True Wisdom Incomparable
"For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly." Proverbs 3:14-18
The wisdom of God is a perfection of his which He knows all things, arranges all things, provides for all things, so that none of his purposes can be frustrated, or any of his plans be defeated. His every purpose, every plan, is infinitely wise, and must therefore carried out.
The Lord Jesus is the personal wisdom of God. Or, the wisdom of God personified, and represented — for in him dwells all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He is the only wise God, revealed and manifested. Divine wisdom in man, is real religion; or man sympathizing with God, fixing on the same end, falling in with the same plan, and carrying on the same work.
To get wisdom, is to become wise unto salvation; wise to secure all real good, and to escape from all real evil. Wisdom is commended to us by the wisest of men, and we are exhorted to get it and retain it; in order to which it is set forth as pre-eminently excellent. Hear the word, "She is more precious than jewels; nothing you desire compares with her!" Proverbs 3:15
Like some lovely female, having length of days in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honor, leading in pleasant ways and peaceful paths — she is presented to engage our attention and win our love.
Let us look at THE OBJECT. True wisdom — or real religion as it stands in the knowledge and fear of God. At present, real religion is comprised in four things:
1. In the knowledge of Christ. He is the Savior. He saves all who put their trust in him. Every one who knows him, trusts in him, and is saved by him. No science is to be compared to the knowledge of Christ. It is never perfect — but will be forever capable of increase. Paul knew much — but how ardently he desired more. For it, he suffered the loss of all things, and still cried out, "That I may know him!" To know Christ is to be truly wise, eternally safe, and really happy.
2. The knowledge of Christ, always leads to union with Christ. On him alone we rest. From him we draw all our supplies. By him we are empowered and directed. As the building rests on the foundation, as the branch receives from the vine, and as the member is directed by the head, so being in union with Christ, are we blessed and benefitted by him. As united to him, we are interested in all that belongs to him, and derive incalculable and eternal blessings from him.
3. This leads to conformity to Christ. Receiving his Spirit, we observe his word, copy his example, and resemble him in some faint degree. The more we resemble Christ — the more we desire to do so; nor will anything but inward and outward likeness to Jesus, ever satisfy us.
4. Then comes the prospect of being forever with Christ.
Knowing him — we cannot rest until we are in union with him;
united to him — the highest object of our desire is to resemble him;
and resembling him — the heart longs to be with him.
This is true religion, the religion of Christ. It has . . .
Christ for its object and subject;
Christ for its source and center;
Christ as its Alpha and Omega.
It brings us to Christ — as sinners;
unites us with Christ — as believers;
conforms us to Christ — as Christians;
and forever connects us with Christ — as saints.
THE transcendent excellency OF THIS OBJECT. "She is more precious than jewels; nothing you desire compares with her!"
Men desire health — but bodily health is only for a time. Divine wisdom gives perpetual health, both of body and soul.
Men desire wealth — but riches are not forever. Divine wisdom gives unsearchable riches — durable riches and righteousness.
Men desire life — but human life is brief. Divine wisdom gives everlasting life, and life in perfection and interminable blessedness.
Men desire honor — but earthly honor is fading. Divine wisdom confers the highest honors, associating us in the nearest relation with God, who is the source of all real honor.
Men desire pleasure — but what does earthly pleasure amount to? Wisdom leads to rivers of pleasure, to oceans of joy, to fountains of purest delight!
Men desire fame — but fame among sinners, is but a puff of noisy breath. Divine wisdom makes us famous, if not on earth — in Heaven; if not in time — in eternity.
If therefore we would possess health and wealth; if we would live forever, and live forever in honor; if we would enjoy endless pleasure, and shine among God's worthies — then we must get wisdom! It is transcendently excellent, for all the world would not purchase it — though God freely gives it! Nor would the possession of the whole world make up for the loss of it — if we neglect and despise it. Nor would a world, or ten thousand worlds, make a man half so happy.
If we obtain this wisdom, or if we are truly godly — then we shall exist forever in health, wealth, honor, pleasure, and renown. We shall dwell with God, be like his beloved Son, and never know a painful desire, anxious wish, or gloomy fear!
Let us therefore value, or prefer true wisdom to everything else, for all desirable things are not to be compared with it.
Let us diligently seek wisdom. God gives it, and gives it freely and liberally, without upbraiding. Let us make sure that we possess this wisdom. There are counterfeits. Some are deceived. We may be mistaken. Let us therefore carefully examine ourselves, for it is a matter of the greatest importance.
Let us also endeavor to display wisdom.
By avoiding sin.
By choosing wise companions.
By working in God's cause.
By always keeping eternal life in view.
Let us try to induce others to embrace wisdom. She calls to the sons of man. She has provided a sumptuous feast. She is willing to receive all that come. To all about us then let us employ the invitation, "Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you!" Proverbs 4:6-8