10“Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge over pure gold. 11For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can be compared with it.

12“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment….14Good advice and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine. 
Proverbs 8:1012, 14 (NLT)

As I read verses 10 and 11, the Holy Spirit grabbed my attention with the understanding that choosing silver and gold is so much easier than choosing God’s instruction and knowledge. Let me rephrase that – choosing to pursue silver and gold is so much easier than choosing to pursue God’s instruction and knowledge. Our society highly values the pursuit of silver and gold. Far be it that anyone should set aside the pursuit of these things to pursue God’s wisdom. I mean when was the last time you heard someone say that they were going to work less so they could pursue God more. It happens, but not a lot and most of the world (even those in the Church) would look at such a person with a bit of suspicion.

But then I read on, and learned that wisdom brings along good judgment. Good judgment is one of the greatest values in the workplace. Having wisdom and good judgment leads to the discovering of knowledge and discernment. Scripture continues, telling us that good advice and success belong to wisdom, as does insight and strength.

Now let me see if I have this right. If I pursue (and presumably attain) wisdom, I will also be receiving good judgment, good advice, success, insight and strength. It would seem to me that if I had all those things, there could be little doubt that I would be successful in the work world during the (less) time I’m spending there. I am also totally confident that my spiritual life, my relationship with God, would bring greater satisfaction, joy, peace and victory.

OK, there was an important parenthetical in that last paragraph that perhaps I should qualify. I assumed that when you pursue wisdom you would “presumably attain” it. Well, I have it on good authority that you will:

5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 1:5-8 (NIV)

God’s Word promises that He will give wisdom to all who ask. When we really believe that verse, we live in expectation that God will give it. (See my blog “What Do You Really Believe” for more on this.) And when we live in that place of faith, God responds by generously giving us wisdom. What’s it take to live in that place of faith? Pursuing Him more so that we might know Him more.

Can there be any reason that makes sense not to pursue wisdom? Well, in case you don’t agree with me yet, let me share one more verse. Here’s Hosea 4:6a in two translations:

my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6a (NIV)

My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Hosea 4:6a (NLT)

Lack of the knowledge of God destroys us, God’s Word says. Conversely, pursuing the knowledge of God brings with it good judgment, discernment and success (among other things).

God’s Word provides so much encouragement to study His ways and get to know Him. Let’s be a community of believers who prove God’s Word to the world. Let’s be people who prove that when pursuing God and knowing Him is more important than pursuing worldly riches, we become people of knowledge, wisdom, discernment, insight, good advice, and success.

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