Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: Proverbs 1:20-21
If you go to most wise men - you will find that they say that you have to get away from everything to gain wisdom. Some sit on mountain tops - where you have to come and sit in silence so that you can gain their wisdom and perspective. Others require you to come to a school - and there you receive your wisdom. What is truly interesting to me is that the Bible does not have this view of where you can receive wisdom. What is delightful about the biblical view is that it makes wisdom available where it is needed most - in the throes of everyday life.
Where do we find wisdom in this passage? According to Solomon, wisdom is shouting to us in the streets and in the square. Wisdom calls to us at the head of the noisy streets and at the entrance gate of the city. These are not places isolated from everyone - but rather are places where you can find the greatest number of people - and they refer to the places where there is abundant activity taking place.
The first place we see wisdom calling to us is in the street. The street could be any street - but no matter which street is being referred to - it is still out where we live our lives each and every day. God's wisdom is not made for ivory towers of high learning and inquiry - but for everyone. It is accessible to the average every man - who walks the streets. The way wisdom calls to us is with a ringing cry or shout. There is no mere whispering of wisdom - we will find a ringing shout when God desires to give us His wisdom. If we ignore it - that is our own doing - for wisdom's call is not a quiet thing that can be missed easily. It is a loud, attention-getting shout.
The next place is more populated. It is the square. This was the public square or plaza. This would be a very high density place to be - and was where most of the people met in the city. Wisdom calls out to us here - for the public square is a place where most public conversation takes place. If we will listen to the Spirit of God as He is seeking to teach us wisdom - we will know how to speak in the public place - as well as how to discern what is said there. This word in the Hebew not only referred to one square - but also to a network of streets that would lead to it. When you move from streets to the open square in a city - you are coming to a place of greater importance and influence. It is imperative that when we come to greater and greater places of influence, that we have wisdom guiding us every step of the way.
The next place wisdom meets us is at the head of the noisy streets. This is the place where a fork in the road was usually found. Once you came to the head of a street, you had a decision to make as to which way you were going to go. What a great place to have wisdom from God guide us. It is here that we see once again wisdom calling out to us. Even more fascinating is that this word means to summon or to invite. At the place where we have a decision to make as to what way we are going to take - it is there that wisdom offers an invitation to us to listen and learn. Since this word was also used in places like Exodus 34:6 to introduce a section of Scripture that dealt with moral and ethical issues - we see that wisdom's invitation is to know our way both morally and ethically at the crossroads of our life. How often have we faced a crossroad wondering which way to take. If we will turn to God, we will find that His wisdom is freely offered to us so that we can know the way that we should go.
The last place where wisdom is offered to us in at the gates of the city. This was the political arena - or the place where the elders of the city would sit to discuss not just political ideas - but also economic ones as well. The gate was the place where they sat to make business decisions. What a wonderful place to have wisdom available to us. As we face decisions about morals and direction for not just our individual lives - but for our city, state, and nation - we can know that wisdom is there uttering her sayings. As we walk in the business world and face a situation where wisdom would keep us from making a bad decision, we can know that wisdom sits wanting to utter to us the very things we will need to avoid a foolish decision.
God's wisdom is not locked away in come castle or on some mountain top where the practical issues of every day life seem far far away. God is waiting in all the places where we walk - waiting to give us wisdom to walk in the manner pleasing to Him. He is also waiting to impart wisdom to us that will bless us and guide us in His way. You will not have to become a monk or a seeker who has to walk to the ends of the earth to get an hour or two with a guru who gives you some obtuse saying you will have to parse to grasp any meaning from it. God is in all the places you walk. God is there wanting to shout out, call out, or simply utter His sayings. These will guide us into His way - which is the way of blessing. What a joy to know that our God is omnipresent and waiting with His glorious wisdom to lead us in every situation. Turn to Him then in the streets, in the square, at every crossroad, and in all the affairs of life, business, and even politics. What you will find is wisdom that will direct you in the way of His blessing and favor. There is no better place to be!
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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