This chapter is devoted to wisdom, again using the literary device of personification. Wisdom is calling out to us, showing us the best ways to live. There are many things we can base our lives on (fame, money, family, ‘looking after number one’), but the Bible repeatedly shows us that a life without God is really just like building on sand (see Matthew 7:24-29)

In this chapter, we are told: “Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money, and God-knowledge over a lucrative career. For Wisdom is better than all the trappings of wealth; nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.” (Prov 8:10-11, The Message; in the NIV, it talks about wisdom being better than rubies or silver or gold.) Wisdom is linked to prudence (or sanity, interestingly, in the Message version), knowledge and discretion; good counsel and common sense are characteristics of wisdom (and therefore of the wise.)

Wisdom is age-old, we discover in this chapter. Sometimes we shun things because they are old, preferring the new, thinking that because something is shiny and gleaming it must necessarily be better. Each generation tends to discover truth for itself, thinking that it’s the first to uncover these things… only to find out that, as Ecclesiastes reminds us, ‘there is nothing new under the sun.’ (Eccl 1:9) History has a lot to teach us, if we will only pause to listen and learn from it.

The chapter ends “When you find me, you find life, real life, to say nothing of God’s good pleasure. But if you wrong me, you damage your very soul; when you reject me, you’re flirting with death.” (Prov 8:35-36) . If we want to find favour with God, if we want to please Him and live well, a good place to start is finding out what He considers the best way to live and live accordingly. Ps 119 encourages us to do this with all our hearts and when we pursue God’s wisdom, we can be sure of finding God’s favour.