Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. (11) For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.Pro 8:10-11
Wisdom continues to speak as the narrator in this passage, and as she does, she gives some new advice based on what she has already said. In verses 6-9 we learned about the quality of her words. The words of wisdom are excellent, right, true, free of wickedness, righteous, free of perversion, clear and accessible. Of course, this speaks to their value. But the advice that Wisdom gives in verses 10 and 11 give some practical estimation on the value of wisdom’s teaching. The claim that is made is that wise instruction and knowledge is more valuable than silver, gold and rubies. The idea is that if you had a choice between great riches and wisdom, the obvious choice would be wisdom.
This choice between riches and wisdom is the kind of choice that Solomon himself faced at one point in his life. The presentation of this choice can be found in 1 Kings 3.
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. (6) And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. (7) And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. (8) And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. (9) Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? (10) And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. (11) And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; (12) Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.1 Kings 3:5-12
When it came down to it, Solomon asked for wisdom from the Lord and God gave him Wisdom and riches.
Why is wisdom more valuable than riches?
- Riches can be fleeting. Money is here today and gone tomorrow. Wisdom cannot be taken from someone.
- The pursuit of riches can make one unwise. People have done many evil and foolish things in their pursuit of wealth.
- Pursuing and heeding wisdom can make us a good steward of wealth. When foolish people get wealth they do foolish things with it. When wise people get wealth, they use it wisely.
Here is the point: Wisdom is way more valuable than we often estimate it to be. We must value wisdom and wise instruction.
How much do you value wisdom?
- Do you read God’s Word?
- Do you intentionally pursue relationships with people wiser than yourself?
- Do you pursue reading and knowledge more than entertainment?
- Do you value wealth more than wisdom?