This proverb begins with this contention from Wisdom:
8:1 Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice? 2 She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, Beside the way, where the paths meet. 3 She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, At the entrance of the doors: 4 “To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men. 5 O you simple ones, understand prudence, And you fools, be of an understanding heart. 6 Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
Wisdom, as personified in this passage, is calling to men everywhere to listen to her, for she has something important to say. She goes on to promise to speak truth, and nothing crooked or perverse. Her words will be plain to those who understand. It will be greater than silver and gold or rubies. She then begins to explain her value. She speaks of prudence, understanding, and strength. She detests evil, pride, and arrogance. Kings and princes follow her precepts, and riches and honor are with her. The Lord originated and possessed her at the beginning, before the creation of the earth. Before mountains, hills, earth, dust, the heavens, the deep, the fountains of water, before the shore had been established as the limit of the ocean, wisdom existed and brought order to the earth. She ends her speech with:
32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, For blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it. 34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the Lord; 36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.”
What is the moral of this story? Wisdom is powerful and full of promise. Wisdom exalts princes and kings, and is a stumbling block to the wicked and dull. Wisdom establishes a man’s ways and elevates his station. In other words, recognize the value of wisdom and seek her ways. Hear her voice and be blessed. Especially if your own plans have been uncertain or an outright failure. Wisdom will lead you in paths of protection and prosperity. Foolishness or hard-heartedness will lead you to destruction. Follow God and His wisdom and you will thrive!