Wow! The breakneck pacing through Proverbs has my mind spinning. Nearly every verse could stand as its own post, exploring the subtleties within. Nevertheless, here are a couple of observations:
13 Blessed is the man that has found wisdom and who brings to light intelligence,
14 for the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver and the fruits thereof more than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than precious stones, and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand and in her left hand riches and honour.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those that lay hold upon her, and blessed is every one that retains her.
Like all proverbs, these are not promises to stand on but observations on life; truisms. Yet we can look through history and the present and see the benefits of living with wisdom as a guide rather than the whims or cravings of the moment.
11 and thou mourn at the last when thy flesh and thy body are consumed
12 and say, How have I hated chastening and my heart despised reproof
13 and have not obeyed the voice of those who chastened me, nor inclined my ear to those that instructed me!
14 I have been in almost every kind of evil, in the midst of society and of the congregation.
How many times have heard a person reflecting "if only I had listened"? How many times have we listened to a boring baptism testimony with no gory details? I dare say the first one gets more celebration. Why should a life lived wisely not be equally honoured?
We should rejoice in repentance. But those living in wisdom should be encouraged all the more because there are no cheering crowds for them in this life. Make a point in the next week to encourage someone you know living wisely.