“For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.” – Prov. 8:35-36
If we read the book of Proverbs in the Bible, we quickly see that in order to live life well and prevent many problems it is essential to have “wisdom”. In the context of Proverbs 8, wisdom is impersonated as “lady wisdom”, and she pleads with her readers to realize how essential and important she is in the world. Our relationship to wisdom determines our course of life; “whoever finds me (wisdom) finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me (wisdom) injures himself; all who hate me love death” (v. 35-36). Wisdom is essential to everything that we do, from technology to relationships to money. When we ask ourselves why wisdom is so important, the answer is very simple: the reason wisdom has so much weight in our world is because she was an essential piece through which God created the world (Prov. 8:23-31). Wisdom was in the beginning when God was building and shaping the world; it was the fabric and the glue of everything that he created.
God created our world to function a certain way, and wisdom unlocks our mind to understand these principles, and gives us the opportunity to make the right decisions. For example, if we understand the power of gravity, we will walk very carefully on a deserted bridge that is suspended miles above the ground. When we realize that every word during our job interview can make it or break it, we will be very careful in choosing our words. Wisdom, by nature, is to see the world the way God created it to function and then to live accordingly. When we live this way our life becomes successful, but when we reject or ignore the reality of how God created the world, we suffer the consequences. The book of Proverbs pleads for us to search for this wisdom as if it were silver, or a hidden treasure (Pro. 2:1-6).
Sometimes we tend to act unwisely because we fear that if we take matters into our own hands we are not trusting God. We tend to think that “reliance on God” means to simply pray and wait for God’s involvement. For example, if you get diagnosed with an illness that requires special medical attention, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, what should you do? What does it mean to trust God in this situation? Are you simply to give it up to the Lord and just wait, without receiving treatment? Is that wise? Is that how God created the world to work? Can we take the prescribed medicine for high blood pressure and still be trusting God?
The book of Proverbs shows us that God never intended for us to sit around and just wait for the blessings to fall upon our shoulders. A horrible toothache from cavities doesn’t just go away by itself; the perfect job never falls upon our shoulders without us searching for it and/or training for it; we won’t automatically know how to fix a car without taking the time to understand how it runs. The world is full of causes and effects. God wants us to do everything possible from our side and yet fully trust Him, that he will lead us, strengthen us, and give us the necessary outcome. Yes, God is involved in our lives and performs miracles and blesses us, but that does not eliminate the need to act in accordance with the way the world was designed to function. Let us not be lazy, let us turn on our brains, let us observe the world, and let us come to God for strength, guidance and wisdom.