Wisdom has many benefits for the one who chooses to walk in it. That is what we are told today in Proverbs 3:16. We are told that God promises by long life and riches and honor to the ones who walk in wisdom.
First let us look at the promise of long life. When a man walks in God's wisdom he will walk in peace. Wisdom counsels us to be made right with God and to cooperate with Him throughout life. This will calm a man and grant him a longer life. Reports come back regularly explaining to us that a peaceful, tranquil heart is great for our health. Stress will kill a man in the end - because stress will release toxins in the body and cause the heart to have to work much harder than it usually does. Wisdom will also offer us long life because wisdom calls us away from the excesses of the wicked. Having embraced a life of moderation and temperance, we will be spared much of the difficulty that comes from the varied gluttonies of life.
We are also told that wisdom will give us riches and honor. Throughout the book of Proverbs we read tremendous amounts of wisdom in regard to our finances and how we should operate in business. Having talked with several of the successful businessmen in my own congregation, they have assured me that reading the proverb of the day - and learning to follow the counsel of Scritpure on financial matters will yield wealth. I'm not talking about the kind of wealth that the health, wealth, and prosperity people tout. This is the wealth that acrues due to wise management of our money and our lives.
Wisdom also holds in her hands honor for us. The word for honor here is "kabod" - which speaks of a weightiness in life. This speaks of honor given by others as they see how we live. Wisdom will help us to live an honorable life in the sight of God, which in turn will move the Lord to grant us honor in the sight of others - and most importantly, in His sight.
Rather than health, riches, and honor due to a "name it, claim it" type of mentality, this passage is truly teaching us something amazing. Just for the fun of it - I would call this the "learn it, spurn it" mentality. As God teaches us wisdom - we learn from Him of His ways and paths. He instructs us in the way that we should go - and that has reference to everything we do and everything we are. We learn it - in His presence - by His Spirit - as He endeavors to educate us teaching us His Word. As we embrace His ways - we also learn to "spurn it." This simply means that the more we learn of wisdom and of God's Word, the more we will spurn the ways of this world, and the ways of our own flesh. This will help us to truly be blessed in all that we do.
Before I finish with this proverb, I would like to show a couple of New Testament verses that reiterate this same principle for us - just using slightly different language. First is what Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Here in very simple language is the pursuit of wisdom. We learn to seek as the first order of business in our daily lives, His kingdom and His righteousness. Said another way, we seek for His rule and reign over every thought and action, and we have Him determine what is right in every situation. Truly this is wisdom - and the promise we receive? He will add all the other things (here refering to food and clothing) to us.
The second verse is 1 Timothy 4:8, ". . . for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." Here we see that wisdom will always lead us to live a godly life. This godliness is profitable here and now, as well as throughout all eternity. Seeing this, it is my hope for both you and me that we will embrace her - embrace wisdom - and find that in both hands there awaits us great blessing from God.