True Wisdom and its Result
"If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you." Proverbs 9:12
The address of Scripture is frequently direct — it comes up to the man and speaks to his face, like Ehud to Eglon, "I have a message from God unto you!" Or, like Nathan to David, "You are the man!" So the passage before us, "If you are wise, you shall be wise for yourself." True wisdom comes down from above, and, "is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." It is of the greatest importance; therefore Solomon says, "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding." It may be obtained, and you may obtain it; for the Apostle says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault — and it will be given to him." Wisdom is religion, and real religion is true wisdom. The holy man is the wise man; and the sinner is the fool.
Wisdom, consists . . .
in admitting God's authority;
in reverencing God's word; and
in aiming to please God in all things.
The truly wise man cordially believes all that God has said, and because God has said it.
He fears, because God threatens;
he comes to Jesus, because God invites him;
he prays in faith, because God bids him;
he rests alone for acceptance on the perfect work of Jesus, because God directs him;
he expects the greatest blessings, because God promises them;
and he obeys the precepts of the word, because they are God's commands.
He derives all of his knowledge of divine things from the Bible — and learns to think as God thinks, and to speak as God speaks. He habitually prefers spiritual things to temporal; the smile of God to the applause of mortals, and the heavenly inheritance to this barren wilderness. The word of God is his rule — and the glory of God is his aim. He becomes deeply acquainted with God, and is at peace, and thereby good comes to him.
He is wise for himself, he reaps all the benefit of his wisdom. He pleases God, but cannot profit Him. Hence the question, "Can a man be profitable unto God?" And again, "If you are righteous, what do you give to him, or what does he receive from your hand?" His wisdom will benefit his fellow-men, but the profit will be principally his own. Being wise, he will escape the snares, dangers, and temptations, into which others fall; he will secure to himself many, great, and invaluable blessings; he will obtain a good report in the church of God; and be prepared for all the changes to which he may be exposed. Wisdom may not preserve him from trouble, but it will help him in trouble, and secure his speedy and honorable deliverance out of it.
Reader, are you wise? wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus? Are you wise enough to discover the nature of sin — and hate it? The guilt of sin — and obtain the pardon of it? The consequences of sin — and escape from it? Are you wise enough to flee to Jesus, and make Him your refuge from the wrath to come? Beware, lest carnal wisdom deceive you, and you be found a fool at the judgment-seat of Christ!
Remember the foolish virgins, and let their mistake warn you, and their doom make you cautious; they had much, but they had not the one thing needful. Be sure you have what will be required of you at death, and at the judgment — a title to heaven, founded in the perfect work of Jesus; and a fitness for heaven, "by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit." Make sure work for eternity; dig deep, and lay your foundation on the rock, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." If in Christ — you are safe; if like Christ — you are fit for heaven!