~~~~~”Wisdom has built her house…” Proverbs 9:1~~~~~
If you have gotten to know me through my writings, you will know that I am a woman who is a wife, mom, and nana. I am busy fulfilling the duties that my role provides me. It is not a curse, but a joy. I respectfully disagree with those who would say otherwise and gladly accept that God made me physically and emotionally different from the other gender–I am happy to recognize that my role is very different, but complimentary!
I say all of that to preface the question that is so obvious in Proverbs:
“Why is wisdom a she?”
While I certainly don’t have the answer, it is seems to me that this personification of wisdom could help us understand it’s worth–and because God does not value one gender over the other, the feminine use of pronouns that refer to wisdom here implies certain qualities (like beauty and gentleness and nurturing) that would be more easily understood in this form of poetic writing. And of course, because he is talking to his son here, Solomon is using an obvious comparison that any young man will relate to!
The characteristic of wisdom is not forced on us, but is portrayed as something we choose to pursue and one that it is beautiful–something valued and desired. Look back at Chapter 8. (You can read my blog on Chapter 8 here: Wisdom’s Value)
“For wisdom is better than precious stones, and nothing desirable can compare with it.” Proverbs 8:11
And so we come to chapter 9.
Read it for yourself. You will see wisdom’s actions in verses 1-12 contrasted with the “woman Folly” in verses 13-18. There is a definitive difference in Solomon’s description of the one who is wise and one who chooses foolishness. While some might be offended at his personification, the truth of this passage only reiterates for me that regardless of gender, wisdom is an attractive trait we should all desire, remembering that The Lord is the giver of all good things, and that it all starts with knowing Him.
So here’s my personal estimation:
While we might not understand the “why” in reference to his terminology, we can know the WHO.
Verse 10 tells exactly where wisdom starts.
There is only one path to wisdom and it all starts with recognizing who God is and then choosing to follow His purposes and plans.
While the benefits of wisdom may seem obvious, it is also obvious based on verses 13-18, that not everyone will choose to go down the path to “wisdom’s house.”
Proverbs is packed full of practical advice and clear warnings of the dangers that threaten to send us in the wrong direction. Often I find myself praying, “God, give me wisdom in this situation”. I recognize that I need the Lord’s help every day, and that it is for my own benefit that I should ask for wisdom often. Proverbs has been a great reminder for me that there is so much I miss when I look for answers in places other than the Bible. We can’t trust our emotions, and we can’t let circumstances determine what is true. We must get back to the Bible.
I’ve read Proverbs many times in my life, but this fresh, daily approach to seeking wisdom has been eye-opening for me.
Hank Hanegraaff, the modern day Christian apologist known as “The Bible Answer Man” states, “all the maxims and principles for successful daily living are encapsulated in the Book of Proverbs” [equipblog.com] and his encouragement is to read through the book of Proverbs every month of the year in addition to any other Bible reading.
I think that’s some pretty sound advice–don’t you? 🙂