Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
A beautiful woman will approach you today. She calls to you (Pr 1:20-23). She is full of desire for you (Pr 8:1-4). She wants to be your companion for life (Pr 9:1-5). Will you embrace her (Pr 4:8)? If you love her, she will love you back (Pr 8:17). She is beautiful and offers a feast at her house, but she also offers long life, riches, and honor. How can you resist such an invitation and situation (Pr 3:13-18)? Most reject it. What about you?
Here is Solomon’s personification of wisdom – the representation of an abstract concept like wisdom as a beautiful woman. Personification is a powerful tool of language, as you can see by considering Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty, and Father Time. Solomon painted the literary picture of Lady Wisdom for his son and all men (and women). The image is delightful, the offer sincere, and the simple condition easy. Will you love this woman?
Lady Wisdom offers three things – long life, riches, and honor (Pr 22:4). Is there a better combination? Every man desires these things, but few obtain them. With these three, what else do you need? With these three, you can achieve total success. How do you get them? Embrace Lady Wisdom! How? Love the wisdom of Proverbs and Scripture!
Length of days is long life. It is God’s reward for obedience (Pr 10:2; 11:4; Deut 4:40; 5:16; 6:2). Solomon connected long life with wisdom (Pr 3:2; 4:10; 9:11; 10:27; 13:14). How can wisdom extend life? It can save you from whores (Pr 2:16-18), the judgment of God (Pr 3:4; 26:10), revenge (Pr 6:34), disease (Pr 15:13; 17:22), the executioner (Pr 16:14), a dangerous lifestyle (Pr 1:15-19), accidents (Pr 22:3), an odious woman (Pr 30:21-23; Eccl 7:26), and drunkenness (Pr 23:29-35). If you reject Lady Wisdom, you must love death, because you have increased your likelihood of dying early (Pr 8:36).
Riches are financial and professional success. Solomon taught excellent economic wisdom in his proverbs. He preached diligence (Pr 10:4), faithfulness (Pr 27:18), savings (Pr 6:6-8), giving (Pr 11:24-25), career planning (Pr 24:27), and capital investment (Pr 14:4). He warned against debt (Pr 22:7), spending (Pr 21:20), squeezing the poor (Pr 28:8), waste (Pr 12:27), risk (Pr 22:3), contingent liabilities (Pr 6:1-5), sleep (Pr 20:13), get-rich-quick schemes (Pr 14:23; 28:19), fear (Pr 22:13), cornering a market (Pr 11:26), and evil negotiating (Pr 20:14). If you reject his advice, you must love poverty.
Honour is personal respect from others. Wisdom leads to honour (Pr 3:35; 4:8; 8:18). It secures a good name and favor with others (Pr 3:4; 22:1). Solomon taught, among other things, as rules for honour, a gracious spirit (Pr 11:16; 22:11), ending strife (Pr 20:3), searching out controversies (Pr 25:2), humility (Pr 29:23), using few words (Pr 17:27-28), hearty counsel (Pr 27:9), handling matters wisely (Pr 16:20), and marrying a great woman (Pr 31:23). If you follow his wisdom, you can build a good reputation.
But there are even better rewards in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The wisdom of the gospel leads to eternal life, spiritual riches, and the honor of being an adopted son of God. Glory! What are you doing to pursue these superior things? Paul charged the financially rich to give up their money to be spiritually rich (I Tim 6:17-19). Moses dumped the treasures of Egypt for the reproach of Christ, seeing a better reward (Heb 11:24-26).
Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to death and destruction; most men are fools and travel that suicidal road. Strait and restricted is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and limitless blessings, but only a few choose to travel there (Matt 7:13-14). Who are you pursuing today? Lady Wisdom (Pr 9:1-12)? Or Lady Folly (Pr 9:13-18)? Embrace Lady Wisdom today. Humble yourself before the wisdom of God’s precious word and say with Paul, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6).