Guidelines for reading Proverbs 8. Sometimes we need a little perspective.
9 To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge [of the holy One-9:10].
When I read chapter 8, there are two things I keep in mind:
- Jesus is “wisdom from God” – 1 Corinthians 1:30, “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.“
- Jesus is the Word – John 1:1, 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.” “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The conclusion I reach is that Jesus is the wisdom that is speaking in this chapter. As I read it, the meanings of the verses take on a whole new dimension and application when I consider that Christ is speaking to me through them. For instance:
- v. 10 “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold.” Christ’s instruction would be the Holy Spirit’s leading in my life. Knowledge of Him would be getting to know the Spirit within me. Both are better than anything this world can offer.
- v. 17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” By loving Christ, I have the privilege of being loved by Him. In John, I find out that to be loved by the Son is to be loved by the Father (John 14:21). I also have the promise that if I seek Him, then I will find Him. “My heart [His Spirit] says to me, ‘Seek HIs face.’ Your face, O LORD, will I seek.” Psalm 27:8.
- When we read verses 22-29, the meaning of the terms, “brought forth” and “given birth,” can be better translated as, “appointed” and “anointed” as in a ceremony. He was “established” and “poured out,” “chosen” and “presented.” Jesus was not created, but appointed to be God’s emissary to earth for our sakes.
- v. 30 I love the phrase, “I was constantly at His side” as “I was the craftsman at His side.” We have confirmation of this interpretation in John 1:2-3, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:2-3, and Revelation 22:13.
- v. 36 reminds me of John 3:18, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
The last thing I want to point out is that as we read this chapter, we need to have open hearts and open minds to Him. He wants to clarify that He really does run the universe and is qualified to run our lives. At the same time, He wants our cooperation–more than that, He wants our trust. Neither does He want to do it alone; He wants our companionship. Let’s give it to Him!
Abba, May You continue to speak to us through Your Word. Thank You for making it available to us for over 3,000 years! That, in itself, is a miracle that cannot be explained!!! May we never take it for granted, but read it faithfully, listening for Your voice in the words, and hearing that whisper of Your love as we turn the pages. Amen.