13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
Why is wisdom and understanding so valuable? When we view this in terms of keeping the commandments of God and the teachings of Jesus, then a Christian should be able to consider this rather easily. At least intellectually. We all have room to grow in living these things.
We know that the ways of Jesus bring us out of sinful living, and this often provides us with a longer and more fulfilled life. We know that there are many treasures in heaven that we can seek presently including the blessedness of a righteous life and service to the Lord and our brethren. These treasures are spiritual and godly, not of earthly greed and gain according to the fantasies of mans’ hearts.
In the Kingdom to come there is everlasting life and godly riches prepared that go beyond anything we can imagine. There is more service to be done, and we will live with Jesus Himself in a world that is ruled by the King of Kings. Can you even begin to imagine what that will be like? To be fully free from the unjust and confused rule of man? Incredible!
We know that if we follow the ways of Jesus, we are going to experience more peace in this life. We will learn to rest in the promises of Jesus during hard times. We will have greater confidence in the choices we make, and when we don’t know the way we will learn to trust in the Lord.
We learn to live day by day with a mindset of, “sufficient to the day is the evil thereof” yet we do so wisely so that we are not “throwing ourselves off the pinnacle of the temple” and tempting God.
We have peace that comes from His forgiveness and mercy, and we know that He is faithful to us even when we go astray. He will not leave us nor forsake us.
We can learn to be at peace with all men as much as it is possible through dealing with people kindly, patiently, and lovingly in general. We can learn to find amicable resolutions to life’s challenges, as much as is possible without sacrificing the ways of Jesus. If resolution is not possible then we have peace in knowing that God will handle the situation and avenge, and He will give us sharp words to speak in a timely and righteous fashion when necessary.
The ways of Jesus bring truth and life. As we grow up into Him, we will learn how to apply His ways wisely, and we will experience more of His goodness, more peace, and we will receive honor from God as we honor Him and the Son.
As temples for the Holy Spirit, we will bring truth and life to the world around us. Some hate us for it, others turn to Jesus. In either instance, we are blessed. We cannot lose.
All of this makes me think of the blessings given during Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
As we learn fear of the Lord, the ways of Jesus, and grow in wisdom so that we can apply His ways to our life effectively, we gain great wealth that no one can take away from us, and no earthly wealth can compare to a life lived in Jesus Christ or to the riches of His Kingdom now and to come.
I think it is safe to assume that we can all grow in these things.
If we consider ourselves to be poor in spirit, then we know that there is much yet that we need from the Lord, and He will provide it. There is always more of the Kingdom for us to experience within our hearts during this present life.
It is good to mourn for our sin and to seek forgiveness and healing from it. It is good to mourn the evils of this world and to desire the Lord’s Kingdom. “There is greater wisdom in the house of mourning than the house of mirth.” Mourning of a godly sort keeps us humble, sober-minded, and prepares our heart to receive more from Jesus. Through proper reverence for God and sobriety of heart we are comforted, and we have happiness and contentedness.
We can grow in meekness as we harness truth and us it wisely, we can seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness more actively so that we better represent His name and the truth He brings, we can show mercy as we cultivate understanding for the struggles people face so that we might lead them away from sin instead of hardening them to it, we can seek the Lord to purify our heart so that we can know God better and serve Him more effectively.
In so doing, we can bring more peace to others and experience greater inner peace ourselves; we can learn to endure all suffering for the glory of Jesus while resting in the hope of His coming and all that entails.