Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
Do you care about your future? Before you is an appeal to consider a matter, for your future prosperity depends on it. Do you resent being called a child, if it is Lady Wisdom speaking? You should not, for without her wisdom you are more ignorant than a child. Those who listen to her and keep her advice will be blessed with happiness and success.
When you see “therefore” in a sentence, you should always ask the question, “What is the ‘therefore,’ there for?” It is used to draw conclusions from what has already been written, and it is your interpretive duty to find the connection. In this case, Lady Wisdom is summarizing your need for wisdom by the benefits she had already listed.
Solomon personified wisdom as a woman in Proverbs 8 to get your attention by creative and direct language. She first introduced herself, her purpose, and the value of wisdom (Pr 8:1-10). She then listed numerous benefits of wisdom for individuals and nations (Pr 8:11-21). After that, she described how God used wisdom in the creation of the world (Pr 8:22-31). Finally, she summarized her appeal with a persuasive conclusion (Pr 8:32-36).
Bowing to theological speculators, most commentators presume that Jesus the eternal Son of God is calling His sheep in this text. Most readers will not even comprehend this confusion, which is good. The female speaking in the chapter is wisdom personified, not a feminine form of the Son of God by some mysterious process of eternal generation.
Back to the lesson! How well do you hearken, or listen? Some sit quietly and words go in one ear or eye and out the other. They love to daydream or doze. They leave a book or teacher without learning a thing, and their lives never improve. Others strain for every word, and they go away considering soberly (Pr 2:1-9; Ps 1:1-3; Acts 17:11; I Thes 5:21).
Hearing and thinking about something means little. You must change your life by what you hear in order for it to profit you. This is crucial! Every proverb, sermon, or passage of scripture should affect your life. The Bible is the only inspired and preserved book of wisdom on earth. Only those who obey it will succeed (Jas 1:21-25; Matt 7:21-27).
God’s wisdom only benefits those who keep it. “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Ps 19:10-11). “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (Jas 1:25).
Jesus, the wise man greater than Solomon, said, “Take heed therefore how ye hear” (Luke 8:18; 11:31). Why? Because God severely judges those who reject His offer of wisdom – He will take away what understanding you think you have, and He will laugh as you face the calamities of life without it (Pr 1:20-32). You must love death (Pr 8:36)!
Jesus warned of three primary threats to learning wisdom. First, you do not pray, prepare, concentrate, or review what is taught. Second, you are too fearful and weak to stand against the persecution and resistance of others. Third, you are too infatuated with this world’s baubles, and its cares choke out any progress in your life (Luke 8:11-14). How attentive and eager have you been reading this proverb and its commentary? Beware!