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Ask For Wisdom

Wisdom is something we grow in, so to cherish it is to keep it in our minds and continue to grow in with the ultimate goal being transformation.

My guess is that we all have had a moment in our growing up that we were given a valuable (or at least memorable) piece of advice. For me, it was things like “Be kind to everyone because you don’t know what they’re going through.” For others, it was things like…

“Be grateful.”
“Actions speak louder than words.”
“Your attitude is always a choice.”
“Never go to bed angry.”

For Solomon this is the advice his father, King David, gave him:

“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.” (Proverbs 4:5-9)

The chapter of Proverbs 4 has the urgency of a father’s appeal to his son all over it. The father is David and his plea is that his son Solomon would learn right from wrong and stay on the right path for all his life. One commentator put it this way: “It is as though father and son were in the marketplace and the father was urging the son to spend his money on wisdom rather than on anything else.”

What’s the price for wisdom for Solomon? His whole life.

“Get wisdom.”

Those two words sound like an advertisement, but in reality, how do we get wisdom?

David would say and Solomon would write, “love her.”

The ‘her’ is wisdom; love wisdom. There’s value in love. When you love something you see the intrinsic value in it and it results in a deep affection – like loving your spouse, your child, your friends, or your passions. Proverbs 3:13-15 says nothing compares to wisdom. Therefore wisdom is supreme in value, meaning it is well worth the effort and cost involved in acquiring it.

David would then go on to say that when wisdom is valued, “it watches over you…cherishes you…and exalts you.” As we value and love wisdom, wisdom brings about honor and a life well spent – things Solomon relates to as a wreath and glorious crown.

So here’s the good news from what I see in Scripture about wisdom. We can have it. In 1 Corinthians 1:24 and 30 Paul writes that Christ Jesus is for us the wisdom of God. Wisdom personified in Jesus, the Word of God. Along with wisdom comes understanding and for us, people of God, understanding comes through the Holy Spirit. As we value and pursue wisdom in Scripture, the Holy Spirit resides with us to help us understand (1 Corinthians 2:14-16). So we ask the Holy Spirit to help us be wise!

“Cherish her.”

The definition of cherish it to “protect and care for” and to “keep in one’s mind.” Wisdom is something we grow in, so to cherish it is to keep it in our minds and continue to grow in with the ultimate goal being transformation.

To me, the application seems elementary – not in importance, but in action. Want to get wisdom? Value it for the good gift it is, ask for it from the Holy Spirit, and pursue it with all your days. Then you will be presented with a glorious crown.

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