Proverbs 8:19 – What honors do you cherish?

trophyWe continue our study in Proverbs 8 noticing four tangible trophies wisdom promises her suitor.  As a reminder, the wisdom that is the subject of Proverbs is not to be equated with knowledge (or what 19 century folk labeled “book learning”).  This wisdom is acquired through knowledge of God and His Word.  Godly wisdom and discernment belong to those who by faith, believe in, revere and seek God with all their heart (Proverbs 9:10).

In an earlier devotion we focused on the first trophy of wisdom– eternal, heavenly riches (8:18).

Proverbs 8:18“Riches [wealth] and honour [glory; high reputation] are with me [i.e. wisdom]; yea, durable [valued; hereditary—i.e. worthy to be passed on]; riches [wealth; substance] and righteousness [uprightness; moral virtue].”

The second trophy of wisdom is “honour” (8:18b).  What honor does wisdom promise?

Proverbs 8:19 eliminates the concept that wisdom is promising gold and silver. In fact, wisdom states her “fruit” [i.e. reward] is better than “fine gold” and “choice silver”.silver and gold

Proverbs 8:19“My [wisdom] fruit [reward] is better [best; more pleasing or pleasant] than gold, yea, than fine [pure] gold; and my revenue [increase; gain] than choice silver [i.e. money].”

I have received a few awards, honors and recognitions over the years.  Degrees, certificates and plaques adorn my office walls and bookshelves; however, they are hollow tokens if divorced from sincere loving relationships.  I can reflect on many celebratory moments that accompanied honors; however, their value diminishes if the conferrer proved to be transient in their love and sincerity.

The honors I cherish are those in which I have invested my life.  I have learned the greatest honor I can bestow or receive is sacrificial love [Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friendsJohn 15:13].   A pursuit of godly wisdom may not reward you with “durable riches” (8:18) consisting of gold and silver; however, it will yield relationships that can be “banked on” for life and eternity.

terminal loved oneIn my 35 years of ministry, 29 years of which have been at Hillsdale Baptist Church, I’ve waited at the bedside of family and friends when the shadow of death embraced them. I can testify not one dying soul has ever concerned themselves with stock portfolios, newspaper clippings or tarnished trophies and plaques. The honors, the “fruit” they valued, were the dividends paid by investing in loving relationships.

I close with a reminder of the greatest honor you can embrace—trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior and accepting His offer of mercy and grace.

Romans 5:8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”