“So listen to me, children!
Blessed are those who obey me.
Listen to instruction and be wise.
Don’t ignore it.
Blessed is the person who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting at my doorways—because those who find me find life
and gain favor from the LORD.
But whoever sins against me destroys himself; everyone who hates me loves death.”
(Pro 8:32-36 ISV)
The book of Proverbs seems to be intended to help young Israelite men become wise. This does not mean it does not apply to women, it clearly does, but its main intention was apparently to instruct young men. The didactic methods are geared toward young men. Wisdom is portrayed in three ways: a wise mother, a beautiful woman (perhaps even a prophet), and as a wife.
Anyhow, the above passage talks about gaining wisdom as a means of gaining favor with God. This is interesting because many today talk about gaining favor with God as some luck of the draw thing. The Proverbs prologue indicates that favor with God is a term for those who work hard to be successful and ethical. But how can one get this wisdom which leads to favor with God? Lady wisdom says, “Blessed is the person who listens to me, watching daily at my gates”. In other words, attend to wisdom daily. Get the attention of wisdom. Treat wisdom as single man would an attractive woman (not as a conquest) but as an object of affection or as a pearl of great price. Sell your possessions to get wisdom and you will be blessed.
The point is obvious. To get the lady you must show her attention and figure her out. To get wisdom you must take time to figure it out, this will change you. You have to study daily. It works this way in God’s kingdom too; you sell your possessions to buy a field with a pearl of great price. You sell your sloppy thinking, bad habits, and laziness and study wisdom daily. This looks different for everybody in terms of calling and circumstances (are you a doctor, a grocery clerk, a mechanic, married single, etc). But it also looks the same: become humble, become generous, become frugal, spend time daily improving the skills you need to be a wise [fill in the blank here]. For Christians it also means daily attending to the teachings of Jesus Christ who claims that those who do so “are like a wise man, who built his house upon a rock.”
All of us would do well to flirt with Lady Wisdom.
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