Proverbs 8:17

I Love Them that Love Me

I love them that love me.

1. Again, this is Lady Wisdom speaking.

a. Solomon has personified God’s wisdom as a woman calling out to be heard by all. (vs.1-4)

b. She has counsel, sound wisdom, understanding, and strength to offer. (vs.14)

c. It is by means of God’s wisdom that kings reign (vs. 15).

2. Now this woman (Divine wisdom) states that she loves those who love her. (vs. 17)

a. This woman loves to be loved.

b. This woman extends her love to those who love her.

c. Nothing pleases her more than to have those who are lacking in wisdom come to her FOR wisdom!

d. She loves those who genuinely love wisdom. (This is God speaking!)

3. How many of us really LOVE wisdom?

a. Lots of people love to have others think they are smart or wise. But that is not a love of wisdom. That is a love of self.

b. Lots of people love education… but that is not necessarily a love of wisdom. There are plenty of highly educated people who are NOT wise… and certainly many who do not possess God’s wisdom… nor want it!

c. Wisdom BEGINS with the fear of the Lord.
• Do we love the fear of God? Are we God-fearing?
• Do we love to humble ourselves before Him and His Word?
• God-fearing people are fearful of stepping outside of Gods’ will. Are we?

4. How can we TELL if we truly love wisdom? (I’m sure we would all SAY that we do…)

a. Consider how the term “love” is associated with choice:
• Rom. 9:13 – Jacob have I loved; but Esau have I hated. (God chose Jacob = love; God did NOT choose Esau: hated.)
• Love is defined as choosing one thing over another. Love is a choice
• Luke 14:25 – A man must “hate” his parents to be a disciple of the Lord. (meaning that he does not choose them; he chooses God OVER them. That is demonstrating love for God and hatred for anything else… by way of comparison)
• We are to LOVE wisdom in this way… by CHOOSING the way of wisdom above other roads…

b. Love speaks of a heart-attachment that is demonstrated by the choices we make in life.
• When our heart is attached to a thing, then we will pursue it… and choose it over other things.
• If our heart is attached to the things of the world, then we LOVE the things of the world… and will choose to pursue them…
• This pursuit is contrary to the Word of God, and is thus NOT God’s wisdom operating in us. It is the wisdom of the world… (love not the world…)
• If we LOVE the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in us.
• Lady Wisdom does not love us either!

c. Those who CHOOSE the way of wisdom demonstrate that they LOVE wisdom.

d. Those who CHOOSE the way of folly demonstrate that they LOVE folly and hate wisdom!

e. Those who demonstrate by their actions and choices that they HATE wisdom will be hated BY wisdom! (vs. 13 – some things this lady hates!)

f. Thus, if we love wisdom (if we choose the way of wisdom and pursue wisdom) then wisdom will love us!
• She will then choose us… and pursue us for our good.
• This speaks of a RELATIONSHIP between the young man and Lady Wisdom: He shows love to her and she responds to that love and returns the love!
• This is a beautiful and poetic way of speaking about the importance of God’s wisdom: it is a love relationship to be pursued and developed!
• Every time we choose the way of wisdom, she responds with blessing. (cf. vs. 18-19)

g. Those who practice wisdom… will INCREASE in wisdom! The relationship grows.

h. Those who reject wisdom and refuse to practice wisdom will be hated by this lady…
• Lady Wisdom (God’s wisdom) hates pride and arrogance. (self exaltation) (Prov. 8:13)
• Pride and arrogance think they don’t need Lady Wisdom’s advice. They can handle life on their own… or so they think.
• Wisdom will NOT pursue that life. She hates it… she will avoid that person! There is no relationship there.

i. Lady wisdom loves some people… (chooses and blesses) and she hates (rejects) others.
• Prov. 1:20, 28-31 – those who hate Lady Wisdom and hate her knowledge will seek but will NOT find her!
• Be one that she loves!
• How? By loving her… choosing her way of wisdom… daily… moment by moment…
• Seeking God’s wisdom and God’s will for our life should be a MAJOR element in our prayer life! (Col. 1:9-10)
• If that is what we seek after, then we love wisdom.

And those that seek me early shall find me.

1. Lady Wisdom loves those who love her—and prove it by choosing her ways.

2. Now she states that all those who seek her shall find her! She’s not hiding from anyone!

3. Thus, ANY godly person can be wise if they WANT to.

a. Having divine wisdom has nothing to do with one’s IQ or educational background or being famous.

b. You don’t have to be listed in Who’s Who to know what’s what.

c. Having divine wisdom depends upon ONE thing only: seeking it!

d. If you want it, then you will seek it. And if you seek it, you will find!

e. This truth was mentioned in chapter two (Prov. 2:3-6)

4. Matt. 7:7-8 – If we pray, and in our prayer ask for God’s wisdom, He will give it!

a. In the context, the Lord has been speaking about judgment (truth; discernment; wisdom; vs. 1-2)

b. He uses a present tense indicating that if we KEEP ON asking, seeking, and knocking, we will receive and find!

c. God is not obliged to give it unless we seek for it.

d. The seeking demonstrates a HUNGER for it… a diligence… and implies sincerity in the desire for it.

5. James 1:5-6 – if we need wisdom, then ASK… and ask in faith.

a. Again, God is not trying to withhold His wisdom from anybody! Lady Wisdom is not trying to hide!

b. And again, the present tense is used: Let him keep on asking…

c. The diligence in prayer demonstrates a sincere heart… and God delights in answering those kinds of prayers.

d. God feeds the hungry heart.

6. They that seek me EARLY shall find me… (Prov. 8:17)

a. The verb here is a word meaning “to seek early”… the concept of early is part of the verb… not an adverb.

b. It can mean to seek early, diligently, or earnestly.

c. The idea is to seek it right away… and dig in and don’t let up until you find it…

“There’s a story about a proud young man who came to Socrates asking for knowledge. He walked up to the muscular philosopher and said, “O great Socrates, I come to you for knowledge.” Socrates recognized a pompous numbskull when he saw one. He led the young man through the streets, to the sea, and chest deep into water. Then he asked, “What do you want?” “Knowledge, O wise Socrates,” said the young man with a smile. Socrates put his strong hands on the man’s shoulders and pushed him under. Thirty seconds later Socrates let him up. “What do you want?” he asked again. “Wisdom,” the young man sputtered, “O great and wise Socrates.” Socrates crunched him under again. Thirty seconds passed, thirty-five. Forty. Socrates let him up. The man was gasping. “What do you want, young man?” Between heavy, heaving breaths the fellow wheezed, “Knowledge, O wise and wonderful...” Socrates jammed him under again Forty seconds passed. Fifty. “What do you want?” “Air!” he screeched. “I need air!” “When you want knowledge as you have just wanted air, then you will have knowledge.”

d. Wisdom is to be sought for with all diligence… early… and you don’t let up till you have it!

e. With that kind of sincerity and diligence, you will find it!

7. It is GOOD for children to be taught to seek wisdom early.

a. Job 13:26 – Job regretted the sins of his youth. Young people should be taught to seek wisdom so that they DON’T have to bear the burden of regret over the sins of their youth!

b. Ps. 90:14 – Young people should pray that God would satisfy them EARLY with His mercy… that their life may be glad and full of rejoicing!

c. I Sam. 2:18 – Samuel ministered before the Lord from a child. He sought after the Lord and found Him. He sought God’s wisdom and found it.

d. Think of all the trouble and grief that could be avoided in life if our young people sought wisdom with all their hearts at a young age!