what wealth is for and how we should use it. The world hoards wealth; many of the wealthiest never learn how to enjoy their wealth. Wisdom’s wealth not only satisfies the possessor, but they learn how to use it to minister to those who lack. It’s one thing to have a nice home, clothes, food and a warm bed to sleep in at night. Better still, is to have all of that and the knowledge that you took some of the extra that God has blessed you with and shared it with someone less fortunate. Laying your head down to sleep at night knowing that your wealth was used to enable someone that did not have the ability to have a warm bed, home, clothes or food, to now have that brings a peace to your sleep that no gold or silver can bring. Knowing that your wealth is being used to help others hear about how much God loves them and desires a relationship with them brings an inner joy that no financial gain can match!
Don’t settle for temporal wealth…seek Wisdom and she may give you material wealth, more importantly she will teach you what real wealth is and how to enjoy it!