Take my instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold. 11 "For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her. Proverbs 8:10-11 (NASB)
How valuable is wisdom? You can't find any valuation for it on the New York Stock Exchange or in a bank. There is no mention of it in any of the mutual funds or among the currency exchange markets either. So just how valuable is wisdom? Well, according to what we read in Proverbs 8:10-11 wisdom is extremely valuable - worth far more than anyone in the financial world could imagine.
First we learn that we should take a father's discipline and instruction rather than silver. "Musar" is the Hebrew word used here and it means the instruction and discipline that comes through a father's oral instruction - but it can also mean the way this comes through the rod as well. According to other places in Proverbs (i.e. 1:7, 8:33, 13:1, and 15:5) if we receive this we receive life and the favor of God. When we reject our father's instruction and discipline, we receive death, poverty, and shame. In many ways the Word of God says that the way we deal with our father's instruction and discipline will be mirrored in how we receive His in our lives. Hmmm, a southern way of saying this might be, "Take your daddy's talkin's and whippin's rather than money." Might sound kind of strange - but when I think of the value of a godly father's instruction - it is something that is invaluable. When I consider how much I could have learned from my dad - and how much pain and problems could have been prevented in my life if I did - I see where this is worth more than silver.
The second statement her is to take knowledge rather than gold. This is the Hebrew word "daath" which means a knowledge gained from learning, discernment, and insight. The word speaks of a knowledge about how life works, as well as a knowledge of the divine. A way to put this where you can really grasp it is that the knowledge God commends is knowing Him and therefore knowing how to life live to its fullest. Now if we thought that a father's instruction and discipline was valuable - we will be blown away at the value of the knowledge God gives. It is worth more than the choicest gold. The gold described here is what is known as "fine gold" and it describes gold that is highly refined and extremely valuable. To know God and thus to know how to live this life is so incredibly valuable. Nothing is worth more to a human being because such wealth does not leave you when you die physically. To know God and how to live will last for all eternity.
Next we are told that wisdom is better than jewels. The word used here usually refers to rubies and other highly valuable gems. The word also indicates that these are not raw jewels, but ones that have been cut and adorned with gold and other items to make them highly valuable. Imagine if you will the entire collection of England's crown jewels. These are not as valuable as wisdom. Wisdom again is simply seeing things the way that God sees them and thus knowing how to make decisions that please and honor Him. To close out this proverb we finally read that "all desireable things cannot compare with her." Take all the things of this world that men consider valuable. Pile them all up into one glorious wealthy heap - and all these things together cannot compare to wisdom.
This world puts great pride in what they consider valuable. We even used to have a show were the lives of the rich and famous were put on display for all of us to covet. The problem is that all those things are not as desireable as knowing God. They don't add up to a life where we learn valuable and wise lessons from our earthly fathers - then follow their example by learning from God Himself the very things they have sought to teach us. What is the value of wisdom? It is of such a high value that they've not even invented charts that can accurately show the true value and the wealth that comes from it. That can only be measured in the joy and thrill of a myriad of lifetimes spent in the presence of God Himself in heaven.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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