The Function of Wisdom

Proverbs 8

Wisdom personified – provides a defense for the central necessity and usefulness of wisdom in the living of daily life. Wisdom has a function in every part of life

A. Wisdom as guide 8:1-5

is not obscured v.1

cries out

raises her voice

is all around vv.2-3

in the country – “top of the high hill”

at the crossroads – “where the paths meet”

and at the city gates

is available to all v.4-5

regardless of station

the sons of Adam

people of all sorts

regardless of ability

those regarded as simple or naive

even fools (morally foolish)

can gain an understanding of wisdom and how to apply it

James 1:5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

B. Wisdom and morality 8:6-13



excellent – noble or princely v.6a

right – upright or equitable v.6b

truth v.7a

not wicked v.7b

righteous v.8a

not crooked or perverse (upside-down) v.8b

plain v.9a

right – correct or fitting v.9b

It’s obvious from experience to the godly person that wisdom’s way is morally excellent. v.9

those with experience have greater appreciation – doctor prescribing a medication

experiencing the value of something increases confidence

wisdom has inherent value

biblical/spiritual understanding is priceless, cannot be purchased vv.10-11

rememberIsa. 55:1-2

true wisdom and biblical morality are inseparable

nothing wicked, deceptive or perverse about wisdom – mutually exclusive characteristics vv.7-8

is accompanied by prudence, knowledge, discretion v.12

prudence – good judgment

equated with fear of the Lord v. 13

the antithesis of evil, pride, arrogance, wrong speech

C. Wisdom and success 8:14-21

the source of insight and strength v.14

how to act in all sorts of situations

the strength necessary for good leadership, particularly in government

the basis of just government v.15

lasting gov’t is moral gov’t

those who rules according biblical principles enjoy stability

subjects may not like principles but recognize them as right

the foundation of good laws vv.15-16

job of earthly legislators – enact biblical principle in “local” laws

not their task to redefine right/wrong, just/unjust

the way to business success v.18-21


local businesses – White Rock Outboard, Ronnie Sampson, etc

D. Wisdom and creation 8:22-31

possessed by God prior to creation vv.22-24

no part of creation created without wisdom vv.25-29

both the elements AND the order of creation

wisdom essential to the framework within which God created vv.30-31

if wisdom is this important to God, we should value it and seek to acquire it

if wisdom is integral to creation, creation and life has meaning

should probably not understand “wisdom personified” as code for Christ

parallel concepts

wisdom is an attribute of God

Christ reveals the nature of God – “in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”

E. The appeal to gain wisdom 8:32-36

acquiring wisdom requires effort v.34

wisdom leads to life and favor with God v.35

neglect of wisdom leads to death – spiritual, also premature physical death

We live in a world desperately in need of godly wisdom. May God use us to live wisely and point others to the source of true wisdom.


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