14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies: 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 them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
Proverbs 3:13-18 (NLT) 13 Joyful is the person who finds wisdom,
the one who gains understanding.
14 For wisdom is more profitable than silver,
and her wages are better than gold.
15 Wisdom is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 She offers you long life in her right hand,
and riches and honor in her left.
17 She will guide you down delightful paths;
all her ways are satisfying.
18 Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
happy are those who hold her tightly.
"Some connect these words with the preceding (verses); as if the sense was, a good man, though he is chastened by the Lord, yet is a happy man; not only because his chastenings are in love and for good, but because he improves in spiritual knowledge and understanding by them" - Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible (parenthesis mine)
Although this statement from Gill's is correct. It begins to go even deeper as we shall see. Wisdom, although described as a feminine form, is akin to Jesus Christ. We have talked about Wisdom meaning a godly wisdom, not just facts, knowledge and human intelligence. What is the greatest godly wisdom? Knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Let's read Gill's further comments...
"But rather the argument in praise of wisdom, and the advantages of it, insisted on in the preceding chapter, is resumed here and enlarged upon; and by wisdom is meant Christ, and a saving knowledge of him by means of his Gospel; and 'finding' him supposes seeking him; which does not arise from nature, but the grace of God, and follows upon the sight of the need and worth of Christ; and is done in the use of means, as reading, praying, and attendance on the word and ordinances: and finding him is no other than an enjoyment of him by faith; which is a seeing him, a taking hold on him, and possessing him; who is to be found in the covenant of grace, being the Mediator, surety, and messenger of it; in the Gospel, which is full of him; in the promises of it, which hold him forth, and the blessings of his grace; in the ordinances, which direct unto him, and where he shows himself: for he is not to be found by the light of nature, nor by carnal reason, nor by the law of Moses; but by means of the Gospel, attended with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; and a happy finding this, which fills the possessor with inexpressible joy! see John 1:41;
and the man that getteth understanding; Christ, and a spiritual understanding of him: this is not a proper acquisition of a man's own; an interest in Christ is not gotten by anything of man's; not by his good works, which are the fruits of grace; nor by faith and repentance, which are gifts of grace themselves; but it is given unto a man: and 'getting' here signifies, as before, possession and enjoyment of Christ, as God's pure gift; as a man that is said to obtain the favour of God, when he enjoys it, and the effects of it, in consequence of finding Christ, Proverbs 8:35; where the same word is used as here. The word signifies to 'draw out' (t); as metals are drawn out of the earth by searching and digging for, or as water out of a well; thus Christ, and the knowledge of him, are drawn out of the mines and fountains of the Scriptures, by such that seek after him aright. Aben Ezra interprets it, that draws or brings it out from another, and learns it; the true believer in Christ hears and learns of the Father, and so comes to Christ, and enjoys him, John 6:45." - Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So we can take it that godly wisdom can practically aid us in our lives. If we practise godly wisdom we have better health in mind, body and spirit and now we see it can affect us according to prosperity and this can be in mind, body and spirit. If we consult with God and continually pursue Him and His wisdom, it should show up in making good decisions in our life which can benefit us physically, emotionally, spiritually and materially.
Does that mean, if I pray for God's wisdom, I'll be rich!?! Not necessarily, and by asking the question we show our lack of godly wisdom. (Been there with the "prosperity gospel", got the t-shirt!) Yes, it will help us to make better financial decisions. If we use godly wisdom to avoid sins and temptations, it should help us financially. For instance, if you don't fall into the temptation of taking drugs, you have benefitted your pocketbook because drugs cost money. And the more drugs you take, the more it costs you. Finally you lose your job because of your drug use and you aren't making an income but still have the drug habit. Then you begin stealing and you get caught. It costs money to go through the legal system and you don't have any so you go to jail.
Another example, having sex outside of marriage can lead to unwanted pregnancies. Abortions can cost you. So can having a child out of wedlock. Single women raising one, or more, children face a lot of financial hardship and their children can face the consequences of financial hardship. It takes money to pursue a biological father for child support in the legal system. And many deadbeat dads learn how to evade the system so they don't pay child support anyway. That leaves a lot of single mothers with children who have to make it on their own and/or receive government assistance (innocent taxpayers paying for your mistakes).
A child is a human being made by God, designed and crafted with great love and having God's breath of life in them. So I don't, in any way, mean a child is a throwaway, a burden, or a curse (to a parent or a taxpayer). And, I don't condone abortion. That just complicates your sin and the consequences are deeper. A child may have been unplanned, but once it's conceived, it is a blessing from God and God can redeem all the circumstances of his/her conception. That innocent child had no control over how it was conceived. In most cases, you can control your sexual activity, but the child did not. God does not hold that child responsible for your sins. That is between you and God and He is a loving and forgiving God. At any time, you can go to Him and repent and He forgives! Then all of it is under the blood of Jesus. You will still have consequences to deal with, but God is with you to redeem all the consequences and turn them into something wonderful and miraculous! Let's say you do struggle financially because you had a child out of wedlock. But God uses your financial struggles to positively affect that child. When they grow up they are careful to be responsible adults and make good choices. They want their children to grow up in a stable family without suffering lack so they work hard. Or they even make use of their education to help others who struggle. We never know how God will redeem a messed up situation, we just know He will if we repent and turn it over to Him.
I know a woman who was born to a mother who had multiple children with multiple partners and husbands. This woman didn't even know her real biological father until she was an adult. The man she thought was her biological father wasn't. She knew great financial hardship growing up. But you won't find a harder working woman, a more godly woman, in this world. Through her relationship with Jesus Christ, she was able to let go of things that would embitter most of us and she has been physically, emotionally and spiritually healthier for it. She learned how to forgive and have a good relationship with her mother, how to develop good relationships with her full and half siblings, and how to overcome insecurities based on her childhood. She took advantage of her public education and was able to go to college. She worked at jobs that many would have turned their nose up at, in order to go to college. She made good decisions in college and was able to get a great job when she graduated. She kept that job for many years and moved up in it. Then she got a better job and kept it and moved up in it too. Now she is in a different job but doing very well and has moved into a new home that she loves. This is God in action, people! He took a bad situation and used it for her good! She wasn't responsible for her mother's bad choices although she suffered because of them. But God took that suffering and made her into a shining star, a testimony to what He can do! God loves her, has His hand upon her and has been with her throughout all the troubles and problems of her life. He knew she would be one who would seek Him and be His child so He made doubly sure to craft everything in her environment to shape her into the godly woman she has become! It hasn't come easy to her, but it's all been used to make her a jewel of a woman!
Sex outside of marriage can lead to sexual addictions, sexually transmitted diseases, heartbreaks and heartaches, divorces, child support and alimony, etc. All of these consequences are expensive in the long run. You pay for prostitutes, you pay for porn, you pay for legal expenses, you pay for medicine and treatment, you pay for counseling, etc.
If you listen to godly wisdom and don't fall for temptations to sin, you will have saved yourself some money (and a lot of other consequences as well).
It's not all about money, of course. You are enriched emotionally, physically and spiritually when you use godly wisdom. But how do you get "godly wisdom"? You have to have a relationship with God and keep it fresh. You want to learn about Him, so read your Bible. You want to talk to Him, so pray. You want to praise and worship Him, so pull up some praise and worship music and begin singing. You want to practise His presence, so work on your spiritual exercises. Be open to learn from Him and the Holy Spirit within you will gladly pour godly wisdom into you.
But, as I pointed out earlier, the ultimate Wisdom is Jesus Christ and His salvation and lordship. He is the One who is worth more than any earthly silver and gold. He is the greatest treasure and richest prize. It is only in Him that you find eternal life in Heaven and what is that worth to you? To me, it's worth everything!
Here are some songs, choruses, hymns that express the riches of Christ:
You Are by Darlene Zschech, Ron Kenoly, Hillsong United
You are the love of my life.
You are the hope that I cling to.
You mean more than this world to me.
I wouldn't trade you for silver or gold.
I wouldn't trade you for riches untold.
You are, you are my everything.
I wouldn't take one step without you,
I could never go on.
I couldn't breathe one breath without you.
I don't have the strength to make it on my own.
Until the world stops turning,
Until the stars fade from the sky,
Until the sun stops striving,
I need you in my life, and here's the reason why...
You are the love of my life.
You are the hope that I cling to.
You mean more than this world to me.
Lord You Are more Precious Than Silver by Jason Wright
Lord You are more Precious than Silver
Lord You are more Costly than Gold
Lord You are more Beautiful than Diamonds
and nothing I desire compares with you.
And who can weigh the value of knowing you,
Oh, who can judge the worth of who you are;
Lord, who can count the blessing, of loving you,
Who can sing just how great you are!
Riches Unsearchable, Riches Untold by Fanny J. Crosby
1 Riches unsearchable, riches untold,—
Purer and brighter than silver or gold,—
Riches unsearchable, priceless, divine,
Blessed Creator and Saviour, are thine.
O for a harp and a voice to proclaim,
Glory and praise to thy excellent name.
2 Riches unsearchable thou wilt bestow
When to thy throne in thy Spirit we go;
When in thy promise we trust and believe,
Riches unsearchable we shall receive. [Refrain]
3 Riches unsearchable, drop’d from above
Into our souls from thy storehouse of love,
What will they be when our race we have run?
What will they be when our crown we have won? [Refrain]
4 Riches unsearchable, not for a day,—
Not for the years that shall circle away,—
Riches eternal, exhaustless, divine,
Blessed Creator and Saviour, are thine. [Refrain]
I'd Rather Have Jesus
A poem written in 1922 by Rhea F. Miller with the music composed by George Beverly Shea, sung often by him on Billy Graham Crusades.
1 I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I'd rather be His than have riches untold;
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands.
I'd rather be led by His nail pierced hand
Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin's dread sway.
I'd rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.
2 I'd rather have Jesus than men's applause;
I'd rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I'd rather have Jesus than worldwide fame.
I'd rather be true to His holy name [Chorus]
3 He's fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He's sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He's all that my hungering spirit needs.
I'd rather have Jesus and let Him lead [Chorus]
- Have you ever lost money because you chose to sin? Think about what it cost you in ways other than financially. What was the cost, what were the consequences?
- Have you ever financially gained because you chose to obey God and ignore the temptation to sin? Think about how it rewarded you in ways other than financially. What was the reward, what were the consequences of obedience?
- Can you think of an extreme example where sin cost someone everything?
- Can you think of an extreme example where godly wisdom saved someone from losing everything?
- Have you ever thought of Jesus Christ as being worth more than anything on earth and your salvation, through Him, as being your greatest treasure?
- If you hadn't seen Him like that before this may be new to you. What would you consider to be your greatest treasure? Is there someone, or something, you don't think you could live without?
- Now this is a hard one, can you give that treasure to God and allow Jesus to be your greatest Treasure? If you struggle with this, that's OK. You are human and you are learning. But ask God to help you with this and pray that He become the most valuable thing in your life. Ask Him to reveal how very precious He is to you and to open your eyes to true riches. Remember, the Holy Spirit resides in you as a Christian. It is God's Will that you love Him above all else and if you want that too, the Holy Spirit will make it happen in your life. Wait for it, and you will see it become a reality in your heart.
For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.