12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
and perverted speech I hate.
14 I have counsel and sound wisdom;
I have insight; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule,
and nobles, all who govern justly.
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me diligently find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me,
and filling their treasuries.
Persons may rise to power through lucky circumstances or even through deceitful and wicked behavior. Individuals may obtain wealth through the same means. But their rise sets up their downfall, for they mistake power and wealth for what only Wisdom can provide – prudence, knowledge, discretion, counsel, sound wisdom, insight, and inner strength. It is the ruler who decrees what is just and who governs justly that is able to withstand his enemies and carry out his rule with riches and honor.
Whether as a government ruler or in any other position of authority, the one who rules with pride, arrogance, and the way of evil and perverted speech can at best hold on to his position through intimidation. That is a precarious position. He continually creates enemies, and his sin must increase in order to keep his semblance of security. It is only a semblance of security, because his greatest enemy is Wisdom. She hates such traits. She withholds from the wicked her virtues that bring lasting joy and security, and she gladly bestows these gifts on those who diligently seek her.
Why then envy the wicked? Why bemoan your circumstances which seem to be worse than that of the arrogant? As easily as they may seem to rise to position and wealth, as easily they will fall. And pray that they will fall in this lifetime so that they may repent and diligently seek Wisdom. Otherwise, their destruction is inevitable. You, if you have found the Wisdom of the Gospel, have been given the assurance of an eternal inheritance that cannot be destroyed. Your trials can only result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Peter 1:3-9).
© 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org