Proverbs 8:35-36

Results of Our Response to Wisdom

* Blessing – v. 34

a. We saw this result last time—the life that listens with the ears and the heart to Lady Wisdom is the life that will be blessed by God.

b. If we refuse to follow the way of God’s wisdom… we are refusing His blessing in our life!

c. This is all our choice.

Life and Favor

1. Finding Wisdom.

a. This implies much more than simply “hearing” the words of wisdom.

b. This implies more than just “knowing” what the wise thing to do is.

c. The one who truly finds wisdom is the one who practices it. If you aren’t practicing it… you haven’t yet found it! You may be close… but not there yet.

d. Wisdom… the wise choice… the wisest way to go… the right decision… doesn’t always come right away. Wisdom isn’t INSTANT. It doesn’t always come easily.

e. The picture given here is that the one who finds wisdom is the one who WAITS for it – v. 34… watching… looking… expecting… waiting…

f. The one who finds and follows the way of wisdom is the one who does NOT act impulsively… he does not act rashly… he waits patiently.

g. If he doesn’t hear from the Lord right away… he doesn’t move until he does! He waits… rests… trusts… looks unto the Lord…

h.) We act on our feelings way too often. We are by nature impatient.
• Sometimes we decide and then pray.
• On other occasions, we pray and then decide… which can be just as bad!
• What God wants us to do is to pray… and wait for an answer! Don’t pray… and then go ahead and do what we have already decided to do!
• That is the way of the flesh… acting on feelings and impulses.
• God is able to guide us… incline our mind and heart… to use His Word… to work IN us both to will and to do of HIS good pleasure.
• The one who truly FINDS wisdom is the one who waits at the posts of Lady Wisdom’s doorposts… waiting to KNOW what is the right way to go… the right thing to do… the right and wise decision to make.
• Ex. 29:42 – the priests waited at the door of the tabernacle to hear the word of the Lord!
• THEN we need to act and obey—even if the way seems tough… even if the way of wisdom involves suffering… crosses to bear…

2. The one who FINDS wisdom finds LIFE.

a. Consider the apparent contradiction in terms:
• We are to FIND wisdom.
• Yet in 2:6 it says that God GIVES wisdom.
• In both contexts, however, we have a responsibility to diligently SEEK wisdom or we will never find it! (2:4-5)
• God gives it… but only to those who hunger for it… and demonstrate that they truly want it… by seeking it diligently… and waiting for it… and practicing it when received!

b. When we diligently seek the way of wisdom, we find LIFE.
• Life here does not refer to regeneration… the impartation of eternal life.
• Rather, it speaks about the QUALITY of life… a good life…a long life… a joyous life… an abundant life… a life worth living!
• Prov. 3:1 – a long, peaceful, good life for those who follow wisdom.
• Prov. 3:13, 16-18 – a long, happy, pleasant, peaceful life—a tree of life—a source of all kinds of good fruit!
• Prov. 1:33 – if we hearken to God’s wisdom, we will dwell safely and be quiet from fear of evil. We can sleep at night… not having to worry about the IRS knocking at our door… worrying if we are going to lose our driving license… worrying about contacting aids… worrying about being caught in the middle of a love triangle…

3. The one who finds wisdom obtains favor of the Lord.

a. Everybody wants God’s favor in his or her life… God’s blessing.

b. Num. 6:25-27 – a blessing from the Lord—a prayer.

c. Psa. 31:16-17 – another prayer for God’s blessing in our life… that God’s favor would come our way in the form of answered prayers.

d. Not everybody is willing to obtain God’s favor the way God says it is to be obtained: by diligently seeking, finding, and following the way of wisdom!

e. If we refuse to find wisdom God’s way… then we are choosing to forfeit God’s blessing in our life. God’s way of wisdom and God’s blessing go hand in hand.

f. There is a simple principle found in I Sam. 2:30 – “Them that honor Me I will honor.”
• That doesn’t mean a life free from trials or troubles.
• But it does mean a life full of the blessings of God in the midst of life’s difficulties! Grace, strength, and courage enough to keep on going!

Wronged Soul and Death

1. The one who SINS against Lady Wisdom wrongs his own soul!

2. Wrongs: to wrong; or to do violence to; to treat violently; it refers to sinful violence, not the violence of storms or natural disasters; an act of injustice committed against someone;

a. The one who sins against Lady Wisdom—misses the mark—refuses to walk in her ways is hurting himself!

b. He is committing an injustice against his own soul!

c. He is doing violence to his own soul… his inner life… his emotions… his thoughts… etc…

d. When we refuse to follow the way of wisdom, we are inflicting deep, violent wounds on our own soul… and we will have to live with that.

3. Consider the hurt we inflict upon ourselves:

a. The alcoholic—he chooses not to follow the way of wisdom, and inflicts suffering and ruin upon his whole life.

b. The young man who pursues a life of sexual immorality—he chooses a path that is similar to an ox going to the slaughter. Think about a slaughterhouse for cattle… and picture your SOUL there!

c. I Pet. 2:11 – fleshly lusts WAR against our soul! Therefore, abstain from it! When we give in, it is war… think of the horrors of war… and picture your soul in the midst of it all.

d. Those who pursue money pierce themselves through with many hurtful sorrows! (I Tim. 6:9-10).

e. Those who ignore their kids and let them run wild have to live with shame on their soul. (Prov. 29:15)

f. Those who refuse to control their tongue… not only hurt others, but themselves. They have to live with all the conflict created.

g. Those who are lazy have to live with the fruits of laziness. (Prov. 21:25-26)

4. These are all self-inflicted wounds… that cause real pain and suffering.

a. Those who refuse God’s wisdom are forced to EAT THE FRUIT of their ways… which is painful to the soul. (Prov. 1:31-32)

b. Even Christians inflict these kinds of wounds upon themselves.

c. When God’s wisdom warns us against certain pursuits in life, and we pursue them ANYWAY… we are doing violence to our own soul!

5. Violence to our soul.

a. This includes emotional pain and suffering… (guilt; remorse; resentment)

b. This includes spiritual violence to our soul…
• Prov. 5:22 – the man who practices sin CAN become BOUND by the cords of that sin… addicted… trapped… enslaved…

c. Our enemy is out to get our soul. He can do enough damage. We don’t need to HELP him do violence to our soul!

6. Those who hate wisdom love death.

a. In other words, those refusing wisdom are skating on thin ice… they are demonstrating that they are choosing the way that leads to death and destruction!

b. Following the way of wisdom leads to a long, healthy, satisfied, blessed life.

c. Hating the way of wisdom and not following it leads to the opposite of a long, healthy, happy life…

d. There are only two ways: the way of wisdom that leads to an abundant life… and the way of folly that leads to destruction and death.