Proverbs 8:32-36 (ESV) – Son of God and Wisdom
32 “And now, O sons, listen to me:
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;
all who hate me love death.”
The entirety of Proverbs 8 is written as the personification of wisdom as a great, noble lady in stark contrast to the immoral adulteress described in Proverbs 7. Verses 1-31 describe the great lady (wisdom) as having (1) divine origin and existence and (2) expressed righteous character and purpose. In doing so, the reader can easily see that verses 32-36 reveal the Son of God, Jesus, as the living expression of divine wisdom. This transition allows for a few nice corollaries between Proverbs 8 and the New Testament:
Verse 32-33: “keep my ways” and “hear instruction” – what are Jesus’ instructions? What are His ways? Mark 12:30-31 says:
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
His ways are the summation of the 10 Mosaic Laws in 2 sentences.
Verse 34: Blessed is the one who “listens,” is “watching,” and is “waiting” – This makes me think of the story of Zacchaeus climbing the tree to get a better view of, and to hear Jesus teach. From Luke 19:3-4 we see Zacchaeus was “watching” and “waiting:”
3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.
From Luke 19:5-6 Zacchaeus was able to “listen” and respond to Jesus:
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.
Verse 35: Finding Jesus (wisdom) equating to finding life relates directly to John 1:4
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
Verse 36: Failing to “find” Him, equates to “hating” Him, yielding “love” of death. John 3:18-19 outlines this condemnation:
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
Does seeing this relationship between the Son of God and wisdom help you to know Him and grow your desire to worship Him? It sure does for me.