By Pastor David Groendyk
Proverbs 8 continues the discourse about the value and necessity of wisdom from the Lord; however, what’s different about this chapter is that, rather than a father speaking to a son, wisdom itself is speaking! Wisdom calls out to mankind (vv. 1–5), gives reasons for why we ought to heed it (vv. 6–11), explains its own righteous character (vv. 12–21), describes its divine origin and usage (vv. 22–31), and makes one final appeal (vv. 32–36). Wisdom is now speaking for itself. Because of this, many theologians have noted that wisdom doesn’t merely seem to be personified in this chapter but actually has a personality. In other words, wisdom seems to be a person.
Now, whether or not Solomon or any other of the authors of Proverbs intended to point us to an actual person, the New Testament authors certainly take this one step further. Paul says of Christ in Colossians 1: “By him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” And again in 1 Corinthians 1: “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God… And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God incarnate. Both in the way he lived his life and made decisions, and also by carrying out his mission of dying on a cross, Jesus Christ is the perfect picture of God’s wisdom in action.
We could say, by way of application, that we should seek to imitate Christ in all that we do, and by doing so we would be living wisely, but that is selling Proverbs 8 short. Wisdom belongs to the God of the Bible and is incarnate in Christ; therefore, if you want wisdom, you must know Christ. It’s not good enough to have a vague understanding of God. It’s not good enough to simply read the Bible’s commands and do them. If you want to acquire wisdom, gain the fruit of wisdom, and experience the value of wisdom, you must have a personal relationship with Christ. An overarching theme of Proverbs is that you must be in covenant with the Lord if you want wisdom, and the only way to be in covenant with the Lord is through the Savior-Mediator- Advocate who is Jesus Christ. We must repent of our sins, put our saving faith in Christ, and only then will we begin to learn the proper way to live.