Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
The great bible commentator, Matthew Henry, reflecting on this passage noted, “The will of God is made known by the works of creation, and by the consciences of men, but more clearly by Moses and the prophets. The chief difficulty is to get men to attend to instruction. Yet attention to the words of Christ will guide the most ignorant into saving knowledge of the truth. Where there is an understanding heart, and willingness to receive the truth in love, wisdom is valued above silver and gold.”
There were numerous significant people in both the Old and New Testaments who refused to listen to the truth. From Pharaohs to Kings to Roman Governors and Jewish Pharisees, the bible gives example after example of men (and women) who refused to listen to the voice of truth and wisdom…even when it was staring them in the face. They may have been wealthy in possessions, but they were poor in true wisdom and knowledge. Such is the way of the world…and the way of the fool.
The German theologian, Gerhard von Rad, calls this kind of foolishness “practical atheism” – living as though God were not and as though instruction, knowledge, and wisdom do not summon us to a hearing. Sadly, even Christians can live as “practical atheists” when we live as though we don’t need a lot of help. How often do you seek God’s counsel within the pages of His Word? How much time have you spent digging for the silver, gold, and rubies of this world rather than treasure of biblical truth?
The New York Stock Exchange provides all kinds of information on the value of companies…but you won’t find any symbols for instruction, knowledge, or wisdom. Theses valuable “stocks” can’t be purchased with money, but they are readily available with a small investment of your time. Which portfolio of yours will you value the most?