“Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands. Obey my commands and live! Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes. Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family.” Proverbs 7:1 - 4 (NLT)
Where is your treasure?
I remember reading stories as a kid about pirates and buried treasure; there was always something so exciting about finding a secret treasure. From Aladdin to The Hobbit, there are countless stories about finding a cave full of riches beyond measure. Solomon was not short in the department of riches. If anyone knew about treasure, it was Solomon. In a 2016 article, it was estimated that his net worth by today’s wealth would have been around $2 Trillion. So, what does Solomon say to treasure? Commands - obey them and live!
Solomon continues by sharing how important it is to take hold of instructions, take them to heart. He reminds us to hold close the treasure of wisdom from people who have experienced difficult situations. Even though he is speaking to his son, we can listen and apply his words.
Chapters 6 and 7 speak of the snares of adultery. Solomon has wisdom due to experience on the subject (remember, his mother was Bathsheba). His father, David, literally had someone killed so he could take his wife. I am sure David had a few things to say about that experience, and Solomon is trying to pass on some wisdom to future generations.
We can gain wisdom from the failures of others. Many of us feel like our Christian life needs to be a perfect journey but the reality is we fail and we fall many times over the course of our lives. We can pass on the pitfalls of our journey, the experiences we have, and the wisdom we gain to the next generation.
Rings and reminders
Every time that I look at my left hand, I am reminded that I’m married. Do I actually need a ring to remind me of this reality? Certainly not. However, the ring is there to serve a reminder. Some people even have their rings inscribed to signify what their relationship means. The power of the ring is not actually the ring (unless it's a ring that needs to go to Mordor... But that's a different story), the power is in what the ring represents.
Solomon says that we should keep instructions close to use, like that ring around our finger. He even says to guard it like you would your own eye (some translations use language about the apple of your eye, which is your pupil). Guarding instructions is as important as protecting your eyes, keeping your eyesight intact. Without your eyesight, you have no vision. Without wisdom and insight, you won't know where you need to go even if you can see what’s in front of you.
Insight as a friend
Solomon then goes on to say that wisdom is like a sister and that insight is a close friend (v 4). There is a closeness we need to have with wisdom, instruction and insight. Not to just study about these every so often but for them to be close friends, siblings, to live with in community. Again, we are walking in wisdom and walking with wisdom. My mind goes to the story of Enoch in the Old Testament. It says in Genesis that Enoch used to walk with God on a regular basis. One day Enoch just kept walking with God and walked into heaven. There was a closeness there that could not have happened without a real connection. Enoch did not just study about God or read a story a few times a year. He walked with God and then one day he just kept walking and did not stop until God took him up heaven (Genesis 5:21 – 24).
Reflect and Respond
Are you walking in community with wisdom and insight? Do you connect with them on a regular basis like a friend? Are you open to instruction? Take a few minutes to pray and consider how you can gain wisdom through insight and instruction - who can help you on your journey today?